Episode Three of Netflix’s The Witcher is our first proper ‘Monster of the Week’ episode and boy is it a doozy. Opening on a close-up of a dying young man describing the monster that killed him and ending with the untimely demise of the Witcher sent to hunt it, your immediately sure that whatever this thing is, it’s not to be fucked with.
Episode Three is another episode focusing mostly on Geralt, however, it does drive Yennefer’s story forward in dramatic and tragic fashion. Ciri is again, underutilised in this episode, though that may have more to do with the impact of both Geralt and Yen’s storylines than any lack of interest in Ciri.
We’re dealing with heavy stuff here.
The Witcher Review
Kicked out of his hotel room for not paying, Geralt leaves Roach in the care of the publican and heads into Temeria to earn some coin. He learns of a monster terrorising the area and seeks an audience with King Foltest, however, he is denied and forced to leave.
However, Triss (a name familiar to fans) seeks him out and secretly brings him to Ostrit, the King’s magnate. Geralt deduces that he is dealing with a Striga and sets about killing the beast.
Meanwhile, Yennefer is preparing to take her final tests and become enchanted so that she can serve the Brotherhood as an advisor to a king. Yen is particularly excited to be enchanted as it will make her beautiful and remove her deformations.
Neither Geralt nor Yennefer gets what they expect, which is yet another thread woven through the fabric of this show. Destiny has its own ideas and no one, not Geralt of Rivia, nor Yennefer of Vengerberg is going to change its design.
Something I’ve not mentioned in my reviews so far is the music and the cinematography. The soundtrack in The Witcher is stunning. It’s a modern take on pretty standard medieval music and it fits absolutely. It drives the narrative when necessary, backs off as appropriate and elevates the action above and beyond.
The same can be said of the cinematography. While it doesn’t have the overwhelming wow factor of the Icelandic landscapes seen in Game of Thrones, it does showcase some truly amazing European countryside. What’s more, any fan of Wild Hunt will instantly recognise the environment as that from The Witcher.
Essentially, The Witcher is gorgeous and a treat to be experienced.
Back to the meat of this episode. Geralt sets about hunting the Striga and realises he is able to break the curse, provided he keep the Striga from its nest until dawn. Here again we see Geralt’s humanity and his emotions which are supposed to have been quashed by his transformation. Geralt would rather risk his own life to save an innocent girl than simply kill the Striga and be done with it.
Yennefer misses her chance for enchantment and chance to become beautiful because a family secret is unearthed. However, desperate for power and to avoid rejection, she goes ahead with the procedure anyway. It’s these stories that show us that Geralt and Yen are two sides of the same coin.
They both care deeply. More deeply than they’d ever admit and both have a strong morality that drives them. It may not be our morality, but it’s theirs and it’s pretty well defined.
In the end, The Witcher shows us the strong parental instincts that both Geralt and Yennefer have and how they work through living their life and being responsible for another.
It’s a delicate balance and one they may not be capable of carrying out.
Leo Stevenson was given preview access to five episodes of The Witcher by Netflix.
Name: The Witcher
Description: The witcher Geralt, a mutated monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world in which people often prove more wicked than beasts.
- The battle with the Striga - 10/1010/10
- Yennefer's enchantment - 10/1010/10
- Phenomenal acting from the cast - 9/109/10