Debut date: December 20, 2019
Genre: Drama, action, dark fantasy
Created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich
Based on novels by Andrzej Sapkowski and on video games developed by CD Projekt Re
Starring Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan
Rating: TV-MA for intense violence, some horror elements, nudity, and language

Author’s note: This review contains minor spoilers for the first three episodes of The Witcher.


On December 20, 2019, Netflix debuted The Witcher, an engrossing, complex, and occasionally confusing television series adapted from the eponymous video games and from the novels on which the games are based. After finishing the first season (which comprises eight episodes), I heartily recommend it—but with a few caveats.


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Endnotes

1. George R. R. Martin’s nihilism and cynicism are evident throughout his writing and are best expressed by the words of one of his characters, Sansa Stark, who said, “There are no heroes. In life, the monsters win.” This quote is presented as evidence that the character, a formerly happy and “naive” girl, has “grown up.”

2. Netflix, “The Witcher: Character Introduction: Geralt of Rivia,” YouTube, December 9, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LiD3i9DS_c.

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