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Monday, December 20, 2021

THE WITCHER Season 2: Honest and Full Review of Netflix Show

THE WITCHER Season 2: Honest and Full Review
pic credit: IGN

So, The Witcher Season 2 is finally available on Netflix, and the ending has a lot to unpack. In case you missed it, Nightmare of the Wolf is a prequel film that partly ties into the show, and in it, we followed Vesemir as he worked his way out of poverty to become a Witcher. 

We discovered throughout that the witchers had been creating monsters so that they could ride in, save the day, and collect the coin. This truth was revealed, and we witnessed the sacking of Kaer Morhen firsthand, learning why the locals disliked the witcher. 

In the aftermath of the war, Vesemir saw a young Geralt, and he realized that while the Witchers' old methods had perished, something better was rising in their place. 

Getting Cirious Now

Season 2 is largely focused on Ciri, her training, and the villains who are trying to exploit her for their own personal advantage. Ciri is taken to Kaer Morhen, and we watch as she eventually realizes her full potential, but with it comes plenty of enemies looking to take advantage of her. 

On the other hand, we follow Yennefer, who, following the events of Sodden, turns against the wizards and goes on the run with Cahir. Over time, she realizes how unique Ciri is, and all of the factions begin to seek her out. 

This puts Geralt in a difficult situation because he wants to protect her no matter what, but he also learns that Ciri may be the catalyst for the apocalypse.

She's also desperate for vengeance on Cahir, the black knight, and this forces Yennefer to consider her options. 

Voleth Meir Explained

After losing her magical skills, Yen is tempted by Voleth Meir, a witch who serves as the series villain, and she begins to wonder who she should trust. Give her allegiances to Geralt, dear me; I'm beginning to sound like the characters in the show. 

Voleth is heavily influenced by the legend of Baba Yaga, as evidenced by her mansion, which can stand on huge chicken legs. That's exactly what it is.

Voleth was imprisoned by the Witchers at the end of episode 7, and she would only be released once she had had her fill with anguish and desperation. The villain is driven by rage, hatred, and a wide spectrum of emotions, and we see her influence various characters throughout the course of the season. 

Voleth takes up the role of Palpatine in the series because she works in the shadows...and she's also elderly, I suppose. 

Grain Of Truth Breakdown

As with any version of the Witcher, practically everything is in shades of grey, and I loved how, in the first episode, we met a man who had been cursed and who, through time, we realized, had deserved it.

Grain Of Truth, a warped spin on Beauty and the Beast, adapts the story of the same name from The Last Wish and introduces us to Nivellen. He's been cursed to take the appearance of a beast, which can only be lifted with blood and love, according to legend. 

Ciri and Geralt discover a Bruxa living with him as the episode progresses, and the curse is lifted when she dies. He did this because he loved her and the blood mentioned in the curse was hers. Though he's been set free, we realize that he's still a monster, and it's a fantastic way to close the episode. 

It reminded me of the game's objectives when you'd be assisting someone like the bloody baron, who asked you to save his daughter and wife only to discover that he was terrible to the latter.

A Much Better Season

What the second season does so well is that it focuses on the characters and their motivations as well as the moral ambiguity that they find themselves trapped in. Whereas I spent a lot of Season 1 trying to figure out the timeline, they've wisely removed the jumping back and forth here so we can just concentrate on the character arcs. 

Now that sort of takes us into the ending of the series which has a lot going on. Throughout the season we get some lip service paid to the wild hunt and the group does show up in the finale which I'll talk about later on in the article.


Ciri Gets And People Get Tempted

Ciri begins to realize her full ability after meeting Yennefer, which involves teleportation and discovering the monolith, which is where the majority of the finale takes place. Ciris' abilities include not only her scream but also the ability to open doors and unleash demons, which is one of her primary abilities in the ending. 

Fringilla also realizes that if she wants power, she must seize it, and this is a pivotal moment in the character's development. After losing her seat to Yennefer, she refuses to return to a life of servitude and watching her cruelly murder people at Voleth Meir's command is a chilling moment. 

Yennefer is lured by the witch in a similar way, but she breaks away from the illusion and tells Ciri the truth. Their relationship begins to exhibit fractures, which informs soldiers, who storm the couple. 

Thankfully, Geralt appears and saves the day, but he orders Ciri to return to Kaer Morhen. Voleth has played the pieces brilliantly up to this point, and despite the wrath and suspicion, she has managed to free herself. She travels to find Ciri, who is now without a formidable guardian to defend her.

Episode 8 Explained

Voleth eventually takes possession of her, and she is transported into a dream that reminds her of her youth. This includes visions of her father, who turns out to be the Emporer in the end. Ciri will have to choose between her new surrogate father, Geralt, and her biological father, who has turned into a monster, in the future. 

He, like Nivellan, was cursed in Season 1, and while he was thought to be dead, we now know it was a falsehood. He employed his soldiers to chase Ciri throughout the season, and given that the two are related, it's easy to see why. 

It also explains why they were aware of her abilities long before she used them, and it's a major plot shock for the finale. 

He's clearly vicious and power-hungry, and in the end, he drives out Fringilla and Cahir after determining that they've fulfilled their purpose. The two were merely going through the motions in order to gain power, and it's a bit of an irony to see them getting disposed of by him. 

Despite Ciri's desire for vengeance, I believe that knowing her father is alive will ally her with him instead, as the two will very certainly end up fighting him. Returning to Voleth, she begins to use Ciri to murder The Witchers, causing them to mount a counter-attack. 

Geralt and the Witchers strive to liberate the demon from Ciri so that they can trap it and put an end to her reign of terror in Episode 8.

However, it's easier said than done, and Voleth summons a slew of monsters from the monolith, raising the stakes dramatically for the conclusion. Vesemir stabs her since Geralt is unable to break her free from the enchantment. 

However, Geralt realizes that Voleth's strength is fueled by hatred, and the Witchers band together to write kind comments on her films. It weakens her in this final battle, but not enough to dislodge Voleth from Ciri's body. 

When the Witchers imprisoned her, they cursed her and forced her to live in a certain vessel. This was supposed to be the house, but after escaping, she needed to find a body. This is why she appears as embers when she escapes her cage, and it's also what keeps her from escaping Ciri's shell. 

Yenefer, on the other hand, offers herself up and drags Voleth away from Ciri and into herself. Ciri has to say goodbye to the fantasy she's been living in, and it's a little sad to see this perfect version of her family crumble in front of her. 

They think she belongs with them, but she chooses Geralt as her home, and while it isn't perfect, she can create something of herself in the real world. This scenario, I believe, foreshadows a future season in which she will have to make the same decision again, but this time with her real father. 


The Wild Hunt And The Witcher Blood Origin 

Ciri reopens the monolith now that Voleth is in Yennefer, and they journey through it with Geralt. Here we meet the Wild Hunt, who are urgently trying to capture Ciri, and while they manage to flee, it's evident that they'll play a major role in Season 3. 

The Wild Hunt is actually Elves that seek to tap into not only Ciri's talents but also her Elder bloodline, which is information given to the elves in the finale. They're called Wraiths and act somewhat like the ones from Lord Of The Rings. 

This bloodline contains a mutagen that was used to create the first witches, and while we don't learn all about it, it is extremely precious. If you stayed for the post-credits sequence, you'll notice a trailer for The Witcher Blood Origin, which will be released soon. 

The interactions between elves and humans will be explored in this prequel series, as well as the significance of Ciri. The Wild Hunt wanted Ciri to mate with their King in the original material, and that could be a storyline that will appear in the following season. 

They're fantastic villains, and they add a new dimension to the future that will wreak havoc on our protagonists. 

Ending Explained And Future Predictions

Even though Vesemir begs Geralt and Ciri to stay and help restore everything, they now realize that they must keep traveling because there is a target on her back. The Brotherhood, another party keen to seize her, has set a bounty on both her and Geralt. It feels nearly identical to the ending of John Wick 2, with everyone on the lookout for the couple.

Ciri is born of Elder Blood, and the Elves realize that she is the chosen one who has been prophesied to save them. The Elves were considered second-class citizens throughout the episode, yet she could easily replant them on high. 

Geralt wants Yennefer to train Ciri, and he makes a big deal about how Ciri could be the one who brings them together and fulfills their destiny. 

There are various paths they could go with the story, and in The Witcher 3, Geralt is actually ordered by the Emporer to find Ciri, which appears to be a plot component that may or may not be featured in future installments. 

If I had to guess what would happen next, which I do, I imagine we'd get one of the endings where Ciri's death is staged and she becomes a Witcher. 

Season 2 Review

I've really enjoyed the two seasons and though I thought there were some pacing issues during the midpoint of the series, come to the end of the show I have to say I preferred this over the first. Henry Cavill has really stepped into the role of Geralt and he's completely nailing the performance almost transforming into him at points so that you forget the person behind the role. 

There are also all the plots and character arcs in this season and though a lot of setup happens, I think they do pay off some of the loose ends really well. Freya Allan is also brilliant as Ciri and she really becomes somewhat the lead in this entry leading to her becoming a super compelling character. 

The Witcher is very much doing its own Game Of Thrones right now and it's been great watching these brand new 8 episodes. Overall I really liked it and it gets an... 8/10


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