On 20 December 2019 Netflix launched one of its original series dedicated to the fictional character of Geralt of Rivia. This ‘monster-slayer’ is one of the so-called witchers – supernatural figures hunting and killing hideous monsters for money. Just another show without history? Not for the Poles! 

That’s my epic tale
A champion prevailed
Defeated the villain
Now pour him some ale”

(Toss a coin to your witcher – Joey Batey)

Indeed, the term witcher was invented by a Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Not only his books made The Witcher famous. A Polish gaming company CD Projekt RED produced a series of games about Sapkowski’s protagonist. Thanks to Netflix people all around the world are getting more and more interested in the adventures of Geralt and all the creatures he meets along his way. Recently, Sapkowski has become a best-selling author on Amazon! So it’s time to talk about the world of old magic.

The action of the story takes place in the medieval times –we can see castles, horses, bards, poisonous mixtures… etc. However, it’s difficult to pinpoint the precise moment as Sapkowki invites us into an imaginary world of his own. How to put elves, monsters, phantoms, vampires and strigas into a proper time period? 😉 It seems like the writer might have been inspired by different folk stories and legends to finally create an original and coherent fantasy world.

Now, a few words about the witchers. Geralt of Rivia is not the only one of his kind. The so-called witchers are creatures who years earlier were trained and given magical potions in order to have their genetical features modified. And so, they differ from humans in a number of ways. To name a few: witchers are trained not to show emotions and to control their bodies’ reactions. they are infertile and their bodies might be damaged due to the potions they drank. For example, Geralt has got white hair. Of course, a witcher wouldn’t be a witcher if he couldn’t do any magic. It turns out that they can cast spells showing particular signs with their hands. 

The show on Netflix has one season with 8 episodes. It introduces us to the world of Sapkowski’s imagination. The second season is planned to be launched in 2021. Let’s meet some of the protagonists. Obviously, there is the witcher (Henry Cavill) wandering around different lands in search of monsters wreaking havoc. He has got a friend – bard Jaskier, (played by Joey Batey) who celebrates the adventures of the Witcher. He seems to be annoying at times, though. Toss a coin to your witcher is a song invented by the bard and it became a song associated with the series having lots of fans among the Netflix viewers. Another character is princess Ciri (Freya Allan). She’s a royal girl, one of the few who survived the massacre in her kingdom. Due to the law of surprise her fate becomes interrelated with the one of Geralt. Also, there is Yennefer, once a cripple, now a powerful sorceress. To get rid of the imperfections of her body, she gives her fertility in return. Geralt falls in love with her.

The Witcher on Netflix might be quite a pleasant way to spend a couple of evenings with. It’s a mixture of witchcraft, adventure, fighting, nudity (suitable only for adult viewers) and a pinch of humour. Ladies and gentelmen, in need of someone to fight your monsters? Ask for Geralt, the Butcher of Blaviken.

 

Honorata Turczyn