The Witcher season 2 is a continuation of the Netflix dark fantasy epic and stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer the sorceress, Freya Allan as Princess Cirilla and Joey Batey as Jaskier the bard. It also stars MyAnna Buring, Mimi Ndiweni, Eamon Farren, Anna Shaffer, Royce Pierreson, Mecia Simson, Tom Canton, Wilson Mbomio with Kim Bodnia and Lars Mikkelsen.
Previously, I wrote that The Witcher was certainly ambitious and it was clear that the cast and crew were working to make something akin to HBO’s Game of Thrones. But the first season was hampered by the anachronistic storytelling for each episode and a disconnect between the various characters because of that. Has that been fixed for Season 2? Well….
The answer is yes. In fact the quality of Season 2 has significantly improved without taking away any of the pieces that made the previous season so memorable. Gone away is the anachronistic order of events, allowing the story to flow more naturally. And this helps the other parts of the story in a big way too. As you can guess by the extended list of actors in the opening paragraph, the number of important characters has expanded significantly, the majority of them actually showed up in the first season but I had no idea they would be as important as the ended up being. Because so much of Season 1 was wrapped in mystery and the climax of those mysteries were centered around the important players just meeting up, a lot of the world-building set establishment fell to the wayside. With that out of the way, the story can expand as each group of characters bring their own unique perspective in where they end up and the plot can move along knowing that everyone is working towards their own endgame. So there’s less emphasis on the denouement on more on the political intrigue that made Game of Thrones so famous in the first place.
The acting has also gone up, Henry Cavill once again shines as the belligerent but still heroic Witcher. In Season 1 he plays up the image of a hardass whose more vulnerable side is hidden behind so very subtle acting. Here, his time with Freya Allen’s Cirilla and his band of fellow Witchers allows him set aside his stoic, badass for moments of broship comradery and fatherly tenderness. Anya Chalotra offers a deep dive into her own character’s strengths and vulnerabilities as she examines what lengths she will and won’t go to in order to reclaim what she’s lost. Freya has grown from the frightened and vulnerable princess thrust into an unforgiving world into a hardened young woman preparing herself for its dangers. And of course, Joey Batey brings his usual charm and hilarity as the hapless bard, forever out of his depth. Even the villains of the first season are fleshed out in such a way that they’re no longer just the fanatical imperialists but just one more ambitious group occupying this messed up world.
Season 2 not only brings a satisfying arc to many of these characters but also teases just enough that I’m anxious to where Season 3 takes us. And hopefully there won’t the delay this time.