Why I actually enjoyed Season 2 of 'The Witcher'
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Why I actually enjoyed Season 2 of ‘The Witcher’

After introducing the wider world to The Witcher’s loveable brand of broody protagonist, Netflix has renewed the show for a third season. And I’m not unhappy about it.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Back in 2019, when The Witcher show aired its first season, I curiously tuned into this latest attempt at a video game turned TV show. What I found initially was… not exactly what I expected. But it wasn’t amazing either.

As a disclaimer, I haven’t played through all of the games myself. I’ve dabbled, but never finished them. I haven’t read the books either, so like many a viewer, I went into the show pretty blind. So when Netflix released The Witcher’s second season, I thought ‘why not? I’ll give it another shot.’ And I’m glad I did.

the witcher season 2 poster
Image: The Witcher / Netflix

My original gripes with the first season began mostly with things like odd choices in costuming for characters like Yennefer, who was sinfully draped in unflattering gowns, post-transformation. There were also a few bland and overused tropes that reduce me to rolling eyes.

Of course there were hidden gems along the way, such as Freya Allan’s commendable performance as a young Cirilla. Or the enjoyable dryness of Geralt’s demeanour clashing with Jaskier’s genuinely comedic ways. But they were clouded for me by an overall feeling of… meh.

It wasn’t awful. But it wasn’t great either.

Which brings me to season two. The problems I had with Anya Chalotra’s initial performance as Yennefer have all but evaporated since last season. What felt like a one-note seductress has become a three-dimensional character. Someone whose moral code conflicts with deeper desires and meaningful questions.

Whenever I think of Yennefer, I immediately think of costumes – one of my biggest issues with season one. Many of the original designs felt both too noticeably modern and unflattering in some instances (it went beyond Yennefer too – let’s not forget the awful first season Nilfgaardian armour).

This time around I hardly noticed them, which is a good thing! Many of the designs in season two feel as if they truly belong in The Witcher’s universe, instead of looking so out of place.

But for all the good, The Witcher isn’t perfect by any means. What would make for some absolutely awesome writing would be a total subversion in season three – especially since the showrunners seem intent on delineating the series from its source material. Emphasising the largely overdone doom and gloom that’s currently building, only to switch tracks suddenly and surprise us all would be great.

And it’d probably push me towards loving the show as a whole.

Until then I say: season two of The Witcher is pretty damn good. I’m definitely hopeful that Netflix’s renewal of the show for a third season will only bring more improvements along with it. I also find myself actually tempted by a full playthrough of the game in the meantime.

Otherwise, there’s always the upcoming prequel The Witcher: Blood Origin, set 1200 years before the original show coming soon to Netflix. Or the existing animated prequel, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf available now.

 

The Witcher Season 2 is available to stream now on Netflix.