The Witcher returns for season 2 next week and though this season doesn’t particularly leave us wanting to toss a coin to our Witcher, it does leave us wanting to do other things to at least one particular Witcher. I will leave the what to your imagination (as I’m pretty sure everyone’s got different, ahem, fantasies), but I must say my attention sometimes wandered to dem thighs and those forearms. Because I’m just human, and it’s Henry Cavill.
But Cavill does more in season 2 than just look, you know, how he looks. He also uses some words and provokes some feelings other than lust in us …and other characters. Everything in season 2 is a little deeper, and that especially applies to Geralt’s character development. To no one’s surprise, the season focuses on his relationship with Ciri, and if you thought Mando and Baby Yoda were a lot, wait till you see Geralt and Ciri.
Wait till you see Geralt trying to figure out how to be what she needs, just as Ciri tries to figure out the same thing.
As interesting as his development is, though, and as much as you, and I, and probably every person with a pulse will enjoy seeing him on screen, he isn’t the thing that elevates The Witcher from good to great fantasy. Instead, just like in season 1, it’s the woman that make this show great, and it’s the women who provide the emotional stepping stones for this journey towards …well, family.
The show shines every time Anya Chalotra’s Yennefer or Freya Allan’s Ciri are on screen, and they’re not the only female characters who get a chance to make their mark on a season 2 that firmly establishes why this show isn’t — could never be Game of Thrones, even if like Game of Thrones, it flounders when it leans too heavily on the political aspects of a conflict that’s not easier to understand in season 2 than it was in season 1.
But the politics aren’t the focus — they could never be. The Brotherhood, the armies and the conflict is just a background concern. Geralt, Ciri and yes …Yennefer, are all that matters, in season 2, and in general.
Anyone who knows me, has ever seen me, follows me on Twitter or has taken a breath near me probably knows how much I adore Yennefer of Vengerberg and how much her season 1 journey of finding your own power meant to me. Well, if possibly, Yennefer, and the writing for Yennefer, is even better in season 2. I felt empowered by Yennefer in season 1, but in season 2 I felt something even better, understood.
Once again, Anya Chalotra is my favorite part of a season that does so much right that it should be harder to pick out a favorite, but the way she plays vulnerability and strength as two sides of the same coin instead of different emotions to be pulled out at different points is both a revelation and a certainty. We aren’t surprised she’s this good, but it’s still amazing to experience it.
As much as Yennefer and Geralt are standouts, perhaps the biggest surprise in season 2 is, however, Freya Allan’s Ciri. There was a lot of potential to her character in season 1, but she was still, in so many ways, a lost girl trying to find her way.
Well, it cannot truly be said Ciri finds that in season 2, because in life, answers aren’t definitive, and with every moment there are new things to learn, but Ciri certainly takes control of her own journey in season 2. Yes, she’s got Geralt next to her, at last, but Ciri’s story is not about him, or any of the people around her, the ones that love her or the ones that hate her, Ciri’s journey can only be her own.
Before, perhaps, we would have said this was the least interesting part of the journey. Season 2, however, takes on the necessary journey towards appreciating all three main characters on this show equally — which, of course, only means that we would give an arm and a leg for season 3 to come tomorrow.
There is more going on this season, of course. Jaskier is still Jaskier, in the best of ways. The mythology gets deeper, and even if most of the rest of the characters sans Jaskier (and maybe Tissaia) never quite manage to hit the emotional heights the main three do, there are a lot of necessary things going on in the background that still command attention.
In all respects, season 2 of The Witcher is a definite improvement on season 1, and absolutely worth your time. It’s not the next anything, it doesn’t need to be. It’s the first of its kind, and that’s more than enough.
Are you excited for The Witcher season 2? Share with us in the comments below!