The Witcher Season 2 Review: One Timeline, No Problems

Season 1 of The Wizard was a huge success for Netflix, quickly becoming one of the most viewed original series on the streaming service and introducing a new audience to Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series set in a medieval world filled with terrifying monsters and magically enhanced hunters. Despite all those accolades, however, the first season of The Wizard He frustrated some fans with using multiple timelines to tell his complicated opening story arc, something that series creator and showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich assured fans would no longer be a problem when protagonist Geralt of Rivia come back for season 2.

Not just the first six episodes of The Wizard Season 2’s eight-episode arc confirms that Schmidt Hissrich delivered on his promise of simpler storytelling, but season two also allows for a more rewarding sophomore arc as the series shifts focus to its characters rather than their continuity.

Henry Cavill holds a sword as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher.

New starts

Following the events of the first season that changed the timeline, the second story arc of The Wizard picks up after the climactic battle of Sodden Hill, with Henry Cavill returning as the monster-hunting warlock Geralt of Rivia and Freya Allan as Ciri, an exiled princess under Geralt’s protection whose fate is inextricably linked to his. Anya Chalotra also returns as the powerful enchantress Yennefer of Vengerberg, whose actions turned the tide of war on Sodden Hill, and who is also linked to Geralt in both love and fate.

Season 2 of The Wizard follow Geralt and Ciri as they explore the latter’s mysterious and magical roots and the backstory of the warlocks themselves when the pair meet at Kaer Morhen, the winter shrine and warlock training grounds. Meanwhile, Yennefer finds himself once again navigating the complicated politics of war and the changing status quo among the nations besieged by Nilfgaard’s empire.

In the midst of all that political drama and historical depths, however, season 2 of The Wizard He also manages to find time to pit Geralt against all kinds of monstrous creatures. It also features a long list of characters familiar to fans of the books and games, including Anna Shaffer as the sorceress Triss Merigold and Kim Bodnia as Geralt’s mentor, the veteran witch Vesemir.

Freya Allan and Henry Cavill in a scene from season 2 of The Witcher.

Putting it all together

Season 2 of The Wizard He wastes no time picking up on what the first season left behind, and while his long-awaited return to the monster world, the show’s magic and political intrigue is welcome after nearly two years, the show’s quick immersion in its own mythology. it’s likely to feel a bit overwhelming for anyone who’s lost track of where things left off in season 1. Fortunately, Schmidt Hissrich and the rest of the show’s creative team do a good job of handing out exhibition breadcrumbs while they take you through the next chapter in the adventures of Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer.

The series’ more linear storytelling in season 2 also serves well, as the events that occur around the aforementioned trio cover a lot of ground, both geographically and narratively. By having the character arcs unfold more or less in parallel (rather than on different timelines), the season’s trickier plot points become more manageable and the various narrative threads feel like a saga. shared rather than low-key stories with little in common beyond their surroundings. .

This unified vision for The Wizard It also ends up having a positive effect on other aspects of the season, giving you more time to focus on its richly developed characters and the fascinating world they inhabit rather than trying to make sense of the timeline.

Getting to know you

Returning as Geralt, Cavill seems significantly more comfortable as the show’s titular badass monster hunter. Rather than spend most of his screen time grunting and sighing, Geralt becomes a more developed character in season two, as his relationships with Ciri, Yennefer, and their fellow warlocks give him a depth that was only hinted at in season 1.

Ciri also begins a new path in the series’ second season, going from the damsel of the first arc in distress to a more prominent and assertive character as the story progresses. Playing a central figure in the saga who is protected, hunted and investigated by various factions, Allan adapts well to Ciri’s new position in the story, which has her eager to follow in Geralt’s footsteps, despite the reservations of the sorcerer.

Sadly, Yennefer’s arc is not nearly as compelling during the first six episodes of season two, as the sorceress spends much of the season dealing with the aftermath of her actions on Sodden Hill, often serving as a supporting character in her own. parts of the movie. history. It’s a disappointing twist for Chalotra’s character, who was introduced with a fascinating, powerful, and (literally) transformative arc in season 1, only to wander aimlessly for much of season two.

However, the new characters introduced during the season do alleviate the disappointment of leaving Yennefer behind a bit.

Freya Allan and Anna Shaffer in a scene from season 2 of The Witcher.

Shaffer adds a nice dynamic to the story as Triss, Yennefer’s caring sister in sorcery, even if her live-action character lacks the assertiveness of her counterpart in the books and games. There is a warmth to Shaffer’s portrayal of the character that somehow makes the world of The Wizard simultaneously feeling harder and more identifiable when we see it through their eyes.

One of the most anticipated new additions to the cast from fans also receives a satisfying introduction, with Bodnia bringing a genuine sense of fatherly pride and excitement to Vesemir adding more depth to both the character and nature of the witches’ relationship with one another. . . Vesemir of Bodnia may not be the character fans were expecting, but he is the character the show needs in order for the audience to understand Geralt better.

The wait is worth it

Although the first six episodes of season 2 of The Wizard Don’t take the story in shocking new directions, the show’s decision to dive a bit into the rich world the characters inhabit feels like the right move, particularly after a debut season that often felt like it was. was moving too fast or was too disconnected. .

Kim Bodnia in Season 2 of The Witcher.

The extra time with Geralt and Ciri is well spent, and each of the new characters introduced during the season end up feeling important enough to care, as their paths intersect with the series’ leads. That is no small achievement in a show as crowded as The Wizard, and it speaks volumes about the show’s willingness to take its time with the story and make its world feel inhabited by characters with real emotions and motivations.

To his credit, season 2 of The Wizard He doesn’t try to copy the formula from his wildly successful first season and instead seems to genuinely understand what elements made it a success and where he has the freedom to change his approach to the story. There is a sense of comfort and trust with the story of the show’s second season that seems to have led the show’s creative team to be more patient with the story that unfolds around Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer, and The Wizard it’s better for that.

If the show’s first season offers any indication of what to expect from the final two episodes of season 2, there are still plenty of big things to come for the three main characters and their supporting cast. Fortunately, the calm and focused approach of his saga The Wizard taking this time has made every time between those great moments just as rewarding.

Season 2 of The Wizard premieres on December 17.

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