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AncalagonTheBlack

The Witcher: Evil is Evil

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So despite the middling to poor reviews from the critics, the show is a big hit with the audience!

https://www.businessinsider.com/entertainment/news/netflixs-the-witcher-is-one-of-the-biggest-shows-in-the-us-despite-poor-reviews-from-critics/articleshow/72998747.cms

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Business Insider has laid out the contradiction in The Witcher's reception within this first week of airing. On review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, The Witcher has a rotten 56 percent critic score based on 57 reviews, but holds a fresh score of 93 percent from 12,000 user ratings. This pattern of critics being sour on a show and the wider audience loving it is not new, and has shown up time and again, including with the original Star Trek series.

The results from television analytics firm Parrot Analytics are also reported by Business Insider, namely how in-demand the series has been the week of its release. The Witcher came in third for original series streaming last week, behind only The Mandalorian on Disney+ and Stranger Things also on Netflix. This is a pretty good placing for a new series, especially a fantasy series unknown outside fans of the books and video game adaptations by CD PRojekt Red

 

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55 minutes ago, AncalagonTheBlack said:

My first impression was that it was a mixed reaction for the audience… 

 

Some questions. 

So in the show mutants are imune to magic. Is geralt imune to magic? Because in some scenes it doesn t look like  he is...

How powerful are the sorcerors in the show? because we rarely see them use magic to easily defeat one oponent. Even in the last eps, why did that wizard try to duel the bad villain instead of incinerating him or using telekinesis...

Finally, is the story suposed to follow the books? Because the books aren t really that good. I can t imagine somebody wanting several seasons of geralt looking for ciri or how his great life goal is to avoid all the confict around him so that he can hunt monsters in peace. Even if by the end he see witchers need to change...

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43 minutes ago, divica said:

My first impression was that it was a mixed reaction for the audience… 

 

Some questions. 

So in the show mutants are imune to magic. Is geralt imune to magic? Because in some scenes it doesn t look like  he is...

How powerful are the sorcerors in the show? because we rarely see them use magic to easily defeat one oponent. Even in the last eps, why did that wizard try to duel the bad villain instead of incinerating him or using telekinesis...

Finally, is the story suposed to follow the books? Because the books aren t really that good. I can t imagine somebody wanting several seasons of geralt looking for ciri or how his great life goal is to avoid all the confict around him so that he can hunt monsters in peace. Even if by the end he see witchers need to change...

It seemed that TV-series Witchers can resist some kinds of magic(mostly illusions and mind based stuff) but are not completely immune. Most likely there are potions which help a Witcher fight mages if necessary. 

The Nilfgaardian boss had plot armor obviously. ;) He might have had some kind of protection though (Dimeritium infused armor, a spell, mutations...). The sorcerers were pretty good at killing groups of mooks after all.

They got the rights to the books not the games. It is unknown how far the will stray from the source material I guess.

Edited by Luzifer's right hand

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3 hours ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

It seemed that TV-series Witchers can resist some kinds of magic(mostly illusions and mind based stuff) but are not completely immune. Most likely there are potions which help a Witcher fight mages if necessary. 

The Nilfgaardian boss had plot armor obviously. ;) He might have had some kind of protection though (Dimeritium infused armor, a spell, mutations...). The sorcerers were pretty good at killing groups of mooks after all.

They got the rights to the books not the games. It is unknown how far the will stray from the source material I guess.

Well, yen was able to control geralt for a while to do her bidding… And he did take a potion while in cintra to resist that hurricane… It just makes it very weird how exactly are mutants imune to magic...

I agree that they were great at killing groups. However both that guy at the end and yen fighting the assasin sucked. It was like they didn t have ofensive magic… I think geralt is the only guy that uses magic to attack single oponents and even him could used signs more times. Both the defensive and the fire signs would have been usefull several times.

The rights for the books and games are diferent? And I think they are doing things diferent from the books like cahir being evil, fringilla being a psico or the idea that the sorcerers don t age and that geralt is very old. Honestly, I just think the books are just bad. There is no good reason for ciri being geralt's Destiny, they spend very little time together and after she gets transported to the desert her story sucks (I realy can t see them doing it in the series), geralt doesn t really evolve along the story and gets weaker in each book until the final book and the story just isn t consistent (a book ends with geralt saying that as he isn t a witcher anymore he as to learn to live without a medalion and in the beguing of the next book he decides to have a new medallion and work as a witcher).

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On 12/28/2019 at 3:09 PM, divica said:

Well, yen was able to control geralt for a while to do her bidding… And he did take a potion while in cintra to resist that hurricane… It just makes it very weird how exactly are mutants imune to magic...

I agree that they were great at killing groups. However both that guy at the end and yen fighting the assasin sucked. It was like they didn t have ofensive magic… I think geralt is the only guy that uses magic to attack single oponents and even him could used signs more times. Both the defensive and the fire signs would have been usefull several times.

The rights for the books and games are diferent? And I think they are doing things diferent from the books like cahir being evil, fringilla being a psico or the idea that the sorcerers don t age and that geralt is very old. Honestly, I just think the books are just bad. There is no good reason for ciri being geralt's Destiny, they spend very little time together and after she gets transported to the desert her story sucks (I realy can t see them doing it in the series), geralt doesn t really evolve along the story and gets weaker in each book until the final book and the story just isn t consistent (a book ends with geralt saying that as he isn t a witcher anymore he as to learn to live without a medalion and in the beguing of the next book he decides to have a new medallion and work as a witcher).

I am just restarting Blood of Elves, so I'll be interested to see Cahir's characterization and if it's similar or different to the show. I know how it turns out, but I am curious about the development in the text.

I am rewatching the show with my son, and we are on episode 4. He loved the first ep (so did I), but eps 2 and 3 ground the excitement to a halt for him, and I have to agree, they are poorly paced. Yennefer's story feels really unnecessary and bland. I think her introduction in the books would have more than sufficed for the show. Either way, the excitement of the market battle in episode 1 was a high point, and even Geralt's storyline seems to suffer due to not enough development of his monster hunts. Adding in Yennefer, and Ciri to an extent, robs the stories of their complexity. 

Oh well, I'll tune in for season 2 as this isn't terrible, but it's disappointing for sure.

Edit: And the books are amazing--not terrible as mentioned upthread.

Edited by Simon Steele

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On 12/29/2019 at 1:29 AM, divica said:

Even in the last eps, why did that wizard try to duel the bad villain instead of incinerating him or using telekinesis...

There is a spoiler reason which I've hidden here:

Spoiler

because the wizard is actually with the Nilfgaardians. You might have noticed that he killed his fellow wizard who was asking for his help.

Actually, in the books, that wizard (Vilgefortz) is damned good at hand to hand. It would be easier for him to just wallop someone, I guess but in that episode .... see spoiler note above.

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1 hour ago, Gigei said:

There is a spoiler reason which I've hidden here:

  Reveal hidden contents

because the wizard is actually with the Nilfgaardians. You might have noticed that he killed his fellow wizard who was asking for his help.

Actually, in the books, that wizard (Vilgefortz) is damned good at hand to hand. It would be easier for him to just wallop someone, I guess but in that episode .... see spoiler note above.

hmm, I clicked on the spoiler

Spoiler

If that's the case it was then presented a bit weirdly (or was his duel just a show since he knew he was being monitored by his fellow mages?

 

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5 hours ago, Corvinus said:

hmm, I clicked on the spoiler

  Hide contents

If that's the case it was then presented a bit weirdly (or was his duel just a show since he knew he was being monitored by his fellow mages?

 

Yeah, it was all for show. Yennefer was watching. IMO, his character is pretty weird in the books, too. 

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38 minutes ago, Gigei said:

Yeah, it was all for show. Yennefer was watching. IMO, his character is pretty weird in the books, too. 

I looked that up when the 

Spoiler

guy murdered his fellow wizard

it is really stupidly presented in the show imo. 

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I've enjoyed it but they do need to explain things better overall.

I've read the books and played the games so I'm pretty confident that I know what's been going on but it does heavily rely on you already knowing more etc. 

 

It's possible that folk would be confused by Mousesack for example as he certainly appears to display very similar powers to the mages we've seen yet he's a druid.  

 

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11 hours ago, Gigei said:

There is a spoiler reason which I've hidden here:

  Reveal hidden contents

because the wizard is actually with the Nilfgaardians. You might have noticed that he killed his fellow wizard who was asking for his help.

Actually, in the books, that wizard (Vilgefortz) is damned good at hand to hand. It would be easier for him to just wallop someone, I guess but in that episode .... see spoiler note above.

That is a good point. It would be in character for vilge if him gathering all the sorcerors to fight the nilfs is just part of his plots. But he genuinely seemed to lose the battle...

And was he really good at hand to hand or the staff he uses to fight geralt has magical abilities? It is one of those things that aren t clarified in the books that I don t like… Like how is a random dude like bonapart (whatever his name was) good enough to defeat witchers in fair fights?

12 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

Edit: And the books are amazing--not terrible as mentioned upthread.

The books are really bad. The final book is just garbage. It is probably one of the worst books I have ever read. 

In relation to the others, the next book is always worse than the previous one. And the author isn t even coeherent, he decides something at the end of a book and when the next starts he contradicts himself. The example I gave about geralt deiciding to live without an amulet because he wasn t a witcher anymore and in his first chapter of the next book he his working like a witcher with a new amulet is just one of the circunstances this happens...

And I don t even wan t to talk about ciri's story after the second book.

Edited by divica

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Just now, Macklunkey said:

It's possible that folk would be confused by Mousesack for example as he certainly appears to display very similar powers to the mages we've seen yet he's a druid.

At that point I was confused about how do I know if someone is a mage… Or if the wizard yen teleports to belongs to some secret branch of wizards with better magic than the one yen belongs to...

It would have been cool to have some simple explanation of how the world works in the first eps. 

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Disclaimer:  I did not read the books and I did not play the first 2 games. I only played the Witcher 3 excessively. Master Gwent player and of course Team Yen.

I think the show is good but it would have been excellent if they did not show Ciri until the season finale where Geralt finds her. They made a choice between the actress playing Ciri and the script. They chose the actress. They could have built the mystery about Ciri without showing her, which would make her union with Geralt more powerful. The jumps between different timelines are confusing.  They could have focused on Geralt’s and Yen's timeline linearly, using them to expose worldbuilding, why people hate witchers, racism, why the Law of Surprise is a big deal, parallel stories etc. After all that ground was covered, the story would have followed Geralt as he came to Cintra to take Ciri. And then, instead of showing Ciri’s escape through the wilderness, we could have followed Geralt searching for her tracks, trying to figure where she is and what happened to her, always one step behind; much like the Witcher 3 game until we found Ciri in the Isle of Mist.

 

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2 hours ago, Mithras said:

Disclaimer:  I did not read the books and I did not play the first 2 games. I only played the Witcher 3 excessively. Master Gwent player and of course Team Yen.

I think the show is good but it would have been excellent if they did not show Ciri until the season finale where Geralt finds her. They made a choice between the actress playing Ciri and the script. They chose the actress. They could have built the mystery about Ciri without showing her, which would make her union with Geralt more powerful. The jumps between different timelines are confusing.  They could have focused on Geralt’s and Yen's timeline linearly, using them to expose worldbuilding, why people hate witchers, racism, why the Law of Surprise is a big deal, parallel stories etc. After all that ground was covered, the story would have followed Geralt as he came to Cintra to take Ciri. And then, instead of showing Ciri’s escape through the wilderness, we could have followed Geralt searching for her tracks, trying to figure where she is and what happened to her, always one step behind; much like the Witcher 3 game until we found Ciri in the Isle of Mist. 

 

I agree. After the timeskip I thought all 3 storylines were finally in the same timeline. IT was weird to find out that ciri's story was still in a diferent timeline and didn t make much sense.

I think she should have been introduced after the timeskip and basically have a smaller storyline than what she had. That could have been done...

Edited by divica

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5 hours ago, divica said:

That is a good point. It would be in character for vilge if him gathering all the sorcerors to fight the nilfs is just part of his plots. But he genuinely seemed to lose the battle...

And was he really good at hand to hand or the staff he uses to fight geralt has magical abilities? It is one of those things that aren t clarified in the books that I don t like… Like how is a random dude like bonapart (whatever his name was) good enough to defeat witchers in fair fights?

The books are really bad. The final book is just garbage. It is probably one of the worst books I have ever read. 

In relation to the others, the next book is always worse than the previous one. And the author isn t even coeherent, he decides something at the end of a book and when the next starts he contradicts himself. The example I gave about geralt deiciding to live without an amulet because he wasn t a witcher anymore and in his first chapter of the next book he his working like a witcher with a new amulet is just one of the circunstances this happens...

And I don t even wan t to talk about ciri's story after the second book.

All I can say is that your examples are wrong, and you didn't get what was going on, which, if you read them in English, I understand due to poor translation. There is a fan translation of all the books out there that is far better, but either way, it sounds like it wasn't your cup of tea, which is fine, but to say they are bad? Now I know how people feel when I talk about the Game of Thrones TV show. But perhaps this conversation should be saved/moved to the literature Witcher section.

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3 hours ago, Mithras said:

Disclaimer:  I did not read the books and I did not play the first 2 games. I only played the Witcher 3 excessively. Master Gwent player and of course Team Yen.

I think the show is good but it would have been excellent if they did not show Ciri until the season finale where Geralt finds her. They made a choice between the actress playing Ciri and the script. They chose the actress. They could have built the mystery about Ciri without showing her, which would make her union with Geralt more powerful. The jumps between different timelines are confusing.  They could have focused on Geralt’s and Yen's timeline linearly, using them to expose worldbuilding, why people hate witchers, racism, why the Law of Surprise is a big deal, parallel stories etc. After all that ground was covered, the story would have followed Geralt as he came to Cintra to take Ciri. And then, instead of showing Ciri’s escape through the wilderness, we could have followed Geralt searching for her tracks, trying to figure where she is and what happened to her, always one step behind; much like the Witcher 3 game until we found Ciri in the Isle of Mist.

 

The plotting of the first two books would have worked much better for this show, to be honest:

Spoiler

Book 1: Geralt hunts some monsters (many of the stories we saw in season 1, including Ciri's mom and her cursed father) and the final episode he meets Yen, and the "Last Wish" he takes from the djinn is that he and Yen are bound/in love forever as it was the only way he could save her.

Book 2: The Dragon Hunt (which brings Yen and Geralt together immediately) followed by more adventures where he and Yen are toxic and very on again off again). The Witcher finds Ciri in Brokilon but this is before Cintra is destroyed. She has run away or something, I can't quite remember. She and Geralt bond as he brings her home. A lot about the "child surprise" aspect is explored. The second season ends as the first one did, except Ciri knows (and loves) Geralt, so their meeting has so much meaning).

 

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1 hour ago, Simon Steele said:

All I can say is that your examples are wrong, and you didn't get what was going on, which, if you read them in English, I understand due to poor translation. There is a fan translation of all the books out there that is far better, but either way, it sounds like it wasn't your cup of tea, which is fine, but to say they are bad? Now I know how people feel when I talk about the Game of Thrones TV show. But perhaps this conversation should be saved/moved to the literature Witcher section.

Spoiler

Your silver medallion with the wolf. Schirrú had it. Now you’ve lost it forever. It’ll melt in that heat.’

‘Too bad,’ he said a moment later, looking into the flaminika’s cornflower-blue eyes. ‘I’m no longer a witcher. I’ve stopped being a witcher. I’ve learned that now. On Thanedd, in the Tower of the Seagull. In Brokilon. On the bridge on the Yaruga. In the cave beneath Gorgon. And here, in Myrkvid Forest. No, I’m not a witcher now. So I’ll have to learn to manage without my medallion.’

I don t know how someone can misunderstand this…  Then in the beguining of the next book he is working as a witcher with a new medallion… And this is only one exemple of how incoherent the author is. Unless you are claiming that the translation is completly wrong...

 

edit: we even spend the last 3 books or so with geralt learning that the witcher's way of thinking is wrong. That he regrets his decisions… All the locations he talks about there are places where he concludes he didn t behave as a witcher… And one of the problems of the books is that they show us constantly how geralt sees that he was wrong but in the next book he behaves exactly in the same way. There is no growth until the last chapter of the last book.

Edited by divica

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11 minutes ago, Filippa Eilhart said:

yes, they’re so bad that basically every Polish person knows who Sapkowski is ;)

because of the books or the games?

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Was gifted two of the books and only skimmed through enough to learn characters before the show started and was able to enjoy the 1st season quite well, although I needed to watch the first two episodes over again before I fealt I was following properly. Have had nothing to do with the games, they are of zero consequence to me.

Now's the time to finish the reading and do a rewatch before the 2nd season.

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