After months of speculation and waiting, fans finally got to see Netflix’s The Witcher trailer, including Henry Cavill in all his post-Superman glory. Based on The Witcher series of eight novels written by Andrzej Sapkowski and adapted into a popular video game series. Since Netflix shared a photo of Cavill as the main character, Geralt of Rivia, the anticipation surrounding this series reached new heights. The show’s been in development for more than two years, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich acts as showrunner and is a longtime fan of the stories. The series will feature eight episodes, and it’s very clearly a play by Netflix to capture the attention of Game of Thrones fans who are looking for a new series to binge-watch.
Cavill told Entertainment Weekly that he knew of the series through the games. When he heard the show would adapt the books, he rushed out to pick up all eight and read them back-to-back. “It’s very personal to me,” he said. As one can probably glean from Netflix’s The Witcher trailer, the titular character played by Cavill is a knight imbued with powers to hunt magical monsters.
The Witcher Trailer is Heavy on the War, Just Like the Stories
The books see Geralt travel through an unnamed magical land where humans and non-humans live in conflict. Just like Game of Thrones, this will be a fantasy series full of battles, sex, and magic. However, it’s also a story about family and broader political themes. For example, the non-human characters in the books are second-class citizens compared to the humans.
While any good story is a personal one, the larger mythology of Netflix’s The Witcher will be important. In the books, an area called the Northern Kingdoms recently fought a war with the Nilfgaard Empire. An uneasy peace exists between the two kingdoms, but later in the books a second war breaks out. In the Witcher trailer, we see at least one large open-field battle. Yet, it’s unclear if this is a flashback to the first war or if the series will start the second war before the first season ends. The plot of the series will surely stick closely to that of the books, though it’s possible that minor changes will be made. What will be interesting to see, especially if the series continues beyond just this season, is if Cavill’s love for the games mean some of those stories will be adapted as well.
Will The Witcher be the Hit Netflix Needs It to Be?
Also, like Game of Thrones, this series looks as cinematic and expensive as any feature film. Because it’s such a popular series and has the star power of Cavill, MyAnna Buring, Anna Shafer, and Lars Mikkelsen, it seems a sure thing for renewal. Yet, a recent report found that Netflix missed its projected growth assessment by more than two million subscribers. While original content is now their strongest asset, can they afford to continue with an expensive series like this if it doesn’t bring a boatload of new subscribers? It’s clear that Hissrich, Cavill, and the rest of the cast at Comic-Con are very passionate about this show. Only, passion doesn’t always translate into success, especially when the powers-that-be start counting beans and tightening budgets.
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Featured image via screengrab
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.