The Season 1 finale of The Witcher begins with Cintra in ruins. In the ensuing chaos, Geralt rides out where he finds a man honouring the dead and grouping them up together, until a monstrous creature grabs the old man and threatens to knock him into the ground. Until Geralt saves him of course. What follows is a slickly produced action sequence, as Geralt fights off the skeletal ghouls that surround him in the darkness, panting as he manages to thwart the threat but finds himself bitten in the process. Dropping to his knees, he collapses.
Ciri awakens in the morning and is taken to safety by a traveler while out at sea, Yennefer, Triss and the others travel for the North, intent on trying to save Cintra and thwart the threat of Nilfgaard. After landing and making camp, Yennefer and the other mages team up with the remaining rebels and prepare for the inevitable attack.
In the middle of the night, Nilfgaard attack with magic of their own, as Yennefer stops the first fireball launched from the trebuchet and rallies the troops. As Fringilla conjures up magic of her own, night turns to day and the battle looms on the horizon. A thick white mist descends on the battlefield as Tissaia warns Yennefer to control her chaos while the enemy mages cloud the approaching soldiers’ arrival.
Yennefer ascends to the top of a tower and controls the flow of the battlefield, with each mage destroying hordes of soldiers until Fringilla and the others see the chaos and move to the next front. The battle continues and the momentum changes. Nilfgaard break through while Fringilla opens a literal can of worms after stopping Tissaia. This unfortunately turns the tide of battle, as these strange creatures invade the ears of Sabrina and the others, who drop vials of explosives to the ground.
In the midst of the carnage, Yennefer pleads with soldiers to get to the frontline and attack Nilfgaard while clutching her wounded stomach, stabbed at the hands of Sabrina in an earlier skirmish. Vilgefortz awakens as Yennefer pleads with him and Tissaia telepathically for help. She implores Tissaia not to give up, admitting that she saved her from her fate by teaching her magic.
Meanwhile, Geralt finds himself bitten and delirious but still alive. He takes some liquid and pours it on the wound, telling the old man to take him to the Blue Mountains before speaking to Visenna who appears before him in a dream.
The fight continues on as Yennefer hones in her powers and destroys swathes of Nilfgaard soldiers. As the land chars and flames, Ciri awakens from her slumber and rushes out as Geralt and Tissaia frantically search for Yennefer who appears to be missing. As the episode closes out, Geralt and Ciri come face to face for the first time as she looks up at him and asks who Yennefer is.
With almost an entire episode dedicated to the battle and plenty of action to savour over, The Witcher delivers a really impressive fight to bow out this first season. Given this has already been renewed for a second, I’m intrigued to see where this one goes from here. Although the show hasn’t always fleshed out its world as best as it could, it’s worth remembering that this isn’t Game Of Thrones. It’s ironically the same curse that befell a lot of mystery shows in the early 2000’s too after the juggernaut of Lost bowed out and it appears the fantasy genre is about to befall the same fate.
The Witcher is an enjoyable high fantasy offering though and if you’re in the mood for monsters, magic and war, The Witcher is the perfect fantasy recipe. It’s simply a very enjoyable and solid fantasy offering and while it hardly pushes the boundaries of the genre forward, it does nestle itself nicely in all the positive attributes shared by its fantasy brethren. Quite what the second season has in store for us though remains to be seen but hopefully we may see a lot more of Ciri this time around.