Although Netflix’s “The Witcher” is an undeniably popular series with a large following, from both fans of the book and game series as well as newcomers to the Continent, it is not without its flaws. Especially since Henry Cavill announced his unexpected exit, fans seem to have no problem being vocal about what they think does not work as well with the show, both from a story as well as from a production standpoint. But even before then, there was no lack of discussion online in regard to the fantasy-adventure series.
Season 2 saw more criticism than its predecessor. Funnily enough, the plot was laid out in a more straightforward and conventional manner, without all the jumps in time that marked the 1st season. On a Reddit thread discussing the 2nd season, u/Professional_Bundler wrote, “Writing isn’t consistently clever, the visuals and costumes are kind of weird at times, and the characters are wildly different from one season to the next (eg. Yen). It’s honestly just not a good show. If every episode was like the S1E1, then it could have been amazing. But, it wasn’t.”
Among the reasons expressed above, it seems that some of the decisions made by Yennefer in Season 2 did not sit well with fans, especially those who had been acquainted with the story prior to the series premiere.
Was Yennefer’s betrayal out of character?
A Reddit user, u/Gwynbleidd_94, posted a meme making fun of Yennefer’s betrayal in Season 2 by showcasing both characters, Yennefer and Geralt, acting confused and questioning the reason behind this particular plot point. Based on the fact that 2022 was a powerful year for fantasy TV, with the premiere of both first seasons of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” and “House of the Dragon”, some fans turned to streamer Netflix in search of a culpable party.
“After watching House of the Dragon and LOTR I’m really sad the Witcher got stuck with Netflix,” lamented u/_Jackie_Daytona_. It seems that for many hardcore fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series, the choice strayed too much from the original source. “Completely agree, destroys the relationship between Yen and Ciri and that was so great in the books,” wrote u/Pieternal.
“‘I’m not accustomed to sitting and weeping, holding my head in both hands. I act!’ Book Yennefer used to say this when she found herself in a hopeless situation.” defended the original poster, criticizing Yennefer’s obvious fragility in Season 2.
However, not everyone is in agreement. Among the top most-voted comments, u/boringhistoryfan, who has also read the books, said that the betrayal, while a bit sudden, had its positive repercussions. “From a writing perspective, it’s also important to give Yen’s character room to grow,” they wrote, later adding, “It’s going to be complicated dynamics. Not a simple love story. That’s fairly consistent with the somewhat tragic themes of the Witcher.”
Many seem to agree with this choice because “The Witcher” is not about good and bad people or black or white, but about all the shades of gray in between.