Fantasy fans, rejoice! Netflix’s new series The Witcher is now available to stream. Here’s everything we know about the show’s secrets, sorcery and stellar cast.
The sweeping drama, set in a universe of magic and monsters, is being hailed as the next Game Of Thrones – with all the ingredients you’d expect from an inter-dimensional adventure epic where no expense has been spared.
Secrets, sorcery, incredible special effects and well-curated sex scenes are all promised into the mix. Here’s everything you need to know about your next TV addiction:
Is there a trailer for The Witcher?
Yes, there are a few. Netflix released a full trailer earlier this year, following a short teaser at San Diego Comic-Con in the summer. A final trailer was released a week before the series’ debut.
Set in an unknown place at an unknown time, it centres on Henry Cavill as monster-hunter Geralt of Rivia, who must navigate a world brimming with demons and dark forces.
Thrilling full-scale battle scenes are interspersed with hints of magic and mystery, along with a steamy bathtub scene that previously inspired a pop cultural phenomenon in The Witcher gaming series.
Dive right into the action, below.
Watch the latest The Witcher trailer
Is The Witcher based on a book?
You better believe it. The Witcher draws from a beloved series of novels by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. His Witcher books have already inspired a hugely popular video game franchise, along with a board game and trading card series.
While keeping the plot line close to their chests, Netflix producers have hinted at a few key differences in the TV adaptation. Lead female characters Ciri and Yennefer will be introduced earlier in the plot, and their backstories will be fleshed out more fully. The TV show will also depart from story structures explored in the gaming series.
Who stars in The Witcher?
A stellar cast is led by Man Of Steel star Cavill, who takes on the lead role of witcher Geralt of Rivia, a man gifted with special powers that allow him to hunt and slay monsters. He’s joined by Anya Chalotra as sorceress Yennefer, a one-time insecure young teenager whose magical prowess lies latent within, and Freya Allan, who plays Princess Ciri.
Together, these three characters form the basis of season one of The Witcher. Tied together by destiny, all three are orphans in the world, with a feeling that they do not quite belong. And yet, they must embark on a journey together through The Continent, where murky forces – humans, elves, witchers, gnomes, and monsters – battle to survive, in order to discover the secret that binds them.
Other cast members include Game Of Thrones’ Jodhi May as Calanthe, Adam Levy as Mousesack, Ripper Street actor MyAnna Buring as Tissaia and Emma Appleton as Renfri.
How similar is The Witcher to Game Of Thrones?
As an epic saga set in a fantasy age – with violence, sex and deep family secrets all featuring heavily – it’s inevitable that The Witcher has drawn comparisons to HBO hit Game Of Thrones.
“When people ask me, ‘Is it going to be the next Game Of Thrones?’, I think: ‘Well, I hope it’s that successful!’” executive producer Lauren Schmidt Hissrich tells Variety this week. “I want nothing more than for The Witcher to run season after season and have a huge following.”
But, she adds, The Witcher will have a lot more “magic and monsters” than Game Of Thrones, with CG and prosthetics being used for powerhouse special effects.
Actor Royce Pierreson, who plays Istredd in the show, previously argued that The Witcher “has its own world and universe” that is entirely distinct from GoT.
How many episodes of The Witcher are there?
There are eight one-hour episodes of The Witcher, which is fairly concise for the sweeping and intricate fantasy tale it intends to be. But this fact may simply increase its dramatic tempo.
Writer Hissrich previously vowed that each episode would be “tight, action-packed, rich in character and story, without lagging in the middle of the season”.
When and where can I watch The Witcher?
All eight episodes of The Witcher are now available to stream on Netflix globally. Grab those mince pies and get set – that Game Of Thrones-style hole in your life is about to be filled.