The Witcher season 2 fails to learn from its predecessor’s mistakes, except for in its development of Geralt of Rivia, Ciri, and Yennefer.

Warning! SPOILERS for The Witcher season 2

Critics are raving about The Witcher season 2, but the series once again suffers from the same issues that mar its first season. Netflix’s supremely popular adaptation still relies on poorly developed characters and narrative arcs that should feel high-stakes but fall flat nonetheless, due to a lack of audience investment. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as The Witcher season 2 does demonstrate a marked improvement in other areas. The relationship between Ciri and Geralt, as well as Yennefer’s development, are among its highlights. Even so, The Witcher show still has room for improvement.

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The Witcher season 2 currently has a 90% critical consensus score on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet, its audience score is a mere 60%, suggesting that the mainstream viewer is not as enamored with the series as the critics are. Season 2 follows the climax of the season 1 finale, which sees Yennefer of Vengerberg use forbidden fire magic to win the Battle of Sodden Hill and defeat the Nilfgaardian army. The Witcher season also follows Geralt of Rivia, as he takes on a more paternal role alongside his child surprise, Ciri. The pair eventually join the rest of the Witchers, defeating monsters such as the bruxa and Geralt’s friend Eskel, transformed into a Leshy. The series concludes with the demon Voleth Meir possessing Ciri, before she eventually returns to Geralt and Yennefer, who vow to keep her safe leading into season 3.


Related: The Witcher Season 2 Fails Its Representation Mission In 3 Key Ways

The Witcher season 2 clearly hasn’t learned from the mistakes of season 1, as it constantly introduces new characters and plot points without properly developing them. These include major players such as the dark mage Rience and Sigismund Dikstra, played by Castelvania veteran Graham McTavish. Unfortunately, the screenwriting of The Witcher is still its weakest element, despite it boasting exciting action and compelling music and special effects. Dialogue is often on-the-nose or just plain cheesy, and it is difficult to become invested in the main story, even while considering the show’s small handful of actors skilled enough to overcome The Witcher‘s screenwriting mistakes.



Closeup of Ciri from Netflix's The Witcher series

However, the series has successfully developed its core three protagonists into likeable lead characters. Geralt and Ciri’s relationship in particular is a major highlight of season 2. Henry Cavill and Freya Allan clearly have an excellent rapport, and, despite the often clunky dialogue, the two develop a genuine bond that is entirely built on the strength of their performances. Equally, Yennefer also develops well, as losing her magical powers following the Battle of Sodden Hill puts her in a far more vulnerable position and allows Yennefer’s actor Anya Chalotra to flex her acting muscles more than she could in season 1.


Ultimately, however, The Witcher season 2 feels just as underwritten as season 1. New characters such as Francesca Findabair and Gage are introduced without any kind of reason to make the audience care about them. When Francesca’s child is killed it should be a hard-hitting moment, and though it is, of course, unpleasant to watch her reaction to the revelation, the scene lacks the necessary weight due to Francesca’s character being so poorly written, without any likeable or relatable elements to her. Regrettably, she is far from the exception, and nearly every character bar the likes of Geralt, Ciri, Yennefer, the other witchers, and Jaskier suffer from this underwriting problem.


The Witcher season 2 improves on the first season, though only slightly. It suitably develops its three leads and still offers exciting action, gory battles, and gnarly monsters. Unfortunately, in its mission to tell such a vast story with an ensemble cast, it fails to develop its side characters in any meaningful way, leading the audience to wonder why they should care. Regrettably, the critics are wrong about this one, and The Witcher has a long way to go should it want to compete with quality fantasy TV series like Game of Thrones in its prime.

Next: Witcher Season 2 Avoids (& Mocks) One Of Game Of Thrones’ Biggest Issues


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