Ever since Game of Thrones ended this year in a firestorm of divided fan reactions, Netflix's The Witcher series has been eyed as a successor to the dark fantasy series. Based too on a popular series of books, the Henry Cavill-starring show arrives later this month on the streaming service, and we're in for a treat based on the early fan reactions.
Netflix has been letting influencers - you know, people on the internet - tweet their opinions on the first episode of the show, based on a screening last night in LA. Opinions range from 'really good' to 'amazing', which bodes well for the show's December 20 debut. Here's a sample of what's being said:
Just saw The Witcher Episode 1 and it was amazing! 🔥⚔️ #witchernetflix @witchernetflix @NXOnNetflix pic.twitter.com/lCsn4jP3tfDecember 4, 2019
Holy crap, the swordplay of #WitcherNetflix blows anything Game of Thrones had to offer out of the water. You guys are not ready. Henry Cavill IS Geralt of Rivia. 🙌🏻⚔️ @witchernetflix @NXOnNetflixDecember 4, 2019
I’m definitely going to post event pics later, but my phone is almost dead. Anyway spoiler free #TheWitcher episode 1 impressions. The first 5-10 minutes were like “I don’t know about this...”, but it quickly finds its voice and is incredible by the end. Y’all, Geralt goes HARD!December 4, 2019
The Witcher was really good.December 4, 2019
All pretty positive, then. This feels like an important show for Netflix: it's the biggest thing it has going into the Christmas period. And while Game of Thrones seems a little easy as a point of comparison, it's almost certainly the reason why shows like this and Amazon's incoming Lord of the Rings adaptation exist.
Budget-wise, streaming service and networks want to spend the money to create a big fantasy hit, and the potential win is huge, with Game of Thrones becoming HBO's most popular show ever.
The Witcher is based on the books by Andrzej Sapkowski. If you're interested in reading before the show begins, start with The Last Wish (opens in new tab), which is an anthology of stories featuring Geralt of Rivia, played by Cavill in this series. After that, read the short story collection Sword of Destiny (opens in new tab), which introduces the character of Ciri and takes place before the main narrative of the series really kicks off. Naturally, the books are available with Netflix-themed covers in time for the show's arrival. They'll make good holiday reading.
All eight episodes of The Witcher's first season launch on Netflix on December 20. It's already been renewed for season two.