The Witcher Season 3 (Spoilers)

Stalker0

Legend
So now that the Witcher has completed season 3, what do people think? (HEAVY SPOILERS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED)




I will ignore the Henry Cavill controversy, and just take the season on its merits.

For the most part I enjoyed it. I liked the family dynamic with Geralt, Ciri, and Yenniver. The fall of Aretuza was interesting. The fight scene with Geralt and Vilgefortz was pretty bad ass. hehe the biggest twist to me.....Dijkstra was actually loyal to his king!!!! (who would have thought). I actually did appreciate that while Dijkstra and Phillapa were both dicks and were hated by the core of our PCs... they were actually right about Vilgafortz!

Of course, I had a share of issues:
  • I think the secondary characters suffered in this one. Jaskier seems desperate for something better to do. That kid Dara that was with Ciri in season 1, we keep trucking him out for 5 minutes at a time....but I don't care. Even roach doesn't get the screen time he once did!
  • We are getting a bit of GoT plot acceleration. In the finale Jaskier tells Geralt its been a week.....wait Jaskier traveled to multiple places and hunted for Ciri and got to Geralt all in a week? Was there some portal magic I missed.
  • Speaking of portals....where are the portals? Man they were all over the place in season 1, now they are never used except by the bad guys.
  • Dijkstra and Philappas master plan was to grab the mages (cool), tie them up with anti-magic shackles (awesome), bring them in a room under guard (cool)....and then allow Tessaia the strongest witch in the building by their own admission just stroll on in, and break everyone out. And if they didn't have a way to control Tessaia....why the hell execute your plan in the first place when you know it will fail?
  • Tessaia.....I get the suicide, I really do with everything that she's been through....but considering all the cool spells mages can cast when they "go nova and use their remaining life force"....man would have been nice to have one last super spell as a going away present.
  • Also Tessaia....so she implied that women sterility during the enchantment was a way to get women into the mage school. So....are men not sterilized in the enchantment, can male mages still have kids?
  • Why the heck did they send Geralt to the dryads for healing when Yennifer can heal him WAYYYYY faster?
 

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I agree on ignoring the cavill controversy. Let’s see how it goes with the other hemsworth. I am shocked that there wasn’t closure on that ;I thought for sure we would get a dr who transformation)
Now I haven’t read the books but I did read about the changes and for the most part it seemed faithful with some unnecessary changes

The good
Lars Mikkelsen-just oozes evil so I was happy this deviated from books
Most of the supporting cast were interesting

The bad
Geralt is the main character and yet it felt like there was a huge effort to pump up yennefer and cirilla
The ballroom episodes was really long and the desert episode was also 2 long
The whole jaskier relationship was just awful. Doesn’t happen in the books and it really changed a character in seasons 1&2 and part of 3 who clearly is a bed&leave them person . He then becomes a sad mopey person

Things that I’m confused on
The leader of elves-in the big battle she uses powers that rival mages? How powerful is she and is she gullible with the idea of her baby/killing her own people
The fake ciri. Who’s controlling her? She the same one that geralt saved? And she’s just a normal with no magic?
Fringilla-didn’t emyhr not trust her(becomes a food taster) and then takes her back?
 

Stalker0

Legend
Fringilla-didn’t emyhr not trust her(becomes a food taster) and then takes her back?
That's correct, but this one does make a bit of sense. So Fringilla breaks out....and to the Emperor's eyes she rejoins one of his secret forces and fights for him in a critical mission to take out Aretuza. Aka she could have gotten out but actually decided to fight for him again of her own free will....a decent loyalty test (though I doubt Emyhr fully trusts her, he seems a pretty sharp guy when it comes to betrayals)
 

TheSword

Legend
So all in all, loved the season and binge watched it shamelessly.
Even though I new what was coming the characters are so strong and the execution was so excellent it just swept me up.

Dijkstra and Philappas master plan was to grab the mages (cool), tie them up with anti-magic shackles (awesome), bring them in a room under guard (cool)....and then allow Tessaia the strongest witch in the building by their own admission just stroll on in, and break everyone out. And if they didn't have a way to control Tessaia....why the hell execute your plan in the first place when you know it will fail?
I think there are a few assumptions going on there. They may not have been powerful enough to capture her. They also didn’t know what side Tissaia was going to take. In the books and to a certain course she plays a neutral position between the north and Nilfguard. IIRC she didn’t participate in the battle of Sodden like in the TV series. She was going to stay neutral in the coup. Don’t forget she was one of the oldest sorceresses alive and had seen many kingdoms rise and fall. I can understand her desire to stay neutral. I got the impression in the TV series that she was very close to the Northen Mages that fought with her at Sodden and I suspect strongly that the Northern Kingdoms were hoping she would stay out of it or help them. In the books she only breaks the wards after it is revealed by Ciri that the Northern Kings had tricked everyone and broken the truce with Nilfguard to seize extra land.

  • Tessaia.....I get the suicide, I really do with everything that she's been through....but considering all the cool spells mages can cast when they "go nova and use their remaining life force"....man would have been nice to have one last super spell as a going away present.
I think we managed to see both which was awesome. Alzurs Thunder was done brilliantly and she no doubt single handedly saved the northern mages like Triss who would have been overrun.

However I think she had also just witnessed the destruction of something she had given almost her entire life too. As well as questioning her judgement over Vilgerfortz. She’s one of my favorite characters in the series, I could watch and listen to her all day long, since day one and I thought the actress and the script played her brilliantly. Sometimes all a flower can do is die.

  • Also Tessaia....so she implied that women sterility during the enchantment was a way to get women into the mage school. So....are men not sterilized in the enchantment, can male mages still have kids?
In the lore she wrote the book, the poisoned source where she argued that magical blood would become corrupt if passed on in lineages. Magic corrupting is also alluded to in Yeniffer’s deformity due to her elven grand father. Tissaia therefore believed a person couldn’t have it all and had to chose between having children or having power.

Men aren’t sterilized at Ban Ard. However the magic they use does change their bodies and they usually become infertile at some point as female sorceresses would eventually even without the transformation spell.
Lars Mikkelsen-just oozes evil so I was happy this deviated from books
Most of the supporting cast were interesting
Agree, he’s so bad it’s good. I feel a bit ashamed that I was glad he stepped in during the coup. I kinda hope he isn’t dead. It’s all part of the shades of grey of the series that works so well. Though I am glad they didn’t sanitize or attempt some kind of redemption for him.
The bad
Geralt is the main character and yet it felt like there was a huge effort to pump up yennefer and cirilla
The ballroom episodes was really long and the desert episode was also 2 long
I kinda liked it but it did feel repetitive a bit. I did like the slow reveals of the plot. I would call the episode indulgent. But after the rest of the series and the prior 2 I don’t begrudge them a little indulgence.
The whole jaskier relationship was just awful. Doesn’t happen in the books and it really changed a character in seasons 1&2 and part of 3 who clearly is a bed&leave them person . He then becomes a sad mopey person
In the books he doesn’t really do anything over that period so I’m kinda glad he got some presence. I think a lot of it depends on where they decide to go with Radovid, who seems to be more of a computer game character than the book. It might pay off really well, who knows. I’ll also not begrudge a bit of gay representation in an otherwise pretty straight series/book.
The leader of elves-in the big battle she uses powers that rival mages? How powerful is she and is she gullible with the idea of her baby/killing her own people
She is a sorceress. Very powerful too. She’s just also a queen.
The fake ciri. Who’s controlling her? She the same one that geralt saved? And she’s just a normal with no magic?
All will be revealed I suspect. In the books Emyr has set her up as a fake Ciri in order to gain the throne of Cintra. So that whole presentation is a show. In the series she is. Vilgerfortz creation and clearly he is working with Nilfguard.
Fringilla-didn’t emyhr not trust her(becomes a food taster) and then takes her back?
Yes. She almost single hardly destroyed the mages of the north which had defeated Emyr’s army at Sodden. Massive win for Nilfguard!
 
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Ryujin

Legend
I know nothing of the source material. There seems to be an implication that Elves are more magically gifted than are humans, based on the "elven blood" comments. Is that the case in the source?
 

TheSword

Legend
I know nothing of the source material. There seems to be an implication that Elves are more magically gifted than are humans, based on the "elven blood" comments. Is that the case in the source?
It’s mentioned when first introducing Aretusa that it was Elven once and that the elves taught humans magic and then were ‘cleansed’ by those they taught. I’m pretty sure Francesca has been around since that time or not long after.
 



Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
Seeing a lot of online speculation that due to viewership and this strike that we won’t get a season 4

Online speculation is nothing more than wishcasting to an audience that gives you clicks.

Anyway, I finished the season last night. It was fine. Perfectly cromulent. It had some good points, but ... eh. I wasn't overly fond of it. As others have noted, the whole traveling/time thing started to seem weird. I had no idea why the mages stopped using portals (except the baddies, apparently). I was disappointed that for Cavill's last two episodes, one of them basically didn't have him at all and instead featured a lot of landscape shots of a desert, and the other was him occasionally grunting in bed.

I'm increasingly unclear on how magic works. At one point, a group of mages could hold off an army (despite the use of magic against them) and the use of fire magic destroyed, well, everything. But at the battle of Aretuza (which admittedly was cool!), you had both the bestest ever spell cast (something something lightning) AND one of the most powerful mages using forbidden fire magic ... and you still had a fair number of survivors ... and that was after a small armed force killed off almost all of the magick-y people in the entire world. Okay?

For that matter ... why did Yen and Friends take the time to unbundle the dead girls ... only to leave (by walking, because no portals or something) ... and then AFTER leaving think, "Hey, maybe we should bury them?" You know, after they already left?

I know, I know, nitpicks. It's not like Season 1 was perfect- but I was thinking about all of this while the show was going on ... well, I was looking at my phone a lot during the desert episode, but still ... and when everything is humming along there is that whole "suspension of disbelief" that normally keeps you from thinking about this.

So I am not particularly optimistic about Season 4, although I did like the Rats that Ciri is with now, and I like the archer girl that joined up with Geralt and, um, the class-that-shall-not-be-named.
 

TheSword

Legend
I'm increasingly unclear on how magic works. At one point, a group of mages could hold off an army (despite the use of magic against them) and the use of fire magic destroyed, well, everything. But at the battle of Aretuza (which admittedly was cool!), you had both the bestest ever spell cast (something something lightning) AND one of the most powerful mages using forbidden fire magic ... and you still had a fair number of survivors ... and that was after a small armed force killed off almost all of the magick-y people in the entire world. Okay?
I think at the battle of Sodden, well rested mages had a couple of days to prepare on a defensible position against an army of regulars. I’m pretty sure Fringilla was the only mage of significance in that battle.

At Garstang the northern mages had only just fought to capture the Nilguardian Mages who were then freed by Tissaia. They were caught by surprise by the elves led by the very powerful Francesca Findebar and the king of the elves, the morning after a big party. The impression I got was that there were more Nilfguardian mages at the dinner - included Vilgerfortz of course.

I’m not sure you can compare the two conflicts.

That said I agree about the portals. I can’t quite remember why Jen had to go to Keira Metz to get a portal. I need to rewatch.
 

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