Netflix’s The Witcher is shaping up to be the next big fantasy TV series. Whether it will be able to fill the hole that Game of Thrones left is yet to be seen, but few can doubt the team, both in front and behind the camera.
Based on Polish fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski’s books, The Witcher revolves around Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), who is one of the few witchers left in the Continent, the fictional setting of the story. The witchers are monster hunters who kill dangerous creatures for a price.
The witchers are trained at a young age in swordsmanship and undergo arduous physical training. They are also exposed to mysterious rituals, potions and elixirs to gain superhuman abilities.
The Continent was first settled by the elves thousands of years ago. But the dwarves and gnomes were the original inhabitants. After centuries of war, the dwarves retreated to the mountains and elves began to live in forests and plains.
The humans arrived 1500 years before the story begins and waged war on the non-humans in what is called the Conjunction of the Spheres. Humans won and gave a second class status to everyone else, ghettoising them or forcing them to live in hiding in forests.
Along with humans, several other non-human and monstrous races like vampires and ghouls also entered the Continent during the Conjunction of the Spheres. Thus, the witchers were born.
At the beginning of the story, the southern regions of the Continent are taken over by the ruthless and antagonistic Nilfgaardian Empire. While the Empire lost the first war against the Northern kingdoms thanks to a group of mages who made their final stand on a place called the Sodden Hill, it is again raring to go for a war.
Another major character Ciri is the grand-daughter of the Lioness of Cintra, Queen Calanthe. Her kingdom Cintra is invaded by the Nilfgaardians and Ciri has to flee. The exiled princess becomes a pawn of international politics. Her destiny is intertwined with Geralt and the sorceress Yennefer (Anya Chalotra). Geralt and Yennefer band together to protect Ciri from the people intent on capturing her.
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