OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

The Witcher Season 3 Volume 2 review: Henry Cavill deserved a better swansong as Geralt of Rivia

The second volume of the third season features the same narrative flaws that have plagued the series since its first season

The Witcher Season 3 Volume 2 review: Henry Cavill deserved a better swansong as Geralt of Rivia

Last Updated: 02.35 PM, Feb 26, 2024


Story: Aretuza is under attack from Redania and the Scoia'tael, as they attempt a coup to seize control of the sacred institution from the Brotherhood. Geralt and Yennefer are unwittingly caught in the middle of the ensuing battle as Ciri goes missing.


Review: The Witcher was once expected to be Netflix's answer to HBO’s Game of Thrones. The creators had a rich source material to tap into, along with Netflix’s resources, and a massive fan following, to produce a compelling dark fantasy. While the production value and Henry Cavill’s turn as the lead star remain unblemished, the series is crippled by poor writing and questionable creative choices. The challenge of adapting Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels is certainly a daunting task, but an enticing prospect for any filmmaker or writer. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich’s decision to take considerable liberties with the source material has crippled the series, and if reports are to be believed, it may have cost the series its lead star.


The second volume opens with the iconic Thenned Coup, where the battle between several factions vying for control of Aretuza and Brotherhood ensues. The battle itself offers moments of gripping sequences, but the weight of its significance is lost within the overarching narrative’s convoluted storyline. Even if one was to pay close attention to the scenes, it becomes a tiresome endeavour to keep track of the characters and their motivations. These are consequences of poor character development over the course of three seasons. The most disappointing aspect of the show is its inability to tell a coherent story despite filtering out several complex plot devices of the source material. However, the fight sequences, especially the ones featuring Henry Cavill are some of the best ever choreographed for television.


The first episode of the second Volume is Episode 6 of Season 3, and it is arguably one of the better episodes of the season. It offers suspense, intrigue, and nail-biting set pieces, where one does finally feel the urge to find out ‘what follows next’. However, it soon dissipates in the episodes that follow. The new characters introduced in the finale could initially be mistaken for minor supporting characters, simply because of the abruptness in which the narrative shifts to a completely new setting. The idea of easing the audience into new surroundings appears to be lost on the creators, especially considering the sheer volume of information they are forced to consume over a few episodes.


Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra, and Joey Batey carry the bulk of the burden to redeem a lacklustre screenplay. Hugh Skinner’s portrayal of Prince Radovid is one of the rare occasions in the series where a character has a fleshed-out arc, and it is also out of the ordinary that a departure from the novels has worked in the show’s favour. But the standout performance of the final episodes is MyAnna Buring as Tissia. The range of emotions her character goes through is conveyed with subtlety, but also with absolute conviction. But even her stellar turn as the matriarch of Aretuza is unable to elevate Season 3. The writers have also placed Tissia’s relationship with Vilgefortz as central to the story and her character arc. And Mahesh Jadu’s portrayal of Vilgefortz is certainly commendable, but it lacks complexity as a conniving and powerful villain.


Verdict: Henry Cavill bids adieu to The Witcher, but while his final outing as the titular lead remains compelling, the series continues to descend into mediocrity. The Witcher Season 3 Volume 2 is rife with the same narrative flaws that have plagued the series since its first season. Liam Hemsworth will replace Cavill for the fourth season, and he has mighty big boots to fill and an enraged ‘Witcher fandom’ to pacify and convince.



    Get the latest updates in your inbox