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'The Witcher' season 2, episode 1 review: worth the wait!

'The Witcher' season 2 has a strong opener, finally uniting Geralt and Ciri.

The Witcher lead Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill)
(Image: © Netflix)

Our Verdict

A strong season opener that starts to explore the important relationship between Geralt of Rivia and Ciri, Princess of Cintra.

For

  • - Two very strong performances from Henry Cavill and Freya Allan as we explore their bond
  • - Jumps between character storylines effortlessly, picking up where we left off
  • - Teases an interesting new story for the missing Yennefer

Against

  • - Quite a slow episode, not a lot of sword-fighting in this one!

The Witcher season 2 is finally here, with the full second season now available to stream on Netflix. Fans have been eagerly awaiting the second installment and it has gotten off to a great start.

The first episode, titled A Grain of Truth, opens with the dramatic deaths of people seeking lodgings, and it's unclear who or what was responsible. It then unites Geralt (Henry Cavill) with Ciri, Princess of Cintra (Freya Allan), who has been seeking him out since the first season and finally found him in the series finale, asking him who Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) was. This unconventional unit is looking to be important throughout the rest of season 2 as Geralt and Ciri begin to travel to Kaer Morhen, home of the Witchers. 

Yennefer's fate is initially unknown, assumed dead by Geralt who still refuses to tell Ciri who she is. As the episode progresses, however, it's revealed she is in Dimeritium restraints, captured behind enemy lines, but very much alive, despite the dramatic events of The Witcher season 1 which saw the sorceress wielding the power of forbidden fire magic to win the battle against Nilfgaard.

She might be powerful but she's still in a lot of trouble, as she's being held captive by Fringilla, a former classmate turned Nilfgaardian queen. Despite this perilous situation, we'll have to wait to find out the outcome as the episode focuses heavily on Geralt and Ciri instead.

Throughout the episode, the duo seeks lodging from Nivellen (Kristofer Hivju), a troubled character who was cursed by a priestess after ransacking a temple. As punishment for his actions, he's now been forced to live alone as a magical beast, and the curse can only be lifted with love and blood.

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Despite its slow burn, we learn some shocking truths throughout this episode such as the revelation that Nivellen isn't quite as innocent as one might think he is, as he's living alongside a Bruxa, a higher vampire who looks like a beautiful woman but can also transform into a winged beast that's designed to kill. They're also not affected by sunlight, so we're not dealing with your average vampire here. It also happens that this was the very creature who killed the people at the beginning of the episode.

On top of this, Nivellen's sob story about being cursed is unraveled, as he tells Geralt that he raped the priestess who cursed him and looked the other way when the Bruxa killed the villagers who lived nearby. Following his confession, he begs Geralt to kill him, but the Witcher coldly tells him to do it himself now that he's mortal again.

There's a lot going on in the first episode alone, but fans of The Witcher are used to a narrative that jumps around, focusing on each character and their complex journeys in both the literal and metaphorical sense. While not as action-packed as some episodes, it was interesting to explore the bond between Geralt and Ciri while also exposing the fact that sometimes humans are just as cruel as the monsters they hunt.

But as a strong season opener, we're thrown right back into a world of magic, grief, death, and fantasy, and there's so much more drama to come. When will Geralt and Yennefer unite again, and what other obstacles will stand in their way? And what will become of Ciri?

Don't miss our how to read The Witcher books in order article.