The much-anticipated series The Witcher is inching closer by the month, and to celebrate its impending arrival we've been given a full trailer. Based on the immensely popular video game series by CD Projekt Red and the Polish book series by Andrzej Sapkowski, it promises to deliver all of the swords and sorcery fun left vacant by Game of Thrones. Netflix seems to finally have locked in the tone of the series after shaky ground with teasers, showing us a solitary anti-hero in Geralt of Rivia, who is content to roam the land as a monster-hunting until he is pulled into a conflict with a young princess in need of aid.
While many mistrust "the Witcher" for the supernatural gifts he possesses, they'll want him on their side when war breaks out between two countries. Fans of the book and the game series will have fun pointing out all the similarities and differences, while the public makes sense of Henry Cavill with white hair and orange eyes. Here are 10 things we learned from the launch trailer. The Witcher premiers on Netflix December 20th.
10 IT'S BASED ON THE BOOKS
This isn't news to Witcher fans, but those that may not have played the popular series of video games may not have been aware of the Polish novels that follow the adventures of Geralt of Rivia. The books provided the material for the games, which vastly usurped the books in popularity.
The series will be based on the books, and not the games, so fans of the game will note some differences and everyone else will be along for the ride! One of the biggest differences is adhering to Yennefer's backstory in the books, which involved her using magic to transform herself from a hunchback into a beautiful woman in her early '20s (despite being in her '90s!).
9 GERALT'S LOOK IS ACCURATE
In the games, Geralt has eerie cat-eyes, giving him a supernatural look to coincide with a Witcher's transformation. In the books, his eyes weren't described as anything other than having the ability to dilate at will. The series seems to be approximating his eye color with subtle suggestion, rather than making Henry Cavill wear contacts.
Daenerys Targaryen was supposed to have violet eyes in Game of Thrones, but the showrunners opted to let Emily Clarke go contact-free and use her natural eye color. Henry Cavill has enough to contend with doing heated battle in that white wig!
8 HENRY CAVILL HAS DEFINITELY BEEN PLAYING THE GAMES
For those that have been worried about whether or not Henry Cavill was going to be up to the task of bringing Geralt of Rivia to life, they need only listen to him in the trailer to make their decision. A self-professed fan of the hit games, he seems to be channeling Doug Cockle's voice acting pitch perfectly.
Not only does he sound like Geralt, but he also has mastered the almost balletic fighting style the swordsman was known to employ in battle. The fighting sequences look like the machinations of a medieval John Wick, with Cavill's movements presenting both aggressive and elegant in their brutality.
7 GERALT IS AN INTROVERT
Geralt is by his nature and his profession an introvert. The process of becoming part of the order of Witchers when he was young is both a gift and a curse. The transformation was brutal and left him scarred, while his life as an adult is full of loneliness, guilt, and misery.
The world Geralt of Rivia lives in is a world of superstition and suspicion, and many see him as one step away from the very creatures he hunts. He is often thought of causing more harm than good, and his presence is not always welcome, which makes him solitary.
6 THERE'S NOT MANY MONSTERS AND FANTASY CREATURES
The Witcher has hunted some pretty horrific monsters in the game series, and by the looks of the trailer, the show will have its share of them too. However, an important distinction to make is that while the books had monsters too, the game had many more for play-ability purposes.
That being said, we do see Geralt go sword-to-fang against some giant arachnid creature, and we see a few skulking things that resemble Gollum from Lord of the Rings. But since the show is based on the books, expect the real monsters to be humans.
5 IT'S INCREDIBLY GORY
The trailer leads off with several murders in the first ten seconds. Already it's looking like there's going to be enough blood and guts in this trailer to please Ramsey Bolton. The body count of Geralt of the Witcher looks like it's going to rival any character in Game of Thrones.
Fans of the game know that Geralt was once given the moniker "The Butcher of Blaviken", and it looks like the series will show them exactly how he got that name. If the town he's in at the beginning is indeed Blaviken, we may get to see him fight off a crew of bandits in the town center and earn his infamous title.
4 THERE'S ROMANCE IN THE AIR
Fans of the video games and the book series will know that Geralt has had two great loves in his life, Yennefer and Triss Merigold, he was able to romance any number of other characters to get information, abilities, and resources. The series looks like it promises much of the same.
With a medieval orgy going on casually behind him in one scene, to a very "steamy" bath scene, it's looking like Geralt will make time between battling supernatural baddies to rub a dub love in the tub. Fans of Witcher III will certainly recognize "Bath Geralt".
3 STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS
Both the Witcher books and game series were full of strong female characters like Yennefer, Ciri, and Triss. All of these bad-ass women will be in the new television show, in slightly different incarnations of themselves. For instance, most Witcher fans know Triss by her fiery red hair done up in two buns. In a cameo sequence, the only resemblance she has to that game version is her freckles and reddish-brown hair.
Yennefer looks a lot younger in the series, but we'll get to see more of her origin story. And Ciri, who Witcher game fans will know as being much older in the series, will resemble a teenager in the show by the time she meets Geralt. Whatever version of these women, they look capable of some pretty amazing television drama.
2 EPIC BATTLE SCENES
Not only will we get treated to watching Geralt earn his reputation as mercenary fighting monsters and demons, but we'll also see him drawn into a civil war between two neighboring countries. When he pledges his sword to Ciri, he'll have to fight for Cintra against the Nilfgaardian Empire invading it.
We'll also see him proving his reputation as a swordsman against his fellow man since many citizens of the land view Witchers with suspicion and contempt. The very gift he has to fight demons makes him just as bad as them in the eyes of the uninformed.
1 IT COULD BE THE NEXT GAME OF THRONES
With all of the magic, intrigue, and medieval mayhem on display in The Witcher trailer, it's hard not to see the similarities it shares with another series with swords and sorcery, Game of Thrones. And while that series had tremendous acting and world-building in its favor, we have no reason to believe The Witcher won't as well if its first season is good.
Fans that were dissatisfied with how GoT ended may find this series a soothing balm. If it finds a middle ground between committed storytelling and not taking itself too seriously, it may see a surge in popularity to rival HBO's high-fantasy classic.