The Witcher season 1 recap and 10 similar series to binge online

Posted: 17 December 2021 2:15 pm
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The only "bad" thing about The Witcher is that the show's seasons are way too short.

After premiering to worldwide success in 2019, epic fantasy series The Witcher returns with season 2. It's been a long wait. Naturally, excitement is at an all-time high.

The show, based on Andrzej Sapkowski's popular novels, is set in a medieval-inspired land called the Continent and follows a monster hunter whose destiny is intertwined with those of a young princess and a powerful sorceress. It stars Henry Cavill, Freya Allan and Anya Chalotra.

Season 1 was all about introducing the characters, setting up the story and immersing viewers into this grim world. We expect the series to be even bigger and better over its sophomore run. Here are a few things you should know before tuning in.

The Witcher season 1 recap

Don't have 8 spare hours to rewatch season 1? Buckle up for a (very) quick refresher.

Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. He takes baths and sometimes hunts monsters for money – hence the catchy Toss a Coin to Your Witcher tune. Geralt is grumpy, distant and seriously fit, but he has a sweet side. We see it when he hangs out with Jaskier, a bard who accompanies him on his adventures. Or whenever he crosses paths with Yennefer, a sorceress eager to build a better future for herself.

When Geralt saves the life of a knight, he repays him with The Law of Surprise. It means that Geralt is entitled to something the knight has but doesn't know it. That something turns out to be someone – his daughter, Princess Cirilla of Cintra, Ciri for short. She has mysterious powers which help her escape when Nilfgaard (a neighbouring kingdom) attacks her home. Ciri goes on the run, relying on the kindness of strangers and her special abilities to survive. She and Geralt reunite as the season ends.

Meanwhile, Yennefer and Geralt engage in a will they/won't they passionate affair over the years. In the final battle of the season, the Battle of Sodden, several mages, including Yennefer, decide to stand up to the Nilfgaard army. Yennefer heroically uses magic to wipe out most of the oncoming force, her own fate unknown.

That's the short version, since season 1 boasts multiple timelines and can get convoluted. For the long version, watch the video below. It shows the events in chronological order.

The Witcher season 2 preview

According to the official synopsis provided by Netflix, in season 2 Geralt is convinced that Yennefer died during the Battle of Sodden. To keep Ciri safe, he takes her to Kaer Morhen, his childhood home. There, he struggles to protect her from the mysterious power she possesses. At the same time, the Continent's rulers and creatures fight for supremacy.

It looks like the show's season 2 will cover Blood of Elves, the second novel in Sapkowski's series, while also touching on the third, Time of Contempt. We might also see some short stories that didn't previously make the cut.

The Witcher season 2 will comprise of 8 episodes, all available to stream on Netflix from Friday, 17 December. Netflix plans in Australia start at $10.99 a month. The service isn't offering a free trial at the moment.

10 series as addictive as The Witcher

As the second season of The Witcher only includes 8 episodes, dedicated fans will binge it in 1 day, a weekend max. Then what? Well, we suggest checking out some similar content.

Look, if we're supposed to wait another couple of years for season 3, we might as well have fun in the meantime. Here are 10 shows The Witcher fans can devour once they're done catching up with Geralt and co.

1. The Wheel of Time (2021)

Similarly to The Witcher, The Wheel of Time is based on a popular series of novels, this time penned by Robert Jordan.

The action is set in a fantasy world where only certain women can access magic. We follow Moiraine, a noblewoman who is looking for the Dragon Reborn, believed to either save or destroy the world. When she has a few candidates in sight, Moiraine convinces them to go on an epic quest.

With stunning visuals and committed performances, The Wheel of Time is an accessible and spellbinding high fantasy series. Binge it right after The Witcher to prolong your sweet escape from the real world.

2. Game of Thrones (2011)

Has there even been a fantasy show more talked about and dissected than this one? We doubt it. But if you've somehow missed it while it was on the air, fix that immediately.

Game of Thrones is an adaptation of novel series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. With a large ensemble cast, it centres on the battle for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. But unbeknownst to the families longing for fancy titles, there's an even bigger threat looming in the distance.

Dragons, ice zombies, violence, political schemes and nudity abound in this iconic series. Epic in scope, perfectly cast and wonderfully addictive, Game of Thrones wastes no time drawing you in. Once hooked, you'll be unable to look away – for better (seasons 1-7) and for worse (season 8).

3. Shadow and Bone (2021)

If you're craving a lighter, but equally entertaining fantasy series to watch after The Witcher, Shadow and Bone is a perfect choice.

Based on Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse novels, it centres on an orphan mapmaker who unleashes a power that might finally heal her world. But with enemies lurking around every corner, the young woman needs to use all of her wits to figure out who's friend and who's foe.

Shadow and Bone is a delicious mix of romance, scheming and action. With an attractive cast and superb costumes, it's a fun series to get lost in. Add some great visual effects into the mix and you've got yourself a new obsession.

  • Watch Shadow and Bone on Netflix

4. The Mandalorian (2019)

Given that The Mandalorian is set in space, it doesn't seem to have a lot in common with The Witcher... at first glance. However, both shows are about a lone figure compelled to care for a child, which makes them fitting companions.

The Mandalorian revolves around a bounty hunter who operates in the outer reaches of the galaxy. When he is hired to retrieve The Child, a toddler member of the same species as Yoda, he develops an unexpected bond with the small fellow. To the point where the bounty hunter goes on the run to protect him, hoping to reunite Baby Yoda with his kind.

Action-packed and boasting excellent production values, The Mandalorian is one of the most exciting adventures set in the Star Wars universe. Make sure you don't miss out.

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5. Carnival Row (2019)

A human detective and a refugee fairy rekindle a dangerous affair while looking into a string of gruesome murders. That's the premise behind Carnival Row, a lavish series set in a Victorian fantasy world.

See, after humans invaded the lands inhabited by the fairies, the mythological creatures struggle in the human world. When a few of them are brutally murdered, a detective begins to look into the case and unravels a dark conspiracy in the process.

Carnival Row is a mash-up of Victorian drama and fantasy with plenty of sex, social commentary and violence thrown in for good measure. If that sounds like an appealing combo, you're in for a wild ride.

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6. Vikings (2013)

A brilliant historical drama, Vikings will appeal to fans of The Witcher on the lookout for more visually striking and bloody series to gobble up. You'll find this one immensely satisfying.

The show is inspired by the sagas of Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary Viking hero. Starting off as a farmer, Ragnar makes a name for himself by raiding England and eventually becoming a Scandinavian king. Expect epic battles, captivating characters and enough intrigue to keep you on the edge of the seat.

  • Watch Vikings on Netflix

7. Supernatural (2005)

Geralt of Rivia is a monster hunter. If you love that particular aspect of the show, Supernatural will satisfy your need for chilling encounters with dark creatures. They vary from your run-of-the-mill ghost to demons, ghouls, arachnes, vampires and more.

The long-running series centres on 2 brothers, raised to hunt monsters ever since their mother was killed by a supernatural force. When their father goes missing, they retrace his steps while investigating spooky things that go bump in the night.

That's the main plot of season 1, with Supernatural only growing bigger in scope since. With 15 seasons to get through, this engaging series will keep you busy for a decent chunk of time.

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  • Watch Supernatural on Stan

8. Galavant (2015)

A musical fantasy, Galavant follows a knight looking to reclaim his reputation and get revenge on the evil king who stole the love of his life. Along the way, he makes new friends and engages in whimsical adventures.

This is a show that doesn't take itself too seriously, and neither should you. But if you want something light and funny to balance out The Witcher's gritty tone, we highly recommend checking this out. It's painfully underrated.

Bonus points if you're a Jaskier enthusiast. The songs here will have you humming for days.

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9. His Dark Materials (2019)

Based on the novel series of the same name by Philip Pullman, this visually dazzling series revolves around a seemingly ordinary but brave young girl searching for a missing friend. The girl uncovers a series of kidnappings and a mysterious substance, which leads her on a formidable quest.

His Dark Materials is set in a multi-world reality, with the action moving from one world to the next. Exciting! A slick adaptation, it does a great job when it comes to world-building, drawing in viewers from episode 1.

10. Penny Dreadful (2014)

For those on the hunt for more dark series in the vein of The Witcher, Penny Dreadful is a tantalising choice. After all, it bands together some of literature's most terrifying characters; including the likes of Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Count Dracula.

Set in the dark corners of Victorian London, the series kicks off when an explorer loses his daughter to the city's creatures and is willing to do anything to get her back. This leads him to a powerful medium who agrees to lend a helping hand.

Enchanting and well-acted, the show invites you to enter a shadowy world. You should definitely RSVP yes.

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Didn't love our picks? Check out the latest releases on every service here. Otherwise, search for where to watch any TV show in Australia here.

Image source: Netflix

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