We Need to Talk About ‘The Witcher’

I love fantasy. Reading Lord of the Rings was a life-changing event. I’ve had whole discussions comparing and contrasting J. R. R. Tolkien and Robert Jordan. (Tolkien is way better — don’t make me come over there.) I’ll read any Fantasy, but Epic is my favorite.

I do my utmost to read current fantasy while still curating my interest in other books. (Fantasy books can be extensive.)

I even have a favorite fantasy publisher — Orbit books. (No — I don’t work for them, and NO — they have never given me a single, solitary free book.)

So…

You can imagine how pumped I was when Netflix made The Witcher into a series. I would imagine most of us make it a firm policy to read the books before seeing the show, and I’m certainly no different.

The first few books are exceptional! Extraordinary, unique, creative, engaging, and well worth your time. Please read them!

The books are set in an immersive world, where humans and non-humans live side by side. But, of course, that causes problems.

We have monsters and people who kill monsters. We have magic users. They have agendas of their own but also advise the Kings and Queens of several small countries.

In fact — let’s throw this out there. Everyone has an agenda.

We have the enormously dangerous empire that tried to conquer the smaller countries and might very well try again.

We have loads of strong women, several of which play critical roles in the book. But we also have several strong women who do nothing.

We even have a love triangle. (Sort of)

In short, the possibilities for dramatic tension are just about endless—what a perfect set-up for a Fantasy novel.

Read the first three books! Please.

The middle of the series:

It meanders, wandering from one plot point to another. There is nothing wrong with the middle. It’s an enjoyable read.

Would I be happier if it went somewhere, leading to, I don’t know, a big climactic battle or maybe just a resolution? Yes, in fact, that would make me happier. (No the battle in the last book doesn’t count.)

But they don’t lead anywhere. In fact, at the end of the middle section, our heroes are basically in the same place they’ve always been: searching for the princess.

The EVIL empire attacks in this section. You would think that could lead to desperate last stands, battles, allies betraying allies, and that sort of thing. But we don’t get a lot of this.

Instead, we follow the heroes while they look for the missing princess, who may or may not be able to save the world.

The Ending

The last book blew my mind, and not in a good way.

We jump forward in time, joining Arthurian legend. The Lady of the Lake takes an apprentice, whom she wants to dream about the princess everyone is searching for.

We follow the story as a dream. Dreams! Not only that, the characters in the dreams, have flashbacks and tell stories to other characters.

So, we have a story taking place at one time, being told by a person dreaming about it in the future. I can live with this, I guess.

I draw the line at characters in dreams, dreaming, and having flashbacks — which are then told to us in the context of a dream.

Yikes!

It gets better. The princess that everyone is searching for flees from an evil king, who wants to get her pregnant with his child.

Okay, this has some drama, some tension; I can see his going somewhere. BUT — She flees from him by jumping through time and space.

Spare me, please.

NONE OF THAT NEEDED TO HAPPEN!

I wanted to know what happened to the world back in the first books. A tremendous amount of depth exists in that world.

It’s a sin to move away from that world.

But it’s not the biggest sin, made in the series.

The Biggest Sin — spoiler ahead.

Google — The Witcher ending. You get 131,000,000 results. Google the Lord of the Rings ending, and you get 39,900,000 results.

Why?

One ending makes sense, and the other does not. In The Witcher, the hero finds his true love. Woot, right? Then they die, or maybe they don’t die. We don’t get a clear answer. Maybe they die, but they are alive in heaven?

It’s all up to you, my dear reader.

This is some serious bull shite right there.

How long does it take to read The Witcher? How much of my life did I spend to get to that lame ending?

102 hours! Over four days of my life, invested, and the writer can’t give us closure?

Let’s give credit where credit is due. What does Sapkowski, the writer, say about the ending?

As to those of you itching to find out what happened to Witcher 2 hero Geralt: you’ll probably be waiting for a great deal longer. “You aren’t supposed to know,” Sapkowski pointed out. “And you will never know. Or at least until I write about it and I’m not sure if I’ll find the will to do so.”

Well, I don’t have the will to read any more of your stuff, thank you very much.

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