CS Scene of the Week: Henry Cavill slays as The Witcher
Welcome to ComingSoon.net’s CS Scene of the Week column where we dive into the best scenes and performances television has to offer. For our first 2020 CS Scene of the Week, we’re focusing solely on Netflix’s The Witcher, featuring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in all of his emotionally-stunted, magical, sword-swinging glory. As The Witcher has been streaming since the end of December, we’ll assume most have already binge-watched the series. If not, though, be wary of major spoilers ahead.
The Butcher of Blaviken
Anyone who has seen the series knows what an achievement the adaptation of the best-selling books has been in its first season, leaving us eager for a Season 2 we’ll likely have to wait over a year for. There’s lots to love about The Witcher, from the blossoming bromance between the bard Jaskier and Geralt, Yennefer’s entire character arc, Geralt and Ciri finally finding each other, and all of the humor and fun in between the blood, death, and heartbreak.
There is also, of course, the epic fight sequences. With the first season consisting of eight episodes, those involved with the series didn’t waste a second introducing viewers to its many characters as they intricately plotted the interlinking stories of destinies in a nonlinear path revealing how the main characters are ultimately tied together through years of a richly laid history of pain and beauty. The tone for the show was established from the first episode, which offered one of the best scenes period from the entire first season.
Even though he wanted to stay out of the conflict between ousted princess Renfri and the mage Stregobar, Geralt races to the marketplace in Blaviken to prevent the deaths of innocents when he realizes Renfri, her gang, and Stregobar are not worried about the poor marketgoers caught up in their determination to kill each other. Geralt’s arrival at the marketplace results in an epic fight scene between himself, Renfri’s gang, and then Renfri herself, revealing not only his skills as a swordsman but his magical capabilities as he lays waste to everyone. He and Renfri both sustain minor injuries during their battle, and although Geralt gave Renfri a chance to walk away with her life, he was ultimately forced to plunge her dagger into her throat as she refused to walk away from her revenge (though he regrets it with every ounce of his being).
With her dying breaths, Renfri tells him that his destiny lies with the girl in the woods, who we later learn is his Child Surprise Ciri. The entire sequence reveals crucial elements to fans about Geralt’s skills and character, how he views the balance between two evils, and his willingness to throw himself into conflict to protect the innocent and what he feels is right. The scene also laid the foundation for Geralt’s destiny, kicking off a narrative all leading to him and Ciri coming into each other’s lives. Outside of the story, the jaw-dropping performances by Cavill, Emma Appleton, the other actors, the stunt team, and every piece of cinematography established the massive efforts both on and offscreen to make this show as exciting, dark, and visually stunning as possible.
Runner-up favorite Witcher moments (outside of every scene between Jaskier and Geralt, let’s be honest) include the convergence of the timelines during episode seven as the siege is underway and we learn that Geralt was in Cintra as the bloody events played out. Another great scene is the Battle of Sodden Hill in episode eight, showcasing the use of magic alongside human-style combat, such as the Nilfgaard soldiers firing arrows into the mage Fringilla’s portal through the ground so they can appear elsewhere and immediately strike and kill their enemies. Yennefer then winning the battle through a fiery display of magic was the perfect cherry on top of the final major fight of the season, setting up the stories to come whenever we are lucky enough to be gifted a Season 2 of the clever new series.
The Witcher is full of great moments that narrowing down only a few is a challenge. What were your favorite scenes in The Witcher? What are you hoping to see in the second season? Sound off in the comments below!