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SYFY WIRE reviews

Critics say 'The Witcher' delivers 'terrifying monsters' and more of what fans love in Season 2

Season 2 of The Witcher arrives on Netflix Friday, Dec. 17.

By Josh Weiss
The Witcher 201 PRESS

With just one week to go until Season 2 of The Witcher rides onto Netflix, critic reviews are starting to drop. Reviewers seem to be in agreement: Geralt of Rivia's sophomore outing is bigger (as most sequels usually are) and better than the first season.

As of this writing, the second season holds a rare 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but that is sure to decrease as more reviews make their way online. Hopefully, it's not by much. Still, viewers have spoken — Netflix has definitely hit pay dirt with its new fantasy franchise that is helping fill the massive void left by HBO's Game of Thrones.

Thanks to a more straightforward story and a menagerie of monstrous beasts in need of slaying at the hands of Henry Cavill's Geralt, the epic fantasy show is — to quote Collider's takeaway — "finally settling into its stride."

Head below to see what critics are saying...

"It’s more straightforward this time around, at least in its first six episodes, but it still suffers from some of the first season’s inconsistent pacing and characterization, particularly when it comes to newer stories. Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Geralt of Rivia continues to be the single best element of this adaptation, and it’s proven again in Geralt’s budding relationship with Ciri, which forms the emotional core of the season. It’s still inconsistent at the best of times, but The Witcher remains a light and entertaining adventure through a unique fantasy world," -Kat Bailey, IGN

"Season 2 is finally settling into its stride and has an even better sense of what works while discarding more of what didn't — although there are still the occasional unannounced time-jumps forward, or surprise character introductions, that demand attentiveness rather than any distracted background viewing. But the biggest strength for this fantasy show follow-up, and the one that kept me returning for all six episodes given out, is the found family it offers in Geralt and Ciri as they settle into familiarity and trust with one another — with Cavill and Allan effectively playing the kind of duo worth building a long-running franchise around." -Carly Lane, Collider

"Season 2 works because its central mysteries are so interesting, and the shifting perspectives on the main cast help keep it feeling distinct from what we’ve already seen. It’s not just more of the same. And the show still offers plenty of what I want from a Witcher story. There are terrifying monsters (including a particularly unsettling vampire in the first episode), at least one sad death, and that very Witcher-specific kind of tragedy that makes you feel bad when a giant bug monster is murdered." -Andrew Webster, The Verge

"The Witcher is essentially giving us everything we want in season two, aside perhaps for another Geralt bathtub scene. But to be fair, this franchise has always been a valley of plenty when it comes to man-flesh, and season two still has its moments in this regard ... The only issue we have with this new batch of Witcher episodes is that Geralt still isn't onscreen enough. And that critique doesn't come from a place of horniness either. Season 1 suffered in most of the scenes where Cavill was nowhere to be found, and season two does as well, albeit to a lesser extent. That doesn't mean the rest of the show is badly done, it's just that the Witcher's magnetism leaves a noticeable gap when absent." -David Opie, Digital Spy

"The colours have a brightness that at times feel almost like a comic book. Every character is lit with the audience’s eyesight in mind ... All of this allows the viewers to see the beautiful, expensive landscapes, and the equally beautiful, expensive cast ... In a world where high fantasy needs to take itself seriously in order to be taken seriously, The Witcher just about manages to be something quite rare: fun." -Nick Hilton, The Independent

"While season 2 deviates from the first in structure and focus, it doesn’t necessarily negate it. A third season could theoretically return to the first’s more episodic structure just as easily as it could lean into the serialized elements. In the long run, there’s a powerful versatility in knowing that — something that many other shows in the streaming era could also learn from." -Joshua Rivera, Polygon

"Following this show is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It’s like a constantly developing manifestation of something ends, something begins – and with each and every ending, the subsequent beginnings become more and more enticing. With the success of Nightmare of the Wolf and anticipation for The Witcher Blood: Origin, it seems like Netflix’s Witcher universe is garnering the potential to immortalize itself as a de facto colossus of contemporary fantasy. I, for one, can’t wait to see more." -Cian Maher, For The Win

Season 2 of The Witcher arrives on Netflix Friday, Dec. 17.