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The Witcher Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Shaerrawedd

Geralt reads a letter.
Geralt of Rivia reads an important letter.

Overall: 8.2/10

Story 8.0/10

Many exploiters dog Ciri's steps. Geralt tries to keep her safe while Yennifer teaches the girl magic. But it’s difficult because they’re constantly on the run to keep Ciri out of the clutches of her pursuers: human and elf alike. It forces them to come to a hard decision.

Meanwhile, Jaskier is presented with bad choices and worse choices. What he decides could be catastrophic for one group on the continent.

The tough choices that are forced onto these characters make for some exciting interplay between them and reveal a lot about them.

Ciri looks back at Yennifer.
Yennifer explains the tenets of magic to Ciri.

Character 8.3/10

Geralt is stoic as ever. A brick wall of unforgiveness—he seeks to punish Yennifer for her betrayals from the second season. Had it been anyone else, he would have cut them down. It is only his love for Yennifer that spares her life. He is determined to make her pay for past mistakes. But will her penance ever be enough to sate his anger and hurt at her betrayal?

Yennifer makes it her mission to wear Geralt down. She is truly sorry for her past transgressions. She tries to make amends by teaching Ciri and trying to keep her safe. Her hope is that Geralt will remember what they once shared, so he can find it in his heart to forgive her.

Ciri is frustrated more than anything else. She is tired of running. And she wants to grow more powerful to make a difference in the conflict between humans and elves. But no one would ever accuse Ciri of being a prodigy. It will take time for her to grow to her potential.

Jaskier is torn. He knows that Geralt’s trust is hard won. The two have been through a lot together. He owes Geralt his life. And he doesn't take their friendship lightly. But how does he weigh that against the lives of an entire group of people?

Prince Radovid is highly capable. But for some reason he wants people to think he’s inept. Perhaps it’s so he can catch them unaware. He strikes this viewer as very dangerous—like the viper that strikes with no warning.

Ciri kneels on one knee and looks ahead.
Ciri gives us her best Avengers' pose.

Final Thoughts

This first episode is a great starting point for this season. It makes this viewer all the more sad for what might’ve been if the Netflix writers had been more understanding of Cavill’s passion for the series and open to his ideas.


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