With the second season of The Witcher now settling onto Netflix and a third season potentially on the horizon, now seems like a good time to rank the best episodes of The Witcher. Also, if you haven’t seen Season 2 of The Witcher, there is a firm SPOILER warning for the list. So, here is some background information about the Witcher TV show.
First debuting on Netflix in 2019 but really exploding in popularity during lockdown (the 2020 one), The Witcher follows Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) an enhanced human with magic tasked to track down and kill monsters. On his journey through the world, he meets Jaskier (Joey Batey), a friendly bard, and originator of *THAT* song and Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), a witch and the main love interest not counting Triss. Eventually, destiny brings Geralt into the path of Ciri (Freya Allan) who he attempts to protect from the dangers of the world. Also, the Witcher is based on a book series and video game series. Now, let’s get into the best Witcher episodes.
Now, this might be a controversial pick amongst Witcher fans but ignoring a whole ton of exposition and CGI which might draw viewers out of the world, this episode definitely has high points. Highlights include Jaskier’s annoyingly catchy song, Geralt hunting a devil-like creature after haggling for more money (nice detail from the videogame) and Anya Chalotra’s excellent performance as Yennefer. While I understand why many might consider this to be one of the worst episodes, it is worth a revisit for Yennefer’s origin along with Jaskier and Geralt’s wonderful relationship.
Next up on the best Witcher episodes ranked is What is Lost. Coming early on in Ciri’s journey under Geralt’s protection, this episode sees Ciri growing impatient with Geralt’s slow methods of training so she tries to prove that she can take on proper Witcher training on a deadly obstacle course. Despite doing well, she just falls short and this adds a new layer to Geralt and Ciri’s relationship during the remainder of Season 2. Other highlights include Yennefer going rogue from the Brotherhood and saving a former enemy general.
First of all, that is a fantastic use of alliteration and it’s my favourite episode title of any Witcher episode. Now, back on topic as this episode sets up Geralt claiming guardianship over Ciri as he accompanies Jaskier to a royal ball. At the royal ball, Jaskier’s questionable wardrobe choices for Geralt create some funny moments. Also, Geralt’s interactions with the queen again create some funny moments. Other highlights include Ciri attempting to walk through an enchanted forest and Yennefer trying to protect her kingdom to no avail.
Again, this episode’s title hints at the chaos about to enter Geralt’s world. Desperate to cure his insomnia, Geralt is fishing for a djinn’s bottle to wish for it a good nights sleep. However, after an argument with Jaskier the djinn escapes and Jaskier collapses with blood coming out of his mouth. This brings Geralt into contact with Yennefer for the first time. She agrees to heal Jaskier but not before she shares a bath with Geralt. Long story short, Yennefer wants to let the djinn inhabit her. Geralt comes in, saves her and then has sex with her. All while Jaskier doesn’t know if he is alive or not. Poor Jaskier.
Geralt is once again pursued by dangerous monsters as he attempts to track down Ciri. To be specific: necrophages. Despite Geralt’s warning to a man, Yurga, about the danger of necrophages he ignores the warnings. This leads to an awesome fight sequence where a necrophage bites Geralt. Apart from Geralt’s brush with death, this episode also features Yennefer and the mages fighting in the Battle of Sodden. Oh, it also features the small detail of Ciri and Geralt finally meeting. So clearly not much happened in this episode.
Coming in at the halfway point of the best Witcher episodes is Kaer Morhen. Largely, Series 2 has focussed more on how the human characters are often more dangerous than the monsters. In this episode, some of the other Witchers are dismissive of problems. This leads to the monster emerging. Overall, Kaer Morhen is a good episode with Ciri and Geralt’s relationship examined further. It also features Yennefer having dreams that most shippers would be proud of.
Narrowly missing out on the top three best Witcher episodes is Betrayer Moon. Once again, this episode proves just how much quality Series One has. This episode sees Geralt teaming up with Triss, a witch, to find out what happened to a missing princess. Long story short, she was cursed to turn into a monster. This leads to a fantastic sequence of Geralt tracking her around the castle’s dungeons. The other major highlight is the ‘rebirth’ of Yennefer as she attempts to forge her own path as a witch.
Now, this is exactly what I want out of a Witcher episode: Geralt fighting a dragon. After a stranger entices him with enough money, Geralt joins his team. Besides the dragon fight, this episode dives into Yennefer and Geralt’s relationship as we learn a crucial detail. Geralt uses his last djinn wish to wish for them to always be together. Thus, the shipping community became happy. Anyway, the episode also sees Ciri struggling to trust people around her on the journey to find Geralt.
This was one of the toughest choices but this episode was just pipped to top spot. The End’s Beginning not only does a great job of exciting fans but brings new viewers to the franchise. The episode’s central plot revolves around the morality of Witchers. Geralt ends up in Blaviken where he meets two powerful sorcerers and has to choose between killing one or the other. Eventually, Geralt kills Renfri (the ‘evil’ sorcerer) before being kicked out of Blaviken. Overall, this episode is a wonderful introduction to the world of The Witcher.
Continuing the trend of the first episode being the best, A Grain of Truth is the best Witcher episode. This episode sees Geralt and Ciri right after the Battle of Sodden, meeting up with one of Geralt’s old friends, Nivellen. Again, this episode sees the question of are monsters really worse than humans? This is because Nivellen is harbouring a bruxa called Vereena who Geralt assumes is trying to attack Ciri and Nivellen.
The tragic twist of the episode? Vereena, who loved Nivellen, gets killed by Geralt which lifts Nivellen’s curse. I haven’t even mentioned Yennefer’s arc. Overall, an absolutely fantastic episode and a damn good return for Geralt of Rivia.
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What are your thoughts about the best Witcher episodes? What are your favourites? Let me know in the comments below!