With season two coming out sometime later this year, I recently rewatched season one of the 2019 Netflix series, The Witcher. With many other top tens and rankings of the show out there, I wanted to have a go at picking the best scenes from The Witcher’s first season. I thought maybe I would have one from each episode but it seems some are definitely better than others.
It wasn’t easy to pick through some of the best scenes from The Witcher, but the first season was highly successful for a good reason. Although, when Henry Cavill was the first cast as Geralt of Rivia, I wasn’t sure what to think. I couldn’t get him as Superman out of my head, but, in my oh-so-humble-opinion, he plays the perfect Witcher. I am actually super happy with everyone they have cast for the show so far, and can’t wait for the release of the second season. Excitingly, we will soon be meeting more important characters from the books and the game. Game of Thrones star, Kristofer Hivju, has come on as part of the cast along with Paul Bullion from Peaky Blinders. It seems to just be getting better and better!
So, after binging eight action-packed and exciting episodes, I have picked my top ten best scenes from The Witcher season one and am ready to share them with you, and I hope you agree. Let’s get started from the top with episode one!
10. Episode One: The Kikimora
Season One’s first episode may have been one of the best scenes from The Witcher. This is such a cool scene for more reasons than one, and I think it was the best way they could have started off the show.
We enter onto a peaceful scene complete with cute baby dear when BAM! Out pops this giant spider-like creature and the Witcher from the water that just seconds before had been quite calm. As they battle it out, it seems that the Kikimora is getting the best of Geralt by holding him underwater when he is finally able to grab his sword. He jumps from the water and sticks the pointed blade straight up and through the Kikimora’s skull. With his intense black eyes outlined with veins, he pulls the sword, squelching from its head, and walks out of the pond like the badass he is. This is definitely one of the best scenes of the entire show.
9. Episode One: Geralt vs Renfri and Her Men
Geralt’s use of the ‘F-word’ is epic each time he uses it. When he realizes Renfri’s men just won’t be reasoned with, the Witcher calmly starts the fight against them. Cutting through the men like butter one after the other, the sounds of the swords clanging and slashing against each other make the scene even better. With speed and stealth, he makes easy work of killing each and every one of them. After decapitating the last man, Geralt is left to face Renfri herself who proves herself to be one heck of a fighter.
She’s not good enough, however, to beat the Witcher. The unfortunate but highly climactic death of Renfri ends with her whispering of Geralt’s destiny. Good stuff.
8. Episode Three: Yennefer’s Transformation
Heartbroken after feeling betrayed by Instredd, Yennefer takes her life into her own hands. She is determined to become powerful and knows that becoming beautiful is part of that process.
“Leave my eyes,” she tells the enchanter. “These as well,” she says looking to the scars left from where she sliced her wrists. It’s one intense moment after another as the man who has agreed to work his magic on her explains that he will be taking away her fertility. Without yet knowing what it means to her, she consents and then watches as her uterus burns before the real ritual begins.
The scenes jump back and forth as the Sorcerer makes his magical paste and then draws it across her body, an artist with his paintbrush, to mark the parts of her that will soon be transformed. Fire in the background flaring, we watch her body bend and contort as it reconstructs itself into the perfect body she has always desired.
7. Episode Three: Geralt Vs the Striga
Intertwined with the same scene as Yennefer’s transfiguration, the terrifying striga battles against the Witcher. My favorite part is after the striga breaks through the silver chains he tried to bind her with. Another instance of the perfectly placed F-bomb. He knows he’s in for it with this monster. The intense fight pauses when he gets knocked out. Temporary though, he soon has to fight again to ensure that he locks himself inside the strigas tomb to ensure that the curse will be broken.
Just as Yen is lying bloody on the floor, the newly transformed striga/child also lies muddy and curled to her side. When Geralt tries to wake her, she attacks him and nearly kills him by biting his neck. Luckily, though we don’t know how, he is saved and heals from his wounds yet again. This entire episode was one of the best of the season in my opinion.
6. Episode Four: Yennefer’s Portals Lead Nowhere
I picked this as one of the best scenes because of its intensity. The obviously frustrated and jealous Yennefer is escorting Queen Kalis and her baby when they are tracked and hunted down by an assassin and his terrifying pet monster. Jumping from portal to portal, they cannot seem to escape. Exhausted, Yennefer finally loses her willingness to help when the Queen shows ungrateful she is. At the last moment, Yennefer does try to save the baby, however. Though sadly unsuccessfully.
5. Episode Four: The Law of Suprise
After a pretty awesome battle at the banquet, Queen Calanthe finally gets the fighting to stop in order to handle matters herself. Determined to protect her child, no matter what the cost, she tries to kill Duny quickly while everyone else stays calm, but Pavetta’s powers are shown just as she believes her mother means to kill her beloved Duny.
Duny and Pavetta are lifted to safety as the storm Pavetta creates hold everyone back and away from them. The Witcher is able to bring it all to a halt with the help of Mousesack. Afterward, Queen Calanthe finally relents and allows the couple to be wed. With the curse broken, Duny finally breaks free from the curse and transforms back into a man. To show his gratitude, he offers Geralt anything he wants. With complete nonchalance, what does he ask for? The law of surprise! Silly goose.
4. Episode Five: Geralt and Yennefer Meet
One of the best episodes for sure, episode five has one of the most shocking scenes for sure. Geralt rushes to save his friend from the Djinn to find a room full of all sorts of scandalous affairs. As he makes his way through, he finds Yennefer sitting and enjoying the show she has created for herself.
“The famous white wolf.” She says, ” I thought you’d have fangs or horns or something.” His reply is perfect. “I had them filed down,” he tells her. The tension between them is obvious from the outset.
3. Episode Six: Romantic Mid-Battlefield Make-out
In episode six, After Borch reveals himself as the golden dragon, the Reaver’s come to take the dragon’s egg. Yennefer and Geralt work together to defend it, finally no longer bickering at each other and working together. Geralt and Yennefer fight against them all to protect the egg. The best part, however, is when Yen runs to Geralt after telling him to use a magic sign. They embrace and share a powerful kiss as they use their magic together to blow them all away.
Yennefer shows herself to be a formidable opponent with a sword as she fights off the Reavers. Just before Geralt gets a spear stuck into him, Yennefer comes and sticks the man in the throat with her dagger. Nice.
2. Episode Eight: The Battle of Sodden Hill
Nilfgaard has come to take the Northern Kingdoms, but Yennefer and her fellow mages work together to stop them. All the sorceresses come together in an epic battle against Nilfgaard fighting magic against magic. Vengeance is everywhere. One after the other the mages sacrifice themselves showing off the very best of their magical abilities.
It all seems quite bleak though, and just as they fear the war is lost, Tissaia goes to Yennefer to encourage her to keep fighting. She explains to her just how powerful she truly is. “Forget the bottle; let your chaos explode,” she tells her. Yennefer then walks up a hill to stand above them all. Flooded with memories of all the times she had been hurt, discouraged, or put down, she channels fire magic into the tips of her fingers. Becoming like a human blowtorch, she burns the entire field of men to ash. One of my favorite scenes for sure.
1. Episode Eight: Ciri and Geralt Finally Meet
At the very end of the eighth episode, the wounded Geralt is pulled up to the very house that Ciri has been staying in.
From the first episode to the last, The Witcher season one comes full circle as the destiny Renfri told Geralt comes true. Ciri runs through the woods to meet him. They immediately know one another and embrace. Finally, they have found their destinies. The first thing she asks him, “Who’s Yennefer?”
Well, there ya have it, ya’ll. My picks for the best scenes from my favorite episodes of The Witcher season one. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I get to do it again with season two!
While we wait, however, we have gotten some pretty big news about other ways to dive into The Witcher’s world. We know that that there will be a prequel series on Netflix called The Witcher: Blood Origins which will explain the origins of The Witcher, a full 1200 years before Geralt of Rivia! We know that it will be a 6-part spin-off series, but are yet to know more about when it might be released. Along with this, Netflix has also announced the Nightmare of the Wolf, an anime film based on the Witcher.
If you are interested in diving deeper into The Witcher story, there are eight Witcher books that the show is based on written by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Here are their titles and the chronological order to read them in:
- The Last Wish (short story)
- Sword of Destiny (short story)
- Season of Storms (a stand-alone novel separate from the series)
- Blood of Elves
- Time of Contempt
- Baptism of Fire
- The Tower of the Swallow
- The Lady of the Lake
Beyond that, you can also pick up Witcher comics and graphic novels, and of course, The Witcher games! There are three: The Witcher (2007) The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2011), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015). There has been a rumor of a fourth Witcher game, but it is still years from release. In the meantime, as we wait for season two, we will enjoy the show, the games, and the books that it’s all based on. You can always be like me and re-watch The Witcher season one, too!
What do you think of my list of favorite episodes? Agree? Disagree? What were your favorite scenes from The Witcher? Let me know in the comments.