The Witcher, a Netflix series based on the highly popular Polish books by Andrzej Sapkowski, is doing extremely well. With high ratings throughout its first season and a confirmed second season, the future looks promising.
It’s somewhat unfair to compare The Witcher to Game of Thrones, despite many television viewers casually doing so. The first of these books was published back in 1992, with English translations not taking place until many years after. The first video game was released in 2007, and that drew in many more fans to the franchise. With the Netflix series just now starting in 2019, the story and core of The Witcher have been around for a long while.
Comparatively, Game of Thrones‘ first book was published in 1996. The first episode of its HBO television show aired in 2011, and we have not gotten any best-selling video games from it yet. But what can be said for comparison is that Game of Thrones has paved the way for a fresh bout of epic fantasy television-based series. Already Amazon is in production of a Lord of the Rings series that will have events from The Silmarillion in it, and there is another shot at His Dark Materials for a tv series after the failure of the movie. Now, television is more easily accessible, has a bigger budget, and is an excellent storytelling avenue for book adaptations.
The season finale of Game of Thrones did not go over well with fans, and the tv show itself surpassed the books in terms of plot. The finale episode itself was rated the worst, with currently 4/10 stars on IMDB. The show was also riddled with controversy over sexist storylines and irrelevant scenes of nudity and rape.
But so far, the first season of The Witcher seems to be in fan’s good graces. Its average season rating is 8.9/10 stars on IMDB, and the finale itself is currently at 9.3/10. It even scored better than other acclaimed series such as Stranger Things, Peaky Blinders, and The Crown. As if knowing its immediate success, season two was confirmed even before the first season’s release. Fans will have to wait to find out if this success continues, but so long as it doesn’t fall into the same holes Game of Thrones did, it should easily surpass fans’ expectations.