Fans continue to applaud The Witcher’s latest chapter on Netflix. Although, the TV adaptation has altered the books in massive ways. And regarding the main character, Yennefer, these changes appear to be particularly hostile. The season begins at an interesting pace as it focuses on Geralt (Henry Cavill) and Ciri’s (Freya Allan) budding relationship. But as it progressed towards the latter episodes, the season seemed to lose steam. This is because there were noticeable alterations being made when compared to the original books.
Despite all the lengthy and monotonous explanations, The Witcher Season 2 manages to create a linear timeline. Which is a huge improvement from its predecessor. With that said, the show did chalk out a certain character with carelessness. And this portrayal of Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) might prove to be faulty for the character’s future in the franchise.
Following the devastating Battle of Sodden Hill and Yennerfer’s sudden disappearance, the other mages as well as Geralt assumed the sorceress to have been killed. However, at the beginning of the second season, we find out that the Nilfgaardian forces had kidnapped Yennefer. This was the first change in the show as compared to the books.
In the Witcher books, Fringilla (played by Mimi Ndiweni in the show) shoots a fireball at Yennefer, which blinds the sorceress. Due to which she is forced to find a recluse to recover. But the Netflix adaptation follows Yennefer into her capture. After which she encounters the Deathless Mother, Voleth Meir (Ania Marson). It is then that we realize that Yennefer has lost her magic. The Netflix show never explains why Yennefer loses her magic. This is because the show adapts its own methods of using Chaos and magic.
The way this particular scenario plays out is what leaves The Witcher fans disappointed. On the other hand, TV show audiences have no clue as to what they are missing out on. To begin with, Yennefer is essentially without magic throughout The Witcher Season 2. In addition to this, we saw Yennefer fall face flat for Voleth Meir’s promises, who was merely feeding on her desperation to regain her magical abilities. As for the second part of the season, we only saw Yennefer trying to trap Ciri for her own gains. The Witcher Season 2 creates Yennefer into a character who has a hard time with her code of conduct.
Regardless of this divisive arc, the reason Yennefer goes behind Geralt’s back this time is a questionable one for fans. This is because it ruins the potential for a trustful relationship between her and Ciri in the future of The Witcher series. At the very start of their relationship, we see Yennefer willingly risk Ciri’s life for the selfish reason of regaining her magic. It is true that she tries to seek redemption by sacrificing her body in the final episode. But that will not be enough for the two to ever form a deeper bond.
In The Witcher books, Yennefer and Ciri share a meaningful bond. One that resembles a mother and child. Yennefer helps Ciri control her powers and carefully channel her magic. It is true that the Netflix adaptation briefly touches on this aspect of their relationship. But the portrayal still came with hidden agendas. As it was when Yennefer was still trying to capture Ciri and offer her to Voleth Meir.
The Witcher Season 2’s idea of taking away Yennefer’s magic gave her character a personal motive. But she only ended up gaining her Chaos magic back in the last episode of The Witcher Season 2. The finale saw Yennefer broken up by her actions. And she tries to redeem herself by sacrificing her magic, only to ascertain Ciri’s safety. But the entire drive appeared half-hearted. This is not only because Yennefer realized this quite late. But also because the show did not see her the least bit bothered about giving up Ciri. Except for how it would affect Geralt.
Had the show created a situation that allowed Yennefer to regain her powers earlier in the show, then there would not be as many problems with the storyline as there are now. One of the good things that would have come out of it is this. The narrative would have allowed a more meaningful relationship between her and Ciri. Also, her sacrifice at the end of the season would flesh out more as a heartfelt act.
While claiming to do justice to the source material, the final product of The Witcher’s Netflix adaptations seems to walk separate ways in many aspects. Which leaves us with another hopeful possibility. And it is this. That the show’s creators might have something bigger in the story for Yennefer’s character. They alter Yennefer’s arc so as to portray her more powerfully in her upcoming features.
Now that the sorceress has access to her magic again, she is more than able to help Ciri. In her next appearance, we might see her use her full, strong potential in teaching Ciri the many lessons about her powers that she has learned. It is true that nothing concrete about The Witcher Season 3 is out in the open yet. But assuming that the series tries to explore its various character relationships in better ways, The Witcher is sure to have a promising future in the fantasy drama genre.