Netflix’s The Witcher amazed fans by delivering a lot of plot twists and immersive turn of events. One such instance saw Henry Cavill’s titular monster hunter Geralt of Rivia turn over a previous approval of his appearance as Superman with the help of Yennefer. Man of Steel turned out to be Henry Cavill’s big introduction into the superhero genre. And naturally, the characters iteration of the hero was received in mixed light by the audience. Mainly because Cavill’s Superman was largely different compared to the character’s previous avatars.
Netflix’s The Witcher has fallen bait to a particularly similar criticism. However, this time, it is not applicable to Henry Cavill’s appearance as Geralt. Instead, the disapproval is directed towards another main character in the series, the sorceress Yennefer.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Witcher season 2.
Netflix’s hit fantasy drama is an adaptation of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels. The show follows the emotionless, ice-cold monster hunter Geralt on his quest to defeat men and monsters. With the aim of keeping Ciri safe. Cirilla, the crown princess of Cintra, who has lost her family and her home, is now the responsibility of the Witcher. But Ciri has just realized the horrifyingly destructive powers she possesses. And as she starts channeling her magic, the word of her existence travels across the Continent.
Not only that, her ability to open portal gateways called monoliths that lead to other worlds is something that makes her the most seeked person in Witcher lore. However, the biggest plot twist of Season 2 comes when Yennefer, a sorceress who once had close ties with Geralt, risks Ciri’s life to fulfill her own desires. After manifesting the full extent of her Chaos magic at the Battle of Sodden Hill, Yennefer loses her magic entirely.
Sensing her desperation, Voleth Meir gets to her head and manipulates her into outwitting Geralt. And eventually delivering Ciri to the Deathless Mother. The hold that Voleth Meir has over Yennefer is a promise to restore the sorceress’ magic in exchange for Ciri.
The Witcher books depict Yennefer’s character as someone incredibly close to Geralt. As well as a found mother to Ciri. Yennefer trains Ciri to control her magic. The three find a family in one another. But now, with the Netflix show deviating from the source material, Witcher fans see it as impossible to make this narrative come true.
Yennefer’s cruel and selfish deception has left a scar too deep. This disapproval by fans reminds us of a time when certain fans debated over the final battle in Man of Steel, between Superman and Zod. This questionable stance dies down when Superman kills Zod. Thus refraining him from causing harm to a group of innocent bystanders.
But this move by the superhero disappointed many fans. Since they saw it as a major shift in the storyline, which usually highlighted the hero’s altruistic nature. Considering this angle, The Witcher upturned Man of Steel’s criticism. Because rather than Geralt’s unfriendly spirit of action, it is Yennefer’s selfishness that brings the conflict.
Just like Henry Cavill’s DCEU superhero, Netflix’s iteration of Yennefer is not necessarily negative. After all, the character possesses a vulnerability. As the Netflix show progresses further, Yennefer has second thoughts about her actions. She tries to ponder on the fact that her regaining power isn’t entirely as important as sacrificing the life of someone.
The Witcher series has pronounced this element of the story in a significant light. Yennefer goes to certain extremes, such as putting her own body at stake, just to gain more power. In the show, Yennefer believes herself to be identified by her magic. Which is why her time under Voleth Meir’s influence acts as a test of her determination and true intentions. Where eventually she is ready to give up on monumental things just to restore her magical powers.
The fact that the Netflix show chooses to alter Yennefer’s narrative is interesting usually. However, the approach might harm the character’s future in the franchise. Mainly because of the dents it is leaving in her relationship with Geralt. Geralt has lived and loved in a world of deceit and unfaithfulness. So the number of people he can truly count on is scarce. Which is why Yennefer’s betrayal might come as the biggest of all.
The only way for the sorceress to get back into Geralt’s good books is by mending her relationship with Ciri. And taking the responsibility of training her. However, Geralt will only be more mistrustful of Yennefer after the whole exchange with Voleth Meir. Netflix’s The Witcher is advancing in a new direction when compared to the original books. However unusual, the show has gained itself a devoted set of audience. While the TV adaptation deviates from the source material every now and then, it is entirely possible for The Witcher series to deliver a much more engrossing train ride for fans to get on with high expectations.