Image of Geralt the Witcher

Is ‘The Witcher’ the New ‘Game of Thrones’?

Both shows are based on beloved fantasy books, but are they comparable?
March 14, 2020
7 mins read

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has been out since 2011 and just ended its eight-season run. The show was widely liked by people who enjoy fantasy and action television dramas. The series ended last year in May, and since then, people have been searching for another complex show that will give them the adrenaline and medieval fix that they need. The new Netflix show “The Witcher” might achieve that for some people. It was released in December of last year, and as of now, the show has only eight episodes that run for about an hour, but fans are already wishing for another season.

Story of “The Witcher”

“The Witcher” was first developed as a book series and then turned into a video game in late 2007. Both the book and the video game, much like the television show, are based around the character of Geralt of Rivia, who is a Witcher. In this series, a Witcher is a mutated human who hunts mythical creatures and monsters. Even though Geralt is often shamed for his Witcher genes and ostracized by villagers everywhere, they need his expertise to get rid of the menacing monsters that roam around the land. Witchers are rare people; they are mutations created by medieval science and magic.

What Has Happened so Far in the Show?

In the first season of “The Witcher,” we were introduced to three main characters who are on separate journeys that eventually lead to one another. Geralt (the Witcher), Yennefer (a powerful sorceress) and Ciri (a refugee princess) all have interesting stories that end up intertwining at the end. Geralt, the main character of the series, is on a quest to find “the girl in the woods” and ends up monster hunting on his way.

On this journey, he meets Yennefer, who he eventually falls in love with. She’s a witch who came from Vengerberg and was bought by another sorceress and trained in the ways of magic. She eventually becomes a powerful witch who is hungry for money and wants to gain power over people.

Ciri is the “the girl in the woods” that Geralt is destined to find, and she goes on a journey to find him as she runs away from people who want to murder her. After the people of her kingdom are massacred, Ciri tries to find Geralt, who will give her protection. She was mainly trying to find Geralt throughout the season, and she ends up focusing on that completely because she doesn’t have familial ties to anyone else.

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The History of “Game of Thrones”

“Game of Thrones” was originally a book series as well, and the television show actually gained more popularity. It originally aired from 2011 to 2019. Taking places during this time frame, every episode of the show follows one of three plot lines. But the history of “Game of Thrones” became confusing and complicated as the eight seasons unfolded.

Vox gives a good summary of the basic storylines: “The show is divided into three major plot lines. The first covers the battle between the lords of the continent of Westeros — most notably members of the Baratheon, Lannister, and Stark families — who are involved in the fight for the Iron Throne. The second follows the rise of Daenerys Targaryen, the last member of an exiled family as she builds an army in Essos to reclaim the throne. The third plot takes place in the North of Westeros among the Night’s Watch, an armed unit that guards the 300-mile-long, 70-foot-tall wall that protects the rest of the continent from the mythical creatures that lurk there.”

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Which One Should You Watch?

If you’re a fantasy fan and want to get into a brand-new show, then I would recommend watching “The Witcher.” The only downfall of the program is that it’s brand new with just one season available on Netflix. Waiting a whole year for another season to come out might be something that holds people back from watching it. “Game of Thrones,” on the other hand, is finished and has eight seasons of hourlong episodes. This makes it perfect to binge if binging is your preferred way of viewing a television show.

Besides the lengths and availability, the main difference between the shows is the complexity of the details and characters. With “The Witcher,” there is still so much to be explained about the characters and the connections that they share. “Game of Thrones” is such a complex show that there are many images of people trying to create family trees and connecting all of the relationships that occur on the show.

If you would like to decipher complex plotlines and character relations, then “Game of Thrones” would be the better show for you. If you prefer simplicity, “The Witcher,” as of now, would be the better option.

Could “The Witcher” Be the New “Game of Thrones”?

Vulture has claimed that “The Witcher” isn’t actually a good comparison of the late “Game of Thrones.” The author of the article believes that “Game of Thrones” made the history of kingdoms, houses and all of their characters detailed. The reasoning behind this was to create more excitement regarding all of the different power plays and betrayals that took place in the show.

“The Witcher,” on the other hand, isn’t as detailed with its places and characters. Details that are given in the show are there to enhance the characters and offer motivations for the various journeys that they all take.

With one season of the show out, it could be a little early to tell if this would be an adequate substitute for the legacy “Game of Thrones” has left behind. “The Witcher,” like “Game of Thrones,” has been gaining some popularity from fantasy fans. The drama of the new program, along with its cast of complex characters, might make it a good show to watch in place of “Game of Thrones.” Regardless, these types of shows are making a comeback as the fantasy and science-fiction genre is becoming popular in today’s pop culture.

Kayla Placide, University at Buffalo

Writer Profile

Kayla Placide

University at Buffalo

Hello! My name is Kayla and I’m a freshman who is trying to pursue a future career in publishing YA books and fiction. My hobbies include reading, writing, gaming and playing music.

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