(the Witcher is a tv series on Netflix now)
Decades ago, when I was around 10 or so, there was a very loud smack around the corner from my house. I was playing outside at the time, my sobriquet was “professor”, an apt nickname chosen to reflect my scholarly pursuits of the day.
I ran around the corner to see a vehicle wrapped around a tree. There were body parts scattered about, some hanging from a thread of skin and others dangling in the summer breeze. Blood was everywhere. This was my first time in the presence of death and dismemberment.
I was not affected by the gruesome scene played out with such dire consequences. In hindsight, I realize that blood and guts don’t affect me much. Not in a Dexter way (see TV series of the same name) but in a reality way. People were screaming and crying and the sound of sirens was off in the distance, getting ever closer.
I stayed until help arrived. While I was doing nothing to help, being only 10 years old, I now understand that just being there was giving the injured something to hold onto, no matter how small. When the medical technicians began their administrations, one told me to go home and let my parents know what I had seen. I took half of the advice. I went home. I said nothing. It was my secret.
This brings us to the title of this post. Witchers are beasts and monster hunters, that develop almost supernatural powers to battle and rid the world of these beasts. And the show starts with an absolute explosion of an opening! A Witcher is fighting a monster while a gentle deer ponders the outcome. The Witcher defeats the monster but not before the deer is fatally injured becoming the Witchers dinner that evening.
Some tense moments follow in a tavern. We are introduced to various characters, furthering the plot and backstory. This is where my real life story above and the make believe one of the Witcher (what? you thought the Witcher is real? Really?) blend together.
For some reason, there always seems to be a major battle between kingdoms portrayed during the early centuries of sword and sorcery. And like all battles, bloody beyond belief. How many ways can you decapitate a soldier? How many ways can you gut a person or shoot an arrow through the head? Quite a lot it seems. With limbs flying in every direction, heads rolling left and right, guts spilling on the battlefield, I was overwhelmed. What happened to the young boy that was barely phased seeing real life blood and guts unfold in front of his very eyes?
That boy understood the difference. In the Witcher, which I will continue watching for now, the battles are some producers or writers idea of what people, want to watch. I find it very hard to accept that people love seeing battles where mutilation is the norm, surviving – the oddity.
I believe the writers and producers could have made a much classier show, intelligent and witty, without devoting so much time to the myriad of ways a person can be killed. Hopefully, there will be no more battles since the entire cast has pretty much been wasted and sliced beyond recognition. I find some of the characters intriguing, others not so much. Fortunately, I started on the 4th episode. If I had started on the first, I would no longer be watching this series.
I hear a voice that sounds like mine, coming from a tavern, in some castles keep, next to an amazing and beautiful scrolling countryside…
“Barkeeper! Another brew… and one for my friend…”