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SilverStormm

S01.E01: The End’s Beginning

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I haven't played the games or read the books. So an uninformed opinion.

Monsters CGI looks good. You would think if you would have 8 legs, you could attack with 4 legs. Fight scene should have been more challenging.

Colors are kind of dull, fantasy colors should pop more. Like during the Wizard scenes, if that was 11 turn the rest of the colors to a 7 or 8.

Tons of name dropping I was attempting to remember them all until I realized they had no intention of stopping. Must be shout-outs to the people who read the books and played the game.

Fight scenes are well choreographed could have used a few more from the main character.

Main character Geralt talks a lot (all the characters talk a lot) even the people on the show ask why the main character is talking so much.

Running joke?: Everybody complaining about what Geralt is wearing, saying he need a new set of clothes. What he is wearing looks new and well made, not exactly sure why everybody thinks he needs an upgrade.

Geralt's eyes changed color, I guess they will explain that at some point. 

Why would a powerful Wizard have a name like Mousesack, does the names Lionsack or Elephantsack belong to the Grand Wizards?

Nice to see an entire army of thousands of soldiers color coordinate so well, each put on their team colors and it was very obvious who was fighting for whom.

Spoiler

I was kind of hoping that Renfri was only playing dead to lure out the sneaky cowardly Wizard so they would finally have their one-on-one confrontation. I wouldn't have minded if she stayed around for the rest of the series.

 

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I'm in! I know next to next about the source material, but I'm intrigued by the young princess as well as Geralt's powers. The fight scenes near the end were really fantastic, too.

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I know this is based on a book, but I’m completely unfamiliar with it. I was very excited by the characters of Renfri and Mirilka and then...that happened. I am going to hope we see them both again in a future episode(s)?

Visually this is fantastic. The CGI seems to be better then average. Overall it’s a fascinating watch. I’m going to watch it slowly, savoring (hopefully!) each episode, rather then bingeing it.

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I'm a "haven't read the books, but I've played the games" viewer (well, I never played the first game, but I did for two and three), but I heard this is closer to the books, so I'm prepared for it to be different.  Still, as soon as they said he was in Blaviken, I knew shit was going down!

Interesting that despite being called "The Witcher", the first episode really put both Geralt and Cirella on equal footing screen time wise, and they almost felt like co-leads instead.  Both of their stories were interesting enough individually, but I'm curious to see if/when they end up meeting up this season.

Man, the Nilfgardians are just a bunch of dicks, huh?  Sad that Cirella's grandparents got taken out: I enjoyed them.

I guess Renfi has crossed the point of no return, but I still felt bad for her since she had legit reasons to hate Stregobor, and ended up being right in a lot of ways.  Granted, he was played by Lars Mikkelsen, so  I'm pretty sure the Mikkelsen bros are not allowed to be anything but shady at the very least!

Henry Cavill wasn't who I initially saw as Geralt, but I think I might like his take.  If nothing else, he has certainly put a lot of effort into his sword-training, because he clearly did a lot of; if not all; of that fighting himself at the end, which was pretty damn impressive (and brutal!)

Looking forward to the rest of the show.  

Spoiler

Curious to see how their version of Yennifer and Triss will play out.

 

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I haven't read the books (yet) but played all the games and followed the games version of the story very closely.  It did feel like The Witcher to me, and Cavill got his voice and tone right.  A good start and looking forward to the rest.

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I felt that the opening episode was a bit rushed. There was not enough world building and character development to make one care what is happening. All of these plot points would have been better served covered in the first two episodes not jammed into one....

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9 hours ago, Dobian said:

 It did feel like The Witcher to me, and Cavill got his voice and tone right. 

Is that Cavill's actual voice? I kept thinking his voice was digitally changed/enhanced or something. 

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I really enjoyed this, and I am someone who knows nothing about the series. My husband and daughter have both played the games  so I am not watching with them, I think they will give away too much.

I thought this was fun and I can't wait to see what happens next.

 

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I haven't read the books or played the games (much to the shame of many of my friends) but my significant other is a super fan who has been talking about this non stop, so I do know some of what is going on, even if I had to ask him to stop telling me everything because I didnt want to be spoiled! I was excited for this (maybe this winter it will finally inspire me to pick up the books!) and I thought that this was a great first outing. The effects look great and they are doing a good job at fleshing out the world without drowning in exposition, although I am guessing that a lot of my questions (like who these invaders are that torched Cirella's kingdom are) but I am already enjoying this ride. 

I was sad to see Cirella's grandparents taken out, I liked them! And I felt bad for Renfi as well, even if she had presumably crossed a lot of moral lines. I dont blame her for being pissed. 

Seeing Henry Caville with blond hair is taking some getting used to, but its sure better than a GCI not mustache!

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the timeline seems confusing, cause if I understood correctly then the Witcher's story in this episode played at the time when Cirilla's grandmother won that battle (?) which she talked about in the Cintra part of the episode, so the whole Blaviken thing happened way before the Cintra massacre. I feel like having those main characters on different timelines might make the series confusing. But I'm interested so far. I loved the king and queen of Cintra, shame they died already, they were like couple goals and also individually very interesting. The Witcher part was not quite as exciting to me, though I liked Renfri (who's also dead...sensing a theme here).

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On 12/20/2019 at 9:37 AM, AnimeMania said:

Monsters CGI looks good.

The first monster looked a little fake, but it wasn't so bad it ruined anything.

I did appreciate the subtle use of effects for battle scenes and magic though.  Understated rather than flashy, which worked for me.

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23 hours ago, GustavMahler said:

I felt that the opening episode was a bit rushed. There was not enough world building and character development to make one care what is happening. All of these plot points would have been better served covered in the first two episodes not jammed into one....

I was okay with it, because to me the episode wasn't fully about explaining what was going on with the Princess (the part that felt less effective in terms of ACTUALLY explaining what was going on), but instead about communicating to us what it really meant to be a Witcher: being used, despised for what you used them for, and inevitably betrayed.  It seems key that he's totally rootless to what's coming and I think we needed to understand why that's the case.

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16 hours ago, Fireball said:

Is that Cavill's actual voice? I kept thinking his voice was digitally changed/enhanced or something. 

I don't know if it's enhanced, or if it's just him, but clearly sounds a lot closer to Geralt's voice in the video games than it does to Cavill's usual voice. 

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3 hours ago, kj4ever said:

Isn't Calanthe a princess then?  I missed it the first time around, but Renfri tells Geralt how much more she could have been, that Princess Calanthe just won her first battle.

When Ciri is talking to the Queen she tells laments about being protected and how the Queen won her first battle when she was Ciri's age.

I totally missed it the first time around and didn't figure out the different time periods until the second or third episode, but it was there all along.

Oh maybe it was a princess, I don't remember right now. I knew from the books, that Geralt meeting Renfri and fall of Cintra should't happen at the same time, so it was easier for me to catch it.

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I came to this show in an odd way.  I read that nasty hit piece review in ET - which just screams agenda and extreme bias - and I decided on the spot to give the show a chance.

So here I am - I haven't read the books, I haven't played the games. I don't know anything other than it's Henry Cavill with a long white wig fighting monsters and I am very confused watching the first episode. But also intrigued enough to stick with it.

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On 12/21/2019 at 7:54 PM, Fireball said:

Is that Cavill's actual voice? I kept thinking his voice was digitally changed/enhanced or something. 

I would say that's his real voice, it's not that hard to go monotone and sound gravelly.

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16 hours ago, Dobian said:

I would say that's his real voice, it's not that hard to go monotone and sound gravelly.

It's Henry's real voice 🙂 he confirmed that in one of the interviews, he said that he modulated his voice so it would sound more deep and also sexier but it is just my opinion 😛

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So here I am - I haven't read the books, I haven't played the games. I don't know anything other than it's Henry Cavill with a long white wig fighting monsters and I am very confused watching the first episode. But also intrigued enough to stick with it.

I watched about 20 minutes or so and realized I just wasn't following it at all. I'll give in another try with close-captioning on and see if it pulls me in. It's a genre I'm predisposed to like but so far I'm not into it.

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42 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

I watched about 20 minutes or so and realized I just wasn't following it at all.

I watched the whole episode -- with closed captions on and no other distractions (no playing Candy Crush on the iPad) -- and I am still VERY confused.  I've heard good things about it (and Henry Cavill is VERY easy on the eyes) so I'll stick it out for a few more episodes, but they are going to have to do some catch-up on world-building for me to really get into this. (I don't know anything about the video game.  And I shouldn't have to.  The show should stand alone.)

46 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

It's a genre I'm predisposed to like

Ditto. I love me some action/fantasy/adventure.  So if they turn *me* off they've really missed the boat.  Still . . . maybe the next one, or two, or three will sort me out.

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Completely unfamiliar with the source material but a lot of people I know who are still spitting raving mad about GOT have had nothing but good things to say about this so far, so here I am continuing to dip my toes a little farther into fantasy.  Premier episodes are always tough to pull off when they have to do a ton of world building pretty quickly without having characters stand in one spot and just regurgitate huge info dumps, and I came away from this one feeling like I got some of it but probably also missed quite a bit too.  So it's off to google for me to try to fill in the gaps before starting the next episode.

So far, what I've got is that Henry Cavill looks good here, even if I was amused how everyone kept saying he needed new clothes.  He looks pretty standard issue faux medieval/fantasy to my unschooled eyes, if less offensive than half the cast saddled with variants of leg o mutton sleeves, so who knows?  The fight scenes were well choreographed and I quite like the muted color palette, which made the burning city really pop onscreen.  I'm kind of disappointed if that's it for Renfri (one of only a handful of characters whose names I managed to get without looking it up) because she had great chemistry with Cavill and I'm always a fan of a girl who can hold her own with a sword.  The dying queen was giving me serious shades of Isabella of Castile, and her death and the nobles? offing themselves when it was clear the castle was lost were nicely done, but the washed out looking princess whose magic power seems to be shrieking doesn't do much for me yet.  But really show, I'm supposed to believe the royal couple you cast were that girl's grandparents?  What, does everyone in this kingdom breed when they're 12?

Still don't have a good handle on how magic works in this universe either.  Nor do I think I would have gotten that the two main stories were happening in timelines years apart without reading it elsewhere.

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16 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

So far, what I've got is that Henry Cavill looks good here, even if I was amused how everyone kept saying he needed new clothes. 

That was so weird it HAS to be an inside joke for people who are familiar with the video game.  I'm not a gamer but I'm aware that in many video games you have to wander around and pick up stuff and earn "coin" so that you can buy things you need to succeed in the game.  And I'm aware that some games are really aggressive about encouraging players to buy stuff with real money.  So I'm guessing all those comments about how he needs new close are an inside joke about characters in the game always trying to sell you things like clothing (by disparaging what your character is wearing.)

Or maybe it's just bad writing.

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Okay, I just re-watched the first episode and this time really concentrating on everything the characters said.  Both Renfri and the blonde girl mention the same battle by name: it's a German sounding name, "Hochbus" or something like that. But. Renfri said the queen just won this battle and the blonde cutie said Hochbus was the queens first battle win long ago.

So, this means the Witcher and the blonde, who must be the heroine, are not in the same time line.  The Witcher story is in the past.

I was upset that Renfri was already killed off. I thought the actress and Cavill had a lot of chemistry and their sword fighting scene was fantastic.

And there is no way that the icky old pervert sorcerer was "the lesser evil". He made my skin crawl in every scene.

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So here it is, the show about Gerbil of Riverdale. Hmm. As I was watching this, I was forcefully reminded of how much of an immature take on fantasy The Witcher often appears to be. Confession - I haven't read the books, but I have played the games, and this episode absolutely captured the same feel, which tells me that the games are an accurate representation of the series.

But what we've got is a super badass, cool looking dude who always has the smartest, funniest lines and gets the last word, and who is irresistible to any woman he comes across, while terrifying any men he comes across (apart from those stupid enough to challenge him, and let him show how badass he is). Meanwhile the women are all evil, manipulative monsters, objects of intense sexuality or both. It's all very 'thirteen year old boy wish fulfilment', and Geralt rarely seems to have any inner life beyond 'cynical and detached superiority'.

It's not bad, it's just a bit silly and outdated, harking back more to the fantasy series of the 70s and 80s than more modern, sophisticated works. And that clashes with the grimdark world that all this is happening in - rape, murder, really dark stories based on Slavic folklore that often force the characters to make bad choices.

Anyway, regarding the actual episode, I thought the budget was higher than the writing and acting really warranted. This is probably the perfect role for Henry Cavill, because I still don't think he can act, and a grunting, practically monosyllabic badass is within even his range. The photography is great, the CGI is more than adequate, and the costumes are just as good as the show it will inevitably be compared to, Game of Thrones.

But there was too much muttering and quietly intense line reads. For the first time ever, I had to turn on close captions to understand half of the dialogue. And even then, I still didn't really know what was going on or who the different political factions were. The only characters I know so far are Geralt and Ciri.

It's a shame Renfri was killed, because she was more interesting than the hero. But like I say, characters have to make bad choices.

The deaths of the king and queen were well done, and set Ciri up with the most interesting story (not too surprising). I thought that whole storyline really captured the fear and dread of medieval battles with raiding armies - what happens if we lose?

I'm going to watch the rest of it, but I'm not under any illusions that this is going to be a masterpiece, of television or of fantasy. It should be fun, though.

Edited by Danny Franks
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I just did a little background search on this franchise because I'm inclined to be skeptical of shows and movies based on video games, but apparently there were books before the games, so I hope the series isn't overly influenced by video games. I was a little suspicious of the pilot. I watched it a second time - couldn't get through it the first time - and it's not bad, although I largely agree with Danny Frank's assessment above. I'm already a little weary of Henry Cavill's monosyllabic delivery and the show overall feels a little low-rent, cast wise. There appear to be only eight episodes, though, so it's not a major investment of my time to give it a shot. 

The magic stuff is kind of neat, anyway.

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7 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

I was forcefully reminded of how much of an immature take on fantasy The Witcher often appears to be.

This is how I feel about it when watching it.  Absolutely encapsulates my take.  Entertaining, tho. Kinda like how I feel when I go back and read David Eddings.

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Having watched the whole series (never read the books or played the games) there is something interesting here.  The scenery of Hungary and the Canary Islands is incredible though.  I think Henry Cavil warms up to the role eventually.

Renfri was one of the most interesting characters on the show and I'm sorry we lost her so soon.

I will agree that it's nothing we haven't seen before in fantasy: the generic High Middle Ages, Europe-y kingdoms, but they make it entertaining enough.  Unfortunately, I blame Game of Thrones that convinced everyone (or at least TV producers) that fantasy has to be grimdark.

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OK, even after reading all the comments above, I still don't get the two timelines aspect of Episode 1.  I'm not sure if that's intentional or not.  If not, then the writers should have their insides pulled out, their tongues fed to the dogs and their legs set on fire.  How far apart are the timelines, and which is the earlier one, and by how much?

I have no prior knowledge about the books, game, comic, etc.  This just got a lot of promo on Netflix so I figured I'd give it a try.  I'm probably the only woman alive that doesn't think Henry Cavil is all that.  (It's the dimple - I find it comically distracting.)  As with everyone else, sorry to see Renfri go, as she was one of the more interesting characters.

I'm not sure if some of the plot flaws come from the source materials or came from the screen adaption.  Were Ciri's mother and grandmother both child brides/mothers?  They could have aged up the queen & king by about 10 years.  Also, in what world does both king and queen go into battle together?  I would think that's a clear violation of the 18th century version of the current "ruler and heir do not fly on the same plane" rule.  And no escape tunnels from the royal castle?  (Not to mention waiting until the last minute to leave and relying on sheer luck for horses to be conveniently tied up outside the back door.) 

Bottom line - it's entertaining enough, I like the genre, so I'll continue to watch.  At 8 episodes it's not a huge commitment. 

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How far apart are the timelines, and which is the earlier one, and by how much?

Geralt's is earlier than Ciri's. Queen Calanthe was around 13 at the time of Geralt's timeline and probably late 40s of the time of Ciri's... maaaybe early 50s, but I think late 40s. 

Were Ciri's mother and grandmother both child brides/mothers?

I believe they were both mothers in their very late teens, although I'm not as sure about Calanthe.

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I’m watching The Witcher and trying to like it, but I’m only finding it so-so.  I love Henry Cavill and like Geralt, but I cannot get into the bard.  He’s annoying and I roll my eyes whenever he’s on screen.  The episodes are not all that engaging and I really don’t care about most of the characters.  I am unfamiliar with the books and not likely to ever pick one up to read.  I’m hoping this gets better, because right now I’m thinking C-.

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