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SilverStormm

S01.E04: Of Banquets, Bastards and Burials

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More time shifting nonsense. As I suspected, Yennefer's story takes 30 years to reach the present.

I believe Hedgehog and his wife are the parents of Princess Ciri/Fiona and Geralt caused all the present day problems by not coming back 16 or so years ago to collect the Princess as his "Surprise". So now the Princess Ciri is on a quest to find Geralt.

I have no idea if we have seen Geralt in the present yet. It is almost impossible for me to tell how long ago what I am seeing has occurred. Not cool TV show, I don't want to have to think this hard and I don't remember characters that well unless they are named Mousesack.

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I don’t mind the time shifting if people look appropriately younger or older. Unfortunately, Geralt doesn’t age and Ciri/Fiona/Pavatta looks older in this Ro with hedgehog boy than she does in the timeline later won’t after her city is destroyed and she is on the run.

So why did she throw up? Pregnant? How old is she... 14? If so, by hedgehog boy? Why did this so any Geralt? 

So grandma was too arrogant with the Nilfgaardians in rejecting them? And yet they are that powerful? That doesn’t seem wise. 

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2 minutes ago, Ottis said:

I don’t mind the time shifting if people look appropriately younger or older. Unfortunately, Geralt doesn’t age and Ciri/Fiona/Pavatta looks older in this Ro with hedgehog boy than she does in the timeline later won’t after her city is destroyed and she is on the run.

So why did she throw up? Pregnant? How old is she... 14? If so, by hedgehog boy? Why did this so any Geralt? 

Pavetta and Ciri aren't the same person, Pavetta was Ciri's mother. Pavetta threw up presumably to show that she was pregnant. And the child would be the "child of surprise". Geralt, who didn't want a reward to begin with, probably wasn't too keen on being saddled with a child. 

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56 minutes ago, Lathund said:

Pavetta and Ciri aren't the same person, Pavetta was Ciri's mother. Pavetta threw up presumably to show that she was pregnant. And the child would be the "child of surprise". Geralt, who didn't want a reward to begin with, probably wasn't too keen on being saddled with a child. 

Thank you. These people all look alike. 

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Interesting seeing the side of Queen Calanthe/Ciri's grandmother that Dara and the regular folks have known about her, and it wasn't very pretty.  Granted, the Nilfgaardians are still ruthless bastards for what they did, but she really didn't help matters by goading them.

So, this episode was basically the origin story of how Ciri's parents came together and the connection between her and Geralt, due to the whole "law of surprise" thing.  And Geralt's refusal to go through with it might have been instrumental in the kingdom getting destroyed, due to messing with destiny and whatnot?

Poor Yennifer.  After everything, she still ends up failing to save the baby.  This show doesn't pull punches, to say the least.

Have no idea what to make of Ciri's new predicament. 

Find myself enjoying Jaskier, even though his character type is admittedly a common one.

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Brilliant casting for Pavetta and Ciri - they really look like mother and daughter.

Note to the Witcher: After just having witnessed the massive fall-out from the Law of Surprise being enacted, that's what you're going for? Dude, I thought you had more brains. 

Jaskier is a tropey but desperately needed sidekick.

The switching time-lines make watching this quite the challenge but I like it.

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I came in knowing nothing of the books or video games and so the flood of unfamiliar names and rivalries and the whole mythology was a bit much at the beginning. However, as I was never a fan of fantasy or comic books and only came to both late thru movies and TV series, I knew I just had to flow with it and will eventually understand who is who. I have to give this series credit for doing it so well and clearly enough that it was captivating from the start and made clear surprisingly quickly. What I really really enjoyed is that they took their time revealing (for the uninitiated like me) that the Geralt & Cirilla threads until now have been happening several decades apart. Even showing Yennefer and striga transformations as almost parallel becomes stronger with the realization that they are separated by time as well as place.

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I want to start using The Law of Surprise IRL. Next time someone owes me in a tight spot, it’s happening. 

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I’ve now got that there are three timelines with Yennefer in the furthest past, Ciri the most recent and Geralt between the two, by following the other characters’ storylines, which we weren’t privy to in the first episode. Waiting for them to converge eventually. 

I’ve seen the actor playing Jaskier before but in more serious roles. And I didn’t know he could sing. I really like his voice. Apparently he’s been musical all his life and is in a band. 

I haven’t seen Henry Cavill in much but I’m finding him good in this. Not to mention he’s incredibly easy on the eyes. 

A bit gruesome in parts so I like the intermittent humour thrown in. Like the predicaments Geralt keeps getting himself into. Every time he’s uttered “Fuck!” I’ve said it just before him. Some lol moments. And some good lines. 

“Why are you dressed like a sad silk trader?” Geralt glares at Jaskier.  😆  

And the “elves on the shelves” that Jaskier snuck in when he was singing. 

 

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23 hours ago, Ottis said:

I want to start using The Law of Surprise IRL. Next time someone owes me in a tight spot, it’s happening. 

I wouldn't - almost all examples I know from fairy tales and literature end badly. Show's handling of the trope is quite the exception (speaking of Pavette and Duny, we'll see how it ends for Geralt).

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My favourite episode so far. It's great to see Calanthe and Eist again, the way he looks at her... 

The whole Law of Surprise thing was explained quite nicely, though I think they missed on crucial point. IIRC in the books it was said that the Child Surprise must accept her or his destined person, or it won't work. Always thought it was a nice touch from the author, showing that Pavetta had a choice. Obvioulsy she fell for him so everything worked out well in the end.  

Yennefer's plotline was just so sad. Can't believe they actually murder that baby. Ciri's plot seems to be progressing finally, I love how they make the Brokilon forest look. It truly feels magical.

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7 hours ago, ferjy said:

I haven’t seen Henry Cavill in much but I’m finding him good in this.

I'd give him an Emmy just for that perfect reading of "... Fuck" when the law of surprise immediately came back to bite him in the ass.

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10 hours ago, ferjy said:

I haven’t seen Henry Cavill in much but I’m finding him good in this. Not to mention he’s incredibly easy on the eyes. 

Let’s face it, it’s the real reason we’re watching this. 😁

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10 hours ago, Steph J said:

I'd give him an Emmy just for that perfect reading of "... Fuck" when the law of surprise immediately came back to bite him in the ass.

lol And when he confidently wrapped the silver chain around the striga (the cursed princess) and she immediately broke through it.  His “Fucks” are perfection. 

 

Edited by ferjy
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4 hours ago, ferjy said:

 His “Fucks” are perfection. 

Rarely was a sentence more in need of context 😁

But agreed - Cavill has shown a surprising amount of subtlety playing a stoic character with little dialogue (and 50% of that involves 'fuck' or 'screw destiny).

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This was a good action-impact episode.  But again I am wishing for more context.  Did I miss something?  Did Pavetta know Hedgehog prince before he became a hedgehog or after?  LOL.  If it was after then props to her for not caring about looks.  But also, ewww.  And also, her life must've been so fucked because she fell in love with (and had sex with) a damn Hedgehog.

Great casting for Pavetta and Ciri, they really look like they could be that closely related.

I liked seeing the origin of Calanthe and Eist.  But honestly, if this is how Calanthe treated people then no wonder her subjects hated her guts.  And,  no wonder they got invaded by that guy she humiliated.  Too bad Eist was also a casualty.  I liked him.

So Ciri inherited her super special scream power from her mother.  Is that the same sort of power the sorceresses draw from or a different one? 

Henry Cavill remains a great draw.  I agree about all his fucks.  Best line delivery all around. And I am enjoying the dribbing he is taking on his outfit.

Yennefer's parts were exciting to watch, but this is another example of where I think the show is doing more telling than showing and going for big visual impact over storytelling that gets you really invested in the characters.  So she had been a sorceress/advisor to this king for many, many, many years and she is all 'booored now.'  It would have been nice to see her get from there to here.   Her little speech to the dead baby at the end feels hollow because there is no emotional impact there formher because we didn't get to see how she got to that point.

 

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1 hour ago, DearEvette said:

This was a good action-impact episode.  But again I am wishing for more context.  Did I miss something?  Did Pavetta know Hedgehog prince before he became a hedgehog or after?  LOL.  If it was after then props to her for not caring about looks.  But also, ewww.  And also, her life must've been so fucked because she fell in love with (and had sex with) a damn Hedgehog.

The dialogue wasn't quite clear but I extrapolated from various fairy tales in that vein that his curse/enchantment breaks at the twelfth bell (midnight) and returns at dawn - giving them a window for less painful sex, ahem. Additionally it looks like the curse also froze his aging process.

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If you ever find yourself under attack, it's probably not the best idea to call the person that is trying to protect you a "useless bitch". Although if Yennifer had the ability to make the spider thing chop its own head off, I don't see why she didn't do that at the beginning of the fight, so maybe she had a point...

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11 hours ago, DearEvette said:

But again I am wishing for more context.  Did I miss something?  Did Pavetta know Hedgehog prince before he became a hedgehog or after?

Yes, you did. Duny and Pavetta explained the whole thing at the banquet in front of the crowd, how Duny was watching Pavetta from afar and never intended to make good on the Law of Surprise (Pavetta) that was owed him, but then “their hearts collided”. He was in human form when they met (the curse breaks at midnight and starts again at dawn) and by the time he turned into Hedgey at dawn, Pavetta was already in love with him. Beats me what Pavetta was doing roaming around at all hours of the night. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, MissLucas said:
17 hours ago, ferjy said:

 

Rarely was a sentence more in need of context 

😉 Although on that score (pardon the pun again) we haven’t seen much. Twice, I think? And both times the woman was doing all the work!

They do go through things too quickly. It makes it seem that Geralt falls in love all too easily. One quick roll in the hay with the ladies and he’s pining for them. No build up to the falling in love part of it all. 
 

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20 hours ago, ferjy said:

lol And when he confidently wrapped the silver chain around the striga (the cursed princess) and she immediately broke through it.  His “Fucks” are perfection. 

 

Would like to see the Witcher meet up with Clay Davis from The Wire..between his delivery of "fuck" with Davis' delivery of "sheeeeeeeeit", it would make for interesting conversation.

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Although if Yennifer had the ability to make the spider thing chop its own head off, I don't see why she didn't do that at the beginning of the fight, so maybe she had a point...

Yeah, I went through the same thing of "don't insult the person you need to save you" to "well... maybe you had a point." 

I loved this episode in general, but I thought the character beats for Yennefer were muddied. It did feel like she may have left the poor queen to get slaughtered because Yennefer was feeling pangs about giving up fertility for the sorceress life. But the queen clearly had a pretty awful life as well with being used as an unloved broodmare, and she was probably in post-partum depression. So I'm not sure how we're supposed to judge Yennefer's decision making. 

Am I supposed to conclude that Geralt is metaphysically responsible for Nilfgaard's sack of Cintra by rejecting the Law of Surprise? 

This episode made me like Eist more and Celanthe a lot less. I feel like she's basically a serial killer who found a socially sanctioned way to be one. OTOH, Jodhi May is so great that I love Celanthe when I'm watching scenes with her.

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On 12/23/2019 at 10:37 AM, ferjy said:

I’ve now got that there are three timelines with Yennefer in the furthest past, Ciri the most recent and Geralt between the two,

But wait . . . hasn't Yennefer's timeline now collided with Geralt's?  We saw her origin story in prior episodes but in THIS episode she complains about her boring job assignment, which she's been doing for decades (without aging because . . . magical night creme I presume).  If decades have passed for her then I think now there are only two timelines in play.

So . . . now we have Dryads.  Mmmmmmmkay.

And am I right that we've just learned that Ciri is actually the daughter of Geralt due to magical  insemination via the Law of Surprise?  Whoa.  This show . . .

 

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2 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

And am I right that we've just learned that Ciri is actually the daughter of Geralt due to magical  insemination via the Law of Surprise?  Whoa.  This show . . .

No! She was out walking after midnight and ended up in a prickly situation. She got Porked in the Pines and Hogged by the Hedge (if you know what I mean). Princesses do the darnedest things.

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I remember the Law of Surprise and how it related to Geralt and Ciri from the games, so it was fun watching that story be told.  The episode further delineated the different timelines and how they are connected.  I like how it is steadily revealing the major characters, places, and time periods.  The chase scene with Yennefer was intense.  And that baby...ugh.

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And am I right that we've just learned that Ciri is actually the daughter of Geralt due to magical  insemination via the Law of Surprise?  Whoa. 

No. Ciri is Geralt's destiny because of the Law of Surprise, but she's not his blood child. Pavetta was pregnant already (with Duny's child), which Duny didn't know. When Pavetta threw up from morning sickness, Duny realized she was pregnant. That made Ciri the thing that Duny had but did not yet know. The Law of Surprise creates relationships, but not people.

This hasn't been made clear, but I don't think the Law of Surprise magically compels the nature of the relationship between people. I think Pavetta and Duny fell in love because they were compatible types to fall in love. If they hadn't, they would have been each other's destiny in a different type of relationship.

If decades have passed for her then I think now there are only two timelines in play.



I don't think anything has established exactly how far back Yennefer's timeline started in relationship to Geralt's, so she may still be before his. I wish I had paid more attention to what Stregobor said in the first episode! Somehow Stregobor has to go from leading the Ban Ard academy to disguising himself in the tower in Blavikan. But I didn't know he was an important character in that first episode, so I didn't pay a lot of attention to what he said about his past. 😞

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So the show seriously went for a kiss by a princess breaks the magic curse of being a hedgehog?  Sure, why not.  

I got a tremendous kick out of the worst royal banquet ever.   Jodhi May will forever be sweet simple Alice Munro from Last of the Mohicans and then later Maggy the Frog from Game of Thrones for me, so I'm really enjoying her Isabella of bloody Castile routine here.  For all the latter-day washed out looking princess insisting that her family was honorable and her grandmother good people, it's kind of nice to get confirmation that no, everybody else so far has had it right that Grandma Celanthe wasn't above a little genocide or sacrificing her own people when it suited her.  That was shown with her continually pressing and needling Geralt almost flirtatiously and then still immediately demanding off with his head when he defended Sir Hedgehog instead of joining the dogpile to kill him.  We also get confirmation that while the Nilfgaard crew may be pretty ruthless in war, they came into this with good reason to bear a grudge.  And look at me keeping all these names straight!

Seriously love that the Law of Surprise is a thing and that all of the men in the room basically shrugged and said yeah, okay, at its invoking.  Sure, we came to this cursed banquet to vie for the princess and presumably the throne, but Law of Surprise says that the hedgehog gets her instead.  Whatcha gonna do?  I'm guessing too that Geralt invoking the law but then never following up on it plays into the mess in the current timeline.

So do none of these people age?  Longer than average lifespans?  Or do the supernaturals among them age very differently?  Yennifer was complaining about three decades of unfulfilling babysitting of royalty, so it seems it's been at least that long since she left the island Worst Hogwarts Ever.  I can see her being seriously disillusioned at this point after going through that big bloody transformation to get her there, but the royal house she was serving going all Henry VIII because the queen hadn't produced any sons was pretty harsh, even if it did make for some fun chasing through various portals.   

I still have no idea where any of the three Big Characters are in time in relation to each other.

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So the bard wants Geralt to dress incognito at the gathering. But not only does everyone know who and what he is, but he's actually wearing the witcher medallion in plain view. 

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On 12/25/2019 at 6:58 PM, Dobian said:

The episode further delineated the different timelines and how they are connected. 

Further delineated?!? This was the first episode I realized they were in different timelines!

I would have known if I had come to this forum, but I started watching this a few days ago and am just looking at this today. I have not read the books or played the games, so this is completely new for me. I honestly had no idea they were different timelines until this episode made it obvious. If there were hints in the first three episodes, they were verrrry subtle!

I honestly don't care though - this show is not exactly Emmy bait, but I love it. I'm just here for the eye candy that is Geralt...........

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On 12/25/2019 at 2:24 AM, Zuleikha said:

This episode made me like Eist more and Celanthe a lot less. I feel like she's basically a serial killer who found a socially sanctioned way to be one. OTOH, Jodhi May is so great that I love Celanthe when I'm watching scenes with her.

Yeah, she's clearly a pretty horrible bloodthirsty person, but damn if she isn't entertaining.

On 12/27/2019 at 4:41 PM, nodorothyparker said:

So the show seriously went for a kiss by a princess breaks the magic curse of being a hedgehog?  Sure, why not.

Why not indeed?

 

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So Calanthe's daughter's moroseness for the whole dinner party wasn't that she didn't want to get married but that she was pining for the whole (hedge)hog? I really found her simpering until she stepped up to defend him.

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So Geralt presumably doesn't age... at least not the same way as normal people. If he does, he may not be a whole lot of use to Ciri when she finds him.

Young Queen Calanthe was fun. I like it when stories depart from the traditional, and actually allow women to be great warriors who aren't frowned upon by the menfolk. And that "you can have who you want when you're married" sentiment was a nice appropriation of the traditional, medieval king ideal.

Not that she was any better than the other monarchs in this world. Oppressing the weak, scheming against her enemies, clearly enjoying her power too much.

The idea of suitors gathering to suggest they be picked to immediately marry the princess is popular in various mythologies - Greek, Norse, apparently Slavic too - but I don't know that it has ever been a real thing. It just seems more designed to make political enemies from the humiliation that rejected suitors would feel.

Of course, the mythology was rich in this episode - a cursed knight, forced to hide his monstrous face until he can win the heart of a princess? I guess weird, unexplained magic runs in the Cintran royal line? That was certainly an opportune time for it to emerge, wasn't it? And I love that a woman throwing up after a night like Pavetta just had was immediately suspected to be pregnancy.

I liked seeing how bleak and monotonous the existence of a Witcher is - going from flyspeck town to flyspeck town, killing monsters just for a bit of money. At least he now has Jaskier to do a bit of PR for him. Hell, no one in that town seemed to want to kill him at all!

Yennefer clearly hasn't been enjoying her time at the court of Nilfgaard. Not sure what she expected, as a royal adviser. The price of being close to power is cleaning up the shit, sometimes literally. I was beginning to think she couldn't do anything except make portals, so at least we saw her do something else, and I guess she left the queen to die because the queen was a bitch to her? Charming.

The actress playing Ciri has a disconcerting quality, maybe because in some scenes she looks like she's in her twenties, then in others she looks fourteen.

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Didn't Yennifer leave the queen/consort/royal broodmare behind after the latter offered her baby up as a sacrifice in her place to the assassin and his pet monster? That would certainly have been a "take this job and shove it!" moment for me if I were the bodyguard witnessing it. She did at least try to save the baby at that point, after all.

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2 hours ago, Bruinsfan said:

Didn't Yennifer leave the queen/consort/royal broodmare behind after the latter offered her baby up as a sacrifice in her place to the assassin and his pet monster? That would certainly have been a "take this job and shove it!" moment for me if I were the bodyguard witnessing it. She did at least try to save the baby at that point, after all.

I don't think so. Yennefer left when the queen called her a "useless witch", then she offered up her baby once she realised she was on her own.

To be honest, it doesn't really make sense because she would have had no way to know that she should return and save the baby, just at that moment.

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We learned many valuable lessons this week! Dont insult the one person who is capable of saving you from assassins, snap the head of magic murder insects when you have the chance, dont invoke magical promises in the spur of the moment or just to dick with people, dont mess with fate, be polite to foreign diplomats even if they're from crappy backwaters, all kinds of stuff! 

I really liked seeing more of Celanthe and Eist, even if the more we see of Celanthe, the more the complaints about her start seeming understandable. She sure was a stab first and ask questions later kind of ruler, and her violent policies, magic racism, and tendency to treat people that annoy her like crap, even leaders from other kingdoms, seemed to have lead to the downfall of her kingdom and tons of deaths, including her own husbands, one of the nicest people in the whole kingdom. She is still a really interesting character though, and its cool seeing a woman playing this kind of character in a medieval style fantasy story. 

The law of surprise stuff was interesting and well explained, and I love how even when every guy there was about to murder hedgehog knight, as soon as they heard about Law of Surprise and all the other stuff, they were all just like "yeah ok thats legit, please continue". 

Geralts long suffering reactions at being dragged constantly into these ridiculous situations, even when he is just planning on hanging at a fancy dinner so that Jaskier doesent get his ass kicked by some random guy he pissed off. But maybe dont tempt fate when you dont have to? I highly doubt its going to end very well for anyone...

Jaskier is a great PR guy, nobody in that town tried to kill Geralt at all, or even through garbage at him! Thats the power of a catchy song!

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3 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Jaskier is a great PR guy, nobody in that town tried to kill Geralt at all, or even through garbage at him! Thats the power of a catchy song!

I not sure that is all Geralt, I think that most of it is the reputation of being a Witcher. Jaskier just introduced the Geralt name as a synonym for all Witcher exploits.  

It is like saying "so and so" is a Ninja, you have an idea of what they can do even if they can't do any of those things.

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Yennefer clearly hasn't been enjoying her time at the court of Nilfgaard. 

Is that who she's serving? They are racing through Yennefer's timeline at breakneck pace. The Ciri story and the Geralt story seem to be unfolding in a normal, daily manner but every time we see Yennefer bigger time jumps have happened. Did that princess she was guarding say she'd been a mag to the king "for decades?" How old is she now? Do witches not age?

It doesn't help that the show keeps throwing around a whole lot of strange place names and people names, making it difficult to keep track. I don't know if it's reasonable to expect the uninitiated audience to remember Nilfgaard is the name of the kingdom that attacked Cintra in the first episode. 

Also, the part where Ciri's mother and the cursed guy rose up in the air in a swirl of circular wind reminded me of Shrek. And how did Ciri's mother know how to speak whatever language that was? Was she studying magic on the side? What exactly was she trying to do, aside from float in mid-air? Just keep the guards away?

This is an entertaining show, for sure, but the storytelling is somewhat lacking. I'm not sure whether it's because they assume I know this material or if they assume I'm able to follow it better, but in either case they means they're not doing their job all that well in explaining things.

Edited by iMonrey
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2 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

Is that who she's serving? They are racing through Yennefer's timeline at breakneck pace.

She was supposed to go to Aiden but, Candyman and Baby Killer Mage (from 101) decided to give Aiden to Fringilla and send Yennifer to Nilfgard (who at the time was a huge joke - we see that again here in this episode). Yen threw a fit because Nilfgard was such a joke and Aiden was the A-List Kingdom

Yen went through the magical makeover, crashed the ball and seduced the Aiden King so that she could go to her 1st choice. The Brotherhood ended up sending Fringilla to Nilfgard.

So Yen spent the last 30 years babysitting spoiled royals being disappointed with life while, Fringilla spent 30 years in Nilfgard doing who knows what.

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Yen threw a fit because Nilfgard was such a joke and Aiden was the A-List Kingdom

 

I had the sense that Yennefer wanted Aedirn specifically because she's from there, not because it was the A-List Kingdom. She wanted to lord her success and power over her fellow country folk. I may have misunderstood that, though. I had a hard time following the arguments in the Council, although I thought they were funny.

Like I didn't follow why Stregobor and Vigo were able to argue successfully that Yennefer's Elven blood would be an issue for Aedirn.

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9 hours ago, Zuleikha said:

I had the sense that Yennefer wanted Aedirn specifically because she's from there, not because it was the A-List Kingdom. She wanted to lord her success and power over her fellow country folk. I may have misunderstood that, though. I had a hard time following the arguments in the Council, although I thought they were funny.

I never thought about it but, you're right she might have wanted Aedirn (thanks for the spelling) because she was from the Kingdom and wanted to go back and prove them all wrong for bullying/abusing her. 

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I knew after we heard of the law of surprise, the young lady would be pregnant with Ciri and that’s why her grandmother would tell her to seek out Geralt as her destiny. 

On 1/4/2020 at 11:06 AM, tennisgurl said:

 

We learned many valuable lessons this week! Dont insult the one person who is capable of saving you from assassins, snap the head of magic murder insects when you have the chance, dont invoke magical promises in the spur of the moment or just to dick with people, dont mess with fate, be polite to foreign diplomats even if they're from crappy backwaters, all kinds of stuff! 

I really liked seeing more of Celanthe and Eist, even if the more we see of Celanthe, the more the complaints about her start seeming understandable. She sure was a stab first and ask questions later kind of ruler, and her violent policies, magic racism, and tendency to treat people that annoy her like crap, even leaders from other kingdoms, seemed to have lead to the downfall of her kingdom and tons of deaths, including her own husbands, one of the nicest people in the whole kingdom. She is still a really interesting character though, and its cool seeing a woman playing this kind of character in a medieval style fantasy story. 

The law of surprise stuff was interesting and well explained, and I love how even when every guy there was about to murder hedgehog knight, as soon as they heard about Law of Surprise and all the other stuff, they were all just like "yeah ok thats legit, please continue". 

 

Yup. The queen is very flawed and very interesting. 
 

The other knights were like “nope- law of surprise reigns supreme.”

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I am very grateful that I had read the last episodes's posts and had someone mention the alternating timelines, because I did NOT pick up on it myself, and have also had a very hard time keeping track of names/characters other than Geralt, Yennifer, and Ciri. When I saw the bloody queen Calanthe this episode, I had my husband pause the show to confirm if that was the same woman as Ciri's Grandmother, and told him what I had read about the timelines. then HE had an a-ha moment, and the whole episode made so much more sense with the knowledge that we were seeing different time lines within the same show! I don't know if we would have figured it out as quickly without these boards! Also, yay to "Law of Surprise!" What a fun concept! it's like secret santa, but with your life!

 

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On 12/24/2019 at 9:48 AM, DearEvette said:

I liked seeing the origin of Calanthe and Eist.  But honestly, if this is how Calanthe treated people then no wonder her subjects hated her guts.  And,  no wonder they got invaded by that guy she humiliated.  Too bad Eist was also a casualty.  I liked him.

In the first episode I really felt sorry for the queen and how she lost everything and had to send her granddaughter fleeing into hiding.  But this episode, we see what such a despicable person she is.  I’m wondering if the throne was hers by birthright and she was a queen regnant.  Because I thought they mentioned her dead husband as King something.  So maybe he was a consort?

It’s interesting to me how they portray her as this medieval feminist queen that does everything she can to act like a man (loves physical battle, would rather wear armour than a dress, bellows out for BEEEEEERRR) but then is forcing her daughter to go through the ritual of being chosen by a man.

On 12/30/2019 at 3:33 PM, Ilovepie said:

Further delineated?!? This was the first episode I realized they were in different timelines!

I would have known if I had come to this forum, but I started watching this a few days ago and am just looking at this today. I have not read the books or played the games, so this is completely new for me. I honestly had no idea they were different timelines until this episode made it obvious. If there were hints in the first three episodes, they were verrrry subtle!

I honestly don't care though - this show is not exactly Emmy bait, but I love it. I'm just here for the eye candy that is Geralt...........

Count me in as another who only figured out with this episode that there were multiple timelines.  I was so confused when people who died in the first episode were back to life here. Then I assumed the Calanthe scenes were a flashback.   Then I was confused when Geralt and the bard showed up in them because I had thought they were in present day in the earlier episode when they met.  
 

It is a little clearer now although I am wondering why Yennifer didn’t do more to protect the vapid queen.  Or why she abandoned the queen but knew to come back to kill the insect and try to save the baby.

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2 hours ago, blackwing said:

Because I thought they mentioned her dead husband as King something.  So maybe he was a consort?

He was King Consort, she was the Queen by birth. Renfri mentions a young Calanthe in episode 1 as a Young Queen who just won her first battle. Ciri also mentions this same battle in episode 1 to her grandmother. It's one of the hints that Geralt and Ciri are in different timelines.  If I remember correctly there's also a throw away comment in episode 3 (mages council) where they talk about the young heiress in Cintra (Calanthe) another hint that Yennifer is in a 3rd timeline (the oldest) but, I'd have to go back and double check. 

I actually loved seeing Shit Head Calanthe vs Granny Calanthe. Obviously the first version was seen through the eyes of a loving grand daughter. Plus there's something to be said of wisdom comes with age and loss/gain of love.

Edited by Morrigan2575
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On 1/7/2020 at 8:28 AM, ctmd said:

Also, yay to "Law of Surprise!" What a fun concept! it's like secret santa, but with your life!

I don’t know why, but this cracked me up! Not sure how saddling someone with a baby is a great way to repay a debt. It’s more like Russian roulette to me. Maybe you get the proceeds of a bumper crop, or maybe another mouth to feed? Fun stuff indeed! 😂
 

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I'm so weird about this show. I don't think it's very good, but it does have moments. And I'm still watching.

I thought this had some good moments, and inexplicable ones. I liked the fairytale-like flashback to Calanthe's court, and to the story of the princess and her cursed love. (And props to the casting people -- as others have commented, she definitely looked like Ciri's mother!) And Yennefer's story was interesting -- and as usual, a nice combination of vulnerability and selfishness (I was surprised when she abandoned the mother and child, but surprised again when she went back for the baby). Although I didn't understand why she didn't decapitate the dratted insect to begin with, if she had the power.

Although I laughed out loud when the princess threw up after the wedding, and somehow everyone instantly knew she was pregnant. Like... okay?  I mean, they had all just survived a battle, treachery, and harsh words. But sure, vomit instantly equals pregnancy. Why not.

Also, what is it with this show and vomit? I have, er, vomit issues, and everywhere I look, people are upchucking right left and center. Ugh.

On 12/24/2019 at 8:04 PM, ferjy said:

Duny and Pavetta explained the whole thing at the banquet in front of the crowd, how Duny was watching Pavetta from afar and never intended to make good on the Law of Surprise (Pavetta) that was owed him, but then “their hearts collided”. He was in human form when they met (the curse breaks at midnight and starts again at dawn) and by the time he turned into Hedgey at dawn, Pavetta was already in love with him. Beats me what Pavetta was doing roaming around at all hours of the night. 

Looking for love... in all the wrong places! 😄

On 12/24/2019 at 9:53 PM, ShellsandCheese said:

I’m really enjoying this show! Also, I just figured out that Calanthe is portrayed by Jodhi May who was Alice in The Last of the Mohicans. 

I adore Jodhi May—she seems to work constantly, and she plays this incredible variety of characters. I love that she started out playing softer 'Ophelia' types but in maturity has this Shakespearean strength and indomitability. And she's obviously having a blast playing Calanthe. I did think of Alice when Calanthe made her, um, final choice in the pilot episode (and found it sadly ironic).

Although the problem (for me) is that, in the pilot, Calanthe looked pretty much like she does here, like a beautiful woman in her mid-forties. I think maybe she had a tiny grey streak in her hair there in Ep 1?

But after seeing her here (and having much more fun, thank goodness), I was confused that she and Eist hadn't aged a day despite the decades that we now know had passed.

On 12/25/2019 at 12:24 AM, Zuleikha said:

This episode made me like Eist more and Celanthe a lot less. I feel like she's basically a serial killer who found a socially sanctioned way to be one. OTOH, Jodhi May is so great that I love Celanthe when I'm watching scenes with her.

I'm divided on Calanthe too... she seemed like a blast early on, but her degrading and mocking the other King (that we know will eventually be her downfall) just seemed ridiculously dumb. Especially since she's so set on her daughter marrying for the good of politics. If she cared about politics and diplomacy, why needlessly humiliate royalty who asks for her daughter's hand? What good does that do?

And then with the whole "Law of Surprise" thing -- she basically directly resulted in at least a few dozen deaths there in the throne room/ballroom (which I found kind of inadvertently hilarious, since after all the mayhem and chaos, there's an immediate trothplighting in the destroyed space, like, oh well, we can't always count on a wedding planner...?

On the other hand, when Calanthe was simply being a fun Party Queen and subverting tropes, she was a lot of fun. I enjoyed her flirtation with Geralt, too.
 

On 12/27/2019 at 2:41 PM, nodorothyparker said:

So the show seriously went for a kiss by a princess breaks the magic curse of being a hedgehog?  Sure, why not. 

I was thrilled when the princess kissed the transformed knight with love and total acceptance. I'm always irritated when Beauty and the Beast stories wimp out and don't allow Beauty to kiss the Beast in his transformed form, but simply wait til he's all hottie and princely again (side-eyes Disney). The whole heart of the story is that she loves him for the man he is inside, and his beastliness no longer matters to her at all. DAMMIT.

So that was really lovely.

On 1/2/2020 at 3:47 AM, Danny Franks said:

Young Queen Calanthe was fun. I like it when stories depart from the traditional, and actually allow women to be great warriors who aren't frowned upon by the menfolk. And that "you can have who you want when you're married" sentiment was a nice appropriation of the traditional, medieval king ideal.

The actress playing Ciri has a disconcerting quality, maybe because in some scenes she looks like she's in her twenties, then in others she looks fourteen.

Yeah, that was fun. So I was disappointed when Calanthe turned into a seriously giant asshole for the middle 20-30 minutes of the story. 

I agree on Ciri. I can't get a bead on whether she's supposed to be a child or a woman either.

On 1/2/2020 at 11:07 AM, Danny Franks said:

To be honest, it doesn't really make sense because she would have had no way to know that she should return and save the baby, just at that moment.

Yeah, but, er, this show isn't super-big on logic. But it was a nice dramatic moment (especially since I truly was surprised that the baby died anyway).

On 1/4/2020 at 9:06 AM, tennisgurl said:

The law of surprise stuff was interesting and well explained, and I love how even when every guy there was about to murder hedgehog knight, as soon as they heard about Law of Surprise and all the other stuff, they were all just like "yeah ok thats legit, please continue". 

LOL! I love how you phrased this, it was perfect. And it was pretty funny when people kept trying to honor the Law of Surprise, and then the Queen would have them attack, then like a dozen would fall dead, another person would honor the Law, and then whoops, another mob attacks, etc. 

I did have questions. Beyond Calanthe's dedication to politics with the princess -- which she then renders useless by humiliating her royal suitors -- why did the Princess begin floating up in the air after her magical roar? Does she have more powers than the roaring? Was she doing it on purpose? I mean, she was speaking 'Elder Speech' but also didn't seem to have a goal in mind, just floating around in a whirlwind. But then she looked furious when the spell was interrupted and they crashed back down to earth.

And why in the world would Geralt choose the Law of Surprise after he had JUST SEEN the carnage it could lead to? Why not just ask for a bag of gold and head out?

I dunno. I basically only get about 75% of what's happening on this show at this point anyway.

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