The Witcher on Netflix premiered to mixed reactions from critics, but fans are loving the adaptation nonetheless, though some still find themselves in the awkward position of having to figure out the confusing timeline of the series.
While it’s easy to enjoy the new fantasy show due to its appealing spectacle and unrelenting action, many people are confused with the storyline. First of all, it doesn’t really give you any indications that it’s constantly jumping between the past, the present, and the future. Secondly, the fantasy elements directly play into the appearance of characters but nevertheless remain unexplained.
So, for those still confused, here are the basics…
Princess Cirilla’s story happens in the present, while the rest of the characters have to catch up to her from the past. Yennefer is the oldest of the characters, having lived for over 200 years in the books. At one point in the show, she meets a member of the royal family, Prince Foltest of Temeria, when he’s just a child. But when Geralt meets him in the third episode, titled “Betrayer Moon,” he’s a 60-year-old king.
But even Geralt’s journey takes decades to unfold, as the White Wolf binds his destiny with Ciri before she’s even born by invoking the Law of Surprise on her parents in a banquet held by Queen Calanthe. So, it’s safe to assume that the timeline of the series spans almost a century, beginning with Yennefer and ending with Ciri and Geralt’s reunion in the last episode, titled “Something More.”
What tends to confuse fans though or lead them to believe that things are happening concurrently is the fact that the appearance and age of all characters remain the same. But there’s actually a neat explanation for this and it’s perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind while watching.
You see, Yennefer is a powerful sorceress and in the world of The Witcher, mages don’t age. And as for Geralt, his mutations significantly slow down his aging process, which is what preserves him against the passage of time.
Of course, the confusing timeline and complicated lore might still throw off some, but when you figure it out, the plot becomes relatively easy to follow. Granted, these are things that should’ve been addressed in the context of the show, but the result doesn’t necessarily spoil the experience.
In any case, the first season of The Witcher is currently available on Netflix for streaming. Don’t miss it!