20 December 2019 02:44
We're less than 24-hours away from the Netflix premiere of The Witcher! Starring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, the buzzy new fantasy drama is based on Andrzej Sapkowski's best-selling book series of the same name. The Witcher follows the story of the intertwined destinies of three individuals — a monster hunter, a sorceress, and a runaway princess — in the vast world of The Continent. Also starring Anya Chalotra (The ABC Murders, Wanderlust) and Freya Allan (The War of the Worlds, Into The Badlands), humans, elves, witchers, gnomes, and monsters battle to survive and thrive in this epic story of fate and family. What time will The Witcher be on Netflix?
Season 1 of this hotly-anticipated new series will consist of eight episodes. WHEN DOES THE WITCHER AIR ON NETFLIX? The Witcher premieres Friday, December 20 on Netflix. WHAT TIME DOES THE WITCHER COME OUT ON NETFLIX? Since Netflix is based out of California, Season 1 of The Witcher will be available to stream at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time).
Fans of the spin-off games--not to mention Game of Thrones fans antsy for a new series--can expect more than just monsters and magic, though. Cavill stars as Geralt of Rivia--a stoic, pragmatic wanderer who kills fiendish creatures for money and who occasionally helps humans in need. At least Geralt always has his trusty horse Roach to listen when he needs to vent about unappreciative villagers. "I really enjoy the horse work," Cavill told me earlier this month during The Witcher press tour in Los Angeles. Cavill smiles as he talks about his work with horses on the set.
Geralt kills quite a few monsters in the series, though Netflix has remained mum about the kind of creatures he faces. Suffice to say, these monsters aren't the ones posing a threat in stereotypical fantasy stories. More often than not the real monsters are the people who hire Geralt in the first place. "We talked a lot in the writers room about sentient monsters," Hissrich said. But those kinds of monsters aren't very interesting to me. In the series, Geralt finds himself face to face with monsters he's driven to fight, and some he's tempted to save--even if that means having to deal with a crowd of angry villagers who don't understand the difference. "Witchers were originally created to kill monsters, but now the communities treat the Witchers like monsters," Hissrich said. That's a running theme in The Witcher: Everyone needs someone who is worse than them to make themselves feel better." The TV series doesn't just cover Geralt's monster-slaying adventures. The cast also includes Princess Ciri (played by Freya Allan), who must flee her castle during a deadly invasion to find Geralt for protection, and a disfigured girl named Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) who goes through a powerful physical transformation. "Because the series is called The Witcher, Geralt is always going to be at the forefront of these stories," Hissrich said. "I think what makes Geralt more interesting are the fascinating characters around him. I wanted to have stories about Yennefer and Ciri that weren't seen through Geralt's lens but were presented in and of themselves." Throughout the series, these two female characters undergo signficant changes as they struggle to survive. "She seems like she's ready to take on the world, but I think that has a lot to do with her living in a safe environment. Yennefer also has to find a way to survive in a world that torments her because of her appearance. "We debated in the writers room for days on end about how to approach Yennefer's transformation and her desire to be beautiful," Hissrich said. "I would love to as a writer to say that, 'No, Yennefer does not want to be beautiful,' and then tell that story," Hissrich said. As Yennefer's story develops in the TV series, it's easy to see why fans are fascinated with her quest to become the most powerful witch. When Geralt isn't telling his horse Roach not to judge him, there are humorous moments between Geralt and his bard buddy, Jaskier. Even when battling monsters or getting tortured by muddled humans, Geralt is quick to respond with a sarcastic line or two. "My sense of humor really falls in line with Geralt's," Cavill told me. The need for comedy isn't a new device in The Witcher. "We went back to the source material for a lot of it," Hissrich said. Fans might be looking forward to seeing Cavill slay monsters and bed women. "In the world of fantasy, you always think first of sword fighting, magic, monsters, gratuitous sex and lots of violence," said Hissrich, "but it means nothing if you don't care about the characters it's happening to." In approaching The Witcher, Hissrich looked at who she cared most about in the story and how to look at them as individuals with specific motivations. "I built them up as independent characters, and then smashed them into each other to see how they change each other," Hissrich said. Viewers can see Geralt, Jaskier, Ciri and Yennefer in action when The Witcher debuts Dec. 20 on Netflix. When it comes to monster hunting in The Witcher, a little bit of magic can go a long way. In the new Netflix series, Henry Cavill's titular witcher uses signs, or spells, that help protect him. While signs are considered rudimentary magic on the continent that The Witcher takes place on, they come in handy (literally) when Geralt of Rivia's two swords or potions can't get the job of beast slaying done. The Witcher follows Cavill's Geralt, who is appropriately a "witcher" — a mutated being with supernatural abilities who hunts monsters. The TV series is based on the popular books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski with Season 1 focusing on the first collections of short stories, The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny. As established in Sapkowski's stories, witchers aren't sorcerers. But they can cast spells by doing specific hand gestures, called signs. As The Witcher wikia outlines, sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg (portrayed by Anya Chalotra in the TV series) explained signs to Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) in the book Blood of Elves. "The witchers adapted the spell, making use of the fact that it does not require knowledge of a magical formula — concentration and the gesture are enough. That's why they call it a Sign," Yennefer said. Or, as star Cavill explained in the below video, "The signs the witchers cast are basic magic, but very, very effective." The books have also been adapted into video games, where signs are quite useful. Although, as the below fan video shows, there are some differences between the signs used in the books and in the video games. If you're new to The Witcher universe, here are the basics on the signs from the books that Cavill's Geralt will be throwing around when Season 1 drops on Dec. 20 Igni There's no coincidence that this word starts like "ignite" since this sign creates a magical flame. In Sword of Destiny, Yennifer demands that Geralt cast this sign to help free her from ropes that bound her ankles. Yrden This is a protective spell that blocks monsters. In The Last Wish, Geralt drew this sign to keep him safe from a striga (a woman turned into a beast) in a stone sarcophagus. In The Last Wish, Geralt uses Axii to calm down his horse Roach. Aard Cavill could be spotted using Aard in a trailer for The Witcher where it acts as a sort of force field. Geralt uses is throughout The Last Wish, like against the aforementioned striga. Somne Somne isn't a sign in The Witcher video games, but in the books, it can be used to make people fall asleep. The wikia fandom noted that this sign was first used in the eighth Witcher book, Season of Storms. Quen Quen is a protective shield that Geralt put to use in The Last Wish while fighting a bruxa (vampire). The Witcher Netflix series is SO close! We're just hours away from Netflix's hottest new show finally reaching the streaming service. With The Witcher trailers having showcased a truly awesome looking series ahead, we're all waiting on hind legs for it to finally be available to watch. All eight episodes of season 1 are coming at the same time, and below we have the times at which you can expect to start your binge. What time can I watch The Witcher on Netflix? The Witcher reaches Netflix on December 20, which is today in the UK and tomorrow in the US. These are the local times The Witcher Netflix series should reach Netflix: And while we would recommend not reading any reviews if you're very spoiler adverse, we'll have our spoiler-free take on the first episode right here, in case you're still questioning whether to binge The Witcher Netflix series or not. Until then, while you're waiting around, you can read part of our interview with Henry Cavil right here!