The Witcher S1 E8: Much More WICCAHOW.COM

The Witcher: Season 1, Episode 8: Much More

The Witcher – What an explosive end to a fantastical series. The previous episode saw Geralt killing a prophetic Nilfgaardian soldier. Then realizing he’s in Ciri’s room he takes a rummage through her belongings and finds, well, not much really, just a storybook, a dress and a set of knucklebones.

Later, outside the city walls, Geralt bumps into a man he mistakes for a graverobber. He isn’t a graverobber at all, just a a lonely merchant (called Yurga) who was being an honorable person and giving the dead a proper burial. Geralt tells Yurga (played by Francis Magee) that he’s going back to Kaer Morhen (this is an old place in the mountains where Gerald was trained as a Witcher, a long time ago).

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All of sudden, zombie-like creatures with glowing eyes rise from the ground disturbing the pair. They attack the Witcher (but why?). Geralt loses his sword and resorts to pulling out one of the zombie-creatures tongues to use as a makeshift weapon. Geralt manages to defeat the creatures but not without noticing a nasty, gaping wound on his leg. “Not a happy ending after all” he grumbles, as he is slumped on the ground … this can’t be the ending for the hero of the story, can it?

Ciri is still looking for Geralt and the Nilfgaardian Empire’s quest to conquer the Continent still marches onwards. This is a strong episode, but does suffer a little focusing entirely on the big picture and not the smaller, self-contained stories. Ciri is alone in the countryside again. The boys who attacked her in the previous episode are dead, their bodies twisted, broken, bloody. Princess Ciri seriously unleashed her magickal powers (self defense can really make someone dig deep and pull it out the bag when necessary …) What a shockwave she must have sent out. Power to Ciri. The helpful woman from the village (the one Ciri stole the horse from) finds the princess and takes her away to safety.

The rebel Mages from Aretuza lead by Yennefer, Vilgefortz, Tissaia (played by MyAnna Buring), and Triss (played by Anna Shaffer) move secretly through the foggy, misty waters on a rowboat as they travel to an old Elven keep in Sodden (Sodden is a place of great strategic importance). The keep is a crumbling castle, perched on the edge of a deep, rocky canyon and guards the narrowest parts of the Yaruga River (it is the only thing standing between Nilfgaard and the North!). Meanwhile, Nilfgaard relentlessly moves on through the keep, continuing on its conquest to conquer the continent. Tissaia tells Yennefer that Temeria and Kaedwen are joining the fight, and that they must fortify the keep until the armies arrive (which is in just two days).

Yennefer (played by Anya Chalorta) gets asked a personal question by Vilgefortz (played by Mahesh Jadu) as to why she came … Yennefer could answer, but choses not to, maybe she is just not willing to share her reasons just yet. In the keep, the Mages find many tired-looking refugees. They have been brutally driven from their homes by the Nilfgaard. As the Empire’s soldiers march, serious preparations are being made by the mages and refugees. They prepare for battle by lining up bows, fletching arrows, and filling little glass bottles with explosive, magic-infused blue rocks!

The night before the battle, Yennefer is wandering around as the others drink and make merry. Even stoic, unamused Tissaia is laughing and smiling. Yennefer finds a refugee woman making arrows, The woman talks to Yennefer about all the terrible things the Nilfgaardians have done to her. Later, Tissaia and Yennefer have a heart to heart. Yennefer reveals her deep feelings and spills that she is ready to die. The reason you ask? Because Yennefer feels like she has no legacy to leave behind (I think this comes from the fact that she gave up her womb maybe?), she states that she no family, no reason to care. Tissaia disagrees with her of course, and as a friend, urges Yennefer by saying to her ‘You have so much left to give” … maybe these words will trigger some more positive thoughts for Yennefer …

Meanwhile, the Nilfgaardians are camped near the keep. A field marshal tells Cahir (played by Eamon Farren) that 50,000 troops are on their way from the city of Cintra, and the Mages have been spotted by Nilfgaardian scouts. They know the rebel Mages are fortifying the castle. Cahir and Nilfgaard’s resident mage Fringilla (played by Mimi Ndiweni) decide to test the Mages’ defenses. Fringilla and her student-mages conjure up some huge, raging fireballs. The Nilfgaardians catapult hurls them towards the keep … Yennefer (using her Mage intuition) suddenly wakes up just before one is about to land. Yennefer using her strong magick abilities, safely tosses it aside avoiding any fatalities. On the other side, Fringilla has a small black box (but what is she up to?). Fringilla hands it to another sorcerer and says “Draw the mages out” …. what will happen next?

The next morning we learn that 22 of the rebel mages have abandoned the keep, in fear of the fireballs. A thick wall of fog (created by a Nilfgaardian mage) begins to creeps across the forest, approaching the castle … Tissaia instructs Yennefer to climb a nearby tower and watch over the battle, telling her to reserve her chaos as the battle (it seems) is about to begin! It has me wondering, how on Earth are a handful of mages going to defeat 50,000 deadly soldiers?

In a forest nearby, a near-to-death Geralt is in the back of a cart being driven by Yurga (the merchant he met). He is not doing so good, much paler than usual and having visions of his past. Geralt’s origins have been something of a mystery for most of this season. We don’t even really know what a Witcher is yet! His flash backs/hallucinations shows Geralt seeing himself as a young boy with a bucket on his head and a wooden sword, fighting an imaginary monster. “We must live and let live.” his mother says but her face obscured so we can’t see who she is. Maybe this is their code? Then Geralt sees a tiny golden dragon (it’s Borch from episode six!) then more flashbacks to Geralt’s childhood. His mothers face still unseen. She gives him a magick apple to eat (yes she is a Witch!). He also mutters the name Vesemir (played by Kim Bodnia) …. but what does this mean? Geralt eventually regains full consciousness and drinks a magick potion, which he also pours over his wound to stop the horrible infection.

Back at the keep, everyone is battling hard, including Triss who poisons a group of Nilfgaardian soldiers by conjuring up poison mushrooms. Sabrina tosses explosive bottles into the forest and the archers shoot them. Coral levels a whole group of soldiers with a telekinetic blast. Vilgefortz fights Cahir, both with magical swords. However, all is not going well for the Mages and despite their efforts, the Nilfgaardian attack is overwhelming, as the soldiers draw closer to the keep … the outlook at this point is pretty bleak …

Fringilla joins the fray, as she destroys the keep’s gate with magick, the fog sweeps in. Those who are generating the fog (the mages) collapse dead and drops the black box that Fringilla gave earlier. As it falls, it cracks open and a mass of disgusting black worms emerge, which slither their way into the keep. These black worm-like things are capable of mind control … they possess some refugee children in the keep! The children cause destruction, a devastating explosion, they sabotage the Mages. Yennefer, injured through the explosions, limps away from the destroyed tower. Fringilla tries to get Yennefer to switch sides by tempting her with power and potential and the idea that she might be able to find a cure for her infertility … will this work?

Meanwhile, Geralt wakes up to find his wounds are being treated by a Druid named Vissena (his mother!?). His life was saved beause as a Witcher his pulse is four times slower than a normal man (one of the many Witcher mutations). When Geralt realizes who she is, he demands to know if, she was aware that only three out of ten boys survive the Witcher trials. She says he should stop asking questions, because the answers will only hurt them both. He has to move on regain focus … he has to find princess Ciri!

Back on the battlefield, Yennefer finds a weakened Tissaia who tells Yennefer it’s her turn to save these people and the Continent … Let your chaos explode … and Yennefer does just that! She unleashes a massive blast of fire magic, the flames sweep over the forest, obliterating the Nilfgaardian army in just one sweep. The tables have turned, it seems as Cahir watches from a distance with King Foltest and the Temerian army behind him.

Ciri is sound asleep in the house of the women who rescued her. The sounds of battle rage in the distance. Ciri is concerned as she wakes, but the woman reassures her that the Nilfgaardians have no reason to come to where she is. The next morning, Ciri escapes into the nearby forest just as a cart pulls up to the house. Oh my! It’s Geralt and Yurga. Yurga is the kind woman’s husband. Bad timing again Witcher! Ciri has just disappeared in to the forest (once again) All of a sudden, Geralt hears Renfri’s voice (a flashback to episode 1) saying: “the girl in the woods will be with you always … She is your destiny” the voice echoes. The Witcher walks into the forest and, at long last, finds Ciri!

An emotional embrace, might bring a tear to your eye, pretty intense “People linked with destiny will always find each other” and so the season ends. Ciri and the Witcher have found each other, the Nilfgaardians got a taste of Yennefer’s true power. Another thoroughly enjoyable episode and a great combination of all the individuals characters storylines, can’t wait till season 2 is released. Until then Witches, keep enjoying what you do, keep on enjoying your precious life! and Blessed be to you all with thanks. Click Here to read the next season’s Witcher Review!

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