Parents' Guide to

The Witcher

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Violent medieval monster mayhem is mature fun, has nudity.

TV Netflix Drama 2019
The Witcher Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 36 parent reviews

age 18+

Brainwashing a generation

Ever since game of thrones seemed to glorify sodomy, incest, violence, and nudity, I feel like evil is no longer seen as evil on TV. Netflix has gone to a whole other level of shock-value with horrific violence and vouyerism in this show. Even the "hero" is a womanizer that makes James Bonds' sleeping around look like child's play. This show is not for young people, or honestly for anyone who values any sort of nobility, honor, purity, or excellence. Those values don't exist in these "mature" shows. And this trash is effecting society, whether we will admit it or not. Parents, it's up to us to protect our kids. So let's do it.
age 16+

Dark Fantasy With A Decent Moral Message

THE GOOD - I like the way that power is explored in the Witcher. Every person Geralt meets "has an angle" - a story they tell him to try to get him to do what they want. At its heart The Witcher is a story about moral choices and the butterfly effect our choices have on our relationships and the world at large. Geralt is a decent moral protagonist. He cares about the effect of his choices. He actively seeks to reduce harm in the world. He does not kill intelligent creatures unless he can help it. He consistently makes efforts to figure out what is going on in any given situation so that his power is not manipulated and used for ill. He is contrasted with Yennefer, who does not care about the consequences of her choices beyond herself and her own power. Yennefer's character arc from selfish and arrogant into what she is becoming is satisfying. The show addresses relevant topics like racism and colonialism. The Elves are minorities in lands they used to live before the Conjunction. The humans now inhabiting the world have different attitudes. Some believe stories about the elves giving up their land willingly. Some have bigoted beliefs about elves being evil, brutish or un-trustworthy. TALK TO YOUR TEEN ABOUT - There is a lot of violence and sex in this show. 1) Violence (4/5). The world of The Witcher is pretty violent. Gerlat's "job" is taking care of monsters, usually killing them. War is also a dominant theme and is actively taking place; there are several battles depicted, and the brutal sacking of a city. However, I did like that violence is not glorified. Although Geralt's swordplay is fun to watch, he is reluctant to kill if he doesn't need to. War is depicted as senseless and cruel. CN Suicide- people commit suicide during a city being sacked by an army. This is graphic and is depicted person by person (a total of five or so?). CN Sexual Violence (1/3) - In the first episode when we meet Yennefer, it is implied the physical assault she was experiencing was about to become sexual assault, but she magics away. In season 2, Geralt meets and old friend and it is revealed he is cursed because he sexually assaulted a priestess. It is not shown but admitted in dialogue and not vividly described. Sex & Nudity (3/5) - IF you are a person/ family who believes depictions of sex and nudity obscene and inappropriate, you will not enjoy this show. A wizard "decorates" his tower with an illusion of naked men and women in a 'Garden of Eden' vibe (nude but not sexual). Geralt is depicted naked, in bed with a prostitute. Geralt and Yennefer have sex on screen. There is an orgy scene where the participants are under a spell and are basically like a 'background' for the magic user, similar to the Garden of Eden in the wizard's tower. Given the predicament Geralt and Jaskier are in when they encounter the orgy, it is played for comedy. Including the orgy, sexual acts are only depicted on screen 3x to 4x times. All in all, much better than Game of Thrones, both in its moral treatment of violence and character development.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (36 ):
Kids say (51 ):

With its medieval magical vibe and complex fantastical storytelling, this arresting drama reads like a Game of Thrones knockoff, but darned if it doesn't actually cast a spell. In a genre that often comes off as thunderingly self-important (is there a weapon or person or geographic location without a vainglorious three-word name in the Lord of the Rings trilogy?), The Witcher's greatest bit of daring is to treat its epic storytelling with a big dash of irony. The puffery-puncturing vibe arrives early, as Henry Cavill's square-jawed smirks make it clear that both actor and character recognize and relish the ridiculousness of monsters and long velvet cloaks and lone swordsmen doomed to roam from town to town on grim missions. But things really kick into gear in the second episode, when Joey Batey shows up as the ebullient bard Jaskier, more or less the comic-relief Donkey to Geralt's Shrek.

What a wonderful character Jaskier is: swishy, mouthy, and relentlessly roughhousing, he joyfully undercuts the solemnity of The Witcher's battles and political drama, often by economically summing up what's taken place in dialogue or song. In an early scene, just after delivering a bit of grievous Elf history, he says "There I go again, just delivering exposition." Ha! It's funny because it's true. Speaking of said Elves, their part of the story gives welcome depth: humans pushed them off their ancestral lands and now they fight relentlessly to keep the tattered remnants of their once-mighty tribe together -- and if that puts viewers in mind of Native people in North America, well, that's no doubt part of the message in a drama which is both entertainingly easy to watch and satisfyingly aligned with the underdogs of its world.

TV Details

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