I recently read and review The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski. To briefly summarize: I really enjoyed the plot, setting, and story, but I deeply disliked how the author portrayed female characters. It was disturbing enough that I won’t be continuing with this series in print format.
My experience with the novel made me hesitant to try out the series on Netflix. Would they address the apparent sexism and perversion from the novels? Would they stay true to how females were portrayed in the book? Or would they take more of a 21st century spin on this story and give me something more digestible?
(Now I can’t make comparison or comments on the book versus the show versus the video game, because I don’t play video games. So this will just be comparing the novel to the tv series.)
It was to my great pleasure, that the show vastly exceeded all expectations. Where the novel left a bad taste in my mouth, the show left me wanting a second course. As soon as the last episode rolled the end credits, I was pressing play to restart the series with episode one.
The plot in the book switched between timelines often, and in a linear perspective. The show did not choose this approach. The show was actually, in my opinion, a bit harder to follow, because we moved forward and backward in time, but we never came back to the same place.
I might lose some people in just a second, but hang in there with me…
While we moved from A1 to B1, then A2 to B2 in the novel, the show would move from A1 to B5, and A12 to B2. Hopefully that makes sense to someone other than me and my brain. If this type of timeline exposition has an actual, technical name, please leave a comment and let me know.
I loved how this show was filmed. I actually had some trouble concentrating during the first two episodes, because it seems like this show was filmed via some sort of hand held camera, versus a steady camera. My eyes kept picking up on the movement of the background in frame, before eventually adjusting to the filming style and focusing on the main characters or main action.
The fighting was incredible to watch. It was one thing to read about, but so much more than I could have ever imagined myself. There were many times during the show when I was anxiously waiting for someone to get a sword through their chest or an arrow through the eye, when instead they were just innocently talking to one another. To say I was on the edge of my seat would be an adequate description of my viewing experience.
I was also worried about the monsters. How fake would they look? Would I believe it? BOY DID I?! They did a superb job animating these nightmares. If it wasn’t so terrifying, I’d love to look up lore on striga and these other creatures, to see how close their depictions were to the original (or is the striga unique to this seires?).
I thoroughly enjoyed the choices the actors and writers made for these characters. I thought everyone was brilliant in their role, and I enjoyed the women so much more on screen. They also transferred a lot of the humor that was in the book into their characters, which made such a gory show feel light and fun. The magic in this show was so cool to see, and I hope next season we dive even deeper into this magic system.
Overall, I’m thrilled with the direction this series is taking. I’m so excited for the next season, where everything will be a surprise to me since I’m not going to keep reading the books. I’m off to go continue my rewatching binge. In the meantime though…