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Here’s your first look at the upcoming season of The Witcher no one’s going to watch

Published May 22nd, 2024 5:05PM EDT
The Witcher on Netflix
Image: Susie Allnutt/Netflix

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Netflix sharing a first look video ahead of Season 4 of The Witcher is a little like an arsonist trying to sell a potential buyer on a house they’ve just burned down.

The streaming giant on Wednesday released the first official images of Liam Hemsworth taking up the mantle of the Witcher in the upcoming season, following fan-favorite star Henry Cavill’s exit from the series. Hemsworth will now play the character in the show’s final two seasons, which will cover events from three of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels: Baptism of Fire, The Tower of the Swallow, and Lady of the Lake.

Netflix hasn’t announced a release date yet for Season 4 of The Witcher, but it’s just as well. To say that fans remain chagrined at the show swapping out its lead actor is the understatement of the year.

I’ll even go so far as to say it’s unclear to me whether the show’s writing team actually read the books that they set about adapting. Departure from canon has been one of the hallmarks of Netflix’s The Witcher, which stands as perhaps the most egregious example of the streamer taking a beloved franchise and turning it into absolute garbage. Just look, for example, at these Rotten Tomatoes audience scores:

The audience score for Season 1 of The Witcher stands at 89% — a solid start to the show, with Cavill as the ultimate Witcher fanboy bringing white-haired monster hunter Geralt of Rivia to life.

With Season 2, though, the show’s emphasis felt like it shifted in order to focus on the characters of Ciri and Yennefer (with cringey writing, to boot). Accordingly, the creative liberties that were taken caused the audience score to plummet to 55%. And by the time the show’s third season rolled around, the audience score fell further still to 19%.

Fans wanted new writers, not a new lead actor. But here we are.

“Season one was bearable,” one viewer wrote on Rotten Tomatoes back in December. “Season two is a hot mess of hollywood writers getting out of control. If you don’t respect the source material, please don’t touch the IP. We don’t need a modernized Witcher. It’s not fresh and it’s not welcoming. We needed a faithful adaptation to the already amazing story!”

Wish Liam all the best, but it’s like one very astute tweeter noted in response to the first look footage below: You can’t follow up a Bentley with a jeep.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.