**Spoilers for The Witcher Book 2: Time of Contempt**
The first teaser and trailer of The Witcher season 3, released barely one and two months, respectively, before the season’s release, came across as empty and meaningless, neither revealing anything about the story. However, a newly released clip for the upcoming third season has finally shown a portion of the plot and has confirmed what everyone knew, that this season is not based upon Time of Contempt whatsoever. Not only does this clip bear no similarity to the source material, but it also baffles analysis. Characters make bewildering decisions, using terrible and cheesy dialogue, delivering these lines with wooden and flat performances, tiredly struggling through horrendous choreography while dressed as if the costume department purchased their costumes at JC Penney’s. Rarely has any clip been released so devoid of talent or legitimate funding from such a major studio. At this point, using some basic math, it’s likely that Netflix has spent nearly a billion dollars on just the production budgets for this main series and all the accompanying spinoffs. Where has that money gone? Very little of it made its way into the production of this scene.
The clip opens with Reince, a character who is barely in this book and should receive maybe thirty seconds of screen time at the end of part 1, cornering Ciri with some goons. After spouting some cliché villain dialogue, Reince just stands there and watches Ciri tank three grown men in hand-to-hand combat with no issues whatsoever. At this point, Ciri is a 14-year-old girl with very little muscle mass and very little training. In the books, she’s received roughly six months of intensive Witcher training, making her more than a match for any one of these men in sword combat. Still, even in the books, she would be ill-equipped to handle such a fight this early on. However, in the show’s continuity, she trained for maybe a week, primarily spending her time on an obstacle course. This clip posits that the champion of Wipeout could compete in a karate tournament. The nonsense starts strong early on in this clip.
Ciri effortlessly dismantles these three grown men in hand-to-hand combat, despite the choreography being horrendous, several finishing blows not even coming within a foot of her opponent, and her face reflecting how uncomfortable and untrained the actress is to handle this situation. Once Ciri decides to finally take out her sword, which could help even the odds against such large men, the cringe truly begins. Yennefer strolls into the battle dressed like a catalog model in a wholly modern-day blouse with stylish boots, spouting a very cheesy girl-power line that references a massive canon break from season 2, the loss of Yennefer’s magic. It’s astonishing and impressive how bad such a short moment could be.
Within a second, another canon break is brought back to the forefront. For some baffling reason, the series decided that fire magic would corrupt you, turning you evil automatically, and only villains would use it. So, to reinforce that Reince is a bad guy, he exclusively uses fire during this combat. This ignores the fact that he is a student of Vilgefortz and, while not the best mage out there, he is a more than competent magic user capable of more than one type of spell. In the books, Yennefer used fire magic to burn his face, and the Witcher sign Igni, which Geralt uses in the show, is also fire magic. Both these examples and more make this “fire is evil” deal from the series nonsense.
While Yennefer Bollywood dances the fire back to take out a random henchman, Geralt casually saunters up behind her, clearly showing zero concern for the peril that his adopted daughter is apparently in. Once he finally reaches the battle, Geralt engages the enemy. As much as the writing and adaptation integrity for this series has been poor since the beginning, sometimes it managed to deliver cool action sequences with good choreography, such as at the end of season 1, episode 1, when Geralt fought Renfri and her henchman. That era of competent choreography has long since gone, as this fight sequence is laughable, to say the least. Similar to Ciri never coming into contact with her opponents, Geralt’s sword misses yet still kills nearly every henchman.
Geralt begins the fight by bending over, leaving himself open to attacks from any direction, just to pick up his tiny throwing dagger, which is not a good dual-wield weapon. Once he’s recovered it, he does a few slashes with it and stabs it into another person, leaving it behind. Geralt leaves himself vulnerable and spends so much time recovering that dagger just to let it impale the first guy he fights, leaving it behind.
Seemingly imitating a video game, the next wave of opponents enters as the villain says a cheesy line. Also like a video game, a wave of dwarvish allies swoops in to help, delivering cheesy lines, such as, “This is too easy.”
Reince, recognizing his imminent defeat, attempts to flee through a portal. Yennefer holds the portal open long enough for Geralt to chase after Reince. They clearly need Reince for some reason. More terrible fights ensue in both the original location and some basement that Reince and Geralt end up in. Geralt determines that the wisest move in opposition to a talented mage is to throw his sword, his only weapon and defense against Reince’s magic, at the sorcerer, leaving himself once again vulnerable. Before Geralt has a chance to defeat Reince with ease, a band of Scoia’tael, elvish terrorists, arrive at the hodgepodge battle once again in video-game fashion.
The Scoia’tael are a band of elves, skulking and hiding in the woods, using guerrilla warfare techniques such as sneak attacks, camouflage, and ambushes to weaken whatever human governments they can. They should be stealthy, wear camouflage clothing, and focus on long-range archery. They should not wear shiny scale mail that looks like it was purchased from Spirit Halloween, and they should not rush in trying to beat down random dwarves, random humans, and Geralt, swinging their swords like baseball bats. The Scoia’tael do come into the story primarily at the end of the Coup at Thanedd, hunting down Ciri at the behest of their new employers. If, for some inexplicable reason, the Scoia’tael are hunting Ciri this early in the story; they should be allied with Reince and not killing his men too.
Concerned by the arrival of the elves, Geralt simply breaks both of Reince’s wrists and leaves, allowing Yennefer to close the portal with Reince still in the basement alone. They all went to so much effort to chase after Reince, but as soon as he is crippled and vulnerable, Geralt just leaves him behind. Is it that difficult just to throw him through a portal or drag him with you?
As confirmed by the Redanian Intelligence, this clip comes from the end of episode 1, and, according to them, the entirety of Geralt’s story in episode 2 is spent hunting down Reince with a network of spies. There would literally be no episode 2 if Geralt had just grabbed Reince, as was blatantly obvious, once he had defeated him and brought him back to Yennefer and Ciri.
The rest of the clip is taken up with Geralt slaughtering the elves with more strikes that do not land, signs that are nearly ineffectual, and choreography from a high school theatrical production. This clip of a farcical adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher books thankfully and mercifully comes to an end. Shock of shocks, this clip, if it is a good example of the quality of season 3, somehow makes season 2 seem slightly better. Witcher season 3, coming out in just over a week, will be a complete disaster. With or without the departure of Henry Cavill, this franchise would be dying.