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Review: The Witcher Season 1 Episode 6

December 20, 2019
7 min read

The sixth episode of ‘The Witcher’ continued the show’s glorious run of monster-hunting. This episode was another instance when the Witcher, Geralt was shown to be involved in a quest. The series of stories that the show is based also employs a similar format wherein each chapter or short story deals with a single quest which functions as a self-sustained narrative. Although, the series also advances the larger plot simultaneously and tells the story in a non-linear fashion with other plot arcs taking place side-by-side but not at the same time, i.e. they either take place before or after.

The Witcher Episode 6 Recap

The sixth episode of ‘The Witcher’ begins with Jaskier waiting for The Witcher to return after killing a monster. However, the people who offered him the contract decide to leave assuming that he is dead and that they do not have to pay him. However, they get stopped by a man named Borch Three Jackdaws and his two female companions, Téa and Véa. Geralt returns after killing the beast and Borch introduces himself.

Borch has heard of the Witcher and his famous stories of valor and the five of them decide to go to an inn. While they drink, Borch tells Geralt why he was looking for him: in Kind Niedamir’s kingdom, a dragon has been spotted. It burnt down a significant portion of the hillside when locals tried to kill it and now the king has commissioned a hunt for it. He will offer all of the dragon’s treasure hoard apart from lordship over one of his vassal states to the person who slays the dragon. There are four teams who are going to take part in the hunt and Borch wants Geralt to join his.

Geralt says he doesn’t kill dragons and refuses at first. However, upon finding out that Yennefer is participating in the hunt as a member of another team, he agrees to join Borch. Hence, the four teams competing against each other are: Yennefer and a knight named Sir Eyck, a group of dwarves, a group of “reavers” or mercenaries and Borch’s team.

The four teams head uphill to find the dragon together. Jaskier sees a creature called “hirrika” in the bush while looking for food. Although it seems harmless, Sir Eyck kills it brutally. Followed by that he cooks the creature and starts eating it, despite Borch’s warning not to. Geralt notices how Yennefer has been acting uncharacteristically nice around Eyck. Sir Eyck’s stomach starts to gurgle and takes leave to defecate in the bushses.

The others converse about the rising power of Nilfgaard and some believe that Calanthe will never give up Cintra. This indicates that the dragon quest is taking place before the siege of Calanthe that was shown in the first episode and not after or in tandem with Ciri’s escape.

The next morning, Eyck is found dead. Somebody had apparently slit his throat while he was defecating. The party continues their journey. The dwarves know a shortcut and tell Borch about it. They decide to use that shortcut and exclude the reavers from their plan to get an upper hand. Geralt asks Yennefer why she is on this quest. Yennefer tells him that she wants to use the dragon heart to cure her infertility. Geralt tells her that it is a myth that dragon hearts can cure infertility and ends up blurting out his destined connection to Ciri.

The dwarves’ shortcut turns out to be treacherous and one part of the journey entails walking on a narrow, wooden plank around a hill at a ghastly height. While trying to cross is, Borch, Téa and Véa fall off and die.

Geralt and Yennefer share an intimate moment together and spend a night with each other in the tent. They seem to get romantically closer to each other. When they wake up, the find out that the dwarves have left before them to get a headstart. Yennefer and Geralt run and catch up to them. Yennefer freezes them with her power and finds the dragon’s lair where she sees the green dragon resting with an egg on her side.

However, Téa and Véa appear out of nowhere to guard the dragon. Then, a rare golden dragon also flies into the cave and starts speaking with Borch’s voice. It is revealed that Borch is actually Villentretenmerth, a golden dragon who was posing to be Geralt’s ally. He wanted to defend the green dragon’s egg. However, the reavers come to the cave. Geralt, Yennefer, Téa and Véa fight the reavers and kill all of them, protecting the dragon’s egg. Then, the dwarves arrive. Borch returns to his normal form and hands them two dragon’s teeth to take back to the king as proof that they slayed the beast.

After that, Borch ends up mistakenly telling Yennefer that Geralt’s last wish to the djinn was never losing Yennefer. This angers Yennefer who finds her attraction towards him to be a result of magic and not something organic. She leaves Geralt. Geralt then gets angry at Jaskier, telling him that it was because of him that he got into this mess: as he wouldn’t have been linked to Ciri or met Yennefer had he not been with Jaskier. Jaskier leaves the Witcher too…

Ciri:

Meanwhile, Ciri asks Mousesack (it is actually a doppler posing as Mousesack, sent by the Nilfgaardian, Cahir) several questions while they are walking back to Calanthe from Brokilon. Dara asks Mousesack how he survived and the doppler answers saying Geralt saved him. Finding his story to be faulty, Dara tells Ciri that he thinks there is something fishy. Ciri asks Mousesack if he misses Skellige and a bunch of other questions. However, the doppler’s answers do not match the real Mousesack’s feelings and Ciri realizes that he is an impersonator. Dara tries to attack the doppler posing as Mousesack with a knife but fails. Ciri manages to get the fallen knife and stabs the doppler. However, the doppler turns into a stony, golem-like monster and attacks Dara who falls unconscious. Ciri runs away into the forest with the doppler chasing her.

Then, it is revealed that Cahir has caught Ciri. But, soon Ciri shifts her form and it is revealed that the doppler had taken Ciri’s form in order to trick the Nilgaardian chief who had lied to the impersonator about Ciri’s powers. The two fight, but there is no result: the doppler runs away.

The real Ciri has been tied to a tree. Dara frees Ciri but tells her that he does not wish to accompany her any longer as she would bring further danger to him.

The Witcher Episode 6 Review:

The sixth episode of ‘The Witcher’ proves yet again, that the show’s writers are far smarter than the viewers. The twist at the end turned out to be truly shocking and I really enjoyed how each quest is different than the previous one, with differing stakes, difficulty and other characteristics. The pacing of the series was once again, top-notch while it also managed to maintain its non-linear narrative technique with extreme flair. I really appreciate how the show’s writers give immense credit to the viewers and do not dumb down any thing in the story. There is no preachy narration or descriptive segments. The story is shown, and not told.

However, for some reason, the swashbuckling action has not been as fun and well-choreographed as what we saw in the first episode. I guess the action shown in the opening episode simply served to be a sort of character introduction. However, I would definitely like to see more of that. Furthermore, the visualisation and graphics of the dragon were extremely unconvincing. It felt very cartoon-y and underwhelming, especially given the fact this show boasts of high production value and dragons have already been effectively visualised on ‘Game of Thrones.’

Overall, despite the visuals, the sixth episode was quite entertaining and maintained the overall quality of ‘The Witcher.’ The storytelling was as good as it gets and it seems to pace itself towards a mammoth conclusion well.

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