Why The Witcher Season 3 Is Such a Disappointment to Fans

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
The Witcher Season 3 Henry Cavill

Season 3 of Netflix's The Witcher continues the story of Henry Cavill's Geralt of Rivia, but many fans are disappointed with how the new installment played out.

The Witcher has seen great success over the course of its first three seasons on Netflix in terms of viewership, and back in 2019 when it first aired, many were hoping it would be the next Game of Thrones.

However, as each batch of episodes was released, fans have become more and more critical of the show, leading to a massive drop in viewership.

It didn't help that the show's lead actor, Henry Cavill, publicly expressed his displeasure with the direction the story was going and ultimately announced his departure.

With that being said, here are the biggest reasons that Season 3 of The Witcher is a disappointment to fans.

A Lack of Henry Cavill's Geralt

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, Netflix's The Witcher

Most of the time when a viewer tunes into a movie or a TV show, they expect to see the title character front and center. That hasn't been the case in Season 3, however, as Geralt's screentime seems to be at an all-time low.

X (formerly known as Twitter) user @DjordjeRomanic pointed out that Cavill is only present in "~16% of the run time" of Season 3, Part 2. Considering that Part 2 consists of the final two episodes in the season, which are generally the two most important episodes, that statistic is baffling.

Other fans have pointed out that Season 3 as a whole is centered around almost everyone except for Geralt.

There are a lot of side characters throughout The Witcher, and some new ones have been introduced in Season 3, but those characters seem to be much more integral to the plot of Season 3 than Geralt is.

This criticism of The Witcher is similar to how fans felt about the second half of the Star Wars series, The Book of Boba Fett. Once Episode 5 of that series rolled around, Boba Fett (who was obviously the title character like Geralt is for The Witcher) was cast to the side as the show took a completely different direction.

Since the inception of the show, fans have generally regarded Cavill's Geralt as the highlight of the entire series. Even in Season 2 when fans started to get disappointed with everything else in the show, Geralt was the silver lining.

In Season 3, that isn't even the case because of how little his presence has been.

Poor Writing

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia and Anya Chalotra's Yennefer of Vengerberg

Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher novels are often praised for their writing, and the author of the series always seemed to hold himself to a high standard in each of the books.

Season 3 of The Witcher does not include that same level of writing.

Many fans claimed that the writing of Season 2 was a downgrade from Season 1, but this latest installment seems to only take a step further in the wrong direction.

TV shows in general usually follow a similar format, and that format is even more present in the fantasy genre - using suspense and tension to slowly build a plot until it all comes crashing down.

Season 1 of The Witcher did a fantastic job of this. It introduced the viewers to Geralt and the rest of the main characters, built up their stories throughout the episodes, and then at the end, brought everything together and showed the audience how it was all connected.

Finishing the last episode of Season 1 felt rewarding. Finishing the last episode of Season 3 felt like doing homework. For many fans, it was almost a struggle to even make it to the end.

Many viewers have pointed out how Season 3 contained boring scenes of dialogue and uninteresting side characters, but arguably most importantly, some characters that have been present throughout the show were killed off in Season 3 in completely uninteresting and unrewarding ways.

Telling a cohesive, tension-filled story is so important in television, and unfortunately, Season 3 of The Witcher couldn't get it done.

Misuse of Source Material

Freya Allan's Ciri

One of the major criticisms that fans had with Seasons 1 and 2 of The Witcher was how little it followed Sapkowski's novels.

Season 3 was based on Time of Contempt, which is the fourth book in the series.

It actually pulled quite a bit of material from that entry such as including a fake Ciri, the death of Rience, and Ciri's visions in Korath.

However, even though it included a lot of key moments from the book, it changed what actually happened during those moments quite a bit, ultimately leading to fans being disappointed.

For example, Season 3 saw the death of Rience. In the show, Rience attacked Ciri and Yennefer when they were leaving Aretuza and ultimately surrounded Ciri with flames.

This led to Geralt coming to the rescue and decapitating Rience with his sword, quickly ending the antagonist's life.

In the books, however, Rience's death is a lot more creative. Ciri is actually the one that lands the final blow on him with a pair of ice skates. 

She uses the blades on the bottom of her skates to make a cut in the ice, causing Rience to fall into the freezing water. However, he hangs on, but before he can pull himself up, she skates across his fingers and slices them. This causes him to fall into the water and drown.

This is one of many examples of how Season 3 of The Witcher changed important moments in the books.

The changes made ultimately didn't sit right with many fans, and many think that what happens in the books is far superior to the same moments in the show.

Lackluster CGI

MyAnna Buring's Tissaia de Vries

When adapting a fantasy series like The Witcher, an insane amount of CGI has to go into the final product to make it look otherworldly.

The way the show looked as a whole in Seasons 1 and 2 was often praised by many fans, but the CGI in Season 3 took a turn for the worst and at times looked like something that should have been released in the late 1990s.

Many have pointed out the dip in quality from the first two seasons to the third.

X's @FictionalBoys_ made the statement that the CGI is "baffling:"

"The cgi in season 3 of 'The Witcher' is baffling, the first 2 seasons did NOT look like this."

@ItstWOTterTime also commented on the CGI, saying that sometimes it is "really, really bad:"

"The CGI and sets are all over the place in 'The Witcher.' You have moments that look absolutely amazing and then other moments that look really, really bad. That and the costumes must be my biggest complaint in season 3."

Other people have pointed out how obvious the use of greenscreen was in Season 3, which ultimately can take the viewer completely out of the experience of the show.

With today's technology, it is possible for films and TV shows to look amazing and completely realistic when CGI and VFX are used the correct way in post-production. Unfortunately, however, The Witcher Season 3 didn't seem to hit the mark.

Season 3 of The Witcher is available to stream on Netflix.

- In This Article: The Witcher (Season 3 Part 2)
Release Date
July 27, 2023
Anya Chalotra
Freya Allan
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.