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Fate is just astrology in The Witcher
Will the real destiny’s child please stand up
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I can’t help but fall prey to a good prediction. Just like in 2017, when Lana Del Ray instructed her fans to join her in a nationwide occult ritual to remove President Trump from office, I’ll find any chance to believe in something. I’ll save TikTok audios that are supposed to manifest good vibes, ask my friends to read my tarot, store a quartz crystal in my dresser to purge bad energy, and religiously read my weekly horoscope before re-sharing it to my Instagram story a few days later with the caption ‘omg wtf!??!?!’. And even though I say I do all these things ironically, I can’t help but secretly believe in the law of the universe when it comes to fruition.
The Witcher S2
Perhaps then it was fate, or astrology, or the result of my manifestations, when the Netflix algorithm delivered me The Witcher this same time last year. It somehow knew I was looking for something to fill the fantasy-shaped hole in my heart, as a self-professed mythology-buff who grew up avidly watching Merlin, dove into the Lord of the Rings lore, and ate up every fantasy book from David Eddings’ Belgariad to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.
Based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels, The Witcher is centred around this very theme, an exploration of destiny and the external forces that shape us. Season 2 continues right where the first one left off, promising more of the magic, monsters and music (cue ‘Toss A Coin To Your Witcher’) we know and love.
Much like a birth chart, fate directs the lives of the characters of The Witcher. It guides Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a steely monster hunter who, as much as he tries to resist it, can’t help but find his way to his law-of-surprise child. It guides Princess Cirilla of Cintra (Freya Allan), an orphan who harbours secretive powers and prophetic visions of the future. It guides Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), a powerful mage whose magic can help others, but not herself. And it paves the path for Jaskier, Cahir, Triss, Dara, their lives intersecting and weaving together like a complicated tapestry, unable to escape one another’s threads.
But whether it’s through a tarot card reading, a weekly horoscope or a manifestation board, perhaps it’s not about what we believe in, but more that we just have something to believe in in the first place. As we see through Ciri, who attempts to forge her own path forwards, or Geralt who attempts to resist the pull of destiny, perhaps it’s simply about finding meaning through faith. Do I actually think I’ll manifest the man of my dreams through a TikTok audio? Or that Capricorn season can magically bring back my sex drive (rip)? Or that I’ll suddenly discover my life’s purpose because a weekly horoscope in Refinery29 said so? Of course not. But will I place my hope in these anyways? You can bet my ducats I will.
Between Henry Cavill’s gruff grunts, action-packed fight scenes, Lord of the Rings reminiscent lore, and mythological beasts, The Witcher S2 poses just one question to its viewers: Are our lives a matter of destiny, or does destiny just afford it meaning? It’s an answer the series wants us to find for ourselves.
The Witcher S2 is streaming tonight from 7PM AEDT.
Watch these too:
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf if you can’t get enough of The Witcher universe. This animated spin-off serves as an origin story for Vesemir, Geralt’s mentor who escapes a life of poverty for coin and glory.
Shadow and Bone for another fantastical adaptation. Based upon Leigh Bardugo’s best-selling Grishaverse novels, this series is centred around Alina Starkov, an orphan mapmaker with extraordinary powers.
Man of Steel if you just love Henry Cavill. Zack Snyder directs this action-packed sci-fi film which follows Clark Kent, an orphan from the planet Krypton, who must find a way to use his powers to save the ones he loves.
Merlin for more magic and monsters. Loosely based around the Arthurian legends, this British fantasy series follows a young King Arthur and sorcerer Merlin as they fulfil their destinies in the kingdom of Camelot.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy for another award-winning fantasy adventure. Shot entirely in New Zealand and adapted from J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel, the iconic films are centred around a quest to overcome impending evil and protect the future of Middle-earth.
I can’t stop thinking about:
Australian comedian Celeste Barber, who’s set to star in Wellmania. Inspired by Brigid Delaney’s novel, the new eight-part series co-executive produced by Benjamin Law and Belinda King will follow Barber’s character as she dives into a wellness journey after a major health crisis. “I’m drawn to projects that centre around interesting, dynamic and complex lead female characters and that’s exactly what Wellmania is,” she shares with Deadline.
Twentysomethings: Austin, which just so happens to also be my latest obsession. I’d describe it as an Americanised Terrace House, but that’d be a disservice to the series, which deserves to be recognised in its own right. It’s formulaic and predictable, but offers exactly what you want from a reality show – beautiful people, cringe-worthy conversations and unnecessary drama, pierced by moments of wholesome goodness.
Anja Chalotra, who steals the show as Yennefer of Vengerberg in The Witcher series. In a profile for The Guardian she describes what it was like to go from small time roles to becoming the star of one of the most-watched TV shows on the streaming platform. As she candidly admits, “I never wanted a blue tick in my life.”