Starring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia and Freya Allen as Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon (or just Ciri), "The Witcher" premiered in November 2019. Both the fans of Andrzej Sapkowski's book series and fans of The Witcher video games, as well as people completely new to this story, propelled it to fame. As one of the best video game TV shows, it is full of emotionally heavy scenes, and has some of the most iconic battles to happen on Netflix. Here we are listing the top ten ones.
10. Ghoul Army
Although this fight disappointed many game fans, we still argue that it's good. It obviously isn't meant to be too impressive on Geralt's part since he gets bitten in the end. While many argue that he could've used Witcher runes against the army, that doesn't happen much in the books. Sadly the show is physically unable to satisfy everyone.
However, we do admit that the fight isn't without flaws. Firstly, it's one of many scenes where it's evident how big of an enemy the show's budget is. We have a tad too many scenes lingering on Geralt's face, to the point that they're not really even building tension anymore. At that moment, it's just kind of annoying. Besides, the creatures aren't all that impressive. Instead, they look like cheap zombie knock-offs, and they aren't scary at all.
9. The Fall of Cintra
The very first episode of the show pulls no punches. While we see Geralt getting notoriety as the Butcher of Blaviken in the past, we simultaneously witness the fall of one of the biggest nations in the present. Nilfgaardian army gets to the capitol just after a big banquet, forcing every palace guest to commit suicide, avoiding being tortured and killed.
The fight before the breach of the gates is something to look on, as well. We see Queen Calanthe and her army standing still, waiting for the Nilfgaardian forces, all clearly scared to be there. Then we notice the army appearing on the hill, and if things weren't bad enough already, the other part of it emerges, showing us how truly outnumbered the forces of Cintra are.
8. The Battle at the Edge of the World
Geralt was just having his quiet drink when interrupted by our favorite bard. If Jaskier's chippy personality accompanying him during his rest was annoying to him (and it was), he was just about to realize how much! He discovers how irritating Jaskier gets when he's approached by a person asking him to get rid of a devil that's been causing problems to his village.
Yet, this so-called "devil" turns out to be a sylvan. As the sylvan keeps throwing rocks at Geralt, they exchange insults when they finally start fighting face-to-face. The battle is over soon, though, since the sylvan's friends arrive and capture Geralt and Jaskier. The pair almost gets themselves killed, but they manage to make it out alive through discussion and some philosophizing. Jaskier is unsatisfied by the anticlimactic ending, so he switches it up when recounting the tale.
7. Yennefer Fending off the Assassin
Probably because of budgeting, we don't get a lot of magical battle or chase scenes. What they did manage to do is, however, still impressive. Sadly, the assassin chase scene doesn't have many special effects on Yennifer's side. It's probably because all the money went into making the monster chasing them terrifying, though. And make it terrifying they did. The hideous bug-like creature made our skin crawl!
The changing of scenery makes up for the lack of fighting, though. Yennefer portaling herself and the queen around the world is more than visually pleasing for the eyes. It throws us from drab and muddy places to beautiful and colorful landscapes we barely manage to take in because of the sense of urgency.
6. Dragon's Den
Geralt and Yennifer's fateful and final battle meetup for the season has quite a fight scene in it. Not only is it tense and filled with excellent fighting choreography, but it also has an emotional weight to it. Geralt and Yen fight alongside the dragon to save the dead dragon's egg. This is crucial for Yennefer because it's the second child she's trying to protect this season.
While the mid-battle kiss between the two is nothing short of iconic, we would argue that the final moments of the combat hold more weight. On one side, you have Geralt, who gives up his weapon just to save Yen. On the other hand, you have Yennefer, who still rushes over to rescue him from certain doom. While they have a fight splitting them apart afterward, this scene still manages to linger in the audience's minds.
5. Battle at Banquet
Who could forget this iconic scene? After all, the plot of the entire Witcher series happened because of it. Geralt saved Lord Duny, who fell in love with princess Pavetta in beauty-and-the-beast style. He made the law of surprise the payment for his efforts, and that's why he becomes a father to Ciri. Therefore, the producers had to make sure that the battle at the banquet was satisfactory.
Luckily, it was more than just satisfactory - it was incredible! The moment we see Duny's cursed face revealed, and queen Calanthe's panicked expression is captivating to the audience. Witcher's refusal to slay the knight and Duny defending himself is tense. The moment Geralt steps in the battle is iconic, and the ensuing fight is nothing short of exciting. Not to mention the end of it, when Calanthe and Geralt almost cross swords.
4. The Opening Scene
What a way to start a show! A young buck is next to a pond, drinking water peacefully. By the eerie look of the forest, the fog, and the gray hues that permeate the scene, we know that something terrible is about to happen. Something in the water stirs, and the buck looks around nervously. We're basically hanging off the edge of our seats, and this is just the beginning.
And then, the monster jumps out of the water. It is gangly, with too many limbs, but most importantly, Geralt's already latched onto it. He severs one of the bug-like legs in slow motion, and the music starts. The vocals and the orchestra elevate that epic-fantasy-in-a-Slavic-world feel. This battle is the perfect way to introduce the soon-to-be-notorious Geralt of Rivia.
3. Geralt Battles the Striga
Like all shows, the first season of "The Witcher" can be rocky at times, primarily because of the low budget. However, one of the things that they nailed was the Striga. The scream that she lets out is blood-curdling, only slightly human, but still human enough to land into the uncanny valley. The way she walks ("stalks" would be a better word) is twitchy and simply wrong.
And the buildup to the fight is just incredible. The atmosphere of the crypt, bones of people long dead lying everywhere, is eerie. The face-off between Striga and Geralt is impressive: the chain hitting the ground as Geralt winds it up, matching the drumming of the orchestra in the back, perfectly builds tension. The fight itself mirrors Yennifer's painful transformation as cuts from one scene to the other are jaw-dropping.
2. Battle of Sodden
There's so much to be said about the Sodden Hill battle, from the preparations to the finale of Yennefer unleashing fire magic. The first part of the battle, when mages are thinning the herds, is incredible. While none of it is too flashy, it's evident that the writers and producers tried their best to showcase different ways mages can fight.
Firstly, we have Triss Merigold controlling different plants: the poison mushrooms that thin the herds and the vines trying to stop Nilfgaardian soldiers from advancing. Then, we have Nilfgaard sacrificing their mages to throw fireballs at the city. The fight between Vilgefortz and Cahir is incredible. It is heart-wrenching that the Nilfgaard overpower them and Yen feeling her friends get hurt and killed. Finally, Yennefer unleashing her fire magic and saving everyone is jaw-dropping.
1. Butcher of Blaviken
The scene where Geralt gets the title of The Butcher of Blaviken is definitely one of the best in the whole show. In it, he goes to the village and encounters Renfri's friends already waiting for him. The ensuing fight is incredible to watch. Henry Cavill also explained the process of filming that scene, and the number of details they included is astounding.
However, the real showstopper is the part where he fights Renfri one-on-one. The way he is on the offensive, in the beginning, is one of the details many people would fail to notice on their first watch. Then, he goes on and actually starts fighting her. The emotional weight of the battle is overbearing, and the scene where he kills her breaks everyone's heart.
Season one of "The Witcher" had a lot of ups and downs. For every incredible battle or every emotionally hefty scene, there was something that disappointed the audience. However, most of the troubles lead back to a lackluster budget, and we're glad to see that fixed in season two. We hope the show will only get better as it goes on. Unlike some others shows, it'll have a chance to improve.
What did you think about this top ten list of fight scenes? Do you agree with our ranking? Tell us your opinion in the comments!
Cover photo: YouTube screenshot