Content of the article: "Why was the battle of Sodden Hill so bad?"
I thought the show through season 1 was decent-good and I enjoyed it a lot, obviously stand out performances from Henry Cavill as Geralt, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, and Joey Batey as Jaskier, I also thoroughly enjoyed Mimi Ndiweni as Frangilla Vigo. Outside of the ridiculousness of how they portrayed Ser Icke and the lack of Geralt in Ciri's story throughout I honestly enjoyed the show up until the last episode.
But the final battle at Sodden hill was just so badly executed it left a sour taste in my mouth wrapping up the first season. After beautiful shot and choreographed fight scenes throughout the show(The Kikimora in episode 1, striga fight, both scenes in Cintra and obviously the Blaviken fight) we got this crap?
Outside of the absolutely terrible Nilfgaardian armor design(seriously, thats what they came up with for them?) and overall ridiculous lack of effectiveness of armor (arrows and swords going straight through solid plate) and the lack of battle formations(especially from Nilfgaard) the fightseven with all that were almost saved by the 10/10 choreography and camera work, that is until Sodden Hill.
Just to give you some perspective The Battle of the Blackwater from "GOT season 2" had a budget of 8 million dollars, and the first large battle in "The Last Kingdom" had around 3-4 million. On average any given episode of the witcher had a budget of around 10 million dollars!!!!! Thats comparable if not more than the budget for the entire episode of the best TV show battle scene ever filmed The Battle of The Bastards which is estimated to have cost anywhere from 9-12 million dollars.
In the books the battle of Sodden Hill has 100 thousand! soldiers fighting, with casualties surpassing 30,000 total. The battle from the books was huge, brutal and legendary. Most of the main northern realms participated in the battle (Temeria, Redania, Aedirn, Kaedwen) , even some reinforcements from Skellige took part in the battle too to stop the mighty Nilfgaard Empire.
And what we have got in the series? A lame brawl between 22 mages and a few dozen random peasants on one side and around a hundred ugly looking Nilfgaardians on the other, and Foltest arriving with his army after everyone is dead lol. Where the heck is the combined armies of the north? Where is the intimidating, battle hardened and brilliantly led Nilfgaardian army? Where is the brutal and brilliant cinematography that lended at least a semblance of credence to the first half dozen fights/battles throughout the show?
The lack of quality directing is abundantly clear when comparing to similar season ending battles with comparable or even smaller budgets, Marc Jobst was not a good choice at all for a director, and Lauren Schmidt Hissrich as writer should also shoulder at least some of the blame for writing the episode into a hole.
Additionally the absence of establishing any clarity for the audience in both troop positions, and battlefield tactics robs the entire episode and therefore season(as the final installment) of any gravitas that they had built up to this point in time. There are no troop formations, and there is no logic to any of the characters decisions throughout the entire battle. Additionally the lack of quality directing keeps the audience from being able to understand the landscape, stakes or even progression of the entire battle.
All of this isn't to mention the character assassination of Vilgefortz and Cahir, both of whom have extremely talented actors portraying them yet don't have any impact as what they are in the core witcher canon is completely absent from how they written in the show, exemplified by their ridiculous side-fight in this episode. Why is Cahir away from the main portion of his troops? How did Vilgefortz get there? Where on the battlefield even are they? How was Cahir able to BEAT VILGEFORTZ???
The terrible job on this episode is further demonstrated by the ridiculously lazy way Yennefer ends the battle, like come on? What was that? And if Yen could do that why didn't she just do that crap earlier??
I know everything can't be exactly as in the booksor games, and I tolerated all the differences and alterations made in the show, but this was just such a wasted opportunity. And if you're going to make changes, at least make them either cool, believable or relevant, preferably all three. They took one of the most important battles in Witcher universe a turned it into what??? What was that? That wasn´t even a battle. There was just one (and small) army. Damn that was really bad. Srsly for the first seven episodes I would give the show rating of like 80-85%, really good. But the last one is a big fat 0 that was absolute shit.
Further breakdown of why the battle of Sodden Hill was so bad, by a youtuber who makes some very good points vvvvvv
- DM Help Wanted (Potential for spoilers for Icespire Peak)
- I watched the Netflix’s Making The Witcher. My thoughts:
- Since when is this game so horribly glitchy when it comes to the parties on the map and how they interact?
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