In Netflix’s The Witcher, Geralt is often shown drinking a potion right before intense battles. Here’s a guide to what potion it is and what it does.
In Netflix’s The Witcher, Geralt is often shown downing a potion right before he fights, but it’s unclear exactly what this concoction is what it does. Geralt, like all Witchers, has some supernatural augmentations and limited magical abilities, but the show doesn’t take much time to explain them. Thus, further answers to the nature of Geralt’s potions mainly come from other Witcher content, like the books and video games.
Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher novel series came first in the 90s and has been adapted into several standalone and spinoff videogames from CD Projekt over the last decade or so. While it’s not necessary to have read the books or played the games in order to understand Netflix’s The Witcher series, having this context does offer a more holistic picture of some of the show’s less-developed details. Things like Triss’s hair change in The Witcher season 2 may seem random but have reasons rooted in the games or the books, with which many avid audiences are familiar.
The Witchers’ potions are one such detail. While potions don’t get much attention in the books or in the series, they make up a huge part of the games, as players can create a variety of elixirs with different powers to use in battle or for other purposes. The Witcher doesn’t delve into the specifics of these effects and side-effects, and in fact never specifies which potion it is that Geralt is often drinking throughout the show. Based on Geralt’s potion-induced appearance and abilities, however, it can be deduced that it’s a slightly modified version of the Blizzard potion.
In the show, Geralt often drinks a potion right before facing off with one of The Witcher’s many monsters. His eyes turn black and he appears to gain enhanced fighting abilities until it wears off, which is usually, and conveniently, right when the fight ends. Based on these factors, the games’ Blizzard potion most closely fits the description. Unlike many of the games’ potions, which last for up to 8 hours, Blizzard lasts for just 20 minutes, and its effects are increased reflexes and reaction time, which makes dodging and parrying attacks easier, just as Geralt experiences in the show. However, the extreme pupil-dilation that always accompanies a swig of potion in The Witcher is actually not a Blizzard effect, but rather that of another short-term potion, Cat, which offers vision in total darkness.
Ultimately, while the one type of potion used by Geralt and other new Witchers introduced in season 2 most closely resembles Blizzard combined with some effects of Cat, the show isn’t very concerned with rendering a game-accurate portrayal of how potions are made, differentiated, and used. Rather, The Witcher’s potions serve more as indicators for when Geralt anticipates an intense fight, and as a general way to represent his mutagenic, pseudo-magical abilities. Considering all the other ground the Netflix series is attempting to cover, this simplification may be for the best.
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