Netflix’s The Witcher saw Geralt of Rivia fighting various monsters, of which some come from different mythologies – and here’s every creature he came across with in season 1. Based on the book series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher was released on Netflix in December 2019 and might be the platform’s biggest first TV season ever. The Witcher was one of the most anticipated releases of 2019, and Netflix decided to renew it for a second season even before the first one saw the light.
The Witcher followed the stories of three characters, all of them set in different points in time and which ended up converging. The protagonists of those stories are Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), an enhanced monster hunter; Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), a powerful sorceress; and Ciri (Freya Allan), the crown princess of Cintra who has powers of her own. The Witcher is set in a world full of all types of creatures and monsters, of which some appeared briefly and others were just mentioned.
Geralt was seen fighting some monsters that fans of the books as well as of the video game adaptations are familiar with, and they have an interesting background as most of them are taken from different mythologies. Here’s every monster Geralt fought in The Witcher season 1.
The very first monster viewers meet in Netflix’s The Witcher is the kikimora, which was introduced in the short story “The Lesser Evil” from the book The Last Wish. A kikimora is described as having a “spidery shape with its dry black skin, that glassy eye with its vertical pupil, the needle-like fangs in the bloody jaws” and they live in swamps. In Slavic mythology, a kikimora is a female house spirit which enters a house through the keyhole. Once there, she lives behind the stove or in the cellar, and makes noises similar to those of mice in order to get food. They were believed to sit on the chest of the sleepers and try to strangle them, and so were the first explanation for sleep paralysis in Russian folklore.
A Striga is a human woman transformed into a monster by a curse. A striga makes its debut in episode 3, “Betrayer Moon”, when Geralt is asked to deal with a creature in Temeria. It’s then revealed that the striga is King Foltest’s daughter, Adda, who was born that way as a result of a curse. Her mother died before giving birth and the cursed fetus devoured its mother’s corpse, and so it lived in a sarcophagus for years, coming out at night to eat. Strigas are most likely a combination of the strzyga, a usually female demon in Slavic mythology, similar to a vampire; strigoi, troubled spirits from Romanian mythology said to rise from the grave; and the shtriga from Albanian mythology, a vampiric witch that feeds off infants while they sleep.
In the episode “Four Marks”, Geralt and Jaskier come across with Torque the Sylvan, a creature mistaken by the people from the nearby town for a “devil” that was stealing their food. A sylvan is a rare species of creatures that resemble humans but with goat’s horns, a tail, and hairy legs with cloven hooves. Torque wasn’t killed by Geralt as he was working for the elven King Filavandrel by stealing food from the town and bringing it to him, so Geralt instead told them to leave.
In episode 5, “Bottled Appetites”, Geralt and Jaskier had a very unpleasant encounter with a djinn, an entity similar to a genie. Djinns are described as elemental genies of air, and can create major chaos when released – though once captured, they are bound to their captor and have to fulfill three wishes, which once they are completed makes them free again. Djinns come from jinns, supernatural creatures from Islamic mythology. Though they are usually held responsible for misfortune, possession, and diseases, they are sometimes supportive and benevolent.
The season finale of The Witcher saw Geralt being attacked by a pack of ghouls or nekkers, who bit him and thus poisoned him (and survived thanks to a healing potion). Nekkers lurk in cemeteries and battlefields, where they feast on corpses. They have sharp claws, travel in packs, and attack by surprise, which makes them so dangerous, though only one nekker can be harmless.
Though Geralt didn’t fight the following creatures, they are definitely worth mentioning. A hirikka makes a very brief appearance in episode 6, “Rare Species”, where Eyck slays one – problem is, hirikkas are almost extinct, which is why they are very rare. Geralt tried to stop him by telling him the creature was just hungry and had no intention of hurting them, but that didn’t stop him from killing it. In that same episode, Geralt went on a quest to kill a dragon even though his moral code was against it, but as it turned out, he was actually brought in to help a golden dragon protect an egg. Last but not least, a doppler made an appearance and took the shape of Mousesack, Ciri, and Cahir, but Geralt hasn’t come across with it yet.