Julien Neaves, Editor
Netflix’s epic fantasy series The Witcher has many things going from it, including a stellar cast led by a superb performance from Henry Cavill as monster-hunting mutant Geralt Rivia, gorgeous production design, rich lore and lots of bloody action set pieces. And while I love all these things my favourite aspect is the show’s fascinating bestiary of cool monsters.
And a quick caveat—I haven’t played the video games so I can’t compare the creatures to their game counterparts. So with that out of the way, allow me to toss a SPOILER coin and let’s rank the nine best Witcher monsters from the first two seasons:
#9 Zeugl, Season 2
We didn’t get to see much of this sewer dweller other than a few tentacles, so not enough to really make a splash. Get it? Make a splash? You get it.
#8 Chernobog, Season 2
This flying, stone-like monstrosity is a brand new monster to these parts but I’m not in love with the design and in its brief appearance didn’t do much to capture the imagination. Hopefully it makes more of an impact in Season 2.
#7 Nekkers, Season 1
These ghouls are just, well ghoulish. I loved their desiccated bodies and feral behaviour, and the fight scene with Geralt was one of the best of the first season. More power to him, as I definitely wouldn’t want to meet a pack of nekkers down a dark alley. Or a well-lit alley, for that matter.
#6 Basilik, Season 2
What is a sufficient threat for a group of highly skilled, magic-empowered mutants? Well how about a few giant reptilian creatures. The fearsome basiliks aren’t much to look at but they proved to be quite the threat to our merry band of Witchers.
#5 Leshy, Season 2
They’re just something about the Leshy that gets under your skin, both figuratively and literally. The Eskel Leshy was delightfully grotesque and quite the imposing threat. The forest Leshy looked great too, though it didn’t last too long on account of one of our later entries.
#4 Kikimora, Season 1
If you look in the dictionary under “Nightmare Fuel” you’ll see a picture of a Kikimora. Well, that’s not true, but it should be! This spider-like horror is the first monster viewers meet and boy does it make an impact. Arachnophobes should probably skip past this scene, though they would miss an awesome battle. Decisions, decisions.
#3 Bruxa, Season 2
The Bruxa doesn’t have the most interesting design (it looks generically vampiric in its true form, though the shifty eyes in its human form is cool) but it’s tragic story makes up for it. A poor creature that cannot help but satisfy its lust for human flesh (despite some “help” from its lover, the cursed Nivellen) is kinda sad, and I did feel sorry when Geralt decapitated it. Now if you get me to care about a flesh-eating, vampiric beast then you have done something special.
#2 Myriapod, Season 2
Remember when I mentioned we didn’t get to see too much of the forest Leshy? Well that was because the Myriapod came in and ripped it in two. And I was like, “What the hell is that?!” It’s like they mixed a goat with a millipede and covered it with giant bones. A truly terrifying and memorable beast worthy of the silver medal on this list. But seriously, what the hell is it?!
#1 Striga, Season 1
We go from giant to human-size for our final entry this list. The Kikimora may be nightmare fuel but the Striga is just a pure nightmare. Like the Bruxa it’s another tragic story—a poor princess cursed at birth to become a monster. And what a chilling monster it is, with its macabre, corpse-like design and its penchant for living in a sarcophagus. Oh, and Geralt’s battle with it is one of the most intense and brutal of the series so far.
Step up to the podium Striga, because you take the centre spot. On second thought, maybe you should stay lurking in the shadows. Anyone have some coin? I need to hire a Witcher ASAP.
So that’s my list. Did I leave out any of your favourites? And you can check out more Netflix adult fantasy content (all animated, but don’t let that sway you) below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.