The Witcher vs. Game of Thrones – Which is Best?
With both of Game of Thrones and The Witcher getting plenty of notice lately with new shows and newsworthy happenings, the question is still top of mind – which show is better? Game of Thrones or the Witcher?
While the two worlds share similarities, they also have stark differences (pardon the pun). So let’s judge the two world’s and stories based on a few key criteria. At the end, whoever has the most points wins!
Warning – spoilers ahead!
The Witcher vs. Game of Thrones – Which Has the Better World?
The two worlds are somewhat similar, as far as fantasy worlds go. Both worlds are somewhat derivative of Tolkien’s universe. However, The Witcher has far more fantastical creatures than does the Game of Thrones universe. Elves, monsters, sorcerers, Witchers – there’s plenty of magic to be found and it plays a prominent role in the story.
Game of Thrones is mostly filled with people. Except for a few fantastical things like Dragons, the White Walkers etc, for the most part GOT could almost take place in our own world.
We’ll give a point here to The Witcher for its world building.
Witcher 1, GOT 0
Which has the Better Source Material?
Of course, fantasy stories are about much more than just the world’s they inhabit. They are also about the greater narratives that they encompass. While I like the story of the Witcher better, a lot of that is due to the aspects of the story that were fleshed out in the Witcher video games, which actually aren’t technically part of the canon.
The Game of Thrones, on the other hand, has a pretty straightforward premise which hooks readers. Sort of like fantasy American Idol, everyone wants to know the answer to one question: who will sit on the Iron Throne?
We’ll give a point here to GOT for its high concept narrative versus The Witcher’s more complicated winding one.
Witcher 1, GOT 1
Game of Thrones vs The Witcher – Which Has the Best Characters?
Both stories have plenty of characters who are both loved and hated. But ultimately, The Witcher wins against GOT with flying colors in this particular category. In fact, the characters in GOT – although being one of the biggest draws early on – end up being a great disappointment. Noble characters die, evil characters win, and beloved characters are corrupted or flee north.
In The Witcher, however, we have true heroes. Geralt, although an unlikely hero, can’t help but play the white knight, desiring to help those around him, especially those he loves.
Ciri masters her powers with the desire to do good. And, ultimately, love triumphs despite all odds in the form of Yennefer and Geralt’s bond.
Witcher gets an easy point here to put it in the lead.
Witcher 2, GOT 1
Which Has the Better Battles?
This is a little bit harder to judge simply because of how different the battles are between GOT and Witcher. In the show so far, the Witcher focuses mostly on smaller-scale battles between the Witcher and Monsters. The only fully fleshed out battle is the Battle of Sodom Hill where Yennefer nearly dies. There will certainly be future battles in The Witcher, but Game of Thrones has many, many epic large scale battles. Even if the final battle against the White Walkers made no sense, it certainly was grand in scale, as were many others.
However, The Witcher is close here and could end up beating GOT out overtime. It has a better power-scaling system and more epic one on one duels than GOT – battles that will put Arya’s little stunt with the Night King to shame.
We’ll give a point here to GOT
Witcher 2, GOT 2
Which Has the Better Magic?
Spoiler alert – Witcher is the clear winner here. And we think it’s an important element to consider. Although GOT follows a similar vein as the Grandfather of all fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, in its minimal depiction of fantasy, it takes it a step further, often sidelining magic altogether.
Magic is much more integrated in the world of the Witcher. Mages play an important role in the story, and they are particularly powerful magic users. Ciri is also incredibly gifted magically, and even the Witcher himself uses some practical magic to aide in his fights.
If you like magic in your fantasy, Witcher is clearly the show you want to watch.
Witcher 3, GOT 2
Which Has Better Political Intrigue?
The politics in GOT was not a highlight for me, nor were the politics in The Witcher show or even the books. But it’s a highlight for a lot of people, so we are including it here. Just like how The Witcher is the clear winner when it comes to magic, GOT is the victor when it comes to politics. The political struggles are neater in GOT and easier to follow. There are a bunch of houses (kind of like Harry Potter) and they have different traits that make them memorable. And they all want to sit on the Iron Throne (except for the Starks).
In The Witcher, there’s so much going on politically and none of it is high concept as “a bunch of houses competing for a throne”.
GOT is the clear winner.
Witcher 3 GOT 3
Deciding Round – The Witcher vs. Game of Thrones – Which Show is More Fun?
Ultimately, the show has to satisfy our basic need for entertainment. Which begs the question – which show is more fun?
Well, I guess to some extent it depends on your idea of fun. If you like watching the main character’s head get cut-off, and all of his family either killed or raped throughout the series, and you think that sort of stuff is fun, then GOT is the show for you.
However if a romance for the ages (Geralt and Yennefer), a trusty, ballad singing side-kick, and a wholesome, Witchering family seeking answers to an ancient prophecy while battling monsters is more your thing, then you’ll need to watch the Witcher.
We find the Witcher’s premise and storytelling, with its mix of well known fairytales, to be a lot more fun.
So we give the final deciding point to none other than…
Witcher 4, GOT 3.
Now, let’s just hope The Witcher lasts long enough to be mentioned in the same breath as GOT.