The Witcher producers promise “lore accurate” transition from Cavill to Hemsworth

Image: Netflix. Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher season 3.
Image: Netflix. Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher season 3. /

We’re only a few days out from the premiere of The Witcher season 3 on Netflix! Given that season 3 is the last time we’ll see series star Henry Cavill portray the series’ titular monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, we’re all more than a bit curious to see how the season will play out.

We’re also wondering how the show will handle the transition to Geralt’s new actor, Liam Hemsworth, who will pick up the white wig and silver sword starting in The Witcher season 4. Executive producers Tomek Baginski and Steve Gaub recently spoke to Yahoo about how the series will navigate the transition, saying it will be “very lore accurate.”

“We have a very, very good plan to introduce our new Geralt and our new vision for Geralt with Liam. Not going deeply into those ideas because this will be a huge spoiler, [but] it’s also very, very close to the meta ideas which are deeply embedded in the books, especially in book five,“ Baginski explained.

"It’s very lore accurate. It’s very close to what was set out in the books and I think this change will be quite flawless. But at the same time it will be a new Geralt, it will be a new face for this character and I think it will also be very, very exciting to see."

This leads us to the very natural question of how an actor change can be “lore accurate,” when Geralt of Rivia never undergoes any specific face changing in the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. There are a few different possibilities, which we’ll discuss here with the note that there will be some mild spoilers for season 3.

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How will Geralt’s face change in The Witcher be “lore accurate”?

One of our oldest theories for how the show could work Geralt’s change from Cavill to Hemsworth into the lore has to do with some particularly grievous injuries we’re expecting the witcher to take this season. The Witcher season 3 is primarily adapting Andrzej Sapkowski’s novel The Time of Contempt, which sees Geralt suffer a bloody defeat before he goes on to heal with the magical aid of the dryads in Brokilon Forest. We’ve seen footage of Geralt in Brokilon already, so we know the show will likely stick to that plotline. Perhaps one of the side effects of this healing is that it’ll change Geralt’s appearance?

That sounds pretty goofy to me too, so personally I’m hoping the show doesn’t go that route. There are other possibilities. Baginski referenced utilizing “meta ideas which are deeply embedded in the books,” especially the final novel of The Witcher saga, The Lady of the Lake. That gives us some major clues.

The Witcher, in case you didn’t know, will eventually become a full-blown multiverse story. Sapkowski played with the idea of multiple worlds quite a lot, which we got hints at during The Witcher: Blood Origin spinoff series. Those ideas feature prominently in The Lady of the Lake. So perhaps the new version of Geralt will come from another world?

The last possibility that we’re going to discuss is that the actor change could be some narrative sleight of hand. In The Lady of the Lake, we come to find that Ciri (Freya Allen) is relaying the tale of Geralt of Rivia to another character. Showrunner Lauren S. Hissirch previously previously said that the show’s original pitch included this framing device with Ciri. Perhaps that will somehow factor into things.

Regardless of however the show handles Henry Cavill’s exit, the one thing we know for sure is that this is the actor’s final season on The Witcher. “I think the most important thing for us was to make sure he was very proud of those last [scenes], invariably those last moments are the ones you leave an audience with, and those last couple episodes are very strong episodes for him,” Gaub said. “I think he left with his head held high and passing the reins as many franchises end up doing, passing a title character from one actor to another, and we’re going to be in great hands with Liam.”

The Witcher season 3 – Netflix
The Witcher season 3 – Netflix /

Ciri will take center stage in The Witcher moving forward

Of course, Geralt isn’t the only major character on The Witcher. Ciri gradually becomes the main character of the story during the back half of Sapkowski’s Witcher saga.

Time of Contempt is a really good book, some people say it’s the best book of the saga and it’s very rich in the story. I think this was very exciting to do, but especially for Freya,” said Baginski. “This is also the book where Ciri –let’s be blunt about this– becomes the main character of the saga, because this is how it was done in the books, and watching Ciri evolve, and watching Freya evolve as an actress in this season, was incredible, just incredible.“

“She knew it was coming, and she knew it was her time to step up centre stage and really carry a lot of massively important moments to the overall story,” Gaub added.

For as many questions as we have about Geralt’s recast, it’s good to know that Freya Allan is ready to take up the witchering mantle. The Witcher season 3 volume 1 premieres on Netflix on June 29. Volume 2 will follow on July 27.

Next. All 8 Game of Thrones season finales, ranked from worst to best. dark

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h/t Redanian Intelligence