Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) glaring past the camera with yellow eyes, signature white hair, yellow, and black armor
Photo via Netflix

‘The Witcher’ spinoff star compares Geralt of Rivia’s recasting to ‘Doctor Who’

We have some issues with the comparison

Netflix’s The Witcher was once primed for Game of Thrones-level success, with the first season dazzling fans of the books and Henry Cavill universally praised for his performance as lead monster hunter Geralt of Rivia. But of late, the show has had a rough ride, with rumors of disagreements between Cavill and the writing team concluding with the star departing the show and Liam Hemsworth recast in the role.

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Spinoff The Witcher: Blood Origin, a prequel showing the creation of the first Witcher, will arrive on Netflix in just a few days. That won’t feature Cavill’s Geralt, though star Minnie Driver has a curious take on the recasting. Speaking with EW, Driver compared Hemsworth taking the role to the ongoing regeneration of the Doctor in Doctor Who:

“We come from this tradition of Doctor Who where the Doctor regenerates. I think we need to look at it far more like it’s amazing. It’s an amazing person, it’s an amazing character, and we should have different people playing it. So that was a really cool conversation with a teenager. He was like, ‘I never thought about it like that.'”

We have some problems with this comparison. The Doctor is a Gallifreyan Time Lord, and thus able to explain away being recast as a facet of the story. Admittedly this was quickly written into the show when the first Doctor William Hartnell became too ill to play the role and was replaced with Patrick Troughton. Even so, it’s a firm part of the lore.

Geralt of Rivia has no such power in the books or the games. In fact, the unnaturally extended lifespan of a Witcher means they cannot die of old age or sickness and generally fall in combat, so as per the story, he should always look like Henry Cavill in the Netflix show.

Liam Hemsworth has been widely considered a big downgrade from Henry Cavill by fans, so has a lot to prove when he takes up the twin swords for season four. Here’s hoping he brings his A-game.

The Witcher: Blood Origin releases on Netflix on Dec. 25.


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David James
I'm a writer/editor who's been at the site since 2015. Love writing about video games and will crawl over broken glass to write about anything related to Hideo Kojima. But am happy to write about anything and everything, so long as it's interesting!