Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher is currently one of the highest-rated series on the streaming platform and pulling in huge numbers of viewers despite mixed reviews. Fans are loving this version of Geralt, played by Henry Cavill, too, but his incarnation is certainly different from the character as depicted in the books.
The first season of the show is filled with action and spectacle, and the pacing leaves little room for profound conversations or philosophical deliberations from the main protagonist, something that fans of the novels are actually used to. But Cavill manages to shine as Geralt of Rivia by grunting his way through conversations and talking way less than his source material counterpart.
In fact, according to showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich, they realized early on that Cavill can bring a certain nuance to the show with his performance, which meant that he didn’t have to talk as much as Geralt does in the novels. In a new interview with THR, she noted as much by saying:
“We go back to the books constantly, in terms of his look, his attitude, his tone, all those things,” Hissrich says. “What’s really fun is I can put all of that on a page, but then I have an actor come in who has to bring this character to life. I love that collaboration and in any process you have to leave the space for that to happen. For instance, in the first episode, when I originally wrote it, Geralt spoke a lot because that’s what he’s like in the books. People always think of Geralt as stoic, but in the books he talks nonstop. When we were onset and especially when we got in the cutting rooms, we realized we didn’t actually need all that exposition. Henry brings such a depth and layered performance to Geralt that we don’t need him to tell us everything he’s feeling.
Lauren also claimed that as soon as the creative team realized what they were working with, the scripts started to match Cavill’s take on the character, explaining:
“He can do it in a single look or a grunt. He grunts a lot. We immediately started pulling back on that and by the time we shot the final episode, the script much more matches what’s onscreen because together we really learned what was working. In that way, we honored a lot of what’s in the books but also made sure it works for the guy that you see onscreen.
Obviously, the show has to develop its own take on the hero while honoring the novels, which, considering the fact that author Andrej Sapkowski is impressed with Cavill’s performance as Geralt, has worked out pretty well for the live-action adaptation.
And even if that weren’t the case, we can safely say that fans can’t get enough of this new Geralt. After all, Netflix reportedly renewed the series for a third season already, which is a solid indication that we’ll have him around at least for some time.
For now, though, be sure to check out the first season of The Witcher if you haven’t already done so. Trust us, it’ll be worth your while!