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How The Witcher Will Explain Geralt Changing from Henry Cavill to Liam Hemsworth Seems Clear Now


The Witcher Season 4 will replace its titular character, Geralt of Rivia. Henry Cavill will no longer don the ash-white wig, the suit of armor, and the twin swords. The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth will step into Cavill’s very large shoes and become the new Geralt starting with Season 4. Though we reported not long ago that filming of Season 4 has been delayed to 2024 due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, Netflix is still very much determined to produce this next season of the show. One of the few officially confirmed plot points of this fourth season involves Geralt of Rivia’s new face.

Following a couple of comments, we came up with two possible theories for how The Witcher‘s fourth season will address the new Geralt. Now, in an interview with Wyborcza, executive producer Tomek Baginski has disqualified one of these theories and seemingly confirmed the other.

Season 4 will not explain the new Geralt with a multiverse

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One of the theories was that the show would explain Geralt’s new look with a “multiverse”. The Witcher does indeed have a multitude of different worlds, but in the book lore these many worlds (called Spheres) are entirely different from each other, and so there is only one Geralt of Rivia only in one of these spheres.

This is entirely different from the Marvel and DC definition of the multiverse, where there are copies of the same world with various degrees of difference.

Fortunately, The Witcher producer has once again discussed this matter in an interview with Wyborcza, and here he seems to disqualify the multiverse theory outright.

“Many book readers forget what Andrzej Sapkowski did in the fifth volume of the saga. For me, this is one of the most important things in the whole story. I’m not talking about specific events, but the narrative framework that was introduced in this book. Suddenly, at the beginning of the book, we learn that everything we’ve read so far might not have been true. And this cannot be compared with, for example, the currently popular concept of the multiverse, where out of nowhere there are many different realities.

In saying this, it seems quite likely that Season 4’s “lore-accurate” explanation of Geralt’s new face will not involve the multiverse. And the rest of Baginski’s quote seems to indicate exactly how The Witcher‘s writers will change Geralt.

The Witcher’s story becomes a legend, and about the nature of reality in the saga

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What Baginski refers to when he mentions Sapkowski’s big “revolution” in the fifth and final novel of the Saga, Lady of the Lake, is a few passages set a hundred years after Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer’s story is concluded. By then, the story of the witcher, the princess, and the sorceress has become a legend. And, like many legends, the story spread across the land with many different interpretations.

“There is only one reality in Sapkowski’s work, but because it is a story from the past, what we know has been filtered by various authors, historians, writers, etc. Maybe it is Jaskier’s version or someone else’s. Maybe Ciri had a different eye color, was a different character, and these events looked different from the point of view of the elves.”

Answering a question specifically about the recasting, Baginski said the following: “I’ll say this: I remember the discussions even during the release of the books. 20 years ago, when the 5th book was released, people were very frustrated.

Everything was turned upside down, and suddenly it turned out to be some postmodern play with form. It was supposed to be fantasy, but it turned into a philosophical discourse on the nature of reality. In this context, the world built by Andrzej Sapkowski seems to me one of the most flexible in all of fantasy.

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He continues: “There are, for instance, quotes from encyclopedias or from contemporary songs at the beginning of each chapter. Suddenly, it turns out that we can jump forward and backward in this narrative, change the context of what happened, etc. I see what’s happening among the fans and how rigidly they interpret what The Witcher is. But the truth is, the ways of interpretation can vary widely.

I believe that what has been planned for Season 4 is consistent with the books. But I might interpret it differently than someone who can’t get over the fact that Geralt’s face has changed. I really like the idea for the opening of Season 4, but whether the audience will like it, we’ll see.

In another part Baginski also adds about various interpretations of the story: “The Witcher allows for a lot of freedom and Andrzej Sapkowski gave himself a bit of a loophole to make it easier for him plot-wise in the fifth volume. But because of that, it’s hard to say “no”, e.g. that something is definitely forbidden. It’s not, because we only have one version of the story, and all other versions are equally true.

This will not be the first time the producer points to this possible direction of the story. Baginski told The Express: “We probably don’t have time to go into philosophically the core ideas behind the saga and define the Witcher world, but one of the like big topics in The Witcher world is that every story can be told from many, many POVs – and sometimes those POVs and those versions of the stories are very, very different from what we thought was truth.

Speaking to Yahoo as well there is a mention of these themes and ideas in Book 5 aka Lady of the Lake: “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.

What exactly happens in the books: “Not a single portrait of [character name] exists”

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The passages set in the future, from the novel Lady of the Lake, follow the characters Nimue and Condwiramurs, both of whom are scholars who have studied the legend of Geralt of Rivia.

Nimue invites Condiwarmurs to her home to further study this legend, hoping to uncover some truths with Condwiramurs’ magical dreaming abilities. Below, you can read one passage from the first chapter of the book which may suggest how Geralt can be Henry Cavill and Liam Hemsworth in the show.

‘Who painted that portrait of Ciri? That full-length one?’
‘There isn’t a single portrait of Ciri.’ The voice of the little sorceress was so matter-of-fact it was almost cold. ‘Not here, nor anywhere in the world. Not a single portrait has survived, not a single miniature painted by anybody who could have seen, known or even remembered Ciri. That full-length portrait shows Pavetta, Ciri’s mother, and it was painted by Ruiz Dorrit, court artist to the Cintran monarchs. It is known that Dorrit painted Ciri’s portrait at the age of nine, also full-length, but the canvas, called Infanta with a Greyhound, was lost, regrettably.’

To recap, in the books, a hundred years after the end of the story, no portraits of Ciri remain on the Continent. They were all lost or destroyed. And so, no one actually knows what Ciri truly looked like. Another section a bit later in the chapter expands on this subject.

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‘Not a single portrait of Ciri exists,’ Nimue repeated patiently. ‘Later artists only painted her in scenes, each according to their own imagination. As far as those portraits are concerned, the one on the left is more likely a free variation on the subject, since it depicts the she-elf, Lara Dorren aep Shiadhal, a person the artist couldn’t have known. For the artist is Lydia van Bredevoort, who’s certainly familiar to you from the legend. One of her surviving oils still hangs in the academy.’
‘I know. And the other portrait?’ Nimue looked long at the picture, at the image of a slender girl with fair hair and a sad expression wearing a white dress with green sleeves. ‘It was painted by Robin Anderida,’ she said, turning around and looking Condwiramurs straight in the eyes. ‘And who it portrays … You tell me, dream-reader and oneiromancer. Explain it. And tell me about your dream.’

Though there were no portraits of Ciri in the books, there were several paintings depicting her. Each of them portrays the painter’s imagination of what Ciri may have looked like.

In one case, Ciri was drawn to look exactly like her ancestor Lara Dorren. In another case, it was the Fake Ciri who was painted (a character who was introduced in Season 3, and whose true name in the show is Teryn).

So what will the show do?

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Perhaps, this is exactly what the writers will do in Season 4. Nimue and Condwiramurs could convene as they do in the books, which would certainly be “lore-accurate”.

In the past, we speculated that The Witcher: Blood Origin‘s character Seanchai (Minnie Driver) could also be involved, in addition to or instead of these book characters. As a reminder, Seanchai was officially described as “a shape-shifting collector of old lore with the abilities to travel between time and worlds.”

Showrunner Lauren Hissrich has previously teased Seanchai’s role in Season 4 in an interview with Kultura (also translated from Polish, via CBR). “When we meet her [in Blood Origin], she says that she travels through time and space, that it’s her job to make sure this story is not forgotten. All the time, even now that we’re starting to write scripts for Season 4 of The Witcher, we’re talking about how we can reintroduce this character. So I definitely agree with you and would love to meet her again. We’ll see Avallac’h and Eredin again, but I think she’s really fascinating.”

Whether it will be Seanchai, Nimue, Condwiramurs, or any combination of them, the theory goes like this. These characters meet, as they do in the books, to discuss the legend of Geralt of Rivia and Cirilla of Cintra. But then, they could discuss portraits of Geralt instead of portraits of Ciri.

Perhaps, in the show, it will be Geralt’s portraits that went missing, forcing various painters to interpret and imagine what the legendary Geralt of Rivia looked like on their own. In one of these paintings, Geralt could look exactly like he did in the first three seasons, as Henry Cavill. And in another painting, he would look like Liam Hemsworth.

Maybe to drive this “we can’t know what was really true” idea home, they could also throw in paintings of Michal Zebrowski from The Hexer and CDPR’s Geralt. Which one of these two or four Geralt portraits is the most accurate? Is one truer than the rest? Is one lesser than others? Are all of them true and untrue at the same time? That would be this meta philosophical question.

Are you as convinced as we are that this is what The Witcher‘s producer means regarding the “lore-accurate” transition of Geralt? And what do you think about this choice? Let us know in the below comment section or on our Twitter page. If you prefer a more in-depth conversation, feel free to join our public Discord channel.

25 comments on “How The Witcher Will Explain Geralt Changing from Henry Cavill to Liam Hemsworth Seems Clear Now”

  1. Yeah! That perfectly explains why Geralt will have a different face, but everyone else’s is still the same! Does he think people are so shallow that they won’t notice he’s the only one who’s changed? If that’s their plan, it’s already failed due to their lack of common, or any, sense!

    1. This, exactly this. Why would only 1 personage randomly change and everyone else is exactly the same? Revisionist lore through the lens of storytelling would dictate that the changes in interpolation of the events and chracters would be sweeping, not just “a guy now has a different face”. Feels more like a lazy cop out than a solid pivot. Also, the reason WHY HC quit is the real concern here, and I firmly believe the regular law of diminishing returns the more seasons in you will be on HGH and steroids here. I’ll just play wild hunt again, they titally botched Ciri Jen and Triss to various degrees anyways.

    1. Lol my Geralt is the one from the Audiobooks. The narrator does the absolute best Geralt voice out of anyone who ever tried! Also, does Geralt seem like the type of guy to be like “I’d like you to paint a portrait of me…for my legacy” lol

  2. They missed an opportunity at the end of season 3 when Geralt was injured and recovering.
    They could have covered the actor change as a consequence of a healing potion or something like that.

    1. I agree to that, that was the best part to change Geralt’s face, a consequence for the healing process of Yens magic..

  3. And so there is only one Geralt of Rivia only in one of this spheres. (That’s as far as I got into this piece due to the wording here still interested and have saved it but this one line is baffling my brain this morning )

  4. They clearly have no idea what lore accurate mean. This series is a joke and the problem is not the recasting, it’s the writers who just don’t understand what is that they are reading – if they have read the books at all. Thank fuck the show will flop – it already has – bc the viewers are not as stupid as these producers think we are or they are.

  5. I like hemsworth but being witcher i love im not gonna watch witcher again .. season 3 is my final view..

  6. As in the Witcher 3 game, Geralt could come across some previously lost mutation research. The new mutations enhance or change some of Geralt’s abilities, along with his appearance.

  7. Only one Geralt of Rivia fir me and that is Henry Cavill. He left because the director isn’t staying true to the books, so he has integrity! I won’t be watching the Witcher wit Liam Hemsworth – he isn’t half the actor that Henry is! Such a shame though as the rest of the cast are brilliant but they will find it hard too acting with a completely different actor!

  8. Only one Geralt of Rivia fir me and that is Henry Cavill. He left because the director isn’t staying true to the books, so he has integrity! I won’t be watching the Witcher wit Liam Hemsworth – he isn’t half the actor that Henry is! Such a shame though as the rest of the cast are brilliant but they will find it hard too acting with a completely different actor!

    1. I COMPLETELY agree with pretty much ALL of the comments so far! This was a poorly thought out/planned switch! It should have ended altogether in Season 3! Cavill CAN’T and SHOULDN’T BE replaced!

  9. You lost me when you lost the lore, along with Henry Cavill. He is a true Witcher fan. And I don’t think in my mind anywhere that Liam could ever fill those shoes, does he know anything about the lore of the story. I’m a gamer, Henry’s a gamer I don’t know what Liam is except wishy washy.

  10. Henry was obviously the perfect pick for Geralt and from what I can tell, he seems to be one of the few decent people in Hollywood. I decided long ago that I will watch the show just as long as he is in it and when he is replaced I will ignore any future episodes. I literally named my daughter Cyrilla when I fell in love with the series for the games then read the books, the idiotic wokeness that is added to the show and will obviously become more prevalent when he is gone will just ruin an extremely good story for me, so I’ll be done with it. Then at least, everything I have known and seen from the series is still something good rather than ridiculous.

  11. As others have said, they really messed up the opportunity to change who will play The Witcher at the end of season 3.
    I’m having a hard time imagining Liam Hemsworth as Geralt considering how well Henry Cavill did. I’m willing to keep an open mind for Season 4, episode 1, but if it doesn’t hook me on that episode, won’t bother with the rest. *shrugs*

  12. What’s so funny to watch is the panicking of the producers. These people were so proud in s2 for their original ideas and they swear that Henry’s recast wouldn’t affect the show bc they had so many new ideas to explore and only a few didn’t like voleth meir and now seeing the massive fan reaction for s3, the failure of blood origin, the backlash for Henry’s departure and the drop in the ratings and they suddenly use words like lore accurate (like they know what that even means, like the dear friend letters or the elven city confrontation and aelirenn’s story was book accurate, like “neutrality keeps you alive” was the meaning of the story and the books ffs) and they justify their decisions to simplify the lore (they didn’t simplify it, yen betraying ciri and everything in s2 was a change and a spit in the face of the lore) to the audience who would t understand. Now they have lower ratings bc of their decisions and s4 (if it moves forward ) will be a compete flop and I wonder what excuses they’ll find then. Idiot people! The books, the audience and Henry deserved a serious showrunner and producers not these jokes.

  13. It’s funny how Henry in the tudum event talked about the oversimplification of the characters while he praised his co stars for their performances and now a producer talked about how they had to oversimplify the story for the American audience (🥴). And some people still think there is another reason behind his departure. Whether he was offered better jobs or not the point is that he wasn’t happy with the writing and neither is the audience judging by the numbers and good for him for leaving! I respect him 100 times more. Sometime these Hollywood arrogant producers who think they know better than the original writer (but still get profited by their work) and the millions of fans who adore an ip for a reason must take a lesson. Good luck Mr tomek and Lauren with s4 😂😂😂. May you never touch another series in your life. Thank you Mr Cavill for fighting for the fans. Love him and his Geralt. (no problem with Liam at all though or the other actors, the failure of s4 will not be their fault although I’m afraid they’ll unfairly get the blame – mostly him. I hope everyone knows that the blame is only for the showrunner and the producers who did not respected the fans and the source material and the original author) Goodbye The Witcher & thank you RI for your info.

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