The Witcher probably gave Henry Cavill his biggest hit outside of Superman. But he was also perfectly suited for the role of the silent but strong Geralt of Rivia. The character was an instant success with audiences, becoming one of the bigger factors behind The Witcher’s success. So much so that fans are concerned about the status of season 4, with news of Cavill’s exit and subsequence replacement by Liam Hemsworth. But despite that The Witcher season 3 Geralt further evolves the character beyond his initial depiction. For the better.
Please note that the following will contain some spoilers for the previous 2 seasons of The Witcher, and some of season 3 part 1 as well.
Geralt From Seasons 1 And 2 Of The Witcher
When audiences first met Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) he was a quiet and vicious character. A man of few words, the mutant monster hunter rarely spoke, letting his sword do the talking. It was perfect. Especially when Geralt paired his adventures with the bard Jaskier (Joey Batey) who spoke more than enough for the both of them. Geralt’s strong and sombre demeanour was perfect when facing monsters and harsh and brutal truths.
The depiction even worked when he met Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) and developed the intense sexual tension that added to the success of the show that much more. The tumultuous and tormented Yennefer, desperate to find a magical way to reverse her inability to conceive a child, coupled with a man who never expresses anything; a genius contrast that added to their chemistry even more.
The Grumpiness Of Geralt Worked Even Better With Ciri
By the time season 1 ended, The Witcher cemented Geralt as a stone-cold monster hunter. So when his destiny became intertwined with Ciri’s in a climactic embrace, the stage was set for a Lone Wolf and Cub-type story to take place in season 2. And The Witcher season 3 Geralt is quite different from season 2 as well. Season 2 paved the way for the grumpy Geralt to have to deal with a young and impulsive teenage girl. Becoming the reluctant father to a princess with powers was a great dynamic that season 2 explored, without ever going over the top.
Geralt even sacrificed any romantic happiness he might have sought with Yennefer, in exchange for being there for Ciri. But the tension between them never went away. Their ‘will they-won’t they’ dynamic was consistent through season 2. But with them finally becoming a family in the season 2 finale, the dynamic shifted drastically with the depiction of The Witcher season 3 Geralt.
In The Witcher Season 3 Geralt Has Grown
When The Witcher season 3 begins, Geralt is fully part of Ciri’s life, horsing around with her and just begin a full-on father to her. A natural progression from his depiction in season 2. It is such a great move, to have the character change, given where he is in the story. Even his dynamic with Yennefer has evolved. Spending that much time together sees the two openly discussing their feelings about one another. While initiated by Yennefer’s incessant onslaught of love letters, eventually Geralt shares his feelings about her too.
But even going beyond The Witcher season 3 Geralt’s relationship with the main leads, and even other areas of his life has evolved. When faced with the news of his mother’s passing, Geralt finally opens up about her. Geralt’s mother famously left him behind to become a Witcher; a tragic plot point in season 1. But in The Witcher season 3 Geralt not only discusses but shared a sweet monologue about this mom, bringing closure to his issues with her.
Why Geralt Changing Is The Best Part Of The Witcher Season 3
We’ve seen the grumpy hero turned softy character arc many times. But the subtlety with which it happens with Geralt in The Witcher is incredibly well done. There are no definitive moments where Geralt softens or changes. The writers don’t depict his eventual transition as comedy or as the expense of a joke. There are no wink-and-nod moments that showcase Geralt becoming more loving or romantic. Characters don’t call it out or mock it. It just is.
Geralt’s evolution from a loner butcher into a reluctant father and lover affected other aspects of his personality, as evident by the monologue about his mother. It’s a subtle transition that could have become trite if handled any other way. But in The Witcher season 3, Geralt evolved beyond that archetype into a fully rounded character that isn’t defined by what happened to him in the past.
What did you think about this transition of Geralt in The Witcher season 3? Let me know in the comments below or follow me on Twitter at @theshahshahid to discuss more.