Netflix’s The Witcher has returned with a brand new season. Now that we have seen the lead actors like Henry Cavill and others perform impeccably well, it’s time we gave them the long due admiration.
Freya Allen, Anya Chalotra, and Joey Batey are all part of the frontier cast. Needless to say, the lot has played their part exceptionally well. They all deserve the credit for making the show a massive hit. However, the show’s main lead, Henry Cavill, who plays Geralt of Rivia, received some incredulity over being cast in a fantasy drama. But the actor has exceeded all expectations and proven himself to be flawless in what he does.
Before The Witcher, Henry Cavill was popularly known as DCEU’s Superman. So when news spread of him portraying a brooding, muscular Witcher, fans took it with a pinch of salt. But now, the opinions are entirely flipped. And we believe that Cavill was born to play Geralt of Rivia. And here’s why we think so.
Established actors don’t need to have all the knowledge related to the film or show they are acting in. In fact, they need not be even interested in the theme. After all, even Gwyneth Paltrow does not remember which MCU films she has starred in.
But that’s not the case for Henry Cavill. He is mesmerized by the mystical world of The Witcher. And he is keen on learning everything from both the books and the game. This interest has helped him portray an essential character with such finesse. In many interviews, Henry has expressed that he is “effusive in being loyal to the source material.”
From what we have heard, Cavill constantly nagged his agents to set up a meeting with showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. And this was even before the show was finalized. In fact, Henry was so eager to play the part that he tormented Hissrich so much she said she found him “annoying.” But then, even after sitting through the auditions of 206 actors, Hissrich could not get him out of her head. And it was to everyone’s benefit because she eventually picked him for the role.
Freya Allan, who plays Ciri, let us in on her experience on set while working with Henry. She revealed that “on set, we’ll be doing a scene… and he’ll be like, ‘I think we should use this line from page 253 from Blood of Elves.'” Okay, perhaps that makes him a geeky know-it-all. But isn’t it so adorable?
Henry Cavill admitted that he was fascinated by the trilogy of games. And that the games were how he got into the fantasy genre in the first place. Cavill also mentioned that Doug Cockle’s Geralt in the games was where he picked his thick, gruff tone of voice from.
Indeed, the show is heavily based on books. But it manages to acknowledge the games and the gaming fans by including the iconic bathtub scenes. As a matter of fact, Henry even wanted to try and put his feet up in the scene as a subtle way of addressing the game. Evidently so, he looked way too comfortable in that bathtub. Granted, he could’ve heated things if not for the awkward-sized bath, as well as a remark from someone on the set that stopped the moment from going overboard.
The only thing Henry wants for his iteration of Geralt is for the character to do justice to the books. This goal drew Cavill to get more involved in the production of season two. He repeatedly encouraged Geralt to be given more of a fleshed-out voice. This expressiveness allowed him and the audience to understand his character better.
In a casual conversation with Lorraine, Henry referred to his creating a book-based Geralt. This change is more evident in the character’s overall personality in the second season. Henry said that “Andrzej Sapkowski wrote an incredibly nuanced and beautiful three-dimensional character, and I campaigned very, very hard to make sure that character existed in season two.”
Are you aware of Henry’s fondness for the fantasy genre? Recently, Henry Cavill appeared on Graham Norton’s talk show to promote the new season. And in conversation, he mentioned his love for both The Witcher and Warhammer. The actor even owns a collection of Warhammer miniatures. As fans may have heard, he almost missed Zach Snyder informing him of his Superman role because he was deep in a raid on World of Warcraft. Men gotta have their priorities straight, right?
Cavill was asked if the action sequences and sword work in the new season were authentic. And he admitted, “that is 100% me. It is very important to me that I continue the character inessential character must exist within the action as well as in the dialogue scenes.”
Henry spent a lot of time on set and backstage training with the sword. Apparently, it took him ten days to perfect a two-minute fight sequence down to the details. If that isn’t dedication, we don’t know what is.
Geralt’s relationship with Jaskier, the bard, brings the necessary lightheartedness to the show. It kind of balances the other dark and dull undertones of the show. There are two scenes in particular that best describe their unusual friendship. The first is when Geralt is in the bath (again). And second is when Geralt goes back to save Yen, and Jaskier says to him, “are you perhaps short of a marble?!”
An honorary mention would be all their little adventurous moments leading up to Jaskier crafting season one’s most viral song, “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher.”
If you wish to see the wholesome duo, here are three and a half minutes of Geralt and Jaskier just being Geralt and Jaskier:
Who are we kidding? Any episode of The Witcher is incomplete without Geralt dropping the f-word.
This meticulously edited video brings together all of the 40 “hmm”s from season one. And we must say, each one gets the best of us. And we are absolutely grateful for it.
Cavill’s character is a mutant who isn’t very vocal and prefers keeping his opinions to himself. Given the personality, Henry thought it important to emphasize the one word his character often uses to express his emotions. And the actor definitely succeeded in making the dullest word in the human vocabulary into something entirely different.
Henry Cavill is conventionally pretty. So when the fans heard that he was cast to play a husky, arrogant character with a dark past, fans were a little skeptical. However, his prior knowledge about the franchise and his devotion towards intricacies turned that table. After all, that low growly doesn’t come to just anyone.
The cherry on the cake, Cavill, is incredibly respectful. He refuses to dismiss the fans’ opinions and truly appreciates even the criticism. He does not believe that The Witcher had a ‘toxic and unhealthy’ fanbase. And that makes him more delightful.
In a conversation with Jake Hamilton, Henry admitted that it is nearly impossible to create something that aligns with people’s expectations because of the well-established games and books.
Many have praised Henry’s work in the series. But Andrej Sapkowski’s comment on Henry’s performance is possibly the greatest ever. When witnessing Henry’s Geralt for the first time, Andrej said, “just as Viggo Mortensen put his face to Aragorn, so Henry gave his to Geralt – and it shall be forever so.” We all know that Viggo’s Aragorn is the single most iconic character in the history of the fantasy genre. So it seems that Henry is doing pretty good for himself.
In one of his Instagram posts, Henry has written the caption – “the bond Kal and I share is so second nature by now that some light affection like this is all instinct.”
Sound familiar to a scene in season one where Geralt says, “I talk to my horse.”
The Witcher seasons one and two are now streaming on Netflix exclusively.