Netflix’s hit fantasy drama series The Witcher showcases the most fascinating characters, who possess odd but attractive physical features. The show’s recently premiered second season ponders on why Geralt sports the white hair and yellow eyes look. Especially because it is an unusual trait among Witchers.
The Witcher’s main character, the titular monster hunter, stands out in his appearance. This is not only because of his intimidatingly mountainous personality, but also another striking facial feature. Geralt of Rivia has blazing yellow eyes, and he sports iconic white shoulder-length hair. Considering how odd these physical traits are, it is reasonable to assume that all Witchers possess the same looks. However, The Witcher Season 2 rebuffs the common misconception.
Throughout the long run of The Witcher Season 1, the only monster hunter we see on the show is Geralt of Rivia. This is because the basic purpose of the first installment was to introduce the main characters and set the foundation for the mystical world. This is why the protagonist stood alone. Not allowing his distinguishing looks to be placed in line with other Witchers. But with the debut of The Witcher Season 2, audiences were met with more key characters to ascertain their theories with.
Geralt of Rivia and Princess Cirilla of Cintra, his Child Surprise, travel the Continent on their way to the mountains in Kaer Morhen. The old fortress is where the remaining Witchers come to rest and reunite. The family of mutated monster hunters is the closest thing Geralt has to a home. It is here that the story reveals how none of the other Witchers possess Geralt’s peculiar features.
Just to get it out of the way, Geralt’s white hair has absolutely no links to him being almost a hundred years old. But the answer to this curious question lies in the character’s history. Witcher apprentices commence their training at a very young age. The boys are trained in strenuous physical and magical combat. Also, their physiology is tampered with to achieve remarkable senses and abilities. The chemical process that gives Witchers like Geralt their powers is called the ‘Trial of the Grasses’. The process causes the subject to undergo tremendous pain. And only “3 out of 10 boys survive the trial.”
Which means that Geralt is among the Witchers who underwent turmoil to withstand extreme experimentation just because he had the strength to tolerate the process. It is the side effects of these extra modifications that caused his hair to whiten and his eyes to turn yellow. As well as giving him the title of the ‘White Wolf’. This is essentially why he is the only Witcher with unique pigmentation.
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The Witcher Season 2, Episode 3, titled “Kaer Morhen” introduces the remaining Witchers. The tribe consists of roughly 12 men. Of which, the ones most significant are Vesemir, Eskel, Lambert, and Coen. All the Witchers possess the ability for quick response in dangerous situations as well as inhuman strength. But apart from this, they lack in potential as compared to Geralt’s. And thus, Season 2 Witchers does not carry Geralt’s distinctive looks either.
Coen has a black beard and eyes of differing colors. Whereas his close acquaintance Lambert is a redhead with brown eyes. On the other hand, Geralt’s close friend Eskel is a blue-eyed brunette. With that said, Vesemir, the oldest Witcher, is somehow the closest one in sharing the physical attributes of the White Wolf. Vesemir also sports gold eyes and gray hair. However, these traits are merely an indication of the Witcher’s age.
Vesemir is believed to be over 300 years old. He was there during the devastating fall of Kaer Morhen. In Netflix’s animated feature film, The Witcher: Nightmare Of The Wolf, a younger Vesemir depicts up the story of the time where his hair is black. This backs the theory that his gray hair is but an indication of his old age.
Regardless of his common dismissal and death-or-glory attitude, Geralt still suffers from the pain that the tedious process of mutation caused him. This is particularly in the side effects seen through his physical attribution. Looking back on the scene from The Witcher Season 1, Episode 8, titled “Much More”, we see how Geralt hallucinates his mother. Geralt mockingly asks the woman, “How do you like my eyes?”.
Geralt is always suppressing his anger. It is evident in his struck eyes and the rigidity in his face. We can clearly see that the Butcher of Blaviken is still traumatized by the mutations he underwent to become the monster slayer.
Certainly, there is nothing to argue about the fact that it is the arduous training and the tremendously scary mutation that turned Geralt into an undefeatable Witcher. And an intimidating personality comes as a bittersweet by-product. The Witcher Season 2 clarifies that white hair and yellow eyes are not something that distinguishes all Witchers alike. This is because they are a sign of the extremes that Geralt went through as a young boy.
As it appears, this scenario serves the titular hero in the best ways possible. It allows Geralt to catch the eye for an extra second, the other characters in the fascinating Witcher lore.