I’ve got questions and I’ve got comments about this Geralt of Rivia look. To start, I’d just like to point out how interesting it is that almost 100% of the publicity for this Netflix Witcher show has just been quick posts, videos, or stills on Henry Cavill’s own Instagram page. First, it was the announcement itself, then we got a short teaser of how the actor looked in the ashen wig, and now Cavill has released the first full body shot of the monster hunting protagonist himself, as well as several other promotional stills.
I would refer you back to my article from January covering my hopes for this series, but now I’d just like to break down the look of our lead. The 36-year old British actor is already very well known for his role as Superman in the DCEU (which may or may not still exist). Very physical characters, therefore, are not unknown to him and this was a major reason I was excited to hear about his casting. In the wig and armor, he casts an intimidating silhouette that is very fitting for a medieval brawler like Gerald. Cavill is no stranger of a courtly era, having a leading role in the acclaimed Tudors series which covered the reign of King Henry VIII.
The outfit itself is a pretty faithful adaptation of the dark Witcher gear that the hunter is known for bringing into battle. The biggest alteration seems to be the redesign of the medallion. The famous Wolf School sigil does not seem to bear much, or any, resemblance to its in-game counterpart.
The neck piece looks more like a traditional wolf than this classic front facing insignia, though Geralt is called White Wolf by many characters within the series, so maybe making the iconography clear was a goal. It is possible that the origin of Geralt’s training may have been changed for this live action adaptation.
The next big change, or rather deletion, is the fact that Geralt is only brandishing a single sword. Witchers are famed and easily identified in the world of the game for carrying two swords on their backs at all times. A steel sword, for killing men, and a silver sword, for killing monsters. The fact that he only has one makes me speculate that this story may be exploring some of Geralt’s earliest adventures in training as a Witcher. This would explain his only having one weapon as well as the complete absence of the hero’s iconic facial scars.
Overall, I do like the look. I like it a lot. People are making comparisons to Cavill looking like an edgier Legolas, which I don’t disagree with, but I don’t think that this is necessarily a bad thing. Geralt is well known for his intimate relationships with gorgeous sorceresses, so I don’t mind the casting of a handsome actor for the part. And yes, you are correct. He doesn’t have a beard like Witcher 3. But this is obviously a younger Geralt’s story. If this show is successful enough to have multiple seasons, I think it makes sense for Cavill to be able to grow more into the part and pick up wounds in his monster hunting as well as eventually sport the awesome beard from the 2015 masterpiece. And, come on, we know the guy can grow great facial hair. I refer you to the CGI mouth debacle from Justice League.
I am excited to see more from the series soon. A specific release date is currently unknown, but the current belief is that it will debut on the streaming platform near the end of 2019.