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The showrunner explains why Henry Cavill left The Witcher: “We Had The Choice to End The Witcher”

The main point of conversation surrounding Netflix’s The Witcher Season 3 is unquestionable that it will mark Henry Cavill’s final portrayal of Geralt of Rivia.

The remarks made by those involved in the show have been scarce and need more detail. However, as the promotion for Season 3 intensifies, we are now starting to receive more information.

Henry Cavill’s departure from the role of Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher season 3 may raise concerns about Netflix’s ongoing alterations to the established canon. The story of The Witcher originates from Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series, which also inspired the beloved video game franchise.

Regrettably, the Netflix series has gained a reputation for making unnecessary and unpopular modifications to the familiar narrative. With Cavill’s decision to move on from his portrayal of Geralt, it is feared that the deviations from canon will further escalate in The Witcher season 3.

The alterations to The Witcher’s established canon commenced during season 1, as Netflix took significant creative liberties with the backgrounds of Geralt, Ciri, and particularly Yennefer.

Although these changes provided a stronger foundation for the characters and were generally accepted without much controversy, the modifications to the canon derived from the books and video games intensified in The Witcher season 2.

Yennefer’s powers were stripped away, a newly-introduced primary antagonist emerged, and The Witcher started to resemble an entirely different fantasy series.

On Henry Cavill’s departure, Lauren Hissrich goes into further detail

On Henry Cavill's departure, Lauren Hissrich goes into further detail
On Henry Cavill’s departure, Lauren Hissrich goes into further detail

In an interview with Total Film magazine, showrunner Lauren Hissrich provided further explanation about Henry Cavill’s departure from the show and shared that they had considered other options instead of recasting:

“It was a point in his life where he needed to move on. We’ve all been processing this loss in our way. We had the option to let Geralt leave and conclude the show. However, we were willing to take a different path. There are still too many untold stories that need to be shared.”

“If we were to substitute Geralt with another Witcher, we would be deviating entirely from the books, and that’s not what anyone desired either.

She also conveyed her positive outlook for The Witcher Season 4 and the inclusion of Liam Hemsworth, who is slated to take over Cavill’s role:

“We’re all filled with anticipation for Liam’s arrival. He has significant expectations to meet, but he also brings great enthusiasm and energy to the project. It’s undoubtedly a fresh new chapter for us, with many factors to consider. However, ultimately, we have a deep passion for our work and will persist.”

In a previous interview with Entertainment Weekly, Anya Chalotra also shared her thoughts on the matter. She learned about Henry Cavill’s departure after they had already completed Season 3:

“At that time, we were all aware of the emotions that arise when a season ends. We felt a sense of pride, love, and achievement for what we had accomplished. So, we focused on cherishing that moment rather than dwelling on anything else.

The news was yes; it’s difficult to accept because he is a vital part of the show, and we all hold him dear. We will miss him greatly. I sincerely wish him all the best.”

With Cavill’s departure, the Witcher canon will diverge even further

With Cavill's departure, the Witcher canon will diverge even further
With Cavill’s departure, the Witcher canon will diverge even further

Following the hostile reception of The Witcher season 2, one might have expected Netflix to learn from its missteps and return to a more faithful canon portrayal. However, the announcement of Geralt’s departure after The Witcher season 3 suggests otherwise.

Henry Cavill, who is known to be a fan of The Witcher books and video games, has long been rumored to have made personal efforts behind the scenes to ensure his character and the overarching storyline remained faithful to the source material.

Cavill has consistently emphasized the significance of honoring Andrzej Sapkowski’s canon, expressing that he needed to continue portraying Geralt in The Witcher.

With Cavill’s departure after The Witcher season 3, it appears that the Netflix adaptation will continue to distance itself from the established canon, especially considering the significant deviations in season 2.

It is challenging to envision The Witcher straying even further from its original course. Without Cavill’s persistent advocacy for canon authenticity, evident in his deep involvement and passion for the project, The Witcher season 3 and subsequent seasons will likely veer even more from Geralt’s original narrative. Undoubtedly, The Witcher season 4 will face the daunting task of handling Cavill’s exit as Geralt convincingly.

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The Future Of The Witcher Is A Problem Due To Canon Changes

The Future Of The Witcher Is A Problem Due To Canon Changes
The Future Of The Witcher Is A Problem Due To Canon Changes

It is inevitable for any film or TV adaptation of a book series to introduce changes to the canon, and this has long been a source of concern for existing fans. However, in the context of The Witcher, there has already been a unique and widely embraced adaptation of Sapkowski’s book series.

The Witcher video games incorporated alterations to Geralt’s narrative while preserving the atmosphere and essence. Moreover, numerous fans first encountered the franchise through the games, which sparked their interest in delving into the books to uncover the authentic canon storyline.

If Netflix’s The Witcher had been the initial adaptation of the books, it might have enjoyed more creative liberty. However, the existing canon was deeply entrenched, making implementing substantial changes without repercussions challenging.

Ultimately, The Witcher’s canon diverges from the books and games, resulting in a lack of cohesiveness within the world. The best chance for The Witcher would have been to take a step back and rely more on the established story. However, with Cavill, known for adhering to canon, now departing, it appears unlikely that this approach will be pursued.

How Henry Cavill’s departure from the cast of Blood Origin poses a threat

How Henry Cavill's departure from the cast of Blood Origin poses a threat
How Henry Cavill’s departure from the cast of Blood Origin poses a threat

Netflix’s The Witcher centers around the central character Geralt of Rivia, portrayed by Henry Cavill. Although Cavill was not initially a popular choice among fans to portray Geralt, the actor brings a unique character quality while staying true to Geralt’s portrayal in the Witcher books and games. Essentially, Henry Cavill’s Geralt has become the face of The Witcher.

The hostile reception of Blood Origin, with a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, suggests that the Witcher TV universe still needs to prepare to move on from Cavill. While The Witcher has rich lore, expanding the series beyond Geralt may be challenging.

In The Witcher, Henry Cavill will not be departing from the show. Instead, Liam Hemsworth will take over the role of Geralt for season 4, allowing the series to continue with Geralt as the main character.

However, this transition may be challenging, as seen in the example of Blood Origin. The Witcher is widely regarded as one of Netflix’s most successful recent releases and holds the potential to become a franchise.

However, the show has yet to establish itself as a massive franchise, particularly after the mixed reception of season 2. Undoubtedly, Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Geralt has played a vital role in The Witcher’s success and has garnered widespread acclaim.

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