Last weekend, British star Henry Cavill announced that he would be stepping down from his three-season run as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher series, to be replaced by Chris Hemsworth’s brother, Liam Hemsworth.
He wrote in part: “My journey as Geralt of Rivia has been filled with both monsters and adventures,
and alas, I will be laying down my medallion and my swords for Season 4.”
Despite Cavill’s rather sweet message to Hemsworth, fans have not taken the news well. Many were overjoyed with Cavill’s grim, personable, yet deadly work with the character — giving longtime supporters a thrilling look at a fully-realized Geralt. While some fans wrote sad messages on Cavill’s social media accounts, a few have decided to not take the news lying down — putting forward a more critical narrative surrounding the casting change.
Initiated by one Stef Ma, a Change.org petition has been launched, with over 10,000 signatures at
the time of writing this article.
“The reason why The Witcher is such a popular show is the fans’ love of the source material of books
and games, that are hated by and have actively been mocked by the writers and showrunner,” said
the petition listing. “Henry Cavill is one of those big fans, he knows all of it inside out and wanted to
stay true to Sapkowski’s world, which is why Netflix wants to replace him.”
It’s true — from Warhammer 40k to gaming PC subcultures, Cavill is surprisingly geeky and garnered a massive fan following for his discussions on gaming, literature, and pop culture. Fans understood that the actor thoroughly dove into and enjoyed the Witcher books and games long before actually appearing in front of the camera for Netflix — and waded through a show that, without his presence wasn’t offering all too much.
While subjective, it’s true that the showrunners were not aiming to create a perfect 1-1 realization of The Witcher’s world. The fanbase reacted as you might expect — with some users flinging prejudiced insults at the show for adopting race-free casting criteria, while others simply criticized the writing team’s skills:
The petition concluded: “We already had to suffer through the disaster that was the end of Game of
Thrones – NETFLIX doesn’t repeat the exact same mistake of holding onto writers and showrunners that believe themselves to be superior to the actual creator of the stories that made them successful.”
We’ll see Cavill as Geralt for the last time when The Witcher: Season 3 drops next summer.
Lead Image: Netflix