The Witcher Season 3 Makes Henry Cavill’s Geralt Exit Worse

There’s no getting around the fact that Henry Cavill is leaving after The Witcher season 3, with Geralt of Rivia being recast and Liam Hemsworth taking over the role, but unfortunately it makes the Netflix show even worse. Netflix dropped a bombshell back in October 2022 when it was suddenly revealed that Cavill will leave The Witcher after season 3, with Hemsworth confirmed as his replacement. That has hung over the show ever since, dooming its prequel, The Witcher: Blood Origin, and certainly casting a shadow over The Witcher season 3 as well.



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There have been various discussions as to why Cavill is leaving The Witcher and whether Hemsworth will be a suitable replacement, but there are bigger questions beyond those now. The Witcher season 3 is Cavill’s last hurrah, and judged purely on his performance as Geralt it’s a fitting one, at least through the first five episodes that make-up part one. Netflix, which spent around $319 million across The Witcher seasons 1 and 2 [via Forbes], has a lot invested in getting this right; sadly, the signs are it’s going wrong.

Related: The Witcher Season 3, Part 1 Ending Explained: What Happens To Geralt



Henry Cavill Is Really Great In The Witcher Season 3 – But The Show Good Isn’t Without Him

Henry Cavill as Geralt looking intense in The Witcher Season 3

It should come as no surprise after the past two seasons, but The Witcher season 3 is another reminder of just how good Henry Cavill is as Geralt of Rivia. Much more than Superman, this is the role that really defines Cavill as an actor, and season 3, part 1 highlights all of his strengths brilliantly. Geralt’s action scenes are once again great and convincing that this is one of the most powerful people around, exuding incredible confidence in everything he does; he’s incredibly charismatic and charming when he needs to be, suitably brooding when he doesn’t, and low-key pretty funny too.

Related: Everything We Know About The Witcher Season 3, Part 2

The Witcher season 3 is at its best when Cavill is on-screen, and especially in the scenes between him and Ciri (Freya Allen), which give the show its emotional core and the biggest reason to invest in its story. When Cavill is off-screen – which happens an increasing amount in season 3 as its expands its scope further and gives multiple supporting players more screen time – The Witcher unfortunately, but very noticeably, sags. Few characters are as interesting (and many aren’t interesting full stop), and there’s no one who can match the arresting presence Cavill brings. Everything good about The Witcher season 3 goes through him, and all the bad happens in (and often because of) his absence.

Liam Hemsworth Could Be A Good Geralt… But Will He Be Given A Chance?

Liam Hemsworth with Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher

Anyone replacing Henry Cavill as Geralt in The Witcher would have a difficult task on their hands. That’s made worse for Liam Hemsworth, who isn’t a name many people would have put in the frame for recasting Geralt. It’s also true that Hemsworth doesn’t have the same credentials that Cavill did when coming into the role – there’s no Superman, nor even an arms-reloading action scene stealer like Cavill’s villain in Mission: Impossible – Fallout – but that doesn’t mean he should be written off. He’s proved his fantasy franchise credentials and charm in The Hunger Games, and his action chops in things like The Expendables 2. Even if there’s nothing screaming he’s perfect, there’s little to say he’s bad either.

Ultimately, however, whether Liam Hemsworth’s Geralt is great, awful, or utterly average probably won’t matter all that much. The disappointment of Cavill’s exit – and the surprising choice of replacement only adds to this – has dominated conversation of The Witcher ever since it was announced, and audiences aren’t getting over it. It isn’t a question of whether people will like Hemsworth’s Geralt, but if he’ll be given a chance to prove himself to them in the first place. With Cavill’s exit likely to lead to many turning off after season 3 (if not sooner), then his take on the Witcher might be DOA.

Is There Any Hope For The Witcher’s Future Without Henry Cavill’s Geralt?

Ciri with her hands up while Yennefer watches in The Witcher season 3

Flashing back to the end of 2021, and The Witcher’s future seemed incredibly bright. The Witcher season 2 had some issues, but it was a big hit; season 3 was confirmed before season 2 even released; animated movie Nightmare of the Wolf received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; multiple more spinoffs were planned. This was a golden goose franchise for Netflix, which could apparently do little wrong. Then things rapidly changed in 2022: Cavill shockingly announced his exit, and later its next prequel, The Witcher: Blood Origin, proved to be a dud (just 30% on Rotten Tomatoes).

The Witcher season 4 is happening, that much is guaranteed (at least at the time of writing), but beyond that things are far less clear. More animated spinoff movies and shows have been announced, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they didn’t happen now. The Witcher season 5 and beyond – because the story it’s telling can’t be wrapped up in just season 4 – could happen if season 4’s ratings are good enough (and it’s well received), but again it wouldn’t be a surprise at this point if things fell further. The Witcher is offering up diminishing returns even with Cavill, and while it has a future without him – and other talent, like Allen, who could step up more – it could well be a dark one.

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