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HomeHealth and MedicalHow The Witcher's Season 3 Finale Sets Up Henry Cavill's 'Heroic' Exit

How The Witcher‘s Season 3 Finale Sets Up Henry Cavill’s ‘Heroic’ Exit

preview for The Witcher Season 3: Part 2 trailer

The second volume of The Witcher Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix, officially ending Henry Cavill’s tenure as Geralt of Rivia. It was announced last year that the role, which Cavill pursued for years prior to the series being made, will be played by Liam Hemsworth in Season 4, and news of Cavill’s replacement has prompted all kinds of theories as to how and why the switch will take place.

Unlike many TV dramas, there is an opportunity for this off-screen business to be depicted within the world of The Witcher. This is a fantasy show, after all, where pretty much anything is possible; shapeshifting and dimension-jumping abound on the Continent, and Witchers are by their very nature “mutants” whose bodies have already undergone drastic alterations as a part of their initiation.

Naturally, this led some viewers to speculate as to whether the recasting would be represented in the canon of the series, with Cavill’s Geralt undergoing some kind of Doctor Who-like on-screen regeneration into Hemsworth in Season 3, Volume 2.

And when Geralt was gravely injured following his battle with the mage Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu) and spirited away to the dryad healers in the woods, that certainly seemed to be where the story was heading: would the Witcher’s return from the brink of death be accompanied by a magical, physical transformation?

henry cavill, geralt of rivia, the witcher

Netflix

Is Liam Hemsworth in The Witcher Season 3 finale?

Hemsworth does not appear in the Season 3 finale, “The Cost of Chaos,” and it seems as if it was written before Cavill’s departure was announced—however, the character does go through a dramatic change which signifies that we will be dealing with a very different version of the Witcher moving forward.

It takes Geralt the majority of the episode to recover from his wounds and regain enough strength to embark on his search for Ciri. During this time, he is also battling internally, torn between his avowed commitment to staying neutral and above the political fray, and his devotion to the girl he has come to love like a daughter.

Orbit The Time of Contempt (The Witcher, Book 4)

The Time of Contempt (The Witcher, Book 4)

Orbit The Time of Contempt (The Witcher, Book 4)

In the final action set-piece of “The Cost of Chaos,” we see Geralt relinquish that neutrality, violently defeating a group of racketeering Nilfgaardian soldiers and relinquishing the bejeweled pin that he has held close ever since the very first episode, when he was forced to kill Renfri. “Neutrality be damned,” echoes Yennefer’s closing voiceover, foreshadowing big changes in Season 4.

“Henry has given so much to the show and so we want to honor that appropriately,” showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich told EW, explaining that Season 3, which is based on the novel Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski, is probably the “closest” they have ever hewn to the source material, including several “defining character moments.”

“Geralt’s big turn is about giving up neutrality and doing anything that he has to do to get to Ciri,” she said. “And to me, it’s the most heroic sendoff that we could have, even though it wasn’t written to be that. Geralt has a new mission in mind when we come back to him in season 4. He’s a slightly different Geralt than we expected. Now, by the way, that’s an understatement.”

Headshot of Philip Ellis

Philip Ellis

Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.

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