“Henry Cavill’s been cast as Geralt.”
I had just come back from a convention. On one of the days, I had cosplayed Witcher with my friends. I was already a fan, and looking forward to Netflix—but waking up and hearing that from my partner, who was scrolling through his phone was… bizarre, and I was instantly wary and hoping to be proven wrong when Cavill took the role on.
He… hasn’t quite managed to prove me wrong yet.
Netflix recently revealed the first look at Cavill’s Geralt, and my reaction is pretty much the same as the rest of the internet. It’s a weird choice.
Things Cavill Needs
cavill's geralt needs— blue eyes white privilege (@thorlokid) October 31, 2018
▪️a better wig
▪️big ass scars all over that face
▪️a wig that isn't terrible
▪️cat eyes idc that its only suppose to happen in darkness i want them
▪️hella dark eyeshadow that makes him look like he's dying
▪️any wig but that one
I know what people are going to say when they read this. “Geralt in the books doesn’t have as many scars or a beard!”
True. Geralt’s description isn’t really given to us in the books, so it’s pretty open to interpretation. But he does need to look rougher to give off that Geralt vibe. He’s definitely supposed to look like he’s seen some stuff even by the time this Netflix series is happening, even way before the games, but he looks all pretty and elven. Hopefully this is just a first look and Netflix can willingly listen to the shocked feedback.
A Bad Halloween Costume
First look at Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia. pic.twitter.com/out3Am0Jph— Andy Kelly (@ultrabrilliant) October 31, 2018
Okay, but the quality is actually kind of similar.
I wish we could see the rest of Cavill’s outfit—though maybe I would never have recovered from the horror. Still, maybe the rest of the outfit would have been better quality. This tweet is so apt because it just doesn’t look like much effort has been put into the costume. Netflix have surely given a pretty big budget for such an epic fantasy—did they use it all up on actually hiring Cavill?
They seemed so weirdly excited to release this preview. It’s like they were hoping we wouldn’t realise the bad quality.
Geralt Targayen, First Of His Name
All I see with Henry Cavill's Geralt is a Viserys cosplay. pic.twitter.com/VIaZUeNnXT— Jim Sterling (@JimSterling) November 2, 2018
I love this one because the only positive thing I could find to say was, “He’d make a decent Rhaegar Targaryen.”
He absolutely does look like a Targaryen. The clean-shaven pale skin, the silver hair way past his shoulders… if they had said he was going to be cast as Rhaegar in more flashbacks in the final season of Game of Thrones, I probably would have been less bothered than them saying he was going to be cast as Geralt. Though at least on that show, they’d probably have given him a somewhat realistic looking hairline.
Geralt Targaryen, Father of Dragons…
Choose Your Player
I'm sorry, but is Henry Cavill supposed to be Geralt.... or Raiden? pic.twitter.com/XJINEkuAjq— Bennett The Sage (@BennettTheSage) October 31, 2018
Another frequent comparison has been Raiden from the Mortal Kombat movies. Which makes sense. Not only does Cavill definitely look like Raiden, but those movies also looked fairly low budget.
I just don’t understand why they couldn’t have splashed out more money on this look. People are scrambling to say that it may not yet be finished, which is true—but why show a cheap first look when they could have saved the big reveal to be something more impressive? Book Geralt, game Geralt, it doesn’t matter what kind of vibe Cavill is giving off—the truth is, the costume is just cheap. My cosplayer friends have way higher quality stuff, and this isn’t even their job.
My Father Will Hear About This
Another all too accurate comparison…
Seriously though—he kind of does look like a younger Lucius. Age Lucius back twenty years, or put Cavill next to Draco, and you can really picture it. Even the expression on Cavill’s face in the preview makes him look like a Malfoy. It’s just weird that there are so many fantasy characters he actually kind of fits and yet, the only silver-haired fantasy character he looks nothing like is the one he’s supposed to be playing.
I keep comforting myself by saying at least I’m getting a good laugh out of the tweets.
Nice Costume, Henry
"Oh, cool, Henry Cavill is doing Geralt for Halloween, didn't know he was a Witcher fan."— Dan Olson (@FoldableHuman) October 31, 2018
"He's in the Netflix version. That's the production costume and wig."
This person actually saw the costume and thought he was dressing up for Halloween. It would have made sense. Cavill has said before that he’s a big fan of The Witcher and has played the third game twice (which is quite an undertaking—it’s a long, open world game). It would have made sense if this was just a Halloween costume. But even if it had been an amateur Halloween costume, I would have been pretty critical of just how little Geralt he gives off in his vibes. So the fact this is for the official TV show is… it kills me inside a little.
Witch Hunter Gary
You’ve seen bootleg costumes, right? When companies want to sell costumes of characters they don’t have the license to so they sell worse, cheaper versions? That’s what this is making fun of—suggesting Cavill’s Geralt is a bootleg version of actual Geralt.
I wonder if Netflix is going to go on ignoring the bad reception or if they’re going to maturely take the criticism and alter it a little. What’s weird is, the actual author of the books is on that team as a creative influence—I can’t imagine why he didn’t ask why his witcher looks a bit too elven?
He’s Taking The Hobbits to Isengard
Legolas was the first thing my friend said to me when she saw Cavill’s costume, and it’s the one that’s stuck in my head. He looks like he’s trying to play Legolas. That’s so true. Even the wig is just a worse version of the one that Legolas wears.
Legolas is the one character I can’t imagine they didn’t spot the resemblance to—and because Legolas is so iconic in fantasy already and so vastly different from Geralt, why not try to get away from that pretty elven image? Rough Geralt up a little! Give him some scars and some dark, tired, haunted eyes!
This one is, hands down, my favorite reaction because the wig is about the same quality as the one they’ve actually used.
The one good thing is that Netflix has said he will grow a beard while he’s out hunting monsters and witchering, which will serve to make him look a little rougher. No, book Geralt doesn’t necessarily have a beard—he should, since I don’t know when he has time to shave, but it’s never mentioned—but the point is that Cavill needs something to make him look like that rough and tough witcher we all know and love.
It’s Funny ‘Cause It’s True
when you play the witcher screen test backwards it looks like geralt is at a party listening to a man explain why the works of Woody Allen still have value pic.twitter.com/WWNsgs0Zo7— Patrick "The Stuffing Enjoyer" Gill (@Pizza_Suplex) October 31, 2018
Okay, okay. I’m going to stop criticizing this look and try to let Cavill have a chance at impressing me. But whether you think his Geralt costume looks great or you’re also in camp “why does it look like they bought this off Amazon?”, you can’t deny that this tweet is accurate. Watch the video played backwards—he looks like he’s doing a shot and sighing because he’s in some really bad company and listening to something he categorically does not agree with.
Maybe they’ll fix up this look, or maybe this is really it—only time will tell. I at least think the casting of Triss is excellent.