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The Witcher Recasting Geralt Is A Bummer But It's Nothing New For The Genre

In October 2022, the hearts of "The Witcher" fans were shattered when Henry Cavill, who portrays leading man Geralt of Rivia, announced that he'd be leaving the Netflix series after the third season. Cavill shared this unexpected news in an Instagram post, which was flooded with messages of sadness. In fact, many followers threatened to stop watching "The Witcher" without Cavill.

It's not that they dislike his replacement, Liam Hemsworth. They just can't envision anyone but Cavill – an avid fan of the franchise – playing the monster hunter. While filming the show, Cavill often tapped into his vast "Witcher" knowledge to make each scene as true to the lore as possible, especially for Season 2. He told Total Film, "This season, I really wanted to make sure that we represented the book's Geralt more accurately, and that we saw him speak more. I pushed really, really hard for that."

Some, including Doug Cockle, the voice behind the video game version of Geralt, believe Cavill is departing because the Netflix series is deviating from the source material. He said during an appearance at MCM Comic Con (via u/MAAAX547 on Reddit), "If that's the case, I can completely understand that, because Henry is such a huge fan of the games and the books ..." Others feel Cavill's departure is due to his anticipated — and now canceled -– reprisal of Superman, who he played in 2013's "Man of Steel" (via CNN).

Whether Cavill's exit from "The Witcher" is due to his dislike of the writing or because he wanted to don a red cape again, a different actor is taking on Geralt, and that's something fans will have to live with. Plus, this isn't the first time such a drastic casting change is coming to a fictional show or film series.

Actors have been recast in many other franchises

The recasting of Geralt is certainly a bummer for many "The Witcher" fans, but this is a rather common occurrence in the industry. Actors are replaced for many reasons, such as negative publicity, death in between seasons/installments, or the simple desire to move their career in a fresh direction. Many times, their replacements aren't welcomed with open arms, but viewers learn to adapt.

A prime example is the change-up of Albus Dumbledore from Richard Harris to Michael Gambon in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." Harris died of Hodgkin's disease in 2002 (via EW), so this recasting couldn't be helped. Still, many continue to feel that Harris better embodied the Hogwarts headmaster. On Reddit, u/DavidFTyler said, "Richard Harris definitely had the wise, calm, old-but-hiding something kind of demeanor to him."

HBO's "Game of Thrones" saw a number of recastings, some of which were rather jarring. When Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) first meets sellsword Daario Naharis, he's played by Ed Skrein and sports flowing blond locks. But after three episodes, Michiel Huisman, who has short, dark hair, takes over. Skrein told Entertainment Weekly\ that he intended to stay on "Game of Thrones" for a while: "It was a wonderful experience, but politics led to us parting ways."

The list of recastings is lengthy, which just goes to show how common this practice is in the industry. Therefore, despite Henry Cavill's exit being a major upset to "The Witcher," it's something that can happen within any franchise.