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Witcher Theory: Cavill's Geralt Sacrifice Paves The Way For Hemsworth's Variant

Since Henry Cavill announced that "The Witcher" Season 3 would be his last as Geralt of Rivia, Netflix's fantasy series has scrambled for damage control. The former Superman actor offered no details about his decision, but rumors of writers criticizing the source material make theorizing easy. However, while Cavill's departure threw a significant wrench in the series, it was quickly rectified after Liam Hemsworth was cast to replace him. Going forward, this still leaves the sticky business of how the season will end. If Netflix wants to hold onto an already critical audience, Cavill's farewell might — and should — be handled with care. "It's a very strong season for Henry, a great final run for him as Geralt," executive producer Steve Gaub promised Yahoo! News

This could mean anything, but the best way to give him the send-off Lauren S. Hissrich promised is for him to make the ultimate sacrifice. Sacrificing himself to defend Ciri is what the Witcher would do, after all, and could also solve the problem of bringing in a new actor to replace him.

What are we arguing? Simply this: Instead of simply swapping actors with no comment, "The Witcher" should lean into this change, and make it part of the story. With Ciri's (Freya Allan) burgeoning power — a power that she doesn't understand or know how to control — Geralt's death could be a catalyst for her. Consumed by grief at losing yet another familial figure, Ciri could use her powers to resurrect him ... albeit, not in the way she expects.

The multiverse could explain why Geralt changes

Despite revolving around characters from Andrzej Sapowski's novels, Netflix's "The Witcher" differs from the books quite a bit. This deviation can be blamed for some of its more egregious crimes, such as Yennefer's betrayal in Season 2. But when it comes to sending Geralt off, producers have promised they will draw heavily from the books to explain his departure. With this in mind, we only need to look at the Conjunction of the Spheres for the most obvious solution. 

That event is arguably the biggest in "Witcher" history, and it has already introduced the idea of multiple worlds colliding, signifying the existence of a multiverse. This could offer an opportunity for weirder and wilder plot twists, explaining how Geralt goes from looking like Henry Cavill to Liam Hemsworth. If two spheres can collide, allowing humans to enter the elven realm, then why couldn't there be two Geralts?

Executive producer Tomek Baginski might have already hinted at this in a Yahoo! News article, when he said, "We have a very, very good plan to introduce our new Geralt and our new vision for Geralt with Liam." He elaborated, "Not going deeply into those ideas because this will be a huge spoiler, [but] it's also very, very close to the meta ideas which are deeply embedded in the books, especially in book five." 

The fifth full-length novel depicts Ciri traveling between worlds and meeting the characters of Arthurian legend. Based on the not-so-subtle hints the producers are leaving, it could be quite possible for another version of Geralt to exist in these worlds.

Ciri suffering the lost of another parental figure is heavy stuff

At the heart of Geralt's sacrifice would be, of course, his paternal love for Ciri. His character progression through the series has always involved his struggle to remain neutral while doing anything he can for his adoptive daughter. The best way to conclude Geralt's arc is for him to sacrifice himself to protect her. As capable as Ciri has become, she is still not the ruler she strives to be. Geralt would do anything to ensure her survival, even if it results in his demise.

Whether he flings himself in some portal, never to be seen again, or dies by the sword, Ciri won't take it well. Geralt is the father figure she always needed, stern but undeniably affectionate. Also, because of Geralt's superpowered nature, Ciri has also had the certainty that nothing will ever happen to him. Unlike her other caretakers, he can't be killed as easily. This confidence will haunt her if, as we're predicting, he leaves the mortal coil. Ciri won't be able to easily process that kind of grief, and with her powers as unschooled as they are, she may unleash abilities she was unaware of. 

In the source material, Ciri has control over space and time. Unable to handle that Geralt is gone, she may unleash her powers and resurrect him the only way that is available to her. This could accidentally pull in a replacement Geralt from another dimension, and only further underline how unreliable and erratic her powers are.

This would be the perfect swan song for Cavill's Geralt

In the final moments of Henry Cavill's season, Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and Ciri will be one with the audience. We will all be grieving an end of an era. And the best way to honor Geralt, naturally, is to have a goodbye worth remembering. Cavill's final moments should be a gut punch, because of how much he means to the world of "The Witcher." The searing tragedy of his departure will be embodied in how devoted Geralt was to Ciri, only for their relationship to be stripped away too soon.

Geralt's sudden death will twist the knife further because of how far he has come in such a short time. Though Geralt and Ciri have been together since the end of Season 1, their relationship developed quickly in Seasons 2 and 3. By now, they are no longer bickering about her desires to be a Witcher, or having awkward run-ins with Yennefer. The three are a united front, a fact made tragic by what the audience knows is a limited time together. Losing Geralt so quickly after reconciliation would leave a sad aftertaste, but it would also be a story worth telling. 

Even if "The Witcher" must go on without this version of Geralt, that will be his legacy — a father who made mistakes, but ultimately was there for his adopted daughter when it counted. There is no better way to say goodbye to Cavill's Geralt, and to then set up the next phase of the series.

If The Witcher takes this approach, it'll help fans accept Liam Hemsworth

Being the second act to Henry Cavill is no easy task, and poor Liam Hemsworth has a big mountain to climb. 

Even Netflix has been assuring fans that the new actor isn't taking over quite yet. But despite the challenges, Hemsworth is making clear efforts to show how seriously he takes the role. Joey Batey reports that although he hasn't met the actor in person, they have an email chain sharing quotes from "The Witcher" saga, so it's clear that the former "The Hunger Games" actor is immersing himself in the source material.

Truthfully, what will really align fans with Hemsworth's portrayal will be his introduction. No one wants to see a different actor swoop in and take on the mantle without explanation. Cavill is too beloved for fans to accept that. Introducing the multiverse is the smartest way to (literally) have the best of both worlds. Cavill will always be the Geralt of our universe, and hopefully, "The Witcher" production is aware of that. Bringing in a Geralt from a different world, with a different approach to the character, can work — if written correctly. Having Ciri summon another Geralt out of pure grief is a logical way for a different person to enter The Continent, and it also grounds his appearance in an emotional story. Using him this way is probably the only way fans will be open to someone else taking over a role that Cavill defined so incredibly.