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Geralt's New Look In The Witcher: Nightmare Of The Wolf Has Fans Divided

Contains spoilers for "The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf"

Director Kwang Il Han and writer Beau DeMayo's animated prequel to "The Witcher" — "The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf" — has the fanbase all abuzz with discussion of the new project's portrayal of the young Geralt of Rivia. 

"Nightmare of the Wolf" explores the fall of Kaer Morhen and the origin story of Geralt's mentor Vesemir, but it isn't until the film's final scene that Geralt's identity is revealed to viewers. It's that reveal that's stirring up some controversy on "The Witcher" subreddit, as it isn't a young, white-haired boy whom Vesemir refers to as "Geralt," but a petite, wide-eyed, and very bald one. 

"Why is Geralt bald," u/angeyapy8507ontwitch asked, and while the straightforward question was echoed by some and answered and defended by others, a few users were less diplomatic in their response: "mfer looked like Caillou," wrote u/BearWrangler.

It's a fair question, particularly for fans of the game and the Netflix series, all of whom are used to seeing an adult Geralt (Henry Cavill) in all his White Wolf glory, complete with his flowing, silver locks. But was there more to DeMayo and Il Han's decision to depict Geralt as bald than the desire to keep his identity a secret for the better part of the story? Did Geralt first grow hair on his head later in life? Was he suffering from a mean case of lice? Maybe he's in training to become one of Tenzin's resurgent Airbenders.

Okay, it's probably not the last one, but there may still be a canonical reason for young Geralt's alopecia chic.

There may be more to Geralt's bald head than you think

While more than a few redditors noted that Geralt's bald head was an integral part of the ultimate reveal ("If you saw [a] white haired boy in those catacombs you'd immediately know it's Geralt," wrote u/KraalEak), others pointed out that there's some evidence to suggest his lack of locks is actually canonical. 

In both the novels and the series, Geralt's lack of pigment is referenced as being a result of his ultimate transformation into a witcher following The Trial of the Grasses. As TheGamer.com's Daniel Lobato explained, "His natural hair color isn't white, it only turned white due to the stress placed on his body from the increased amount of mutagens he was given during his Trial of Grasses." 

In the same vein, redditor u/Olivitess pointed out in the subreddit that, "[Geralt] said his hair fell out and grew back white after the trials." 

There's some textual evidence for this interpretation. In "Something More," a story from the second novel in Sapkowski's source series, Geralt tells an overly curious Queen Calanthe that "The Trial of the Grasses ... is dreadful. And what is done to boys during the time of the Changes is even worse. And irreversible." 

Presumably, "The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf" takes place prior to Geralt's transformation. Thus, there is some merit to fan theories that the young Geralt is bald as a means of depicting his physically traumatized, pre-witcher state to the audience. The fact that the design choice also helped conceal the character's identity until the moment of the reveal is just gravy.