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Why Nivellen From The Witcher Looks So Familiar

Contains spoilers for "The Witcher" Season 2

"The Witcher" Season 2 has finally arrived on Netflix and most of the season sees Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) protect and train Ciri (Freya Allan) at the Witcher stronghold, Kaer Morhen. But in the opening episode, this new dynamic duo meets one of Geralt's old friends, Nivellen, a man cursed to live out his days as a monster. He hasn't always been a boar-faced beast though, as the episode eventually reveals he was cursed by a temple priestess after he assaulted her.

It comes as a huge shock to the audience since Nivellen's charismatic nature and kindness to Geralt and Ciri feels genuine and sincere. Clearly, Nivellen struggles with the guilt of his actions, and channels his feelings into caring for Vareena (Agnes Born) — who is secretly a monstrous vampire called a 'Bruxae.' Ultimately, however, the episode has a tragic end for both Nivellen and Vereena. The premiere episode is a sign of things to come, as it really leans into the horrific side of the Netflix series.

But fans might be wondering who sits underneath those huge boar tusks, the fur, and the claws. Well, Nivellen is played by none other than Kristofer Hivju, who has become a star thanks to another well-known fantasy series. Here's why Nivellen from "The Witcher" looks so familiar.

Kristofer Hivju fights an alien in The Thing

No, don't be alarmed, you didn't miss a young Kristofer Hivju in John Carpenter's "The Thing." The Norwegian actor shows up in the 2011 prequel movie, also called "The Thing," directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. and follows what happened at the Norwegian Thule research station before the events of the classic 1982 horror movie. Kristofer Hivju plays a nervous scientist called Jonas, who is confirmed as a human being because he has metal fillings and the alien creature can't replicate synthetic material. If that's not a lesson to go to the dentist regularly, what is?

Unfortunately, he doesn't have a great time once the grisly alien really starts tearing the scientists apart. Toward the end of the film, crew member Edvard (Trond Espen Seim) is knocked unconscious during a scuffle and he's revealed to be the alien when his arm detaches itself and attacks Jonas. It's not a great way to die, since it shoves itself down Jonas' throat in a grim fashion. There's probably some subtext there, but let's not get into that.

Thankfully, Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) puts him out of his misery by torching Jonas with a flamethrower. Well, at least Hivju wasn't relegated to a small bit-part — his character gets one hell of a send-off in this film.

Kristofer Hivju goes to space in After Earth

Oh, "After Earth." M. Night Shyamalan's infamous sci-fi action movie didn't really land well with anybody when it debuted back in 2013. The film stars Jaden Smith as Kitai Raige next to his father Will Smith as Cypher Raige, and it follows what happens when the two space Rangers crash-land on the now-inhospitable Earth and have to find a way off the planet. The reviews weren't kind, and it has an 11% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes against a 36% audience score. Yikes. At least Hivju makes something of an impact playing the Security Chief on the spaceship.

The "Sarge" — as one officer calls Hivju's character — explains the "Ghosting" technique to Kitai and the audience, noting that it's what happens when a person feels no fear whatsoever in an incredibly dangerous situation. For this role, Hivju rocked a surprisingly clean-cut look; he's usually seen sporting shaggy hair and a wild ginger beard. He works well as an intimidating officer thanks to his stature, and the chief even scares Kitai just when the alien onboard roars from its cage.

Kristofer Hivju doesn't have a huge role in "After Earth," but it probably helped him land future roles.

Kristofer Hivju journeys through Westeros in Game of Thrones

2013 was clearly a pretty busy year for Kristofer Hivju since that's also the same time that he joined "Game of Thrones" Season 3 as Tormund Giantsbane, one of the Wildlings that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) works with when he goes north of the Wall. Tormund quickly became a fan-favorite character thanks to his large tales about his various escapades and his brash nature. He first meets Jon Snow when the iconic fighter is taken to meet Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds) and is slowly integrated into one of the Wildlings thanks to his relationship with Ygritte (Rose Leslie).

From there, the two eventually become friends, as Tormund constantly jokes and teases Jon through their various adventures. He eventually becomes the leader of the Wilding army when Mance is executed by Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane). Tormund and Jon fight together at Hardhome when a terrifying army of the undead attacks the fishing village, and they both manage to escape with their lives in a boat.

Many "Game of Thrones" fans were desperate to see Tormund start a relationship with Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) because of the way he always looks at her, and how he talks about her. Unfortunately, this never happens, largely because Brienne is in love with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Tormund is definitely Kristofer Hivju's most famous role so far.

Kristofer Hivju goes against the family in The Fate of the Furious

In 2017, Kristofer Hivju goes up against the family in "The Fate of the Furious" playing Cipher's (Charlize Theron) right-hand man, Connor Rhodes. The film revolves around the reveal that Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) secretly had a son with his former lover Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky) and the cyber-terrorist Cipher is holding them both hostage to force Dom into doing what she wants. Rhodes is used as Cipher's muscle to keep Dom on her side, and he nearly kills Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) when she tries to stop the villains from stealing a nuclear football from a Russian minister, obviously.

And just to show that they're not messing around, Cipher has Rhodes execute Elena in front of Dom before threatening to kill his son too. Hivju's performance is extremely hands-on, and he gets to do plenty of stunts alongside the rest of the cast. Although thankfully, Dom manages to get revenge for Elena's death by executing Rhodes in the finale. His death looks pretty absolute, but in a series as wild as the "Fast & Furious" franchise, who knows, he might come back for the final chapters whenever they arrive in theaters.