Toss a coin to…Liam Hemsworth

by Eliana Megargee, Editor-In-Chief

Geralt of Rivia. The White Wolf.  The Butcher of Blaviken. Wiedźmin. The Witcher. Since debuting in the original Polish books, becoming mainstream through the popular video games, and now starring in a hit Netflix series, Andrzej Sapkowski’s white-haired hero has had many names. Since the aforementioned Netflix series started, one of those names has been Henry Cavill. Never once, however, in all 36 years of the series’ existence, has the name Liam Hemsworth been tied to Geralt of Rivia. 

That is, not until a fateful day this past October when it was announced that beloved “Witcher” actor, Henry Cavill, would be departing for the show’s fourth season and replaced by none other than the youngest Hemsworth brother. Needless to say, fans were outraged. Cavill brought a certain depth to the character that had people praising his performance since season one. Amidst criticisms that the show was straying from the original books, fans continued to give Cavill credit for being a big “Witcher” fan who remained true to Sapkowski’s stories. For many viewers, Cavill was the only thing keeping them watching. 

To replace not only the protagonist, but the titular character, is definitely a questionable choice. At the time it was announced, the supposed reason for this change was Cavill returning to the “Superman” franchise. While it would be all well and good if Cavill was actually stepping back into the shoes–and glasses–of Clark Kent, it was announced by Cavill himself mid-December that he was not to return as Superman. 

This news definitely complicated things. Why, if Cavill is not rejoining the DC universe, would he depart from the “Witcher”? As of now, the answer remains unclear. Some people claim Cavill left as a way to protest the show deviating from the books, for Cavill’s passion about the books and his desire to stick to those plots is something he has talked about in many interviews. Others claim he was fired from both franchises. The only reason provided is that Cavill is too old to play a younger Superman, as newer movies will portray, but nothing has been said so far as to why he stepped down as Geralt if not to return to his infamous “Superman” role. He has now taken on a starring role in Amazon’s “Warhammer 40,000” series, but this only happened after he’d been rejected by DC.

While people can speculate all they want, the hard truth of it is that the decision has been made, and Cavill seems to be separated from the “Witcher” world for good. We’re then left to grapple with his replacement.

Many fans, myself included, feel that the show should end rather than recast their hero. Season three of “The Witcher” isn’t even out yet and won’t be released until this summer. It seems like there would be plenty of time to figure out an ending for the show that would leave fans semi-satisfied–at least more so than they would be stuck with Liam Hemsworth (no offense to him).

Not to mention, Netflix is no stranger to canceling shows last minute. Plenty of well-received shows have been abruptly canceled–“The Society,” “First Kill,” and “One Day at a Time,” to name a few–leaving fans with unsatisfying or incomplete endings. This whole situation seems like a novel opportunity for Netflix to actually plan an ending with some advance notice rather than springing a cancellation on people. It could be an interesting experiment in when a show should be ended versus dragged on past its prime. Hopefully there’s still time for a change to happen, whether that means somehow bringing Cavill back or choosing to end the show. If not, then “The Witcher” will be an interesting and unique viewing experience, if nothing else. 

While I will continue to watch the show, and encourage others to do the same, it will be more to support the other incredible actors (such as Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan, and Joey Batey, amongst others) than anything else. And I will definitely be spending the whole time missing Henry Cavill and the token chiseled jaw, contemplative hums, and charming gruffness that he brought to Geralt of Rivia.