The Witcher Season 3 Part 2 Wastes Henry Cavill’s Last Moments as Geralt

The final episodes of The Witcher season 3 don't quite give Henry Cavill a proper goodbye.

Geralt (Henry Cavill) fights a squad of Nilfgaardian soldiers in The Witcher
Photo: Susan Allnutt/Netflix

This article contains spoilers for The Witcher season 3.

When the news broke that Henry Cavill would be leaving The Witcher after season 3, many fans were shocked. Like Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man or Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, it’s hard to imagine anyone else embodying the role of Geralt as well as Cavill has. Not only is he passionate about the character and the show’s source material, he also manages to portray Geralt as more than just a grunting warrior. On the Continent, Witchers are rumored to be emotionless monster hunters who put neutrality above all else, but Cavill helps us see Geralt’s humanity and how much he cares about the few people he lets into his life.

Part of what makes part 2 of The Witcher’s third season so disappointing is that it wastes Cavill’s last moments as Geralt. Throughout part 1, we get to see Geralt further embrace his role as Ciri’s (Freya Allan) adopted father and how he slowly forgives Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) for almost giving Ciri over to Voleth Meir as they spend time together training and protecting Ciri. In part 1, we get to see badass Geralt fight against the Scoia’tael and other baddies, we see gentle Geralt finally vocalize his love of Yennefer, and we get to see proud father Geralt after Ciri uses her Witcher training to take down a monster. The beginning of the season gives Cavill so many opportunities to explore the different sides of Geralt and reminds us why he got this role in the first place.

However, the last two episodes of the season see Geralt separated from Yennefer and Ciri while recovering from near fatal wounds in Brokilon forest. In part 1, we see Geralt begin to struggle with his long-held beliefs of staying neutral and uninvolved when it comes to the politics of the Continent and how his neutrality affects his ability to keep the ones he loves safe. But in part 2, all we really see is the old, stubborn Geralt who has a hard time letting people help him. It feels like such a regression in character and nearly negates the journey he’s been on through the first six episodes of the season.

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Cavill’s final scene as Geralt is an important one though, as Geralt finally shirks his neutral stance and stand up against Nilfgaard soldiers that are abusing their power and mistreating the local townspeople. He single-handedly takes on the patrol (with a little help from Jaskier) in an epic fight scene that reminds us of Cavill’s swordsmanship and dedication to the role. Watching this scene after he’s been sidelined for so much of part 2 is bittersweet. The decision to forgo his neutrality is a big one for Geralt and this fight is an impactful way to end the season, but it’s hard knowing that someone else will have to carry all of Geralt’s growth into a new season.

This isn’t to say that Liam Hemsworth will do a horrible job carrying Geralt’s story forward next season, I’m sure he’ll do just fine, but rather that I wish the second part of the season had given us more than just fight scenes and stubborn Geralt. Had the season ended with Geralt’s fight against Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu), it would be easier for Hemsworth to come in next season as a healing Geralt in Brokilon. They could explain away his change in appearance as part of the healing process and then go about business as usual.

If these weren’t his last moments as the character, this would be a perfectly adequate way to end Geralt’s arc this season, but given how much growth we’ve seen in Geralt through Cavill’s performance this season and over the course of the series, it feels like a missed opportunity for us to properly say goodbye to Cavill and this version of the character.

All eight episodes of The Witcher season 3 are now streaming on Netflix.