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Despite a lack of love from critics, Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher has proven to be a huge success, and everyone is in love with Henry Cavill’s supposedly emotionless Geralt of Rivia. Though it’s become a running gag that Geralt mostly talks in grunts (“Hmm.”), showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich reveals that he was supposed to be a lot more talkative in early drafts of the show.
Talking to Collider, Hissrich comments:
“In the first episode, when I originally wrote it, Geralt spoke a lot because that’s what he’s like in the books. People always think of Geralt as stoic, but in the books he talks nonstop. When we were on set and especially when we got in the cutting rooms, we realized we didn’t actually need all that exposition… Henry brings such a depth and layered performance to Geralt that we don’t need him to tell us everything he’s feeling.”
When it came to Geralt talking in “Hmm”s, Hissrich continued, “He can do it in a single look or a grunt. He grunts a lot. We immediately started pulling back on that and by the time we shot the final episode, the script much more matches what’s onscreen because together we really learned what was working.”
Since the character of Geralt is pretty gruff, I imagine that it would be in his character not to talk very much, as is the rule with “TV tough guys”. Having him very talkative kind of doesn’t fit, since his character is supposed to be alienated by most people.
In the end, I think Cavill makes for a very great version of Geralt. What I wish is for the show to come up with less campy dialogue. I mean, Game of Thrones was able to pull it off; I just wish the show didn’t have the word “destiny” said out loud five times per episode.
Catch The Witcher now on Netflix.