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|“||Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling... makes no difference. The degree is arbitrary. The definitions blurred. If I'm to choose between one evil and another, I’d rather not choose at all.||„|
|~ Geralt of Rivia|
Geralt of Rivia is the protagonist of the Witcher franchise. Serving as the titular deuteragonist of the novels, the protagonist of the games and as one the three main protagonists (alongside Ciri and Yennefer) of the 2019 Netflix adaptation. He is a witcher, a magically-enhanced mutant who slays monsters for a price, and the adopted father of Ciri. Despite the fact that witchers have a reputation for being heartless and the mutations are meant to kill emotions, Geralt still has a conscience and generally helps others because it's the right thing rather than to get paid, though he rarely goes out of his way to admit this.
He is voiced by Doug Cockle in the video games, and portrayed by Michał Żebrowski in The Hexer film and tv series, and is currently played by Henry Cavill in the 2019 Witcher Netflix series.
Żebrowski also did Polish dubbing for Sinbad in the titular animated film, and Doctor Strange in his titular MCU film. Cavill also played Superman in DC Extended Universe, and Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Despite his name, Geralt does not come from Rivia: he grew up in the witchers' keep of Kaer Morhen in the realm of Kaedwen. In the interest of appearing more trustworthy to potential clients, young witchers were encouraged to make up surnames for themselves by master Vesemir. As his first choice, Geralt chose "Geralt Roger Eric du Haute-Bellegarde", but this choice was dismissed by Vesemir as silly and pretentious, so "Geralt" was all that remained of his chosen name. "Of Rivia" was a more practical alternative, and Geralt even went so far as to adopt a Rivian accent to appear more authentic.
Later, Queen Meve of Lyria knighted him for his valour in the Battle for the Bridge on the Yaruga conferring on him the formal title "of Rivia", which amused him. He is, therefore, a knight of Lyria, and not a commoner. His status is, in one example, acknowledged during the first Witcher game, when he is twice invited.
Geralt was the son of sorceress Visenna and (presumably) a warrior called Korin. Shortly after being born, Geralt was taken by his mother to the Wolf School — the Kaer Morhen stronghold (from Elder Speech Caer a'Muirehen meaning "Fortress of the Old Sea"). Geralt survived numerous mutations during the Trial of the Grasses, through which he gained practically superhuman physical and mental abilities (increased reflexes, speed, strength and enhanced hearing) surprisingly well.
Because of that, as one of the few he was selected for additional experiments, and of the few he was the only one that survived. His white hair, completely lacking pigment, is a side effect of these experiments. After finishing the witcher training, he embarked into the world on his horse called The Roach (he gave the same name to every one of his horses) to become a monster slayer for hire.
Although Geralt did not believe in destiny, he demanded the unborn child of princess Pavetta and her husband Duny as a reward for his services. As the child turned out to be a girl, he did not take her. However, fate or blind chance caused Geralt and Ciri, the daughter of Duny and Pavetta to cross paths thrice, and after the death of her grandmother, queen Calanthe, Geralt ended up taking care of the girl and loving her as his own daughter. His best friend was Dandelion the bard, while his lover and the love of his life was Yennefer.
- Master Swordsman: Years of training in Kaer Morhen have turned Geralt into a killing machine and a danger both to humans and monsters. Geralt's weapons of choice are two swords: one for humans, and another for monsters.
- Witcher senses: As a witcher, Geralt's senses are much more enhanced compared to normal humans, making it much easier for him to track down and hunt prey
- Increased metabolism: The metabolism of witchers is much higher compared to that of a normal human being, allowing them to ingest potions that would otherwise be lethal to common folk.
- Encyclopedic knowledge: Being a witcher means that Geralt needs to always be one step ahead of his enemies when it comes to monsters. Fortunately, thanks to years of reading about various monsters and their weaknesses, Geralt has amassed knowledge which allows him to craft the proper bombs, create the proper oils, and cast the proper spells in order to always have the upper hand in a fight.
- Magic powers: Geralt also has a range of effective, albeit limited, spells and signs that he can use to subdue enemies. Igni allows Geralt to light enemies on fire, Quen casts a protective but breakable shield around Geralt, Axii allows Geralt to charm opponents and manipulate them into becoming docile or divulge information, Yrden allows Geralt to create a magical trap which can incapacitate monsters, and Aard allows Geralt to telekinetically blast enemies, stunning them or knocking them back.
In the Movie and TV series
In The Hexer movie and TV series, the major role of Geralt as an adult was played by Michał Żebrowski, but a younger Geralt was portrayed by Maciej Łagodziński. Both the series and the movie were based largely on the previously published short stories, taking a few liberties here and there with the narrative.
Geralt is also the main character of the 2019 Netflix series "The Witcher", which was largely inspired by the short story collection "The Last Wish" and took place years before the events of the games. He was this time portrayed by Henry Cavill, who is also known for acting in roles such as Superman in "Man of Steel".
In The Witcher computer game
In the English version of the game, Geralt is voiced by Doug Cockle and in the Polish version by Jacek Rozenek.
After seemingly having been killed by a mob during a pogrom of non-humans at the end of the Witcher saga, Geralt returns to life with no recollection of the details of his sudden reappearance or the intervening five years. He is rescued by the last remaining witchers in the world and taken back to Kaer Morhen. There, he is drawn into a complicated conspiracy concerning the witchers, their secrets and the nefarious forces who are after that knowledge.
Geralt pursues the mysterious Salamandra, and in the process meets many people from his past, as well as new acquaintances who either require the witcher's help, or offer their own in his quest to regain his identity.