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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.
You send assassins after me, conjure up beautiful words, threaten to kill me. But you're scared to death and simply postponing the inevitable.
~ Geralt of Rivia.

Geralt of Rivia is the protagonist of the Witcher franchise which was created by Andrzej Sapkowski. 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 is 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 game adaptations, was portrayed by Michał Żebrowski in The Hexer film and tv series, and is currently played by Henry Cavill in the 2019 Witcher Netflix series, and Żebrowski provides the Polish dub for the character in the Netflix series as well.

Żebrowski also did Polish dubbing for Sinbad in the titular animated film, Doctor Strange in his titular Marvel Cinematic Universe film and Thor: Ragnarok, and Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077. Cavill also played Superman in the DC Extended Universe, and Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

History

Background

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.

Biography

Early Life

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.

In Other Media

In the Movie

There is no lesser evil, Renfri. Evil is evil and always will be. I won't kill Stregobor, and nor will you. I won't allow any carnage here. Give it up. All of it. Then you'll prove for yourself that you can cut this chain of fate. That you can forgive. You can become someone else.
~ Geralt to Renfri.

Michał Żebrowski as Geralt in The Hexer movie

In The Hexer movie and TV series, the major role of Geralt as an adult was played by Michał Żebrowski (who also voiced Sinbad in the Polish dub of Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok in the Polish dub, Johnny Silverhand in the Polish dub of Cyberpunk 2077 and provided the Polish dubbing for Netflix Geralt), 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.

In the TV series

I thought the world needed me too.
~ Geralt in the Netflix series.

Henry Cavill as Geralt in "The Witcher"(2019)

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", "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice", "Justice League", and "Zack Snyder's Justice League", and also played Napoleon Solo in Guy Ritchie's The Man from U.NC.L.E. Cavill's performance has been highly praised, with some noting that it's the best adaptation of the character from the books.

In The Witcher computer game

Either leave on your feet or die on your back.
~ Geralt of Rivia.

Geralt in the Witcher video games.

In the English version of the game, Geralt is voiced by Doug Cockle in the English version, in the Polish version by Jacek Rozenek, in the Russian version by Vsevolod Kuznetsov, and in the Japanese version by Kazuhiro Yamaji (who also provided the dubbing of Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator, Frank Martin in The Transporter trilogy, Jensen Ames in Death Race, Lee Christmas in The Expandables series, Deckard Shaw in The Fast & Furious series, Jonas Taylor in The Meg, Wolverine in the X-Men films, Charlie Kenton in Real Steel, Keller Dover in Prisoners, Marcus in John Wick, Michael Corleone in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained, Rorschach in Watchmen, and Cid Highwind in The Final Fantasy series).

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.

In the Comics

Geralt has appeared in numerous fantasy comics, starting back in the mid-1990s.

Powers/Skills

  • 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.

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.

Quotes

Novels

People"—Geralt turned his head—"like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves. When they get blind-drunk, cheat, steal, beat their wives, starve an old woman, when they kill a trapped fox with an axe or riddle the last existing unicorn with arrows, they like to think that the Bane entering cottages at daybreak is more monstrous than they are. They feel better then. They find it easier to live.
~ Geralt in The Last Wish.
You can't stop a soldier from being frightened but you can give him motivation to help him overcome that fear. I have no such motivation. I can't have. I'm a witcher: an artificially created mutant. I kill monsters for money. I defend children when their parents pay me to. If Nilfgaardian parents pay me, I'll defend Nilfgaardian children. And even if the world lies in ruin—which does not seem likely to me—I'll carry on killing monsters in the ruins of this world until some monster kills me. That is my fate, my reason, my life and my attitude to the world. And it is not what I chose. It was chosen for me.
~ Geralt in Blood of Elves.

Netflix Series

You don't get to use that name! Vesemir gave me that name!
~ Geralt.

Video Games

Time eats away at memories, distorts them. Sometimes we only remember the good... sometimes only the bad.
~ Geralt in the Blood and Wine expansion.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Geralt has his own postage stamp available in Poland.

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