Thanks to The Witcher, people from all over the world have been introduced to Geralt of Rivia’s incredibly dangerous but fascinating world of monsters and elves. But even if you’ve binged all of the popular TV show, it’s almost a given that you don’t know everything about this extremely rich universe just yet.
So without further ado, here are 20 fun The Witcher facts – things you probably didn’t know about the books, games and TV show that will turn you into a proper fan.
1. Geralt Isn’t From Rivia
Geralt of Rivia isn’t actually from Rivia, but a far less regal place named Kaedwen. The games and the books tell us that he chose this region as his birthplace to make himself appear more “prestigious” to his clients, as the Queen is also from Rivia.
2. Henry Cavill Took Method Acting Seriously
Being one of the highest-paid TV actors as well as starring in one of the most expensive TV shows must require some dedication. Henry Cavill went quite far to secure Geralt’s rugged, ‘perpetually suffering’ look. It wasn’t just a matter of exercise – the actor also dehydrated himself to make it all happen. We wouldn’t advise you to do the same, but that method acting definitely paid off!
3. Witchers are Mutants
Witchers are not ‘sorcerers’ or ‘wizards’, but mutants. As odd as that sci-fi word sounds in a fantasy setting, it does make sense when you realize that Geralt’s kind aren’t actually born with magic, but are merely humans who gain it through magical science. Think Frankenstein, but make it Tolkien.
4. Geralt is an Atheist
This Witcher fact probably won’t surprise you. Although he lives in a world riddled with magic and characters who believe in one or multiple divinities, Geralt does not believe in God himself or any particular faith. His only religion is a respectable one: killing monsters and getting that coin.
5. Geralt Appears in Other Games, Too
Geralt has appeared in other video games outside of The Witcher franchise, such as Monster Hunter: World, and Soulcalibur IV. For non-gamers, imagine Captain America suddenly playing a lead role in an X-Men movie. That’s how powerful Geralt’s popularity is in the gaming world – the man is everywhere.
6. Geralt’s Mother was a Sorceress
Although sorceresses in The Witcher’s world are supposed to be infertile, Visenna, Geralt’s mother, was one of the few exceptions. That being said, she wasn’t exactly around to see her son graduate, as she gave him up to a school of witchers when he was a child. Geralt never knew why, which adds to the number of traumatic events the man has had to go through.
7. Geralt Wishes he was Human
Geralt might look pretty good at his job but there’s a reason why he’s always so weary and ready to give it all up for a private island and some coconut milk. He had no choice in becoming a witcher, so it won’t be surprising for you to learn that he secretly wishes he was a normal guy doing normal things. However, he hesitates to quit ‘the life’ as hunting down evil creatures is the only skill he’s ever learned. Ever heard of LinkedIn, Geralt?
8. Witcher Training is Brutal
The games and books make it obvious that the training to become a witcher is arduous and takes a lot of physical and mental strength. There are several schools and different ways of becoming a witcher, and all of them involve pain. A lot of it. Take for example the “Trial Of The Grasses” which involves transforming into inhuman mutants. Now you know where Geralt got his glowy complexion.
9. TV Geralt Looks Different
Geralt shouldn’t look that good. Although Netflix hired one of the hottest actors working today, Henry Cavill’s good looks do not match the description the books give us of Geralt. The character is supposed to be far from conventionally handsome, and should have many scars, something that only the video games remained faithful to. But is anyone really complaining…?
10. His Hair was Turned White
Though he isn’t the only white-haired witcher, that snowy mane isn’t actually a witcher trademark, but the results of the magic he was infused with during his mutation as a young boy. We bet he’d get along with Rogue from the X-Men…and Daenerys.
11. He’s Known as “White Wolf”
Here’s some fun trivia for ya! In Geralt’s world, elves and other nonhuman species call him ‘Gwynbleidd’, which does not mean ‘the guy who kills monsters while looking hella sad’, but rather ‘White Wolf’, which we can only imagine is a reference to his silver hair and animal-like fighting skills.
12. Witchers are Becoming Extinct
That’s right – Geralt’s kind is dying out. Witchers aren’t exactly loved in any part of their world, usually raising suspicion and conspiracies because of their otherworldly abilities and violent techniques. For that reason, the “schools” where witchers are created and trained have been raided several times, leading to their kind becoming rarer by the day.
13. Joey Batey is a Real Lute Player
Actor Joey Batey, aka Jaskier the annoying but sweet bard who joins Geralt in his adventures, is an actual lute player, and a talented one at that. He actually showed off his talents when auditioning for the role, which could only have been beneficial to him getting the part. You know what they say – go lute or go home.
14. The Witcher Won’t Feature Celebrity Cameos
It was promised by the author Andrzej Sapkowski that no bizarre celebrity cameo would occur during the show – a playful and highly reassuring reference to Ed Sheeran’s infamous short scene in Game of Thrones where he awkwardly breaks the fourth wall to tease a new song. During Comic Con, Sapkowski said, “I believe that my job as a creative consultant for this series is to make sure that at NO point in the show [will] Ed Sheeran sing.” Thank you Andrzej, thank you.
15. Geralt is a Pretty Old Guy
Geralt isn’t in his late thirties or forties like one may think by looking at the video games and Netflix show. Although we’re never told his age outright, several elements point to him being between 90 and 95 years old. An unsurprising fact since witchers are known to have longer lifespans no matter how stressful their job is.
16. There was Almost a Game of Thrones-Type Blunder
Just like in the last and infamous season of Game of Thrones when a Starbucks coffee cup was left on table for all viewers to see, something extremely anachronistic almost ended up on screen on The Witcher series. Car headlights were nearly left in post, but were fortunately spotted by a VFX employee. Now that would have been awkward…
17. There was Almost a Witcher Movie
Did you know that a first adaptation of The Witcher universe was released under the name The Hexer in 2001? Alas the Polish movie didn’t do well with critics or fans, and rapidly vanished from everyone’s memories. This is only understandable given the special effects available at the time. An eponymous Polish television show also aired from 2002 but only got one season.
18. Geralt is One of a Kind
Geralt is not like other witchers. For some reason that is never truly explained, he just so happens to have come out ten times stronger than his colleagues from the obligatory Trial of the Grasses, the mutation process that turns one into a Witcher. This is particularly ironic as he’d clearly like to switch careers.
19. Henry Cavill Was Always a Witcher Fan
Henry Cavill won big as 200 actors auditioned for the role of Geralt. But it’s easy to understand how he got the gig, as he also proved to the casting directors that he knew a lot (a LOT) about the video games and books the show is adapted from. Cavill is indeed an absolute nerd who spends his free time reading and gaming, so it’s safe to say he won fair and square.
20. The Witcher’s Code Isn’t Real
The Witcher’s Code isn’t actually a thing. Geralt and all of his colleagues invoke this entirely inexistent code when they need to explain why they do something a certain way to their clients, which is basically the equivalent of making your own UNO card rules as you go along. Hey, if it works…
There you have it! 20 fun facts about The Witcher that you’ll most definitely brag about to your friends! That being said, there’s a lot more to know that couldn’t be squeezed onto this list, so don’t hesitate to tell us about any piece of trivia you particularly like, no matter how nerdy!