Henry Cavill is out as Geralt (opens in new tab) and no one is happy about it. Across the internet, people are gnashing teeth, rending garments, and generally having a very unpleasant time in response to the news that Netflix's Witcher TV show will be helmed by Liam Hemsworth from season 4 onward, and not the world's most muscular PC gamer (opens in new tab) (apart from me).
A quick glance at the subreddit for The Witcher (opens in new tab) shows a fanbase alternating feverishly between anger, sadness, and—because this is the internet—armchair psychoanalysis of the people involved, but let's disregard that. The post announcing Cavill's departure has nearly 8,000 comments and the top-rated response, from user cerebralvenom (opens in new tab), pretty much sums up the tone of nearly all of them: "Well, there goes the single redeeming factor of the show". Elsewhere, people are asking why Netflix doesn't simply cancel (opens in new tab) the show entirely after losing such an integral actor (I'm no expert, but I'd wager it has something to do with the show's massive success (opens in new tab)).
Being a fan of The Witcher is like constant law of surprise except it's so so much more worse in every way imaginableOctober 29, 2022
Plenty of fans are giving up on the show entirely (opens in new tab), or at least claiming to. "It definitely tells me I'm out after it," writes a fan going by the name 2th (opens in new tab), "Cavill was a great Geralt. And I've seen Liam Hemsworth act. He's not even remotely as good as Cavill". Pretty harsh on poor old Liam—and there are at least some Hemsworth fans out there that are ambivalent about seeing him step into Geralt's shoes (opens in new tab)—but a very common sentiment across Witchery social media at the moment.
Of course, whether or not people actually stick to these bold declarations remains to be seen. It wouldn't be the first time fans of a series have pledged to boycott it before quietly sneaking back on board.
The recent news that not all of the show's writers had much respect for The Witcher's source material (opens in new tab), combined with Cavill's pledge last year that he would "absolutely" do seven seasons of the show (opens in new tab) so long as they "honour [Witcher author Andrzej] Sapkowski's work" have many blaming the news on the writing team. That's a bit of a stretch, to say the least. While it could well be that Cavill was dissatisfied with the show for any number of reasons, it's also true that big, successful actors have to make sacrifices to pursue new opportunities all the time.
Still, on the plus side, the news has generated a super-abundance of memes. That's about the closest thing you can find to a positive reaction online right now.
Henry Cavill has done what no other could do.Geralt united the Witcher fandom at last. pic.twitter.com/iReEpb5im1October 29, 2022
So Liam Hemsworth, whom I confess I had confused with his brother for a solid hour or so, has an uphill battle ahead of him to ever be accepted as Geralt. My advice? Just spend a lot of time chatting about Warhammer (opens in new tab) and build PCs with your shirt off. That seemed to do the trick for the Geralt of yore.