The final three episodes of The Witcher season 3 arrived on Netflix on Thursday, bringing with them the end of Henry Cavill's time as titular monster-hunter Geralt of Rivia. Going forward, Liam Hemsworth will take over as Geralt in the popular fantasy series.
“My journey as Geralt of Rivia has been filled with both monsters and adventures, and alas, I will be laying down my medallion and my swords for season 4,” Cavill wrote on Instagram when the news of the casting switch broke last October. “In my stead, the fantastic Mr. Liam Hemsworth will be taking up the mantle of the White Wolf. As with the greatest of literary characters, I pass the torch with reverence for the time spent embodying Geralt and enthusiasm to see Liam's take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men."
Judging by the way season 3 leaves things, Hemsworth will simply be stepping into the role as if nothing happened. Think Bryce Dallas Howard replacing Rachelle Lefevre as Victoria in the Twilight movies or Michiel Huisman replacing Ed Skrein as Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones–except this time, with the show's main character.
That means that Geralt's existing relationships with Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), Princess Cirilla “Ciri” of Cintra (Freya Allan), and the rest of the Continent's major players can continue to evolve from where they stand now.
How does The Witcher season 3 end?
The season 3 finale opens with Geralt, under the care of the dryads, still healing from the near-fatal wounds he received in his battle with Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu) in episode 6. However, he’s determined to get on his way as soon as possible as Jaskier (Joey Batey) has shown him an announcement put out by Nilfgaardian emperor Emhyr “The White Flame” var Emreis (Bart Edwards) that Ciri is on her way to Nilfgaard.
After the destruction at Aretuza, Yennefer is busy trying to prop up her mentor Tissaia (MyAnna Buring), who's reeling after failing to see the truth about Vilegefortz and prevent the Thanedd Coup. Despite Yennefer's reassurances, a distraught Tissaia ultimately kills herself. This leaves Yennefer to lead the remaining Aretuza mages, rallying them around the idea that it’s up to them to eliminate Vilgefortz.
Yennefer later visits Geralt and uses her powers to heal him, making him promise that it won't be the last time they see each other. Geralt then sets out for Nilfgaard and quickly realizes that he can no longer be neutral if he wants to stand against evil. He sends a Nilfgaardian soldier ahead to Emhyr with the warning that "no matter his armies, no matter his walls, I will free Ciri."
This is Cavill's final scene in the episode, meaning that the next time we encounter Geralt, we'll likely be looking at Liam Hemsworth.
Meanwhile, Ciri, who was transported through time and space to the Korath Desert after connecting with the immensely powerful monolith in Tor Lara, has been picked up by a band of headhunters eager to deliver her to Emhyr—who we now know is actually Ciri’s father Duny—for a hefty reward. Luckily for Ciri, she's been kidnapped alongside a boy named Kayleigh (Fabian McCallum), a member of a young gang of outlaws known as the Rats, and his friends quickly show up to rescue them.
Ciri is forced to make her first human kill and ultimately ends up telling the Rats that her name is Falka, the name of the ancient princess and part-elf royal who appeared to her during her trials in the desert and goaded her into using fire magic before Ciri announced she was relinquishing her powers. Falka infamously led a rebellion against her own family before being burned at the stake.
“That last shot we see in season 3, she's mourning and slightly shedding the Ciri we've known this entire time—that innocent dreamer Ciri,” Freya Allan told Netflix. “She doesn't feel like Ciri anymore. She feels, suddenly, like Falka, this character she's been talking to who's very brutal and bloody and has killed so many people.”
As for the "Ciri" that was on her way to Nilfgaard, it turns out that Villegefortz, now disfigured from the explosion at the Tor Lara, brought a Ciri lookalike to Emhyr rather than the real Ciri. Emhyr appears skeptical, but presents her as the real princess by raising their hands together in front of all the Nilfgaardian nobles.
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