Fans of The Witcher knew going into season 3 that it was going to be Henry Cavill’s last. But until the final episodes dropped on Friday, no one knew exactly what his departure would look like. Would it be acknowledged in the show with some face magic? Would Liam Hemsworth as Geralt make an appearance in season 3?
Ultimately the scene was a much quieter end — and totally true to Geralt’s character: He refuses to stay in Brokilon Forest to fully recover after his fight with Vilgefortz, instead setting out with Jaskier to find Ciri. Along the way, he gets into a fight he doesn’t have to with Nilfgaardian troops in order to help some people he doesn’t know. Then he walks off, continuing his quest.
It’s a quiet affair, but for director Bola Ogun, it naturally flowed from where Geralt was after the Thanedd Coup. By the time they were filming it, Ogun and the crew knew it was going to be Cavill’s last scene as Geralt. “The way that it was written and the way they designed it — because so much is changing already, so much is going down in the season, it almost felt like it was a nice chapter closing on its own,” she says.
As Ogun puts it, every episode is intimidating to shoot, in its own way — like shooting in Morocco in July for Ciri’s journey through the desert in episode 7 — but for episode 8 she knew it was about making sure they were sending Cavill off right. Despite all the betrayals and danger afoot, the vibe of Geralt’s final bit in the episode is tranquil, almost dreamy.
“I think the style of the last block, you can tell, is a little different. It’s a little more emotional, and that’s on purpose,” Ogun says. “When it came to that episode, it was very much trying to lean into the political espionage [and] the magical themes of Brokilon Forest, and seeing more of it than we’ve seen in the past, in a different way. So I very much lean into the feeling of magic, the feeling of something changing like that.
“Basically it was just trying to create a continuation but make it feel different, make it feel like it was a long, soft goodbye.”
While Geralt and Roach will ride again, Ogun says it’s absolutely the end of an era. “We’re definitely going to miss him because he’s a great Geralt. And I know that Liam is going to step into those shoes just fine and going to bring the same gravitas that he did,” Ogun says. “I just wanted to send him off in an epic way. And he does! It’s a great fight. It’s a great last hurrah.”