Henry Cavill makes his triumphant return as Geralt of Rivia in the third installment of The Witcher, which just hit Netflix. Continuing the adventures of the brooding monster hunter and sometime-companions Ciri of Cintra (Freya Allan), Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), and Jaskier (Joey Batey), the new run of episodes (which draw from Andrzej Sapkowski’s second “The Witcher” book, “Time of Contempt”) will find Geralt doing anything he can to protect his found family – and Ciri’s growing powers – against an onslaught of dark forces.
Joining Cavill, Allan, Chalotra, and Batey in the new season are MyAnna Buring as Tissaia; Mahesh Jadu as Vilgefortz of Roggeveen; Anna Shaffer as Triss Merigold; Royce Pierreson as Istredd; Lars Mikkelsen as Stregobor; Eamon Farren as Cahir; Mimî M. Khayisa as Fringilla Vigo; Mecia Simson as Francesca Findabair; Cassie Clare as Philippa Eilhart; Graham McTavish as Sigismund Dijkstra; Robbie Amell as Gallatin; Meng’er Zhang as Milva; and Hugh Skinner as Prince Radovid.
Season 3 marks Cavill’s final run as the titular hero (Liam Hemsworth will take on the role in season 4) and is being broken up into two parts, with Volume 2 set to drop on Thursday, July 27. Needless to say, the anticipation is high for the new season, but do these new episodes deliver the goods?
Here’s what critics are saying about season 3 of The Witcher:
How does it compare to previous seasons?
This latest season is far and away The Witcher’s most political outing yet, trading in gnarly monster fights for exposition-heavy negotiations, secretive plotting, and backroom dealing between a wide variety of elves, mages, and human kings, all with their own goals and agendas. —Lacy Baugher, Paste Magazine
One of the major complaints about The Witcher (at least in Season 2) was how much it deviated from the plot of Blood of Elves. Although the third season at least tries to broadly follow Time of Contempt, its past deviations from the source material really hinder the show as it wades more and more into the geopolitics of the world. —Christian Hoffer, ComicBook.com
The opening entry of the third season continues that fast-out-the-blocks trend and is, in many ways, the volume at the height of its powers – but sets a standard that is rarely reached again in the remaining episodes. —Bradley Russell, Total Film
The sprawling universe that has been established in the first two seasons feels just as expansive as ever in its third run of episodes. But where in the past the multitude of characters has felt unwieldy, this time around the various plotlines are finally beginning to converge on one another. —Amon Warmann, Empire Magazine
The first half of the season gets back to what made the show so successful in the first place. —Andrew Webster, The Verge
How is Henry Cavill?
Really, it falls to Cavill to carry the whole thing, which he does with aplomb. The man utterly sells it: you care about Geralt, and when he is not on screen, the whole thing suffers. This series will be poorer without him. —Vicky Jessup, London Evening Standard
As far as swan songs go, Season 3 of The Witcher is an unexpectedly exceptional one for Cavill’s Geralt… —Carly Lane, Collider
Over the course of the first five episodes, viewers are reminded just how much Cavill’s brooding but compelling take on Geralt elevates the show from the standard fantasy B-show fare that is Netflix’s bread and butter to one of the platform’s top shows. —Christian Hoffer, ComicBook.com
What about the rest of the cast?
A great showcase for the chemistry between Henry Cavill, Anya Chalortra, and Freya Allan. —Jarrod Jones, IGN Movies
Joey Batey does a fine job at bringing a sense of resigned anguish to the jovial and quippy Jaskier, but Anya Chalotra is too subdued playing the now humbled Yennefer and Freya Allan feels a bit too one-note at times when capturing Ciri’s defiance. —Christian Hoffer, ComicBook.com
Jaskier (Joey Batey) hams it up big time, and watching him and Geralt spar with each other is always a joy, even as he’s struggling with his own loyalties. —Vicky Jessup, London Evening Standard
Chalotra and Allan wholeheartedly bring the weight necessary to these scenes, as Yennefer discovers that she can still be a mother to someone even if it isn’t how she originally hoped or planned for while Ciri begins to think of the sorceress as someone to look to when she needs help — just like she already does with Geralt. Allan, especially, carries one Season 3 episode entirely on her shoulders, ensuring that the future of this series rests with her character in particular. —Carly Lane, Collider
Freya Allan continues to shine in The Witcher’s most underappreciated role, imbuing Ciri with a potent mixture of heart and grit that makes her endlessly compelling to watch. —Lacy Baugher, Paste Magazine
Do the action sequences deliver?
There’s action aplenty, a monster or two, and a solid emotional core. —Jonathan Wilson, Ready Steady Cut
The strongest bits of The Witcher is when Cavill gets to draw his sword to face weird and horrifying monsters. The monsters are definitely terrifying this season and one thing the show does well is make Cavill look believable as a professional monster hunter who is equally proficient at killing people. The fight choreography and direction during these scenes in The Witcher are still a highlight, although the show’s plot somewhat regrettably means we have fewer of those fights this season. —Christian Hoffer, ComicBook.com
That long goodbye, though, carries plenty of promise. The combat has gone up a notch, no doubt bolstered by the return of fight coordinator Wolfgang Stegemann. The fantasy series also sets up plenty of fearsome roadblocks that viewers will surely delight in seeing Geralt eagerly crash through when the second volume drops in July. —Bradley Russell, Total Film
The fight scenes are as beautiful and gruesome as they’ve ever been, but they feel particularly great when Ciri gets into the mix and holds her own. —Jen Lennon, AV Club
How is the writing and directing?
(Photo by Netflix)
The Witcher may desire to be the next Game of Thrones … but the kind of character writing it wants to emulate was done a hundred times better by the real successor, House of the Dragon. The Witcher can’t even hold a candle. —Akhil Arora, AkhilArora.com
even seasoned watchers might be hard-pressed to keep up with this season’s knottier twists and even more bloated character roster – to the point that they might find themselves yawning through frequent detours into clunky plot development chit-chat just to get to the fun stuff. —Jarrod Jones, IGN Movies
The Witcher Season 3 is an immense political and magical story cleverly woven through five episodes, with the actors appearing well settled in their roles by this point — a quality that could prove troublesome once Cavill leaves the series. —Shannon Connellan, Mashable
But there’s also so much going on that it feels burdensome to navigate, as we’re whipped frustratingly to and fro by the needs of a screenplay that has left loose ends dangling since the very first season. —Jonathan Wilson, Ready Steady Cut
The Witcher quickly becomes bogged down in warring kingdoms and a battle that never dares make its way on-screen. The show often struggles under the weight of juggling these plots, with the continual back-and-forth between Geralt’s protection of Ciri and the attention given to the world around them gifting the season an uneven shape. —Bradley Russell, Total Film
Any final thoughts?
(Photo by Netflix)
It’s a shame that Cavill won’t be present to see the show through to its conclusion, but given what Season 3 of The Witcher establishes in terms of mounting conflict, rich character growth and relationships, and phenomenal performances, there’s still plenty worth tuning in for into a fourth season and beyond. —Carly Lane, Collider
Can the show cope without Henry Cavill? It will be painful, but The Witcher has enough going on for us to imagine life without him.
—Jack Seale, Guardian
The Witcher show made its name based on Cavill killing monsters, but its underlying source material used those fights as a way to introduce Geralt to readers, but the show has failed to pivot to match the source material and is running out of time.
—Christian Hoffer, ComicBook.com
Geralt and Ciri’s latest outing is a spectacular odyssey of family and destiny set within a world as brimming with history as it is in political schemes.
—Andrew Murray, The Upcoming
In the meantime, the first half of The Witcher Season 3 remains a frustratingly messy adventure that still can’t quite capitalize on the franchise’s obvious potential. —Jonathan Wilson, Ready Steady Cut
Season 3 retains much of what makes The Witcher so enjoyable, mixing over half a dozen major characters, complicated relationships, and blockbuster storylines together to form something that’s simultaneously smart, self-aware, and loads of fun to watch.
—Lacey Baugher, Paste Magazine
A return of form of sorts, bringing The Witcher back to the things that make it unique — it’s funny, bloody, and sexy. There’s even a bath scene, which is as Witcher as it gets. —Andrew Webster, The Verge
83% The Witcher: Season 3 (2023) Vol 1. is now streaming on Netflix.
The most obvious and major reason that The Witcher's Rotten Tomatoes score has dropped so intensely this season is because Henry Cavill is leaving The Witcher. In October 2022, the actor who portrays Geralt of Rivia in the series announced that he would no longer be a part of the series after season 3.Why is Henry Cavill leaving Witcher season 3? ›
So, why is Henry Cavill leaving The Witcher? While the actor never actually confirmed his reasoning, many speculated that creative differences caused him to step away from the role.Why was Cavill replaced as Witcher? ›
Henry Cavill left The Witcher to focus on other projects.
The series was doing reasonably well in terms of popularity, and fans warmly received Cavill's efforts as the white-haired monster hunter. That's why no one predicted Cavill would be replaced by Liam Hemsworth starting season 4.
Unsurprisingly, there was shock when it was announced Cavill was leaving The Witcher after season 3, and being replaced by Liam Hemsworth as Geralt.Is Henry Cavill leaving Witcher? ›
It was announced in October 2022 that Cavill would be leaving the fantasy series, and that the role of Geralt will be recast, with Liam Hemsworth taking on the character moving forward.Why do people say The Witcher 3 is so good? ›
By focusing on nonlinear stories, all of which were self-contained but deeply rooted in The Witcher 3's game world, CD Projekt Red managed to create a wider, more realistic narrative network, and an open world that actually worked. But that was just a part of the reason why this game is so special.What is Henry Cavill doing now? ›
On 21 May 2021, it was announced that Cavill would portray the lead role in the reboot of Highlander, although his exact character is unknown. On 8 July 2021, it was reported that Cavill would join an all-star cast for director Matthew Vaughn's new spy film Argylle.Is Henry Cavill being replaced in Witcher Season 4? ›
At the same time as The Witcher's fourth season was announced, Henry Cavill revealed that he's leaving the series. He will be replaced by one Liam Hemsworth, best known for his role as Gale in The Hunger Games films.Is Liam Hemsworth going to be The Witcher? ›
Henry Cavill exits 'The Witcher' as Liam Hemsworth takes over lead role. Henry Cavill is putting down his blades and moving on from "The Witcher" after three seasons as the leading man on the Netflix series.Why is Liam Hemsworth replacing Henry? ›
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However, according to Deadline's sources, the main cause for his exit is the series' demanding production schedule. Cavill led the first two seasons of the series, as well as the upcoming third season, which returns next summer.
Season 3 will once again feature Henry Cavill in the role of Geralt of Rivia, a taciturn monster hunter who finds himself swept up in the political machinations of kings, sorcerers and other power players ruling the Continent.Will Henry Cavill continue as Geralt? ›
The upcoming third season of The Witcher will mark Henry Cavill's final season playing Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher. While the show will continue beyond season 3, Cavill's time with the show is coming to an end with the upcoming third season standing as his final season in the breakout role.Who is the most powerful being in Witcher 3? ›
It's good there's no true battle against him as Gaunter O'Dimm is probably the most powerful being in the world of The Witcher 3.Is Geralt stronger than a normal witcher? ›
Geralt may be one of the more powerful characters in The Witcher, but he's lost his fair share of fights (and could lose even more)! Despite being painted as the poster boy of the whole Witcher franchise, Geralt of Rivia is by no means the most powerful character in his world.Is Henry Cavill a millionaire? ›
As of December 2023, Henry Cavill has an estimated net worth of about $40 million. While working with DC, Henry Cavill's films have made $668 million worldwide in revenue. Based on reports, he made $14 million for Man of Steel and likely made $20 million for Justice League.Is Henry Cavill the next master? ›
Henry Cavill Cast as New Master in Doctor Who.Who is the new Witcher? ›
Like its popular show Stranger Things, Netflix has split The Witcher Season 3 in two parts. The Witcher Season 3 Volume 2 will be actor Henry Cavill's last season as The Witcher Geralt. He will be replaced by actor Liam Neeson in future seasons.Who is replacing Witcher actor? ›
But the real nail in the coffin for this show was the announcement that star Henry Cavill would be leaving after Season 3, replaced by Liam Hemsworth. Cavill was universally beloved by fans of the books, games and the show, embodying the role of the titular Witcher perfectly.How old is Geralt of Rivia? ›
By the start of the second season, Geralt is 104 and Vesemir is 169. Geralt's mentor and adoptive father is played by Kim Bodnia, who is 56. He's not as strong or fast as he once was, but he's still very capable in a fight.Is Geralt the most powerful? ›
Geralt has White hair which was due to a result of an additional mutation he went through during his training. Also, he is a renowned swordsman, and his associations with sorceresses and powerful people make him probably the most powerful Witcher.
The actor had said that after finishing Limitless, he felt compelled to give more time to his wife and kids. “It really triggered something in me to want to take some time off. And since we finished the show, I've been completing the things I was already contracted to do.Is The Witcher Season 3 any good? ›
The Witcher Season 3 Volume 1 starts on a high note before slowly descending into a mishmash of odd narrative choices and tepid moments. Thankfully, there are also wonderful character beats and fun relationship dynamics to balance the cons. July 3, 2023 | Rating: 3.25/5 | Full Review…Is Season 3 of The Witcher good? ›
Season 3 retains much of what makes The Witcher so enjoyable, mixing over half a dozen major characters, complicated relationships, and blockbuster storylines together to form something that's simultaneously smart, self-aware, and loads of fun to watch.Was The Witcher 3 really that good? ›
The main narrative is satisfying and emotional, but the game's lack of combat depth holds it back from being a truly great game. There's fun to be had tinkering with the various armor sets and mutations, but the Witcher 3 truly shines when it lets you interact with its amazing cast of characters.Was The Witcher 3 a success? ›
The studio revealed Monday that The Witcher video games have sold more than 75 million copies, with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt alone responsible for more than 50 million of those sales. Those sorts of numbers mean that series is one of the biggest video game franchises of all time.Who is the most powerful being Witcher 3? ›
It's good there's no true battle against him as Gaunter O'Dimm is probably the most powerful being in the world of The Witcher 3.Which girl is best in The Witcher 3? ›
Overall, the fanbase's love for Yennefer and the intricacies of her story with Geralt make her the best romance option available.Who is the villain in Witcher Season 3? ›
But, as they find out, the real villain is actually Vilgefortz of Roggeveen (Mahesh Jadu).Is Yennefer good in Witcher 3? ›
While she has a good heart, she can sometimes do things or act in a certain way that wouldn't be considered heroic. The video game adaptation of the character nailed this aspect of her personality. During the Witcher 3, Yennefer is at times kind and noble, whereas other times, she's jealous and selfish.Will Witcher season 3 be the last? ›
Though fans are excited to see what happens next, it's bittersweet to know it's Cavill's last run. "This summer," Netflix teased, "everything changes."
Ciri dies. In what's widely considered the game's worst ending, Ciri dies during her climactic battle with the all-consuming White Frost.Is Geralt stronger than a normal Witcher? ›
Geralt may be one of the more powerful characters in The Witcher, but he's lost his fair share of fights (and could lose even more)! Despite being painted as the poster boy of the whole Witcher franchise, Geralt of Rivia is by no means the most powerful character in his world.Is The Witcher the most powerful? ›
Geralt of Rivia is proven to be the strongest witcher in the world, with his insane swordsmanship, magical abilities, wisdom, brute power, and more. He is known across the land through song and legend due to his many wins in battles against powerful leaders, monsters, and many other foes.Is Ciri a good Witcher? ›
Despite her powers, Ciri hasn't undergone the Trial of Grasses, so she doesn't have the enhanced physical prowess or longevity of a Witcher. Being an empress is a safer option for Ciri, and the comforts, protection, and amenities such a lifestyle provides means she'll probably live a far longer time.What is the most popular ending in Witcher 3? ›
Spoilers for the ending of The Witcher 3 follow Ciri taking up the path of a witcher is widely regarded as the "best" ending in The Witcher 3, but again, that can be a matter of perspective.Who is the richest witcher? ›
Odo is a rich merchant who lives in the Outskirts of Vizima, in fact, he is the richest person in the Outskirts, period.Which is better Witcher 3 or Skyrim? ›
Though similar, Skyrim and The Witcher 3 are very different experiences, and players will feel differently about the games depending on their preferences and playstyles. However, The Witcher 3 has enough superior mechanics that the game is a smoother and more rewarding experience for most players.