The Witcher: A Guide to the Franchise’s Protagonist


The Witcher, also known as Geralt of Rivia, is a fictional character created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Geralt is the protagonist of a popular series of novels, short stories, and video games, as well as a Netflix television series. He is a complex and enigmatic figure who exists in a dark and gritty fantasy world known as “The Continent.”

Geralt is a Witcher, a professional monster hunter for hire who possesses supernatural abilities and has undergone rigorous training and mutation to do so. Witchers are a rare and controversial breed in The Continent, often shunned and mistrusted by ordinary people due to their perceived inhumanity. Nevertheless, Geralt and his fellow Witchers play a crucial role in ridding the world of dangerous creatures and supernatural threats.

The Witcher’s origins are shrouded in mystery. He was born Geralt of Rivia but took on the moniker “The White Wolf” due to his distinctive white hair, which is a result of the mutations he underwent during his training. These mutations have given him heightened strength, agility, and senses, making him a formidable opponent in battle. Witchers are also trained in swordsmanship and alchemy, allowing them to create potions and concoctions to enhance their abilities and heal injuries.

Geralt’s personality is characterized by a sense of moral ambiguity and world-weariness. He often finds himself caught in the middle of conflicts and dilemmas, where the lines between good and evil are blurred. This moral complexity is a central theme throughout the series, as Geralt grapples with questions of destiny, free will, and the nature of humanity.

One of the defining aspects of Geralt’s character is his code of ethics. Despite his often gruff and cynical exterior, he adheres to a strict moral code. He refuses to kill sentient creatures for profit, only hunting true beasts that pose a threat to humans. This code sets him apart from some of his fellow Witchers and adds depth to his character.

Geralt’s adventures often lead him into contact with a wide array of characters, both human and non-human. One of his most enduring relationships is with Yennefer of Vengerberg, a powerful sorceress, and Triss Merigold, another sorceress who becomes a close friend and love interest. The complicated dynamics between Geralt, Yennefer, and Triss are a recurring theme in the series, exploring themes of love, loyalty, and sacrifice.

Another significant and beloved character in Geralt’s life is Ciri, a young girl with a mysterious destiny. Geralt becomes a surrogate father figure to Ciri, and their bond is a central element of the story. Ciri possesses unique powers, and her fate is intertwined with Geralt’s in ways that neither of them fully understands.

The Witcher world is richly detailed, spanning several imaginary kingdoms from Temeria to Nilfgaard. The story draws from a variety of mythological and folkloric sources. It is a world filled with political intrigue, racial tensions, and moral ambiguity. Geralt often finds himself caught up in the conflicts between humans and non-humans, particularly the elves and dwarves who have been displaced and marginalized.

The Witcher series is not only known for its compelling characters but also for its intricate storytelling and moral dilemmas. It explores themes of discrimination, xenophobia, and the consequences of choices made in a world filled with shades of gray. The narrative structure of the series is non-linear, with the novels and stories presenting different points in Geralt’s life, allowing readers to piece together his backstory and character development over time.

The popularity of The Witcher series has extended beyond literature to video games and television. CD Projekt Red, a Polish video game developer, adapted Sapkowski’s works into a highly successful series of role-playing games, with “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” being a standout title that received critical acclaim. In 2019, Netflix released a live-action television series starring Man of Steel Henry Cavill as Geralt, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, and Freya Allan as Ciri, bringing the characters to a new and wider audience.

Ultimately, The Witcher is a complex and morally gray character in a dark and gritty fantasy world. His profession as a monster hunter, his code of ethics, and his relationships with other characters, particularly Yennefer, Triss, and Ciri, define his character. The Witcher series has captivated audiences through novels, video games, and television, making Geralt a beloved and enduring figure in the realm of fantasy fiction.