Netflix today released several new photos of its live-action adaptation of the Witcher book series, which give us our first in-canon look at Yennifer and Ciri’s live-action counterparts, Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan (respectively). They also give us a few more angles on Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia, whose poorly blended wig continues to confound and perplex. Notably missing is Anna Shaffer, who has been cast to play the third sorceress in Geralt’s life, Triss Merigold.
As we think you’ll agree, Chalotra and Allan look fantastic. Even in these two simple promo shots, Chalotra does a good job of embodying the power and mystery that Yennifer is known for. Meanwhile, Allan’s Ciri looks surprisingly different from what fans of The Witcher 3 might expect — a battle-worn prodigy who proudly brandishes her scars and wears light, practical clothing meant for adventure.
Instead, we see Allan draped in a hooded cloak, looking much more the part of sorceress than swordswoman. Based on the plot summary provided in Netflix’s press release, it sounds like the show is set near the beginning of Geralt’s time with Yennifer and Ciri, which would explain Ciri’s demure air, as she would not yet have undergone Witcher training at Kaer Morhen. (It also explains why everyone in the show appears to be 10 years younger than you’d expect.)
Cavill, on the other hand, looks like a really, really good cosplay model hired to take pictures with fans at a convention booth. The blending job on his wig makes it look like his face was photoshopped onto someone else’s body, or like his entire cranial cap is a Justice League mustache-style deepfake. The wig itself looks fine, but you can tell that he is definitely a man in a wig, and not a man with glorious, flowing locks of ashen-white hair, which resulted from the ritual mutations that all Witchers undertake.
The rest of the costume is inoffensive, save for the new Witcher medallion, which looks like a Power Rangers morphing coin. There’s also the fact that he only has one sword — all Witchers carry both steel and silver swords, as silver blades are required for vanquishing certain types of monsters and/or ghouls. In the games, Geralt wears both swords on his back at all times, which gives him a distinct and iconic silhouette. So what gives? Well, in the books, Geralt tends to leave the silver sword on his horse, as it’s only needed in specific circumstances, according to Comic Book. Lauren S. Hissrich, the show’s creator, addressed Geralt’s solo sword on Twitter, saying “yes-he-only-carries-one-sword-until-wait-for-it… [sic].”
Originally announced in 2017, Netflix’s The Witcher is slated for a fall 2019 release. The first season comprises eight episodes, and principle photography (which took place in Hungary) concluded as of May 2019. The author of the Witcher book series, Andrzej Sapkowski, has a writing credit on the show as the original novelist according to IMDb, but his involvement in the rest of the production is nebulous at best.