Henry Cavill Cast Roach Himself, Plus Other New Details About Netflix’s The Witcher

When Netflix dropped the official trailer for The Witcher on Halloween, they packed quite a bit of stuff into those two minutes of footage. From close-ups on a certain pair of violet eyes, to mysterious brooches, to the unassuming backside of an important side-character, there were a lot of Easter Eggs and pieces of lore that might have slipped on by.

Luckily, the folks behind The Witcher TV series itself are here to walk you through the whole thing! Watch showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and executive producer Tomasz “Tomek” Bagiński break down the details from the trailer.

But first, the trailer, in case you want to follow along:

Some of the things we learn: (All time-stamps correspond to the trailer, not the breakdown video.)

  • The violet eyes we see at 0:04 are, indeed, Yennefer’s.
  • Henry Cavill did all of his own stunts. Bagiński: “Even if we see a detail of his chest, it’s Henry. Even if we see part of his hand, it’s Henry. And I think this was the most beautiful thing about Henry being this character to that extent, because he became Geralt.”
  • The monsters in the series (one of which can be seen at 0:22) will include both those from the books and original creations for the show, inspired by Polish folklore. Schmidt Hissrich said they wanted the actors to interact with something real as much as possible, and Bagiński added that they limited the CGI.
  • The man walking next to Geralt at 0:17 is Jaskier (The bard Dandelion in the novels’ English translation). Schmidt Hissrich: “There’s the idea that he’s actually the one narrating all of these stories for use in his music. Jaskier thinks Geralt is his best friend in the world. Geralt doesn’t necessarily feel the same about Jaskier.”
  • At 0:18, Geralt can be seen using the Aard sign, a basic form of battle-magic. Bagiński added that Geralt uses a lot of elixirs, which are “basically poisons,” but become “enhancers” for Witchers. They make Geralt faster and stronger and allow him to see in the dark, but also result in a physical transformation that can be seen at 1:59.
  • The “strange object” we see affixed to Geralt’s sword at 0:36 is a brooch belonging to a character named Renfri, and the significance of this will be explored in the first episode. Geralt will carry it for the rest of the series, and use it as a “guiding principle” for “whether or not to take action,” Schmidt Hissrich revealed.
  • Henry Cavill cast Roach (1:03) himself (!). Schmidt Hissrich: “He really wanted to make sure that he as an actor felt the bond with the creature that Geralt is supposed to feel with Roach.” Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that casting session.
  • Yes, The Witcher team is fully aware of how fans feel about the bathtub scene (1:09).
  • The “mysterious moment” with Ciri at 1:50, in which she’s standing in a red fog while an unidentified substance drips from her hand, is “the moment where she understands that she’s actually somebody else,” teased Bagiński. Schmidt Hissrich added that Ciri will experience a lot of trauma in season one, and that she revisits this trauma in her dreams and nightmares.

The Witcher debuts on Netflix on December 20, 2019.

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