When people think of Geralt of Rivia, most don’t consider the Witcher to have a disability. He is a fighter who can take down giant monsters, and bed sexy ladies immediately afterwards. The rippling muscles of Henry Cavill certainly don’t do much to disabuse anyone of this notion that Geralt is superhuman, and beyond mortal aches and pains. However, the source material for The Witcher often paints a different picture of the hero. The books by Andrzej Sapowski often explore the toll that Geralt’s training and fighting style takes on his body. Now, showrunner Lauren Hissrich has promised that upcoming seasons of The Witcher will explore this aspect of Geralt.
Geralt Of Rivia Lives With Chronic Pain
Image via Netflix
Hissrich is pretty active over on Twitter, where she often responds to fan questions and criticisms. Recently she retweeted a lengthy thread from a fan on the topic of Geralt’s disability. She says that she is ‘excited’ to dig into this area of Geralt’s life. Hissrich also says that she was wrong to brush off Geralt’s pain from the books, and now realizes that this adds new layers to the character.
I haven't stopped thinking about this thread. I've read these books a dozen times, these specific sections, and I've not thought of it further than: "Geralt has some pain, onto the next thing."
I've been wrong.
I'm excited to dig into this more. To add this layer to our hero. https://t.co/ra3kc2bJk5
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) November 10, 2020
The original Twitter thread delves into the importance of depicting Geralt as hero with a disability in The Witcher. The fan who wrote the thread is a disability advocate who draws evidence from The Witcher books. These passages illustrate that Geralt is not superhuman, that he has shattered bones and torn muscles that deeply affect him over the course of the series. Those long bubble baths that Geralt is so famous for are actually about soothing those aches and pains. Not to mention the dramatic physical toll that the Trial of the Grasses inflicts upon all Witchers. It literally changes their physiology, making them stronger and faster and able to use magic. But it does not make them immune to pain.
How Much Bathtub Geralt Will We See In The Second Season of The Witcher? | Image via Netflix
The fan who wrote the original thread stresses the importance of recognizing Geralt’s disability in The Witcher, and the fact that it did not end his life. He is still considered a hero, a paragon of physical strength and might. But it is important to recognize that his strength comes at a great cost to him. By addressing these issues in future seasons of The Witcher series on Netflix, Hissrich and her team have a great opportunity to add depth and nuance to the character. Not to mention increasing visibility for disabled people everywhere who are doing their best to live their lives and fight everyday despite their pain. Just like Geralt does.
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.