If you’re watching “The Witcher” on Netflix and found your way to this article, there’s a good chance you’re wondering what’s up with the strange way Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) speaks on the new fantasy series.
No, the accent isn’t quite like the one Geralt speaks with in the “Witcher” video games, but the show is an adaptation of the books, not those games. In the “Witcher” novels, so much about the way Geralt was described was intended to establish his otherness — his scars, white hair, his yellow cat eyes and, yes, the way he talks. Specifically, Geralt is supposed to sound, well, different. Unique.
In the “Witcher” video games, they establish this uniqueness by having him speak with an American accent while most everyone else has a British one. On the Netflix show, Geralt’s accent sounds like a hodgepodge of accents, like it just kinda exists somewhere between British, American and Australian accents. Speaking with TheWrap, Cavill discussed how he developed Geralt’s slightly odd accent.
“Mythology-wise, there are a lot of changes from the books,” the British actor said. “And there is only so much that can be done. And for me, as a performer in the show, it was my job to bring my performance and everyone else was allowed to bring their performances, separately. Yes, there is in the books, certainly, a Rivian accent.”
The Rivian accent Cavill refers to is that of the homeland Geralt claims, Rivia. Geralt is not actually from there, but he adopted the country’s accent when he started going by “Geralt of Rivia.”
Cavill said the range of accents in the world in which “The Witcher” takes place can be compared to the range of English accents in Great Britain.
“You look at England for example, there are a vast variety of regional accents across a very, very small space. And actually the Continent would be something very similar,” Cavill said. The “Continent” he mentions is how people refer to the area of the world in which the story takes place. Everything is just the Continent because no one really knows what’s beyond the edges of the map.
“So for me it wasn’t necessarily about giving Geralt a specific accent which was different from everyone else, because that would be impossible because there are a lot of English accents and eventually you’re gonna run into someone who has a similar accent because they are trying something different,” Cavill continues. “So for me, it was about bringing a voice to Geralt which was expressing the essence of who he is in the books and bringing that to the space in the format that was allowed within the show.”
So Cavill is saying he adopted an accent that to him just… felt right for Geralt.
“The Witcher” Season 1 is streaming now on Netflix.