Netflix has picked up The Witcher for the fourth season, but one recognisable character will be absent. After the third season’s premiere, Henry Cavill will leave the project, and Liam Hemsworth will take over as the main character of Geralt of Rivia.

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On Saturday afternoon, the streamer revealed the news of the renewal and casting, and both Hemsworth and Cavill issued statements. When interpreting the tones of both utterances, the choice appears to be a respectful handoff of the reins.

Cavill wrote in an Instagram post, “My journey as Geralt of Rivia has been filled with both monsters and adventures, and alas, I will be laying down my medallion and my swords for Season 4. In my stead, the fantastic Mr. Liam Hemsworth will be taking up the mantle of the White Wolf. As with the greatest of literary characters, I pass the torch with reverence for the time spent embodying Geralt and enthusiasm to see Liam’s take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men. Liam, good sir, this character has such a wonderful depth to him, enjoy diving in and seeing what you can find.”

“As a Witcher fan I’m over the moon about the opportunity to play Geralt of Rivia. Henry Cavill has been an incredible Geralt, and I’m honoured that he’s handing me the reins and allowing me to take up the White Wolf’s blades for the next chapter of his adventure. Henry, I’ve been a fan of yours for years and was inspired by what you brought to this beloved character. I may have some big boots to fill, but I’m truly excited to be stepping into The Witcher world,” Liam Hemsworth noted in another post.

Since the start of The Witcher on Netflix in December 2019, Cavill has portrayed the role of monster hunter Geralt. The actor’s final season with the show will be the third, which will air sometime in the summer of 2023.

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Over time, The Witcher has become something of a Netflix flagship franchise. The Witcher: Blood Origin, a four-part prequel series starring Michelle Yeoh, will debut on Christmas Day. Cavill’s departure and the streamer’s decision to recast the main series’ lead role demonstrate their level of commitment to the franchise.