Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher has gone through a transformation in season 2 of the Netflix series. And even though this is but the start of his journey, we’ve seen the biggest changes in this season as this witcher comes to realize what it means to be Ciri’s guardian. As time passed we also got to see this man become a father and learn what it means to shape a mind that is going to change the world in small and devastating ways.
The Geralt We Saw When Season 2 Started
At the start of The Witcher we saw a Geralt who was hesitant of Ciri and the role he’d taken on. Sure, he understood that this was his “fate.” But he’s Geralt of Rivia and he sets his own path. And taking on a new charge was an adjustment he did not want to make. And who would fault him for that. Change is hard for everyone and in the beginning Geralt was trying to protect Ciri while not accepting his new role in her life and her role in his.
Taking Ciri to Kaer Morhen was Geralt’s way of getting support from his family, protecting Ciri without giving her the tools to protect herself, and hiding her away until he could figure out what to do with her. He was putting a bandage on the problem and hoping that it would fix itself someway or somehow. And it wasn’t until Ciri proved that she wasn’t going to wait around for him to teach her what she needed to know that things started to change.
Geralt was also suffering through the loss of Yennefer. Here was this great, powerful, and smart woman who challenged him and made his heart beat a mile a minute. Her “death” was a shocking reminder that he wouldn’t be able to feel that again or fix what was broken between them. And we believe that a part of him wishes he had Yennefer to help guide him through the journey he found himself on now that he had a charge.
The same thing could be said about Geralt suffering through he loss of Jaskier aka his best friend. He said some cruel things to him as a way of getting out his anger. It wasn’t fair of Gerlt and he knows that now. And just like he wants Yennefer to be by his side, he wants the same thing with Jaskier. That’s his brother right there, just like any other witcher, and he could use his advice right now on how to deal with his new addition or honestly just as a distraction while Geralt grunts or hums in response.
The Geralt We Saw as He Became a Dad
By midseason of The Witcher, Geralt and Ciri have bonded. Things aren’t perfect, far from it. But they’ve come to a place where they’re more than allies. They’re also not friends. He’s basically her dad, the one that she never had but always wanted. And she’s the missing piece or an addition to Geralt’s life that gives him purpose, understanding, and maybe a new way of looking at things. Because if there’s anything that we like to see from our leads is development and character growth.
Around this time we also see a Geralt who has started to see the true strength that Ciri holds within. And instead of holding her back, he’s teaching her the ways of the Witcher. And it’s not fast either. He’s slowly teaching her and barely tolerating others teaching her things like how to go through the obstacle course in the same manner they were taught growing up. Geralt is doing this while finally accepting his part in Ciri’s life and that he could experience the same loss Vessemir has when he lost his children.
This part of Geralt’s journey is all about him finding a new way forward and using his words. Those words guide Ciri while throwing dad-isms and jokes her way aka things that we never thought possible as fans of The Witcher. These words also connect him more to his father figure Vessemir in a way that he’s never done so before. And that allowed him to reflect on what he’s done in his life, what he’s willing to sacrifice, and what kind of man he’s transforming into.
The Geralt We Were Left with at the End
At the end of The Witcher season 2, we were left with a Geralt who has finally and unequivocally accepted that he is a father. Before he wasn’t sure of his role or where he stood with Ciri. But now he knows who he is and what he has to do to guide this young woman in a world that wants to use her for their own greedy needs or wants to destroy her. With Geralt there, he’s going to prepare her to make her own choices and defend herself.
Another part of preparing Ciri for what is to come is stepping back and realizing that he’s not everything that his daughter needs. And that’s huge for Geralt, who has always been an independent person. Hell, it’s a huge step for anyone that is used to doing things themselves, be they a Witcher or not. So, Geralt accepting Yennefer into their merry little group is a step in encouraging Ciri to unlock her full potential and depend on others just in case anything happens to him or if there’s something he can’t provide.
Encouraging Ciri to work with Yennefer is also an opportunity for Geralt to work on his relationship with the mage herself. He’s been looking for something more to bring them together. Something to jump-start their relationship and make them work for a future. Ciri is that opportunity to prove to each other, and we’re talking both ways between Geralt and Yennefer, that they can be trusted with the most precious person on the continent. And if they can do that, maybe one day, they can do that as a couple and for each other.
Ultimately, Geralt has transformed from a lone wolf to the leader of a pack. And that is due to his growth, great writing by the team behind The Witcher, and a transformative performance by Henry Cavill as the great, kind, and memorable Geralt of Rivia.
The Witcher season 2 is available on Netflix.