Geralt of Rivia
|This article is about Geralt of Rivia, the witcher. For other uses of witcher, see The Witcher.|
Geralt in "Killing Monsters"
|dark (in the books; not closer specified), dark-gold (in The Witcher games)|
|the Wolf School, Rivian nobles (since Baptism of Fire), Geralt's hansa|
|swordsmanship, alchemy, Signs, horsemanship, superhuman abilities|
Geralt of Rivia (Polish: Geralt z Rivii) is a witcher and the main protagonist of the Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski and its adaptations (including The Witcher, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and soon The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt computer games). Witchers are monster hunters for hire. They possess nearly superhuman abilities and are expert swordsmen.
Geralt is known also as Gwynbleidd (Elder Speech meaning "The White Wolf", a name which was given to him by the dryads), as well as the Butcher of Blaviken, after an unfortunate incident in that city.
Despite his name, Geralt does not come from Rivia: after being left with the witchers by his mother, Visenna, he grew up in their keep of Kaer Morhen in the realm of Kaedwen. In the interest of appearing more trustworthy to potential clients, young witchers were encouraged to make up surnames for themselves by master Vesemir. As his first choice, Geralt chose "Geralt Roger Eric du Haute-Bellegarde", but this choice was dismissed by Vesemir as silly and pretentious, so "Geralt" was all that remained of his chosen name. "Of Rivia" was a more practical alternative, and Geralt even went so far as to adopt a Rivian accent to appear more authentic.
Later, Queen Meve of Lyria knighted him for his valour in the Battle for the Bridge on the Yaruga conferring on him the formal title "of Rivia", which amused him. He, therefore, eventually became a true knight of Lyria.
| Geralt was the son of sorceress Visenna and (presumably) a warrior called Korin. Shortly after being born, Geralt was taken by his mother to the Wolf School — the Kaer Morhen stronghold (from Elder Speech Caer a'Muirehen meaning "Fortress of the Old Sea"). Geralt survived numerous mutations during the Trial of the Grasses, through which he gained practically superhuman physical and mental abilities (increased reflexes, speed, strength and enhanced hearing) surprisingly well. Because of that, as one of the few he was selected for additional experiments, and of the few he was the only one that survived. His white hair, completely lacking pigment, is a side effect of these experiments. After finishing the witcher training, he embarked into the world on his horse called The Roach (he gave the same name to every one of his horses) to become a monster slayer for hire.
Although Geralt did not believe in destiny, he demanded the unborn child of princess Pavetta and her husband Duny as a reward for his services. As the child turned out to be a girl, he did not take her. However, fate or blind chance caused Geralt and Ciri, the daughter of Duny and Pavetta to cross paths thrice, and after the death of her grandmother, queen Calanthe, Geralt ended up taking care of the girl and loving her as his own daughter. His best friend was Dandelion the bard, while his lover and the love of his life was Yennefer.
In The Hexer movie and TV series, the major role of Geralt as an adult was played by Michał Żebrowski, but a younger Geralt was portrayed by Maciej Łagodziński. Both the series and the movie were based largely on the previously published short stories, taking a few liberties here and there with the narrative.
Naturally, Geralt appears in all thirteen episodes of the series and is the protagonist of the film.
In The Witcher computer game
After seemingly having been killed by a mob during a pogrom of non-humans at the end of the Witcher saga, Geralt returns to life with no recollection of the details of his sudden reappearance or the intervening five years. He is rescued by the last remaining witchers in the world and taken back to Kaer Morhen. There, he is drawn into a complicated conspiracy concerning the witchers, their secrets and the nefarious forces who are after that knowledge.
Geralt pursues the mysterious Salamandra, and in the process meets many people from his past, as well as new acquaintances who either require the witcher's help, or offer their own in his quest to regain his identity.
- A book entitled "The Rivian Pogrom" claims that Geralt, known also as the White Wolf, died during a massacre of non-humans. The pogrom took place in the city of Rivia just after the war with Nilfgaard. Geralt was killed by an angry mob when he tried to defend the oppressed. The sorceress Triss Merigold and the dwarf Zoltan Chivay witnessed his death. The witcher's body was never found.
- The bard Dandelion recounts the adventures of the witcher Geralt in his ballads. After reading them, one may conclude that the White Wolf was the most famous witcher of his time. He actively participated in many historical events, such as the mage rebellion on Thanedd Island. Dandelion's poems are mostly devoted to Geralt's fights against monsters, the numerous romantic entanglements for which he is famous, and to his love for a certain sorceress.
- Some years ago, Geralt of Rivia came to King Foltest's court in search of work. He obtained a contract to free the monarch's daughter Adda from a spell which had turned her into a striga, or to kill her if all else failed. The witcher managed to free the girl from the spell, and discovered that one of the courtiers had been responsible for the curse.
- Behold our hero: subjected to mutations and rigorous sword and sorcery training as a child, he has become a superhuman monster slayer. Always penniless and often disdained by those whom he protects, he wanders the world seeking work. Fate has little mercy for him, piling obstacles in his way, yet he trudges on. He has more scruples than a beggaring bum has fleas. Doubts haunt him even when a band of ruffians, knives drawn, approaches him on the highway. Is he a good man? I do not think so. Does he try to maintain his humanity? I believe he does.
- You must know that Geralt of Rivia died once already, or at least everyone thought him dead. During a massacre in Rivia, he sought to defend nonhumans and fell to overwhelming odds. Placed in a boat, he floated into the mist, into a realm where he finally found peace. Not for long. Because of forces to mentioned later, Geralt returned just in time to defend the witchers' ancient home fortress, and then embarked on a mission to recover the secrets stolen from it. Along the way he took part in a Scoia'tael uprising, shattered a powerful criminal organization, and killed the Grand Master of the Order of the Flaming Rose. All the while his fame as a lover grew. Well, that's Geralt for you. As if all this wasn't enough, he then foiled the attempted assassination of King Foltest of Temeria and became one of the monarch's most trusted men.
Geralt will also appear in the upcoming The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the third and final installment in the series of games by CD Projekt RED. He will at least initially be unshaven due to his recent travels, and the narrative will be set during a Nilfgaardian invasion of the Northern Kingdoms.
- Geralt's name in the Elder Speech, Gwynbleidd, is very similar to the Welsh translation of "white wolf", which is blaidd gwyn.
- Most of The Witcher 2 promotional screenshots or artwork featuring Geralt display a fairly different model, an early design, even the cover of the game doesn't use the in game model for Geralt. A different model was planned to replace Geralt's face from The Witcher, but due to protests in Poland, CDP edited the old model and placed it into the game.