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Origin

Geralt is a witcher. A superhuman mutant monster slayer for hire. Shortly after his birth, Geralt was taken by his mother to Kaer Morhen, a witcher stronghold and The School of the Wolf. Whilst there, he was trained almost exclusively to kill monsters, practicing his swordsmanship skills and learning about monsters.

When he grew older, but was still in his early years, Geralt was subjected to mutations like all other witchers. Only 3 in 10 boys survive this ritual, and the rest die in agony. The mutations were caused by the consumption of special alchemical ingredients, which affected his body. This was called the Trial of the Grasses.

The witchers who survived gained enhanced physicals, such as speed, strength, stamina and durability beyond what an ordinary human could possess. Witchers have cat-like eyes, which give them night vision akin to a cat. The mutations also granted the witchers magical abilities, known as signs, which are more utility based, rather than combat-orientated. (They can be used in combat, though.) The signs include: Aard, a telekenetic blast. Igni, a burst of fire which can be used in combat, as well as being able to do things such as light candles. Yrden, a magical trap. Quen, a magical barrier.

Axii, a form of mind control. Heliotrope, a defense against magical and physical attacks. There is also Somne, a sign which puts targets to sleep, though that was only used in Season of Storms and we have not seen Geralt use it. In addition to the magical signs and enhanced physicals, witchers also have boosted metabolisms and stronger immune systems. This allows them to consume witcher potions, which even in small doses would be deadly to any ordinary human. The potions do different things such as enhancing a witcher's physical attributes even further and allowing them to see in the dark better. Witchers also have reduced heartbeat rates, making it take longer for them to bleed out. A side effect of the mutations is that it causes infertility in witchers.

On top of all these superhuman traits which all witchers including Geralt possess, Geralt and a few others were specially selected to be the subjects of even further mutation. Geralt was the only child who survived. This caused his to lose pigmentation in his hair, which made his hair turn a milk white colour. It also increased his physicals beyond that of even the best other witchers.

Despite his name, Geralt does not actually hail from Rivia. His exact birthplace is unknown. When it came time for Geralt to leave Kaer Morhen and venture out into the world as a witcher, he had to choose a surname or title to seem more trustworthy to potential clients. His first choice of name was "Geralt Roger Eric du Haute-Bellegarde", a Nilfgaardian name, though his trained Vesemir passed it off as silly and pretentious. Instead, Geralt adopted the unofficial title of, "of Rivia".

He even adopted a Rivian accent to make his name seem more authentic. Though his name was unofficial at first, he was officially knighted by Queen Lyve of Lyria for his valour during the Battle for the Bridge on the Yaruga, making the title "of Rivia" official. His actual birthplace is unknown, though it is probably somewhere in Kaedwin since that's where he was left to become a witcher.

Nickname Origins

Geralt of Rivia has been bestowed with many nicknames over the years, or lots of different reasons. I will go through all of them and their origins.

White Wolf - Probably the most famous of all his nicknames, Geralt has been labeled the "White Wolf" due to the colour of his hair and because he trained at The Wolf School at Kaer Morhen. "White Wolf" translates to "Gwynbleidd" in Elder Speech, the language of the Aen Seidhe Elves.

White One - Once again, this nickname is due to the colour of Geralt's hair.

Kingslayer - In The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Geralt was falsely accused of murdering King Foltest and was labelled the Kingslayer. This label was mostly removed once Geralt brought the real killer to justice.

Butcher of Blaviken - Geralt earned this nickname when he went to a village called Blaviken. There was a band of outlaws in town there to kill the sorcerer Stregabor. Stregabor wanted Geralt to kill the outlaws led by Renfri, whilst Renfri wanted Geralt to kill Stregabor, since he had wronged her in the past. Geralt refused both at first, and wanted to stay out of the conflict. Geralt realised that Renfri and her bandits were going to kill Stregabor and wipe out most of the village, so Geralt decided to stop the bandits preemptively, even though he agreed with Renfri morally. When he got there, the bandits refused to keep the peace, so Geralt killed them all, including, to his dismay, Renfri. When people came out of their homes, all they saw was Geralt bathed in blood. Since he didn't wait for them to do anything illegal and confronted them beforehand, people assumed that Geralt attacked them unprovoked as witchers already had a bad reputation. Due to the bloodbath he caused, Geralt was permanently banished from Blaviken and was labelled the "Butcher of Blaviken".

Other Media

Michal Zebrowski as Geralt
Michal Zebrowski as Geralt

In the Polish movie Wiedzmin (2001) and the following TV series (2002) Geralt of Rivia is played by Michal Zebrowski.

Game Trilogy

Geralt in Witcher 1
Geralt in Witcher 1

Geralt in The Witcher, a PC role playing game developed by CD Projekt RED. It is highly based on the series of books and short stories. The game was released in October 2007. He is voiced by Doug Cockle.

CD Projekt RED released a sequel to the original game titled, Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings which was released on PC May 17, 2011 then Xbox 360 on April 12, 2012. Doug Cockle reprises his role as the monster/lady slayer, Geralt of Rivia.

Geralt's model in Witcher 2.
Geralt's model in Witcher 2.

CD Projekt RED is making the last sequel and end to the Geralt's saga in the Witcher universe titled, Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. It will be released on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Doug Cockle will be returning to voice Geralt.

Appearances

TitleMediumOriginal publishing dateEnglish publishing date
The Last WishShort stories19932007
Sword of DestinyShort stories19922015
Blood of ElvesNovel19942008
Time of ContemptNovel19952013
Baptism of FireNovel19962014
The Swallow's TowerNovel19972016
Lady of the LakeNovel19992017
The WitcherVideo game20072007
The Witcher: Enhanced EditionVideo game20082008
The Witcher 2: Assassins of KingsVideo game20112011
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced EditionVideo game20122012
The Witcher 3: Wild HuntVideo game20152015
Season of StormsNovel (standalone)2013N/A
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