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Everything You Need to Know About The Witcher’s Geralt of Rivia and His Powers

The Witcher finally dropped on Netflix last night to fill that Game of Thrones-shaped void in our lives, and amid all the magic, medieval costumes and mud of the first season, viewers are still left with a pretty big question: What is a Witcher, exactly?

What Even Is a Witcher, and What Are His Powers?
What Even Is a Witcher, and What Are His Powers?
Katalin Vermes

Within the world of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels on which the series is based, a Witcher is a warrior imbued with abilities that make them particularly adept at fighting supernatural predators. Witchers begin their training as children: they are taken to specialist schools, where they undergo alchemical “mutations” which grant them advantageous traits.

For example, Geralt of Rivia ( Henry Cavill ) has golden, catlike eyes: these are the result of one such mutation, which enables him to see exceptionally well, even in the dark. When needed, with the help of a “cat potion,” he can enhance his vision so well that it expands his pupils completely, so that his entire eyes appear black. It is said that the process it takes to achieve such vision is incredibly painful.

Witchers are also notoriously hard to kill, a pretty handy quality considering their line of work. In addition to superior strength, speed and reflexes, they are highly impervious to disease, immune to a great many poisons and potions, and possess accelerated healing. This grants Witchers with a prolonged lifespan: while it is unclear how old Geralt is in the show, it’s highly likely he has lived far longer and seen much more than his outer appearance would suggest. (This extended life expectancy also means there is the potential for near-endless seasons of The Witcher).

Henry Cavill, The Witcher Henry Cavill, The Witcher

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In addition to their physical abilities, Witchers are also adept at “combat magic”, such as repelling an opponent and creating force field-like barriers.

In case this is all sounding too good to be true (immortality and superpowers are tempting, after all) there is a downside to being a Witcher. With magic and monsters not as common as they once were on the Continent, there’s not a lot of work out there for demon hunters. Demand is low for Witchers, and though they travel from place to place, ridding villages of terrifying beasts in exchange for coin , they are ultimately outcasts.

Not only that, but the transformation Witchers go through when they are young leaves them sterile; while this was by design, to ensure their powers could not be passed onto anybody else, this inability to create a family also serves to further compound the lonely existence of being a Witcher.

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