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Geralt's 12 Best Fight Scenes From The Witcher Ranked By Brutality

When Henry Cavill announced that he won't be returning for "The Witcher" Season 3, not everyone was happy to hear the news. Cavill's Geralt has been beloved by many since the promo shots from Season 1 first appeared on the internet, and it's Cavill's emotional and physical commitment to the role that has helped Geralt make such a compelling protagonist. Plenty of Henry Cavill fans out there will miss him, but at least they can still rewatch the excellent, frequently profoundly violent work he's done on the show whenever they feel like it.

Not every fight in the show is gory, but each of them does have different aspects that make them devastating to watch. Sometimes the brutality is emotional (RIP Roach), sometimes the brutality comes from the show's horror elements, and sometimes it just comes from Geralt's as-of-yet unmatched skill in combat. Let us go forth and gaze upon the merciless details of every one of Geralt's substantial fights from Seasons 1 and 2.

12. Geralt fights for a dragon

In Season 1, Episode 6 ("Rare Species"), Geralt is recruited by a man named Borch Three Jackdaws and his sworn swords to help hunt the green dragon rumored to be in King Niedamir's mountains. They arrive at the base of the mountain to find that many other groups are also hunting the dragon in hopes of securing a reward for its demise and access to its hoard. Yennefer is among the hunters, and Geralt can't focus on too much other than her when she's around. After the death of Yennefer's patsy and Borch's fall from the cliff, they finally come to the dragon's den at the top of the mountain, only to find a gold dragon. 

It turns out, Borch Three Jackdaws is a gold dragon and has actually enlisted Geralt's help to protect the green dragon and her egg. Geralt convinces Yennefer to help protect the dragons as well, and when a group of rowdy, bloodthirsty hunters arrives at the cave, the duo fights them off. The fight isn't very brutal, really. As Geralt is using aard (one of his magic signs) to throw three men out of the cave, Yennefer runs to him, and they kiss in the heat of battle. It's romantic ... which is kind of the opposite of brutal.

11. The banquet brawl

The Season 1 episode, "Of Banquets, Bastards and Burials" follows Geralt to the court of Queen Calanthe of Cintra. Jaskier, who has been getting around with a lot of married ladies as of late, has asked Geralt to attend a banquet with him so that Geralt can protect him from any potentially angry cuckolds. The banquet is being thrown for Calanthe's daughter Pavetta, and all of her potential suitors will swing by to present their proposals to the queen. Pavetta is clearly despondent throughout the event, and after Calanthe spots Geralt and appoints him to a seat of honor at her right side, a new, masked suitor arrives.

Calanthe forces the knight to remove his helmet, which forces the man, Urcheon, to reveal that he is cursed to be half-hedgehog. He is owed Pavetta's hand in marriage by the Law of Surprise, because he once saved her father's life. Calanthe is ruthless in her desire to kill Urcheon and deny his claim on Pavetta through the Law of Surprise. But after a chaotic battle in her banquet hall ignites Pavetta's unearthly, uncontrollable magic, she is forced to stand down. The battle isn't super brutal mostly because several conversations take place throughout, but the display of Pavetta's magic is incredible.

10. Geralt vs. nekkers

In "Much More" — Episode 8 of Season 1 — Geralt has recently escaped imprisonment in Cintra when he runs into a man named Yurga. The White Wolf is disoriented and in a rush having fought his way through invading Nilfgaardian forces and out of the city to find Ciri. At first Geralt believes Yurga is a grave robber, but the man corrects him and explains that he is trying to give the massacred Cintran refugees a proper burial. Before Geralt can do much else, a swarm of bloodthirsty nekkers appears and attacks. 

Geralt loses his sword relatively early in the fight and improvises by ripping out a nekker tongue in order to keep swinging at the creatures. While Geralt is ultimately successful in defeating the nekkers, he realizes that he has a festering wound on his leg and soon drops to the ground. This fight is honestly a little difficult to see, as it takes place at night in a graveyard, but it scores a few macabre bonus points for Geralt ripping out a tongue and fighting with it. There's not a lot of blood involved in the fight against these shadowy, zombie-like creatures, but Geralt's wound is definitely nasty.

9. The Temple of Melitele

Most of Season 2 of "The Witcher" has viewers on the edge of their seats rooting for Geralt to save Ciri from constant threats (truly everyone and every creature in the land is after her). Geralt hopes to find some respite from their constant running at the Temple of Melitele in Episode 6 ("Dear Friend..."). The Temple doesn't allow anyone to keep weapons on their person while they're there, and Geralt hopes that his friend Nenneke, a priestess, can help Ciri learn how to summon and control her magical powers. Yennefer soon arrives at the temple, secretly tracking Ciri, and she reconnects with Geralt.

Later on, Rience, the fire mage who captured Jaskier and fought Triss and Vesemir, arrives to the temple with a company of thugs (who have not left their weapons outside) to kidnap Ciri. Geralt arranges for Yennefer to run away with Ciri and squares up to take on half a dozen armed men with no armor or weapons of his own. Geralt, of course, wipes the floor with them. He spends half the conflict fighting with just his fists. Eventually he picks up one of their swords, but it definitely seems like he could have ended the fight without it. Geralt was made to fight monsters, so when he fights people, they rarely stand a chance against him. Overall, it's Geralt's haste to look after Ciri that keeps this fight relatively tame.

8. The kikimore

Some folks say the first five minutes of Season 1 of "The Witcher" is one of the best opening scenes of any TV show ever, and we don't necessarily disagree. Audiences learn a lot about Geralt in the first five minutes of Episode 1 ("The End's Beginning") — he is a fierce, ruthless fighter who can confidently take on monsters three times his size. At first the scene is serene — there is a deer grazing next to a misty, swampy lake. But soon Geralt surfaces above the water along with the kikimore he's fighting while grappling to hang onto his silver witcher sword.

This fight ranks high partially because it's the first one in the show, partially because the kikimore is one of the nastiest creatures that's turned up in "The Witcher" so far, and of course, because of Geralt's brutal kill. After a powerful struggle, Geralt guts the kikimore. Following the retraction of his sword, viewers get a perfect shot of Geralt soaking wet with a big drip of slimy, kikimore viscera.

7. The myriapod ambush

In "What Is Lost," Season 2, Episode 3 of "The Witcher," Ciri struggles to train with Geralt and the other witchers at Kaer Morhen as Geralt confers with Vesemir and seeks to investigate Eskel's transformation and subsequent death from the prior episode. After watching Ciri attempt a vicious training course meant for people who have been through the chemical witcher transformations, Geralt brings her with him to investigate the woods near the fortress in order to find the leshy responsible for Eskel's infection.

Geralt and Ciri are fighting like father and daughter when they come upon the leshy, looming tall and terrifying. Just as Geralt is about to engage the leshy in combat, the creature is decimated by something a lot bigger and scarier looking called a myriapod, most likely called by malevolent forces to find Ciri. Geralt is caught off guard and the myriapod makes quick work of him, running after Ciri and quickly cornering her on the low edge of a cliff. Geralt gets there just in time to gut the creature and save Ciri, but he cuts it very close, which is part of what makes this fight so brutal. Without her magic or training, Ciri is basically defenseless — if Geralt gets taken out, she's as good as gone.

6. The chernobog

The chernobog is a vicious, flying creature that comes into the realm through one of the monoliths that Ciri destroys. Geralt takes Ciri away from Kaer Morhen in Season 2, Episode 6 after finding that she has nearly completed the witcher mutation process under Vesemir's care. Ciri is livid that Geralt has taken away her opportunity to belong somewhere, and they're once again fighting like father and daughter when they're set upon by the chernobog. (A pattern seems to be emerging here.) 

This fight is a particularly incredible display of Geralt's skills as a monster hunter. The chernobog is gigantic and has the ability to fly, but Geralt barely blinks before landing a solid hit with his force magic, downing the beast momentarily into the nearby river and giving Ciri a chance to ride away atop Roach. The chernobog gets past Geralt pretty quickly, though, and goes after Ciri, maiming Roach and forcing her to seek high ground on foot. She climbs to the top of a small cliff and just as the chernobog is about to grab her, Geralt performs an incredible leap, mortally wounding the chernobog in midair. Most of what's brutal about this fight is that Roach dies saving Ciri. It's just never okay in a story when an animal companion is killed.

5. Eskel's transformation

Geralt and Ciri finally reach Kaer Morhen — a fortress used as a sanctuary for all of the witchers that have survived and still roam the land fighting monsters. It's exciting to see Kaer Morhen and so many familiar faces from the books and video games (Vesemir! Eskel! Lambert!), but the contentment in the reunion of the witchers is both melancholy due to the fact that their numbers continue to dwindle every year, and short-lived. Kaer Morhen is an eerie setting for an emotionally brutal conflict between Geralt and Vesemir and Eskel, who has transformed into a leshy.

Eskel is late to Kaer Morhen after getting caught in a fight with a leshy. Despite the fact that he seems to be a particularly close friend of Geralt's, he is combative and suspicious of Ciri almost immediately. Later on, Eskel is sick — he was wounded by the leshy and is apparently turning into one himself. Most of the witchers protect Ciri and the women they're entertaining as Vesemir and Geralt fight Eskel in hopes that they can save him. The fight is spooky, but Geralt is a great fighter, and most of the tension resides in the fact that neither he nor Vesemir want to kill whatever is left of Eskel. When Eskel's leshy begins to suffocate Vesemir with his branch-like tendrils, Geralt has no choice but to plunge a sword into the back of his oldest friend.

4. The bruxa

The Season 2 premiere of "The Witcher" finds Geralt and Ciri on the run from Nilfgaard, dark creatures, and basically every living person and animal in the realm. They flee toward Kaer Morhen, but must stop on the way in order to eat and sleep. After finding and leaving a suspiciously abandoned village, Geralt brings Ciri to the estate of his old friend Nivellen. It doesn't take long for Geralt to realize that Nivellen is hiding something — that something turns out to be a very literally bloodthirsty bruxa who is responsible for the recent deaths in the area and the abandonment of the nearby village. 

The bruxa attempts to befriend Ciri, and Nivellen defends her to Geralt, explaining that he is in love with her despite her violent nature. Despite the fact that Nivellan loves the bruxa and she has spoken peacefully with Ciri, she will definitely continue to kill people and Geralt can't let that happen. The fight is brutal thanks to the bruxa's unnaturally wide mouth and horrific rows of sharp teeth, as well as her ability to disjoint any part of her body. (Seriously, the cracking sound alone is enough to give goosebumps.) It's also extra brutal because of Nivellen's devastation after he is forced to impale the bruxa himself to prevent her from harming Ciri while out of control with bloodlust.

3. Butchering in Blaviken

Episode 1 presents one of the most important events in Geralt's life as well as one of the show's most bloody fights. Geralt is caught between two opposing interests in the town of Blaviken. Stregobor, a local wizard, is hiding from Renfri, a former princess he once tried to have killed because she was born during an eclipse and he's a magical conspiracy theorist. Geralt initially refuses to get involved, only to later be petitioned by Renfri for help defeating the wizard. Ultimately, Geralt decides to intervene, hoping to prevent Renfri from throwing her life away in her pursuit of vengeance against Stregobor. 

Renfri's men hold up Geralt at the market, and this is the first time we see Geralt fight people instead of creatures. He cuts through Renfri's men easily, delivering many bloody deaths as he makes his way through the company to stop Renfri. You can watch Henry Cavill break down Geralt's fight in Blaviken shot for shot on YouTube, and his commentary is especially interesting in reference to Geralt's duel with Renfri. She's very gifted and holds her own against Geralt for a while until he is forced to kill her. This fight's brutality is so famed that it earned Geralt the nickname "Butcher of Blaviken."

2. The Witchers vs. Voleth Meir

The final fight in "The Witcher" Season 2 (found in Episode 8, "Family") involves all of the witchers at Kaer Morhen, led by Geralt and Vesemir, as they seek to drive the dark witch Voleth Meir from her possession of Ciri's body. It's like an exorcism ... with swords. Much like the fight against a transformed Eskel and Geralt's struggle against the striga in Season 1, this fight is especially brutal because the ultimate goal is not to just kill the enemy. Voleth Meir uses Ciri's magic to summon a hoard of vicious monsters — mostly basilisks and wyverns — and the witchers fight as a unit as Geralt, Vesemir, and Yennefer try to release Ciri from her possession.

The fight between Voleth Meir and the witchers takes up a good chunk of the episode, and while it's definitely brutal in terms of violence and creature horror, what makes the fight so devastating is the way it decimates the already dwindling number of living witchers. It's painful to watch so many extraordinary warriors fall as Ciri fights her possession, and it reminds audiences, once again, that there is always a cost to protect Ciri. It also reminds us of the fact that her family — Geralt, Vesemir, Yennefer, Triss, and the other witchers — will always pay that cost, not because she's powerful, but because they love her.

1. Geralt saves the striga

Geralt's fight with the striga is one of the most formative moments from "The Witcher" Season 1. Not only is it the first time we see Geralt truly struggle in a fight, but it also represents a chance for him to save another princess after (in his eyes) failing to save Renfri. After investigating reports of a deadbeat witcher and a vicious monster in the kingdom of Temeria, Geralt stumbles upon an incredible tragedy. King Foltest was once in a secret relationship with his sister, Adda, and she got pregnant as a result. That was when Ostrit, one of Foltest's courtiers, cursed Foltest for claiming Adda's affections. The child grew, cursed, in Adda's womb and eventually burst forth as a vicious striga.

Triss asks Geralt to lift the curse on Adda and Foltest's daughter instead of simply destroying the striga. Because Geralt's mind is still heavy with the guilt of Renfri's death, he decides to do everything he can to keep the striga out of her sarcophagus until dawn, at which point the sunlight will break the creature's curse and she will become a woman — Foltest's daughter. The fight is the most brutal in the show because Geralt's objective is not to kill, but to outlast, a terrifying, powerful monster. He endures a long, painful night and is ultimately successful in lifting the curse on the princess.