Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table: Geralt of Rivia, the main character of the “Witcher” series.
Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher who in the first game was working to try and regain his memories. Witchers are humans who use monster DNA to make themselves into super humans to hunt monsters and go into battle. In “Witcher 2” he has gotten much of his memories back and now finds himself being used a political weapon. By this point, Geralt is very accustomed to the roar of battle and war. Being stuck between a rock and a hard place, Geralt learns about more of his past and about a certain women named Yennefer. It turns out that this women has great importance to Geralt and may have something to do with memories. Geralt also learns there may have been a time when he was dead. Many mysteries surround the man.
In the original “Witcher” game, you know very little of Geralt. You know he is a Witcher, as you are told by your fellow Witchers, you know he now has amnesia, and you know he saved a princess from an evil curse. That’s pretty much all you get. Throughout the game, you learn he is a rather infamous Witcher, and one of the best among his kind. Right from the get go, you are wondering what Geralt’s deal is. What’s up with the amnesia, why is he so good at what he does, where does he know all these other people. It makes for a great deal of curiosity. As you go through the game, some things do start to kind of clear up, but there is definitely a bunch of questions left unanswered. Thankfully, in the second game, you learn a lot more about Geralt. You learn about this women Yennefer, what Geralt has done in the past, and where some of his friends come from. Y’know, all that good stuff.
While the second game does more for Geralt himself, the first game actually does more to fill you in on the holes about the world, like the lore and other things going on the witcher universe. If you are a fan of dark fantasy style lore, this game is right up your alley. There are interesting touches on things like racism toward non humans and prejudice toward witchers as well as some of the strange monsters and magic. It is a pretty well built world and the world has some cool effects on Geralt. People hate witchers and say they aren’t human because they are part monster, but also know they need witchers to fend the monsters off. This puts Geralt into spots where people don’t want to deal with him, but they don’t really have a choice in the end. Geralt’s history and interaction with the world is pretty good; his personality, however, leaves something to be desired.
Geralt is a very stoic and quiet man. He is also a bit harsh and a giant womanizer; the man will do basically anything with a pulse. This would be alright if he was just a bit more interesting. They take the “quiet badass” idea whole hog. They try to make him seem a little more kindhearted by having you decide if you love Triss and such, but it does very little. You have some tender moments but really afterward you go right back to being very serious and angry. His personality is unlikeable, really. He is quiet and kind of rough and shows little emotion most of the time. I guess he is really just boring, unless you are a big fan of the strong silent type. The world around him just seems more entertaining than he is. He isn’t a relatable character, but it’s kind of hard to make a half-monster slayer a relatable character, so that’s not a big deal. His main redeemable quality is that it’s just cool watch him kill monsters and stuff. I wanted to like Geralt, but it’s kinda hard because he is just so meh.
In the end, my verdict of Geralt as is right now is Bad. He exists in a cool world and has some interesting points about his past, but as he is when you play in the game just isn’t that great. I am hoping that once “Witcher 3” comes out we will see some good advances in Geralt’s character. I like Triss a bit better than Geralt but it is certain that both of them need just a bit of work. We shall see what comes about in the future.