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Why is Geralt’s Hair White in the Witcher?

Why is Geralt’s Hair White in the Witcher?

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The Witcher is a beautiful and captivating world created by Andrzej Sapkowski. It is full of mystic elements and fantasy traits that pulls you in through every plotline. Also, it has been adapted into comic books, games, and the popular Netflix TV show, which will soon launch the second season. 

Through amazing surroundings and graphics, the Witcher follows the journey of a mutated monster-hunting Geralt of Rivia, known as a Witcher, as he explores the darkness of the world and the human soul.

There is always something more to be discovered throughout the Witcher world. There are hidden meanings within the symbolism used, the details revealed, and subtle hints that keep you guessing as the story unfolds. One of them is Geralt’s unique hair color.

Geralt exhibited great tolerance to mutagens that grant Witchers their abilities, especially in the Trial of the Grasses. As a result, he was put through further experiments that caused him to lose all pigmentation in his body, turning his skin and hair pale white. These tests, however also granted him more abilities such as extra strength, speed and stamina.

Therefore, Geralt of Rivia, also known as the ‘White Wolf’ has white hair because he is a special Witcher, different from all the others.

While white hair looks extremely attractive on Henry Cavill (the Witcher in the series version) the reason behind this particular hair color is not to make the Witcher look better and cooler.

And definitely not because of old age, as the normal concept of aging does not apply to Witchers anyway. Instead, it’s meaning is rooted in the backstory, like many other details that we are going to explore.

Geralt’s Original Hair Color

The books or games do not mention Geralt’s hair color before the mutagens that turned his hair milk-white. In The Hexer comics, however, his original hair is shown as brown. 

In the old Polish comic books, on the other hand, the one called Zdrada, young Geralt is shown to have dark black hair. 

Many fans speculate that Geralt of Rivia’s original hair color is ginger as a result of genetics. His father has blonde hair, while Visenna, his mother, has distinguished strawberry blonde hair.

Whether genetics really works like that or not, we do not know. However, it does come naturally to think of him having blonde or ginger hair, even considering his amber eyes.

Henry Cavill from The Witcher
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Some people also think of Geralt as having original brown hair as the actor playing him in the series, Henry Caville, has naturally dark brown hair.

What Hue of White is Geralt’s Hair?

Geralt of Rivia Hair Color White
Netflix

After the mutations that turned him into a Witcher, Geralt’s hair became white. His hair is supposed to be a milk-white color, warm and unique. In many cases however it looks darker or lighter because of dirt in his hair.

We sometimes see it in the comics, series, or games as grey due to Geralt’s traveling. In the wind, dirt, and sand, being outdoors makes Geralt’s hair get a darker hue.

At the banquet of Calanthe, however, his hair is the whitest and shiniest ever. So, all in all, Geralt’s white hue color is also a characteristic of his lifestyle. 

Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, the creator of the Netflix adaptation of The Witcher, has admitted that getting the white wig just right has been quite a challenge. It took months to create the perfect hue to make Henry Cavill preserve his charm and avoid his hair looking ‘granny white’.

Most white wigs would reflect the stage lights in a weird blue color and end up looking funny. Adding dirt and making it look more silver than white, seemed to be a great choice that would respect the Witcher traits. In addition, it looks good on screen. 

Do All Witchers Have White Hair? 

Not all Witchers have white hair. In fact, only Geralt and Vesemir have white hair, and both for different reasons.

Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf, has white hair as a result of genetic mutations. Vesemir on the other hand has white hair because of extreme old age, but not as a trait of being a Witcher. 

Why Does Ciri Have White Hair Like Geralt? 

Ciri White Hair Color The Witcher
Netflix

Ciri has white hair although is not a Witcher (as there are no female Witchers in this universe yet).

Also, she has not undergone any mutations that cause loss of pigmentation, like Geralt. The white hair is also not because of old age as Ciri is decades younger than Geralt. So why does Ciri have white hair?

The answer is genetics. White ash or platinum blonde ash hair is common in the Witcher universe. It is also a common thing in Northern Europe and Poland, where the Witcher universe originated. 

Also, grey hair and green eyes is a trait of the Elder Blood ladies, of which Ciri is a descendant. 

The whole natural blonde or ashen grey hair color in the Witcher has been taken to some extremes.

But the most common understanding is that Ciri has had white-blonde hair since childhood due to genetics. Her mother, Pavetta, also has white hair. 

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Why Do Eskel and Lambert Not Have White Hair? 

Esker and Lambert do not have white hair because white hair is not a trait of all Witchers.

Despite going through similar trials and mutations to become such monster hunters, they have not experienced additional trials and strong mutations like Geralt. Therefore, these Witchers have not lost their pigmentations.

So, all in all, the white hair is not a Witcher trait, rather Geralt’s unique trait and a result of how his body reacted to the mutations. 

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