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People have said a lot of things about The Witcher since it debuted on Netflix in late December. There's been plenty of talk about the confusing timelines, why race isn't an issue, that unexpectedly catchy default theme song and all the grunting. But, one thing that fans of the books and video games that the show is based on were looking for was the appearance of "Bathtub Geralt." Henry Cavill took a notable bath in The Witcher, but he wasn't quite able to make the scene as iconic as what fans may have been expecting.
While some working on the fantasy show weren't aware of how major the scene already was to fans, or how much they would enjoy seeing it in the show, Henry Cavill and showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich were. As a huge fan of the books and video games before starring in The Witcher, Cavill spoke recently about his desire to make Geralt bathing in the series match what the fans would know as much as possible. Alas, mostly through no fault of his own, it was not be. Here's what he had to say about the bath heard around the world:
It’s a very iconic moment. A lot of people are attributing that to the games and, yes, the games absolutely brought that forward into an iconic moment, but it is also from the books. And so, I don't know how many people realized how iconic it was, that there was already a visual attached. When I was getting into that bath, I was sitting there thinking, 'I wonder if anyone knows how much this is going to explode, this particular scene.' I was trying to put my feet up, and I couldn't -- the bath was the wrong shape. But I thought that might have been a bit much as well.
As Henry Cavill noted in his chat with BBC Radio 1, while Geralt is also quite fond of baths in the books, for those who played any of the video games, there were already visuals attached to the hero's love of soaking away all the gore from his monster killings in a steamy tub. Don't believe me? Fine, see for yourself:
I don't know how far you got into that clip, but it's pretty clear why fans go nuts for Geralt in the bathtub. Aside from the obvious points of...um, interest, it's clear that these moments also serve to break up the action and add a little levity and / or bonding time for Geralt, Yennifer and whoever else might wander in as he tries to soothe his fight-weary muscles.
So, because "Bathtub Geralt" was already a favorite of fans because of the books and games, Henry Cavill knew he wanted to have that included in The Witcher, but, as you saw when compared with that clip, we did not get treated to Geralt relaxing to the point of putting his feet up on the side of the tub as he leaned back. Unfortunately, Cavill wanted to bring that image to us in live action, but the tub just wasn't made in the right shape for him to easily get his legs up.
If you look at the scene from The Witcher, it does seem like the tub is too round for such a thing to occur without some unnecessary discomfort. So, no worries, Mr. Cavill. You have already done the lord's work, sir.
Henry Cavill also noted that, after realizing that he couldn't get his legs up on the tub, he decided it would probably be a bit too much, anyway. I can see where he might have thought that it would be too on the nose, considering that it's such an iconic scene from the games. No adaptation needs to recreate a scene exactly from the source material, and it's more than likely that fans enjoyed getting as much of the moment as they did.