Suffice to say, if Henry Cavill had been an actor on HBO’s Game of Thrones, the odds of him being cast as Geralt would have been nil. Yes, The Witcher’s casting list specifically stated, “No ‘Game of Thrones’ actors,” revealed Ian Beattie, who played Meryn Trant in the latter series, at MCM Comic-Con 2019 in Birmingham (via digital spy). While we don’t have an explanation as to why Netflix has such a requirement, there are a few possible theories. When the streamer released The Witcher in 2019, it was almost like filling the “GoT” shaped hole on TV, since the latter ended in 2018.
The striking similarities between the two shows — both are medieval fantasy dramas drawn from famous books — understandably made Netflix creators skeptical. Having a face that was already in Game of Thrones would have just added to the resemblance that The Witcher was trying to lose.
However, there were some exceptions to this unique rule. Two Game of Thrones actors were eventually hired to be part of the cast. Kristofer Hivju, known for playing Tormund on Game of Thrones, joined the cast in Season 2 (per Entertainment Weekly).
Behind the scenes, Vladimir Furdik, who played the Night King and helped actors such as Kit Harington in swordplay, choreographed fight scenes and swordtrained Cavill in Season 1. With Season 3 of The Witcher, it remains to be seen when other familiar faces from HBO epic The Continent make way.