Henry Cavill helped choreograph The Witcher's best fight scene

The Witcher
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher season 3 sees the return of the man behind one of the best fights in the franchise, Wolfgang Stegemann. The stunt coordinator and second unit director helmed the iconic Blaviken fight back in the first episode of The Witcher, and he’s revealed Geralt of Rivia star Henry Cavill played a huge part in creating it.

Speaking to GamesRadar+, Stegemann explains the reception of that scene was one of the main reasons he came back for the third season. "I had such a great experience with season one with the Blaviken fight and the Renfri fight," he recalls over Zoom. "I got called back and I love The Witcher, and for me immediately I was, like, thumbs up, 'Yes, we would love to do that.'"

Way back in 2019, The Witcher’s early one-shot fight between Geralt of Rivia and Renfri’s men earned him the moniker the Butcher of Blaviken and was one of the stand-out moments from the Netflix hit. Not only did it establish Cavill’s incredible fighting style as the White Wolf, it was also thrilling to watch him defeat the thugs before battling Renfri (Emma Appleton) in an emotionally-fraught exchange. 

Stegeman admits he didn’t realize it would be as big of a hit as it was. "Henry Cavill had a strong input on designing the Blaviken fight," he explains. "He designed it with me together, he was my second fight coordinator and camera designer. When we shot it, we had another version which was like a cut version or a safety one, but we decided we do it as a one-take. Henry was fighting, he had no stunt double, and once we had the take, we were like, 'Well we got something cool,' but we never expected this with the audience, we’re very honored."

This is something the stunt-man will be bringing back into season 3 alongside Cavill, an actor he’s worked with since Mission Impossible: Fallout. It’s a partnership that’s grown in the years since for Stegeman, who calls it "chemistry".  

The Witcher

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher

(Image credit: Netflix)

"We started on Mission Impossible: Fallout, I designed all of the fights there and we developed a very close relationship," he tells GR+. "For me, it’s beautiful to see an actor who’s doing all the stunts themselves. I have a great stunt team but I don’t need a stunt double for him. [This means] I'm able to shoot special camera positions that I would never be able to do without him.

"Having him choreographing with me and the team for these fight scenes also has the benefit that he can perform his action and stunts intuitively. He doesn't need to think about what he's doing because the choreography sits inside his mind. He can focus on performance."

Stegeman adds, "Our relationship of full trust to each other, it’s unique and it's amazing, because whatever he does, I know and feel exactly what he's doing and feeling in the same way. When I sit on the monitor, I see all the little details."

We’ve already seen a few glimpses of this in action in The Witcher season 3 trailer, but it seems like Cavill’s final season as Geralt of Rivia will be full of epic action.

The Witcher Season 3 Volume 1 arrives on Netflix on June 29 and Volume 2 follows on July 27. For what else to stream, here are our selection of the best Netflix shows.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.