Watch: Joey Batey and Anya Chalotra discuss saying goodbye to co-star Henry Cavill.
Henry Cavill fought "exhaustion and fatigue" during his last day of shooting The Witcher to give the show everything that he had, his co-star Joey Batey tells Yahoo UK alongside Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan.
Batey, who plays bard Jaskier, shot his final scenes with Cavill and so was with the actor when he later gave his final bow as Geralt of Rivia, the monster hunter at the heart of the Netflix fantasy series.
In October 2022, Cavill revealed that he would not return to the role in season 4 and had passed on the reins to Liam Hemsworth, an announcement that was made after the show had already finished filming.
Read more: Why is Henry Cavill leaving The Witcher?
"I was there on Henry's last day shooting, I had actually already wrapped that day but whenever someone's wrapping a season I tend to stay and just sit around and annoy everyone, and I wanted to just be there and give him a hug at the end," Batey says.
"I can remember even in the final day with that exhaustion and fatigue [he was] giving it everything that he had [for] these huge fight scenes. He was actually learning, co-choreographing, and doing the fight scene on his final day."
"And just watching him, it felt like the last push," the actor adds.
"It felt just like the last ounce of energy that he wanted to put into this character, and he did. I hope everyone gets to see that and will see the hard work he's put in."
The new season sees Cavill's Geralt go on the run with Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) and Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) after the latter becomes a target for Nilfgaardian soldiers who want to kidnap her and bring her to her father, Emperor Emhyr var Emreis (Bart Edwards).
Events will unfold in season 3 over two parts, the first of which is out now on Netflix and the second will premiere on 27 July, and it will see Geralt and Yennefer mend their strained relationship, which was something that Chalotra appreciated getting to do with Cavill before he left the show.
"We didn't know [he was leaving] till after, post-filming, so we were just loving having Henry on set thinking that he was going to [return and] we're going to continue with him," she reflects.
"So, I suppose it was a shock after, but whilst filming with him, loved it, and especially as Yennefer I felt like we got to bring out different stages in the relationship and [they had an] incredible deeper connection [this season], that's nice."
Ciri's journey to becoming a Witcher reaches new heights
While Cavill's departure from the show has gotten a lot of interest, the show itself is becoming more focused on Ciri and her evolution from princess to warrior.
Season 3 sees the character embrace her new magical abilities, which Yennefer helps her master, whilst Geralt also teaches her the ways of Witchers, thus giving Allan the chance to take part in epic fight scenes.
"Getting the opportunity to do that, it's just like the icing on the cake," Allan says of playing Ciri this time around. "I love to act, but also getting to do that whilst you're fighting monsters is another challenge.
"It's fun, but I also was really grateful for her arc emotionally as well and getting to take her through all those [things, like] confronting her past, that was really exciting and hard for me."
But the best part for Allan was finally getting the chance to fight side-by-side with Cavill, she adds: "I was waiting for that moment this whole time I've been on this show. I'm like, 'come on now!'
"And so when I finally found out that I could do that this season it was pretty exciting. I even got to have his sword for a little second, a moment of glory with Geralt's sword."
Chalotra, meanwhile, relished in Yennefer's storyline with Ciri and the way her character embraced being an adoptive mother to her in her time of need: "I don't think Yennefer or I expected it.
"We didn't know we had to be a mother. We had expectations of it, because Yennefer had expectations of how to be a mother from what she didn't have, she's had a very unconventional mother-daughter relationship with Tissaia and with her biological mother. So what does that mean for her?
"And I think she takes a lot of comfort in Ciri because she isn't just adopting anyone, she is a special person. She connects deeply to her and [it] helps her heal wounds that haven't been healed, I don't think she would have grown as much in her lifetime with anyone else."
The Witcher season 3 volume 1 is out on Netflix now, volume 2 will be released on Thursday, 27 July.
Watch the trailer for The Witcher season 3