The Witcher has been a hit since releasing on Netflix, and Joey Batey has done a wonderful job playing the part of Jaskier (better known as Dandelion in the games). Whether we like to admit it or not, “Toss a coin to your Witcher” has become the latest sensational earworm. Although Batey has worked hard, and it shows, we have five actors who could also have played the role to great effect.
Just kidding. This is an entry for 5 Actors We’re Glad Didn’t Play Jaskier: a musician might seem like a fitting role to play the charismatic Bard in The Witcher, but Game of Thrones has shown that musical celebrity cameos are far from idiot-proof. Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski made it clear that no such silliness will befall The Witcher, though the idea of such cameos might not have been so quickly dismissed had Game of Thrones not incorporated Sheeran in such a poor way.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki almost always is in the middle of some grand scheme, being the God of Mischief and Chaos. So too does Jaskier always seem to have something up his sleeve, be it some plan or backwards deal that goes wrong. If the two characters met in a bar, they would probably be best of friends, writing songs about stabbing Thor over a drink. Hiddleston could easily have filled Jaskier’s shoes, though he’s probably a little busy right now with Disney+ and his new show.
While fans may remember McGregor predominantly as Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars, the actor showed off his singing ability along side his acting in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! from 2001. McGregor can carry a tune and often plays roles that are lighthearted, which would compliment Henry Cavill’s ceaseless brooding and one-word reactions. Who wouldn’t want a Jedi Master tagging along?
Doctor Who has always needed actors with an acting range that can go from serious to lighthearted, and David Tennant has proven that he could slip into the role of Jaskier in a snap. The tenth Doctor and the Bard already share many of the same awkward mannerisms, which could simply be described as blundering about at the most unfortunate of times. Tennant can also sing, as demonstrated below.
Long before he played Vision in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Paul Bettany played the charismatic, attention-grabbing Geoffrey Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale. Against the wishes of his travelling companions, he pumped up the crowds from tournament to tournament and left everyone cheering on their feet long before the main action began in the jousting tournaments. In many ways, Jaskier and Chaucer’s characters are already quite similar, and the performance would have been equally as amusing, if not more.
Lin Manuel Miranda
Without a doubt, Lin Manuel Miranda could have done an outstanding job as Jaskier. He is great in everything he does, from Hamilton to the His Dark Materials miniseries by the BBC. As a well-known composer, lyricist, singer, and actor, Miranda might actually be too overwhelming for The Witcher, and would risk taking the spotlight away from Geralt of Rivia. Still, is there such a thing as too good a Jaskier character?
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