Generally, in films or television series, the protagonist faces a single obstacle among a few inter-related hurdles that shape their character. In games, the role-playing hero finishes certain mini-quests to gain charisma, mana, wit, or strength, in order to prepare themselves for an ultimate showdown. The Witcher Saga introduced us to a similar warrior, a bounty hunter named Geralt of Rivia. The world created by Andrzej Sapkowski was established in The Witcher Season 1, along with three of his most prominent characters, Geralt (the Witcher), Yennefer of Vengerberg (the Mage), and Cirilla “Ciri” Fiona Elen Riannon (the Elf blood princess of Cintra).
In a world filled with dragons, bounty hunters, and wizards, The Witcher’s core narrative explores the journey of its prominent leads while delving into politics and human complexities vital to their character transformation. Season 1 adopted a non-linear narrative to plunge into the origins of the Wizards, Elves, and Witchers that have been living on the surface for centuries. The narrative structure of The Witcher was designed in a specific manner to plot Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer into a single, coherent timeline. Hence, The Witcher Season 2, without wasting a heartbeat, plunges into the quest that is bound to carve the future of these three souls. Without any further ado, let’s find out where Geralt is headed.
‘The Witcher’ Season 1 Ending Recap
At the end of The Witcher Season 1, we witnessed the Battle of Sodden Hill, between two human kingdoms, the North and the Nilfgaardian Empire. The Brotherhood of Sorcerers, or the council of Wizards, who had pledged their loyalty to the Northern Kingdoms, intervened in the battle. One of their most powerful sorceresses, Yennefer of Vengerberg, helped the North win the battle, but suddenly disappeared in the aftermath of the war. On the other hand, the crown princess of Cintra, Cirilla, fled her kingdom after Nilfgaardian soldiers seized the castle.
Season 1 explained that Cirilla was Geralt’s child of surprise, as pledged by her father, Duny. She was destined to be handed over to the Witchers to become one, as Geralt evoked the Law of Surprise after saving Duny from a curse. Luckily, at the end of Season 1, Cirilla encountered Geralt in the woods. After the fall of Cintra, Geralt decided to take Ciri to Witcher’s Keep, the ruins of Kaer Morhen, for her safety. However, before embarking on a journey to Kaer Morhen, Geralt wanted to make sure that his lady love, Yennefer, was safe after the Battle of Sodden Hill.
‘The Witcher’ Season 2 Plot Summary
The Northern Kingdoms won the Battle of Sodden Hill against the Nilfgaard Empire, but Yennefer of Vengerberg disappeared. Her mentor, Tissaia, the Rectoress of Aretuza, searched the pile of bodies, but she couldn’t find a trace of Yennefer. Geralt arrived at the murderous sight, and Tissaia revealed that the Mage probably sacrificed herself to fire to help them win the battle. Beaten and weary by this tragedy, Geralt made his new child of surprise, Ciri, his destiny and visited the Witcher’s stronghold, Kaer Morhen.
In the meantime, a Mage named Fringilla Vigo, who betrayed the Brotherhood and helped Nilfgaardians coordinate an attack on the North, has captured Yennefer. They tried to retreat to Cintra when a group of Elves led by the last king of the Elves, Filavandrel, and his wife, Francesca Findabair, captured Yennefer and Fringilla. The narrative further orchestrates an action-packed plot that brings Yennefer, Ciri, and Geralt together to fight against a new nemesis, the mother of forests, The Deathless Mother, Voleth Meir, a monster from a different sphere (universe).
Why Ciri, An Elder Blood, Was Called Daughter of Chaos? Was Lara Dorren Ciri’s Ancestor?
Except for her royal lineage, there was an intriguing mystery around Ciri’s origin that established the conflict depicted in The Witcher Season 2.
In Season 2, Episode 1, Geralt and Ciri take shelter at Nivellen’s cursed mansion to spend the night. Ciri told Nivellen the tale of the Fall of the Elders. A young elven warrior and a human Mage fall in love and run away from their respective lands to get married. The tragic end of the tale explains that a child was born to dead parents.
Much like in Nivellen’s tale, Ciri’s parents, Duny and Pavetta, died when she was young. She was raised by her grandmother, Queen Calanthe, who had Elven blood in her veins. A sorceress, Triss Merigold, helped Ciri to magically explore the deep dungeons of her origins. Ciri saw her ancestor in her visions, who told the same tale of an Elven warrior made to kill the human invader. To emphasize the fact that her ancestor specifically mentioned “made an Elven warrior,” this is because when humans began invading the lands out of greed, the Elves built a weapon called “Paerhabyn” to destroy them.
A Mage named Istredd visited Cordringher and his wife Fenn, who introduced him to Hen Gedymdeith’s book, Elves, and Humans. The couple mistranslated the word “Paerhabyn” and later told Istredd that, instead of a weapon, the Elves built a warrior named Lara Dorren to hunt down human invaders.
After the Conjunction of the Spheres, (or the collision of spheres), purportedly Lara Dorren was created as a weapon against humans, but she fell in love with a human Mage named Cregennan of Lod, (like in Nivellen’s tale). Cregennan and Lara died, leaving behind a daughter that carried the powerful Elder Blood. Queen Calanthe, Pavetta, and Ciri were descendants of Lara Dorren, which was why Ciri had the same Elder blood that was used to create a Witcher. She could even use the monoliths as a gateway between spheres (universes).
The child of Cregennan and Lara could have united humans and elves. But when they were killed, Lara cursed the two races. She commanded her daughter that she would bring wrath upon the world. The world would die amidst the frost and be reborn in the new sun. The seeds of the reborn Elder Blood would take her vengeance.
Probably, the new reborn of Elder Blood, Ciri, will open the gateway of the sphere and bring the Great Hunt warriors to the realm who will ultimately lead to a new Era if Geralt doesn’t stop them in The Witcher Season 3.
Who Was Voleth Meir? What Does She Want?
Voleth Meir was a demon that belonged to a different sphere and came to human land after the Collision of Spheres. According to Geralt, the first witchers were hired to imprison her. The Witchers locked Voleth Meir in her hut for centuries, until she was finally woken up by Ciri’s screams during the fall of Cintra.
Voleth Meir fed on people’s pain, and she visited the dreams of those who harbored intense agony inside them. Hence, she came into the dreams of Francesca, Yennefer, and Fringilla and plagued them with greed. Through Yennefer, Voleth Meir wanted to possess Ciri because she had the Elder Blood in her veins, which gave her the power to open gateways between spheres. Voleth Meir wished to return to her universe and thus ordered Yennefer to bring Ciri to the fallen ruins of a monolith near Cintra.
Throughout The Witcher Season 2, Voleth Meir has been feeding upon the pain and desperation of Francesca, Yennefer, and Fringilla. Francesca desperately needed a child with pure Elven blood, thus she made a pact with the Voleth Meir. While Fringilla wanted command over Cintra and desperately wanted to impress her lord, Emhyr var Emreis. Yennefer, on the other hand, had lost her chaos (magic) and yearned to get it back.
When, in the end, an unknown assassin killed Francesca’s newborn, Ceinwen, in the castle, Voleth Meir had her complete fill of pain. She became powerful enough to leave the hut and instantly capture Ciri’s body to open the portal to another sphere.
Who Killed Francesca’s Baby? & Why?
As per the politics of the land, the humans did what they always do best: invading lands. After the human invasion, the elves lost their lands and roamed as nomads. Slowly, pure Elven blood became scarce, which was the seminal reason why Francesca desperately wanted a pure Elf child to rebuild the race. Her previous children were not able to survive for many reasons, but after Voleth Meir blessed her, Francesca gave birth to Ceinwen (named after their cousin). After the birth of Ceinwen, the Elves gave up the futile pursuit of war and revenge and wished to live peacefully in society. They were ready to pacify their relationships with humans, but humans found the salvation of their existence through War.
To ignite this rivalry and enrage the Elves again, someone murdered Ceinwen in her cradle. Soon after Ceinwen was killed, Francesca retaliated by killing all the babies in Redanian City. The Nilfgaardians wanted the Elves to wage war against the Northern Kingdom, and Nilfgaard officer Cahir believed that Fringilla orchestrated the murder of the Elven child to provoke the Elves. However, it was eventually revealed that it was their master, the white flame, also known as Emhyr var Emreis, or “Duny,” Ciri’s father and the rightful ruler of Cintra, who killed Ceinwe.
Emhyr didn’t want the rivalry between the Elves and the Northern Kingdom to end because the fierce fire would have benefited the Nilfgaard Empire. He wanted his daughter, Ciri, back in Cintra, probably because he wanted to use Ciri’s power to become the greatest emperor in the land. These oft-used themes of love, blood, and betrayal have been explored in other sub-plots, i.e., Nivellen’s tale, and the Betrayal of Yennefer.
‘The Witcher’ Season 2: Ending Explained – What Did The Wild Hunt Represent?
After Voleth Meir captured Ciri’s body, she imprisoned Ciri in her most beautiful memories in which all her loved ones were alive. Ciri’s consciousness got lost in a maze of happiness, and Voleth Meir took charge of her body.
Ciri returned to Kaer Morhen and used her powers to unravel a hidden monolith inside the fortress. Ciri brought savage dragons from the other realms to distract and kill the pack of Witchers. Voleth Meir wanted to return to her sphere with the help of Ciri, but Geralt stopped her. Geralt helped Ciri escape the maze Voleth Meir had woven in her mind. At the exact moment, Yennefer sacrificed her body to be used as a vessel to contain Voleth Meir’s demonic spirit.
As soon as Ciri gained consciousness, she opened the gateway to another sphere. Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer found themselves in a red desert, which Voleth Meir felt was her home, prompting her to quickly leave Yennefer’s body. On Human Land, she needed a vessel, but on this strange sphere, she took the form of an armored knight who joined the “Wild Hunt.”
The Wild Hunt, or the Wraiths of Mörhogg, urged Ciri, the daughter of chaos, to join their hunt. But before they could capture the Elder Blood, Ciri brought the humans back to their lands. The new enemy was on their way and would probably attack Ciri again. Geralt knew that soon the entire world would be coming after Ciri, because her secret had been revealed. For Ciri’s safety, Geralt decided to leave Kaer Morhen and keep moving until he understood the motives of The Wild Hunt or figured out a way to stop them.
In the ending sequence of The Witcher Season 2, The Brotherhood puts a hefty bounty on Ciri and her protector, Geralt of Rivia. The Nilfgaarddian lord, Emhyr var Emreis, takes charge of the Cintra throne and commands his men to find his daughter Ciri. The two powerful Mages, Lydia van Bredevoort and Rience, were already hunting Ciri, following the order of their unknown master, Vilgefortz of Roggeveen. He wanted to capture Ciri to get the power of Elder Blood, which would make her the most powerful Mage. And last but not least, Francesca and Filavandrel caught Istredd and found out about Ciri’s elder blood (Hen Ikeir). Francesca believed Ciri was the descendant of whom Ithlinne prophesied. Thus, Ciri would save the Elves and help them get back their lands.
The Witcher Season 2 ended as all the races, kingdoms, and individuals began their hunt for a common target, i.e., Ciri. Geralt and Yennefer, who became Ciri’s only protectors, would have to face a hoard of enemies to protect Ciri not only from flesh and blood but also from the demons from the multi-spheres. The Witcher Season 3 will continue the Wild Hunt, and explore Ciri’s fate as a destroyer in greater detail, hopefully transforming her arc in a substantial, yet meaningful manner.
The Witcher is an Action Fantasy Television Series streaming on Netflix. Based on the novels written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, the series is created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich.