Three seasons of The Witcher have passed, but the conflict remains the same. Nilfgaard is still terrorizing the Northern kingdoms which is evident from the dialogues, as we don’t come across any action in the first part of Netflix’s ambitious show. The majority of the plot focuses on escorting Cirilla “Ciri” to Aretuza so she can learn to control her powers and use them for the greater good. However, the journey is neither simple nor safe, as a fire mage named Rience, following the order of a powerful sorcerer, is hunting down Ciri.
Apparently, the identity of this master is kept a secret until the end of the fifth episode. If you haven’t guessed it yet, Geralt and Yennefer spend much of their screen time trying to unravel the identity of this powerful mage and their intentions. The entire thing could have been wrapped up in 2–3 episodes, but it looks like someone stretched it to get more episodes out of it. Nevertheless, without any further discussion, let’s get straight into the breakdown of the important events in the first part of The Witcher Season 3 and what we can expect next.
Why Does Ciri Play An Important Role In Uniting The Divided Lands?
After the Conjunction of the Spheres, the monsters and humans from different realms ended up in the land of the elves. The arrival of humans led to a power struggle as humans multiplied in numbers and started capturing the lands once inhabited by the elves. Living in peace and harmony is not necessarily humans’ cup of tea, and thus began the mission to wipe off the other species from the land so that only they could survive. However, Ciri, who is half-human and half-elf, believed that she could change the cycle of hatred. She may just be the one who can reunite the races so that humans and elves can live in harmony side by side.
A cynic like Geralt is skeptical as usual, but he still lets Ciri try what she truly believes in. However, to accomplish such a mission, Ciri needs to hone her magical skills, and for that, she needs training in Aretuza, as Yennefer fails to teach her anything. And thus begins the long journey to Aretuza, as the trio finds out that the rogue mage, Rience, is not working alone. He is on a leash and is following the orders of a powerful sorcerer whose identity remains a mystery till the end.
What Did Geralt Find In Vuilpanne?
Through Fenn, Geralt finds out that the mysterious sorcerer is conducting his business from an isolated castle named Vuilpanne, which is located on the outskirts of Piana, near Redania. Therefore, without wasting any time, Geralt went to the castle, only to find out that it was the same location where he had arrived through a portal while fighting Rience. Inside the castle, he finds out that the sorcerer had been conducting inhumane experiments on half-elf girls who had gone missing from Aretuza. For some reason, these girls had their memories wiped and were reinstated with the memories of Ciri, as if the sorcerer was trying to create clones of Ciri to make them serve a sinister purpose. Meanwhile, Fenn and her partner-in-crime, Codringher, were burned to death by Rience. I guess we won’t be seeing any more of this witty yet lovely couple.
In the end, Geralt saves Teryn, one of the half-elf girls held captive at Vuilpanne, and brings her to his mother’s old friend, Anika. After some inspection, Anika reveals that someone has used a mind-control enhancement spell on Teryn, which is an ancient elven sorcery. Whoever the sorcerer is, they might have gotten their hands on The Book of Monoliths, an ancient book that was stolen from the library of Aretuza. This book is the only source of such ancient magic and it also suggested that the real intentions of its beholder was to harness the power of monoliths.
Who Is The Real Traitor?
Geralt, Yennefer, and others investigating the identity of the mysterious sorcerer believed that Stregobor was the real culprit. However, it was evident during the finale of Part 1 that someone was trying to frame Stregobor. He was an easy target because of his loud mouth, previous actions, and, not to forget, his predisposition towards half-elves. After the accusations are made, Tissaia, the leader of the Brotherhood, announces her decision to hold Stregobor captive until trial. Nevertheless, Geralt and Yennefer soon find out that the entire thing was a distraction to conceal the identity of the real traitor, who was none other than Tissaia’s lover, Vilgefortz of Roggeveen.
How Did Geralt Find Out The Truth About Vilgefortz?
If you are a powerful and cunning mage, then don’t go around giving gifts like bracelets made up of scarlet ammonite. What if it falls into the wrong hands, like Geralt’s? It will only ruin sinister plans such as to wipe out the elves from the realm. Geralt connects the dots in the end when he comes across Tissaia’s bracelet that was given to her by Vilgefortz. The bracelet was made up of Scarlet ammonite rocks found in the mines near the castle of Vuilpanne, which was the hiding place of the mysterious sorcerer that Geralt had been looking for. Also, inside the castle, Geralt found the cave painting, The First Landing, that depicted the prowess of Jan Bekker, who laid the foundations of the Brotherhood to unite the mages from different lands. This clue would have been hard for Geralt to figure out, but Vilgefortz is such a wonderful schemer that he himself handed over the entire thing to Geralt so that he could easily connect the dots without stressing out.
The third clue were the earrings of Lydia van Bredevoort, which were made from the same scarlet ammonite. As we know, it is Lydia who has been instructing Rience to hunt Ciri and wreak havoc on her friends. Therefore, it is not a hard guess to say that Lydia is working for Vilgefortz and so is Rience. But what does Vilgefortz really want? And what is Nilfgaard’s role in the entire scheme of things?
What Does Vilgefortz Really Want?
According to Istredd, The Book of Monoliths is rumored to have knowledge of how humans could get rid of the elves forever, and therefore, Vilgefortz’s elaborate plan may point towards the annihilation of the Elf race. Or maybe it has something to do with Vilgefortz wanting to gain Ciri’s power and remove all other elves from the continent so that he can become the sole proprietor of elder magic (a clue dropped by Triss). However, why Vilgefortz was creating clones of Ciri hasn’t been explicitly explained in the series so far, and we believe the real intentions will be revealed in the second part.
Theorizing from Vilgefortz’s own words, it can be assumed that his hatred towards men and elves has something to do with his traumatic and difficult childhood, where an orphaned Vilgefortz faced torture at the hands of some cruel, monstrous beings. He clearly revealed to Geralt that he became a sorcerer out of spite. Maybe because of his hunger for power, Vilgefortz sent Lydia to Emhyr’s court so that he could control men on both fronts and eventually lead them to war against each other. Or perhaps it is all a part of a larger conspiracy that will be revealed to us soon. Additionally, Tissaia’s problematic loyalty towards Vilgefortz will also have a major role to play in the second part of the season. She had been blindly following Vilgefortz, which created a rift between the two friends, i.e., Philippa and Tissaia. She mentions that Tissaia’s love for Vilgefortz will eventually be the reason for her downfall, thereby foreshadowing Tissaia’s death in the next part. Philippa’s words also suggest that she knows something that Vilgefortz has been hiding all along.
Judging from the ending of the first part of The Witcher Season 3, we believe that Sigismund Dijkstra might be aware of Vilgefortz’s true intentions. He even spoke the same words as Vilgefortz before, and it couldn’t be a mere coincidence. He had been actively trying to stop a truce between Nilfgaard and Redania, which means there could be some motive there. We will probably find out the roles of these characters in the second part of The Witcher Season 3. Additionally, the distant screams heard during the ending can also be suggestive of the fact that Vilgefortz has already put his sinister plan into motion. Maybe the second part of the series will open with a bang.
Vilgefortz wanted Geralt to be his warrior in the upcoming battle, but he never clearly explained his agenda. Throughout the three seasons, Geralt has tried to maintain his neutrality and stay away from politics, but it seems like in the battle to come, he will have to pick a side, probably fighting against Vilgefortz, especially for Ciri. Unlike Vilgefortz, Ciri wants to become a beacon of hope in a realm drifting toward war. She wants to reunite humans and elves, but perhaps, at the end of the day, the only possible way to do that would be to undo the conjunction of the sphere so that each species could go back to their respective realms and fight among themselves instead of planning and plotting against a foreign being.
The second part of the season will also shed some light on The Wild Hunt, who probably wants to harness Ciri’s power to conquer other lands. We really hoped that the first part of Season 3 would explore the motives and origins of the Wild Hunt in-depth, but that has been a really disappointing storyline so far. Hopefully, the creators will have some surprises for us in the second part, and we are really looking forward to it. Also, if Netflix is listening, please give some really nice action filled sequences to Henry Cavill in the second part before it’s time for him to take a leave from the role of Geralt of Rivia.