Netflix’s The Witcher is a sprawling land of monsters, magic, mayhem, and political machinations. With so much going on it’s a lot to keep track of. But like a charming bard, we’re here to help get you ready for the show’s third year. (No, sorry, not in song form.) Here’s everything you need to remember about The Witcher season two, along with a few other things to know.
Before you start, though, make sure you read Everything You Need To Remember From Season One. Players and events from the show’s first year are guaranteed to have major implications during its third.
IMPORTANT CHARACTERS AND EVENTS
Geralt brought Ciri to Kaer Morhen, the witchers’ home and training grounds, to keep her safe. When he realized more deadly monsters had suddenly appeared on the Continent he set out to learn why. Together with the mage Istredd, Geralt discovered Ciri had opened doors to other worlds when she destroyed a monolith with her deadly scream in season one.
(The Blood Origin prequel mini-series explained where those ancient, powerful monoliths came from. You can read about that and all the other major connections between the two shows here.)
Geralt nearly executed Yennefer because she betrayed him and Ciri. Yennefer was going to hand Ciri over to a demon witch (the Deathless Mother) in exchange for getting her powers back. He didn’t forgive Yennefer, but ultimately left Kaer Morhen with her and Ciri to go into hiding.
After unleashing her “chaos” (an ocean of fire) to win the Battle of Sodden Hill, a presumed dead Yennefer lost her magic. She was also initially a prisoner of Nilfgaard before being taken by elves. When she returned to Aretuza, though, the Brotherhood branded her a spy instead of a hero. To prove her loyalty she was ordered to behead the captured Nilfgaard general, Cahir. Instead she ran off with him in front of an audience of Northern kings.
Yennefer, herself part elf, redeemed herself in season two’s finale. She was willing to sacrifice herself to save the possessed Ciri from the killer witch. Yennefer then ended the season with her powers back.
Ciri, Princess of Cintra
In addition to possessing magical abilities, Ciri also has Elder blood. Her blood is different from others who also have elvish ancestors. It can grow life, but a single drop can also be very dangerous. It’s also possible it can be used to create more witchers, which Ciri herself began training to become. (Witcher mutagen hasn’t been made since Geralt was a kid, as explored in the animated prequel movie Nightmare of the Wolf.)
Some believe Ciri is the prophesied Child of Elder Blood who will save all elves. Others fear she will bring about the end of the world.
“The Sandpiper” was helping smuggle elves to freedom when he encountered Yennefer and Cahir on the run. He aided them, only to then need Yen to save him from the fire-wielding mage Rience. Jaskier also reunited with his old friend Geralt, who broke Jaskier out of prison. He’s one of the few people the White Wolf trusts to help keep Ciri safe.
Jaskier still sings on occasion, too.
After making his way back to Nilfgaard, Cahir once again worked with the mage Fringilla to try and expand the White Flame’s stead. But despite his loyal service, Cahir was imprisoned along with Fringilla after the Emperor caught them lying.
The captured Fringilla forged an alliance with the elves’ new leader, Francesca, after the two were lured in by the Deathless Mother’s promises. Fringilla offered a home and safety for all elves in exchange for their army.
The mysterious White Flame, the Emperor of Nilfgaard desperately seeking Ciri and hoping to conquer the entire Continent, finally revealed himself. He is Ciri’s father “Duny,” long thought dead. He was the porcupine knight Geralt saved decades earlier, which prompted Geralt to claim the Law of Surprise that ended up being Ciri.
Emhyr knew Cahir and Francesca lied to him about ordering the death of Francesca’s baby because he was the one who had it killed.
The new elven leader found her people refuge in the Nilfgaard-controlled Xin’trea (aka Cintra, Ciri’s home). That’s also where the sorceress gave birth to the first elf child in generations, just as the Deathless Mother promised. But tragedy struck after Francesca said her soldiers would not fight Nilfgaard’s war for them. Her and Filavandrel (the former elf leader) found their baby murdered. They blamed the Northern kingdom of Redania, returned their people to the woods, and swore vengeance.
Francesca learned from the elf-friendly mage Istredd about the prophecy of Ciri, which is why she’s so desperate to find the powerful princess. She believes Ciri is the ultimate weapon to help elves defeat humans.
Yennefer’s mentor tortured Cahir during his imprisonment at Aretuza. During season two Tissaia also took leadership over the Brotherhood of Sorcerers along with her lover, the militaristic mage Vilgefortz.
Tissaia also alerted the Northern kingdoms about Ciri and Geralt, putting a target on the Princess they all thought dead.
Tissaia convinced Yennefer, the real hero of Sodden Hill, to let Vilgefortz take credit for the victory for political reasons. That helped him take control of the Brotherhood along with Tissaia. He also believes Ciri has the ability to end all war forever.
After surviving severe wounds at Sodden Hill, Triss answered Geralt’s call to come to Kaer Morhen and train Ciri in magic. (He did not answer her call to spend the night together, though.) Triss left the keep in fear after reading Ciri’s mind and almost dying during Ciri’s attack while in a trance.
Triss returned to Aretuza and informed Tissaia that Ciri has the power to either destroy the entire world or save it, but grew angry when Tissaia shared that news with Vilgefortz.
Yennefer’s former lover remains committed to studying monoliths. He also worked to help elves leave Cintra.
He lost his seat of power on the Brotherhood along with his closest ally Artorius, but the untrustworthy Istredd remains a powerful and dangerous force among sorcerers.
The mage of Redania can shape-shift into an owl and works intimately with the kingdom’s chief spy Dijkstra.
The closest advisor to the unimpressive but ambitious King Vizimir II of the northern kingdom Redania alerted the Brotherhood about Francesca’s baby. He also wants to find Ciri so she can marry Vizimir. He could then claim Cintra and lead the Continent’s most powerful kingdom.
Dijkstra also ordered Phillipa to find “the Bard” so Jaskier could pay back his “benefactor,” as Dijkstra was the one funding Jaskier’s efforts to save elves.
The elf who once helped Ciri escape Nilfgaard’s clutches worked as a spy in Redania for Dijkstra. He confessed to Francesca after her baby’s murder and she accepted Dara into her service.
The deadly, fire-wielding mage who’d been a prisoner of Queen Calanthe of Cintra was freed by the sorceress Lydia. She tasked him with locating Ciri for her unknown boss. He didn’t manage to take the Princess, but he did steal a vial of witcher mutagen containing Ciri’s dangerous blood from Kaer Morhen.
The mage badly disfigured her own face while examining the vial she got from Rience. She now speaks through telepathy. Lydia is still trying to make her mysterious employer happy by getting Ciri.
The Wild Hunt
Some believe the Wild Hunt will usher in the end of days. Ciri then encountered the ghastly group of mystical black riders on the home world of the Deathless Mother. (The witch also rejoined the group once she left Yennefer’s body.) The Wild Hunt called out to Ciri, “the starry-eyed Daughter of Chaos” to take her place with them before Ciri portaled her, Geralt, and Yennefer back to the Continent.
Blood Origin revealed the Wild Hunt consists of soldiers from the Continent abandoned on that desolate world.
Now that you know everything you need to from season two, you can get ready for season three. Here’s what you need to do that. Once you’re all caught up we’ll see on the Continent. We won’t be the ones singing.
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