Netflix's The Witcher Makes Yennefer Better Than Her Book Counterpart - Looper (2023)

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Netflix's The Witcher Makes Yennefer Better Than Her Book Counterpart - Looper (1)


ByKim Bell/June 29, 2023 9:00 am EST

Content warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault.

If you're a fan of AndrzejSapkowski, rest assured that the following is by no means a criticism of the author's globally-beloved epic. As "The Witcher" readers well-know, Sapkowski often actively acknowledges and subverts the casual-to-overt misogyny that has plagued the fantasy genre for (to put it lightly) a long time. In his spin on Arthuriana, two out of three main characters are women, his Holy Grail is a woman, and the issue of her bodily autonomy is an ongoing theme. Unlike so many of his genre peers, the award-winning author has no problem creating female characters with actual agency and depth.

That said — and as is so often the case in the real world — more than one thing can be true at the same time. In this case, the truths we're reconciling are thus:Sapkowski's novels give us numerous strong female characters, but at the same time,Lauren Schmidt Hissrich's adaptation gives us a more fully three-dimensional version of one particular character.

The reason for this is simple. Hissrich's Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) serves a different purpose thanSapkowski's. In the books, Yennefer is a twist on the traditional "Guinevere" character (her very name is a combination of the original Welsh "Gwenhwyfar" and the Cornish iteration, "Jennifer"), a tool for moving the central Hero's Journey forward, and a means of illustrating Sapkowski's commentary on the mechanics and power of narrative. In the television series — and owing, in no small part, to bothChalotra's performance and the logistics of the medium itself — Yennefer is freed from the constraints of these responsibilities. It's both a functional and fundamental difference, and one that allowsHissrichto more fully flesh-out and foreground facets of the characterto which the novels only ever allude.

Yennefer's improved characterization embodies the power of adaptation

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Hissrich's Yennefer is, and isn't, a creation of adaptation. In some ways, she's exactly the character Sapkowski had mind — but not the one we get to meet on the page.

BySapkowski's own admission, Yennefer exists chiefly to move along the story.Her reason for being is tied entirely to Geralt and Ciri's journeys — a function that makes it difficult to see her as a woman with motivations and emotional depthoutside of her relationship to this man, this child, and the story's ongoing quest and theses. That said, Sapkowski is well aware that we're constantly seeing Yennefer through the eyes of others, and the lens of longstanding mythologies and traditions. In fact, he even lets us know that he — and Yennefer — are wise to her role in the surrounding narrative.

In "Blood of Elves," Yennefer confronts Dandelion (that's Jaskier) about his hyperbolic description of her in his ballads."Who gave you permission to describe my internal organs?" Yennefer asks. "'Her heart, as though a jewel, adorned her neck. Hard as if of diamond made, and as a diamond so unfeeling, sharper than obsidian, cutting —' Did you make that up yourself? Or perhaps [...] you listened to someone's confidence and grievances?"

She's talking, of course, about Geralt. The source of narrative are an overarching theme in Sapkowski's work (even magic needs "a source"), and one from which few characters are immune. Here, Sapkowski is letting us know that the hot-tempered, manipulative, mercurial "bella donna" to whom we're introduced is a work of fiction, not just in our world, but in-world as well. The Netflix version is something deeper.Hissrich, in other words, hasn't given us the Yennefer of Sapkowski's lines, but the Yennefer that exists between those lines.

Yennefer's role in Sapkowski's novels is subversive

In the books, everything we know of Yennefer's life prior to her role in Geralt's and Ciri's comes from brief allusions to her past, none of which happen in real time. When we finally catch a glimpse into her childhood, it comes in the form of a truncated flashback in "The Tower of Swallows," the penultimate installment in the series. But Sapkowski waits until the final two books to give us deeper insight into the character for a reason.

For the better part of the saga, Yennefer is a common, (even ancient) "strong female character" trope. This classic SFC is not just proud, but irrationally and counter-productively indignant. She's not just intelligent, but manipulative and scheming. She's not just strong-willed, but a man-eater with a dash of dominatrix whose "flaws," if we can call them that, are that she struggles with domestic tasks. Yennefer can't even make preserves, though she's fond of throwing jars of them at Geralt. She is fiercely independent. She covets the one thing she can't have — a baby.Finally, her relationship with her father colors her entire existence.This trope is everywhere (see:Kelly Reilly's Beth Dutton, and every lead woman detective ever written), and can be found in some of humanity's earliest depictions of powerful women: one can be an Athena or an Aphrodite, but one cannot beboth without being reduced to a kind of sexy madwoman.

Sapkowski uses Yennefer to draw attention to this longstanding trope and its implications, but to accomplish this, he first leans into it.Hissrich takes a different approach.

Yennefer's role in Hissrich's series is far more developed

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InHissrich's adaptation, Yennefer cast aside her "Sexy Nightmare Dreamgirl" handcuffs from the jump. We experience her beginnings alongside her, as the series meticulously stiches together the scraps of background from the novel to build an origin story that allows us to fullyempathize with and relate to Yennefer's pain, pride, ambition, desire, and insecurity. Like any flesh-and-blood human, this Yennefer is a result of both nature and nurture, and a complex character whose flaws and missteps have real consequence, rather than a tool used to fulfill the archetypal, critical, and thematic needs of someone else's story. In Jaskier's (Joey Batey) eyes, she may be the same "very sexy, but insane witch" we meet early on in the novels, but for the viewer, she's something more.

In the books, we first meet Yennefer through Geralt's initial reading of her in "The Last Wish." In the series, although our introduction to her does involve her abusive father, it's her surrogate mother figure, Tissaia de Vries (MyAnna Burning) who is her most formative and defining relationship.

In "The Witcher: A Look Inside the Episodes,"Hissrich describes Episode 2's Yennefer as fearful, and still on the way to gaining her power. As Yennefer grows, though, it's her love forTissaia (and her lingering desire for Tissaia's approval) that compels her to fight at Sodden: this means that the maternal andfilial love between two women is ultimately responsible for Nilfgaard's defeat. Not only does this relationship imbue both characters with more depth and complexity than their more casual relationship in the book, but it also provides some necessary foreshadowing regarding Yennefer's eventual relationship with Ciri (Freya Allen).

Geralt's Yennefer is not THE Yennefer

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Before we dive into "The Witcher" series' betrayal that continues to enrage fans, let's return to our sorceress' dynamic with Sapkowski's subversive "white (haired) knight," Geralt of Rivia. As our entry into the narrative, it's Geralt who most closely resembles a reader proxy, and Geralt whose perspective and worldview most thoroughly informs our own in both the short stories and the epic's early installments. Our introduction to Yennefer in "The Last Wish" is no exception to the Geralt-colored-glasses rule, so it's no surprise that she emerges as a classic femme fatale. Her sole motivation for wanting to trap the Djinn is to gain direct access to chaos. In this story, Yennefer doesn't just speak. She hisses.

Again, in the books, this makes sense: we are seeing her through the eyes of a man who's instantly and involuntarily fascinated by this woman. In the series, though the plot of "The Last Wish" is followed faithfully in Season 1, Episode 5— even lifting certain lines directly from the book — the viewer's focus is intentionally different.

In the books, Yennefer is touched — perhaps even changed — by Geralt using his last wish to bind her fate to his (presumably saving her from the Djinn's wrath), despite being somewhat confused by his dramatic sacrifice. She hears his wish when he makes it, and it's what prompts her to return his affection.In the series, Yennefer doesn't realize what Geralt (Henry Cavill) has done until they reunite (after he's abandoned her) in "Rare Species," and when she learns he's tethered them together through magic, she's furious.

The added real-world complexity of the Netflix Yennefer

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And why shouldn't she be?Geralt may have saved her life, but did so by revoking an aspect of her free will. What's initially presented as a gallant gesture on the page would read as something else entirely in real life, particularly given Yennefer's anger in the series over the loss of another choice— that is, the choice to create life.

In the books, our first in-scene visual of Yennefer is of a nude, hungover sorceress rising out of bed and immediately using said nudity to manipulate Geralt. Yennefer may be just as in charge of her power over Geralt in the book as she is in the series, but the fact remains that we meet her body before we meet the woman herself. One might chock this up to a by-product of the medium (authors have to provide a visual, after all) were it not for the fact that almost every time Yennefer enters a scene, we're given a thorough run-down of her hair, eyes, lips, and body.

In the series, not only are we well acquainted with Yennefer prior to her meeting Geralt, but when he first lays eyes on her, she's fully clothed and has to step down to meet his gaze.Also missing from the series are the alternately violent and comedic fisticuffs that Yennefer and Geralt engage in prior to having sex, in which Yennefer's dress conveniently splits open. And yet, the series' depiction is no less sexually charged for its rejection of such James Bond-esque "foreplay."

Yennefer's body in the Witcher books

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It's worth noting that, contrary to an often well-intentioned but essentially Puritanical assumption, the mereact of showing a woman's nude body isn't exploitative. Not every series makes the mistakes of "Game of Thrones," not every sex scene is reductive, and not every instance of female nudity is sexual. To suggest as much is to suggest that women's bodies are defined (wholly, and in a way that men's bodies are not), by the gaze and sexual intentions of the beholder. It is, in effect, to offer shame and blame in the guise of "respect" and "protection."

That said, there's a canyon of difference between depicting a woman with ownership over her body, and depicting a woman with (A) no real ownership or agency over her exposure (particularly if you're pretending to critique said exposure by reveling in it, as "The Idol" does), or (B), depicting a woman's body and sex appeal as her predominant source of power. Few fantasy series succeed in pulling off the former with as much conviction and awareness as "The Witcher," and the difference between how Yennefer's body is depicted in the books versus the series only further highlights this.

The books contain countless examples of Yennefer's body as an unwilling tool for the amusement or tantalization of others, but one particularly ugly instance occurs in "The Bounds of Reason." During the group's hunt for the dragon, the Reaver Boholt manages to tie Yennefer down, tear open her blouse, and threaten sexual assault. What's worse, the scene suddenly takes a "comedic" turn, via a joke from Dandelion, who is also trapped.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Yennefer's body in the Witcher series

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It's all a far cry from how Yennefer's body is depicted in Season 1. The first time we see her nude, she's a willing, dominant participant so proud of her own sexual prowess that she conjures up an audience to applaud her performance. She also has yet to undergo her transformation. The second time we see her body, there's nothing sexual about it. It's shown during said transformation to highlight the painful sacrifice Yennefer is willing to make. Unlike in the books, Yennefer choosesto trade her ability to create life. This is why, later on, she'll repeatedly say that she "wants," "deserves," and is "owed" everything. When the payment is one's own bodily autonomy, the reward should be nothing less.The scene is also expertly intercut with another transformation: in one, a young woman cursed and rejected by the outside world and written off as a monster is violently transformed into something humanity no longer views as a threat to their safety; in the other, a striga is transformed back into a princess.

Finally, the third time we see Yennefer's nude body, it has nothing to do with seduction and everything to do with the mechanics of her spell. Her body is a source of power in the scene, and not merely a means of manipulation.In the books, she calls Geralt out: she sets a trap for him, and he falls for it. In the series, she calls Geralt out for something else. "You heroic protector," she says, "Noble dog. Permitting my success so long as you command it yourself." She's not entirely wrong, but her firm belief that anyone who offers assistance only does so as a means of control also infects her relationship withTissaia.

Yennefer's relationship with Ciri

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That world, as she puts it, is cruel. In order for Yennefer's evolution to make sense, she must start from a place from which she actually needs to evolve. Hissrichdevotes almost an entire season to fleshing out and illustrating this baseline. It allows her to later grow through love and motherhood in a way that's both plausible and meaningful. And it requires an entirely different entry into said motherhood because (again) her character serves an entirely different purpose.

Fans had all sorts of reasons for hating Yennefer's Ciri storyline in Season 2, but a common complaint was that Yennefer's attempt to use Ciri for her own purposes ruined the endearing bond and dynamic they share in the books. So, let's discuss that bond.

In "Blood of Elves," Yennefer agrees to mentor Ciri for no other reason than that Geralt asks her to after both his, and Triss Merigold's,tutelages prove inadequate. Initially (or so we learn via flashback, and through Ciri's eyes) the women dislike each other largely because of their respective love for Geralt. Pretty immediately, this tension gives way to a stock mentor and mentee relationship that magically contains the perfect balance of playfulness and authority, stern wisdom and sardonic wit. Yennefer is an admirable and ideal mother figure despite having no experience with such a relationship (in the series, Tissaia's influence looms large in Yennefer's evolution with Ciri). Book Yennefer doesn't "grow" through her dynamic with Ciri; we simply get to see a side of her that exists inherently in all such women. And their bond — first and foremost — revolves around Geralt."Suddenly we became close," Ciri recalls, "although I knew perfectly well that Geralt both brought us together and separated us, and that that's how it would always be."

Hissrich's reinterpretation of Yennefer makes sense with what we are allowed to see of her in the books

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Katalin Vermes/ Netflix

It's useless (and, let's face it, exhausting) to argue that fans who, for often understandable reasons, would rather see a regurgitation than an adaptation or reinterpretation should change their minds and appreciate the latter for what it is. At the same rate, it's unfair (and inaccurate) to judge the series' depiction of Yennefer — which is based on her function in the series — by a book depiction that results from her serving a wholly different function.

Hissrich's alternate use of Yennefer in no way defies the spirit and subtext of Sapkowski's work, nor is it all that uncommon for a change in medium to necessitate a change in characterization. In William Goldman's parodistic novel, "The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure," Buttercup is vastly different from her cinematic counterpart despite the fact that Goldman also wrote the screenplay for the film. In the books, Buttercup is a classic "dumb beauty," and Goldman uses her character — and Wesley's superficial attraction to her — as a comedic commentary on both damsels in distress and fairytale romance. By contrast, Robin Wright's Buttercup is no dummy, and the pair's love for one another is sincere. None of this changes the parodistic tone of the story. It's stilldelightfully absurd, and it still pokes fun at its literary tradition. Goldman simply changes the function of his lovers for the film, and with good reason.

Sapkowski's Yennefer is used, firstly, to forward Geralt and Ciri's plots, and secondly, to explore and exemplify the role of storytelling perspective and our mythologies by representing a number of female roles in those mythologies — roles well-known to Sapkowski as an obvious scholar of such traditions.

What is lost (and gained) from Yennefer's adaptation in Netflix's The Witcher

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Jay Maidment, Netflix

These roles are tweaked in various ways, but the sheer number of them speaks to the intentionality of Sapkowski's trope-promotion.

And to be fair, some of this function is lost in Hissrich's depiction. But it's no accident that this Yennefer is at her most courageous when she's at her (so-called) weakest, and without her magic — a plot that doesn't happen in the books. In losing Yennefer as a narrative tool and meta-commentary, we've gained something the fantasy genre has long struggled to provide: a Strong Female Character who truly lives up to the term. One with complexity, dimension, and depth who exists outside of her romantic and thematic affiliations. One who makes actual mistakes, and who must suffer and navigate the consequences thereof. One who is powerful, admirable, and relatable because of her vulnerability, doubt, fear, and weaknesses, all of which prompt her to persevere, triumph, and grow.

So, no, as many have pointed out, Hissrich hasn't faithfully portrayed Yennefer as she exists in the Witcher world of the books. Instead, she's portrayed her with the kind of strength that exists inour world.

"Imagine the most powerful woman in the world," Tissaia says to Yennefer in Season 1, Episode 3. Her next words are telling, and lets us know the exact change Hissrich has chosen to make:"Her hair, the color of her eyes, yes ... but also the strength of her posture. The poise of her entire being. Do you see her?"

Yennefer sees her. The viewer does not. Because an "entire being" isn't a fixed visual — nor something the mere reflection of something else can accurately depict, or adequately contain.


Does the Netflix Witcher follow the books? ›

Although no adaptation of a book can be entirely faithful (and in most cases, a visual medium requires changes), Netflix's The Witcher has arguably spent more time inventing new material than faithfully translating Andrzej Sapkowski's eight-book series.

Are the Witcher books better than the show? ›

It is in the nature of a good book to be better than a visual adaptation. And bad books are rarely adapted for TV or cinema. Thus, the show is in no way better than the books. Some episodes retain nicely the essence of the books and other are rather mediocre.

Why is The Witcher TV show so different from the books? ›

Like most shows or movies adapted from literary works, Netflix's hit series The Witcher is not exactly a one-to-one translation of its original source material. This was made evident in its first season, with the show's attempt to adapt the short stories from both The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny.

What is the Witcher supposed to look like? ›

10 Geralt Isn't Exactly Good-Looking In The Books

Rather, Geralt is actually quite an evil-looking witcher, with hollowed-out eyes, pale skin, and a face that's marred by scars. However, that's not even the worst part of his features...

Did Yennefer betray Geralt in the books? ›

In the books, Yennefer is a maternal figure who teaches Ciri about sorcery, which is a glaring difference from the new season. After Yennefer loses her Chaos during the Battle of Sodden Hill, she attempts to use Ciri to get her magic back. This is a betrayal of the loving relationship they have in the source material.

Is Henry Cavill really Leaving The Witcher? ›

The producers set the task of setting the adaptation at an action pace and filling it with colorful special effects. That was their vision. My vision was very different and I tried to convey it to them, giving my arguments. Unfortunately, I was not considered convincing enough, so I decided to leave the project.”

Is Geralt the most powerful Witcher in the books? ›

Geralt has White hair which was due to a result of an additional mutation he went through during his training. Also, he is a renowned swordsman, and his associations with sorceresses and powerful people make him probably the most powerful Witcher.

What happens to Yennefer and Geralt in the books? ›

Yennefer gives so much of her magic to heal Geralt that she loses consciousness. Ihuarraquax appears out of a foggy lake and channels his power through Ciri to heal Geralt. Guided by him, Ciri and her friends put Geralt and Yennefer's bodies on a boat that appears out of fog. The three disappear into the fog.

Is Geralt skinny in the books? ›

In the books, Geralt is described as being skinny, with an ugly smile and an unpleasant voice. With his pale skin, loose white hair, and dark frightening eyes, this Geralt is someone we can see NPCs hurling insults at.

Is Yennefer beautiful in the books? ›

Yennefer is famous for her legendary beauty. While nearly 100 years old during most of The Witcher Saga, she is described as having the looks of a woman in her 20s.

Why does Ciri look so much like Geralt? ›

Ciri relentlessly practiced fencing and drank infusions of mysterious herbs and mushrooms found beneath the mountains of Kaer Morhen to improve her metabolism and physical development. With its help, Ciri acquired the immunity and finesse of an actual witcher, which explains why she grew up to look like one.

How old is Geralt? ›

By the start of the second season, Geralt is 104 and Vesemir is 169. Geralt's mentor and adoptive father is played by Kim Bodnia, who is 56. He's not as strong or fast as he once was, but he's still very capable in a fight.

Do the writers of The Witcher hate the books? ›

Per IGN: “I've been on show – namely Witcher – where some of the writers were not or actively disliked the books and games (even actively mocking the source material),” DeMayo explained. “It's a recipe for disaster and bad morale. Fandom as a litmus test checks egos, and makes all the long nights worth it.

Why are they replacing the main character in The Witcher? ›

However, according to Deadline's sources, the main cause for his exit is the series' demanding production schedule. Cavill led the first two seasons of the series, as well as the upcoming third season, which returns next summer.

Why is the main character in The Witcher being replaced? ›

It's possible that the show was beginning to diverge too much from the source material and that's a reason for Cavill's departure. Interestingly, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich hinted she and Cavill clashed over the show's portrayal of Geralt in the same THR interview.

Who is Geralt's true love? ›

Why can't Geralt forgive Yennefer? ›

Yennefer, however, couldn't go through with the plan due to her feelings for Geralt and her growing fondness for his adoptive daughter, eventually attempting to sacrifice herself to save Ciri before being spared. Despite this attempted sacrifice, Geralt insists he will never forgive Yennefer for her betrayal.

How powerful is Yennefer in the books? ›

Her success is a testament to her strength of will and talent in magic. Yennefer is seen doing great feats of magic throughout the series, including forbidden arts such as necromancy. Her practicality, strength of will, and talent are what make Yennefer so formidable.

Why is Liam Hemsworth replacing Henry Cavill in The Witcher? ›

Q1:Why did Liam Hemsworth replace Henry Cavill in “The Witcher”? There are multiple reports emphasizing why Henry Cavill left “The Witcher”, one of the states due to “creative differences” with the makers. Q2:When is “The Witcher” season 3 releasing?

Why is Geralt being recast? ›

He even stated that he would play the role for less money and through conflicting schedules, which means that the most likely explanation is that Cavill left The Witcher series because he disliked the source material from the showrunners.

Who's replacing Henry Cavill in The Witcher? ›

Top editors give you the stories you want — delivered right to your inbox each weekday. Liam Hemsworth may be replacing Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in "The Witcher," but Netflix really wants fans to know that Cavill will be around for Season 3 of their hit fantasy series.

Who is stronger Ciri or Yennefer? ›

Ciri is the de facto strongest character in the Witcher. Even though you might think the book is mostly about Geralt, or maybe even Yennefer, in reality the whole story is about Ciri.

Who was the strongest witcher ever? ›

Geralt of Rivia is proven to be the strongest witcher in the world, with his insane swordsmanship, magical abilities, wisdom, brute power, and more. He is known across the land through song and legend due to his many wins in battles against powerful leaders, monsters, and many other foes.

Who is stronger Geralt or Yennefer? ›

However, while Geralt might be as effective and dextrous with a blade as they come, one simply cannot write off Yennefer's speed either. The raven-haired sorceress has shown an unparalleled level of speed when it comes to both attack and mobility. Things might not be as cut-and-dry in close combat as they might seem.

Does Yennefer get pregnant by Geralt? ›

Click to start this article in. With Ciri's family now dead, Geralt is the only parent figure she has, and given that he's a witcher, Ciri is the closest to a daughter that he can ever have, as he – as well as Yennefer – can't have children.

How old is Geralt when he dies? ›

In the books, Geralt is roughly 80–85 by their conclusion. In the games, Geralt ages a bit, he's roughly ~94 in The Wild Hunt. Witchers age slowly, and can live for several centuries, thanks to the mutagens they receive during the Trial of the Grasses.

Who is Geralt's wife? ›

5 Geralt & Yennefer Gets Married In A Different Timeline

So, he wrote another short story that's supposed to be set in a different timeline where Geralt & Yennefer settled down peacefully and got married in the end.

Why is Geralt so attractive? ›

Why is Geralt so attractive? Geralt's sex-appeal is not only in his toned abs or the way his butt looks in tight leather. It's in what he does with his strength and what he doesn't. A man who will use his superior physical strength to protect us – not hurt us – is sexy.

Why is Geralt so white? ›

It's not surprising that not all witchers-to-be survive this process, but Geralt was a special case. Thanks to his ability to resist this trial, he was subjected to more tests, which ended up turning his skin and hair pale white, but they also gave him even more abilities than other witchers.

Who does Geralt love in the books? ›

Yennefer of Vengerberg is decisively Geralt's true love, both in The Witcher 3, and in the series as a whole. This is apparent from one of their first ever encounters in the books, when Yen helps Geralt cure Dandelion of a djinn's grasp.

What race is Yennefer in the books? ›

9 Yennefer Is One-Quarter Elf

The reason why her father ultimately left the family was that he constantly bashed Yennefer's mother for having elven blood, being a halfling herself. This means that Yennefer was a one-quarter elf as well.

Why is Yennefer Geralt's true love? ›

Yennefer and Geralt's relationship seems doomed due to whatever it was that Geralt wished for – that being a wish that binds their two lives together. However, in the books Yennefer is grateful for this wish, and it's precisely Geralt's willingness to save her life that causes her to fall in love with him.

Why is Yennefer so special? ›

She is what is called a conduit, someone capable of harnessing the magical energy of the universe without undergoing any kind of modification. With due training, conduits of chaos are able to perform feats that surpass those of witchers by far, both in power level and complexity.

Who married Ciri? ›

Ciri was supposed to marry Kistrin of Verden, but she eloped into the Brokilon. Freixenet, a regional governor in Verden, followed her into the forest. He also is an old acquaintance of Witcher Geralt. Ciri met Geralt when she was lost in the forest of Brokilon and the Witcher saved her from a Giant centipede.

Why don t the other Witchers have white hair? ›

The Witcher season 2 proves that white hair and yellow eyes are not a characterizing Witcher trait, since they can be attributed to the extra mutations that Geralt is subjected to as a child.

Who is Ciri's love interest? ›

Ciri has a romantic relationship with an girl named Mistle while a member of the outlaw gang “The Rats”. We also see her express romantic interest in a knight named Ser Galahad in the final Witcher book Lady of the Lake.

What is the lifespan of a witcher? ›

Witchers can live to be over 150 years old, but probably a lot longer. Witchers are often viewed with fear and suspicion by the common folk.

How much older than Geralt is Yennefer? ›

But in the “present day,” Yennefer is 71 on the show. In book/video game lore, however, she mentions being 94 and is usually considered to be a few years older than Geralt. Yennefer's timeline as we watch it develop on the show is the oldest one, beginning at the earliest date.

What is Geralt old name? ›

As his first choice, Geralt chose "Geralt Roger Eric du Haute-Bellegarde", but this choice was dismissed by Vesemir as silly and pretentious, so "Geralt" was all that remained of his chosen name.

Does Witcher 2 Netflix follow the books? ›

The first novel in The Witcher saga is Blood of Elves, and it's from this book that Season 2 draws most of its inspiration. The book begins with Nilfgaard's attack on Cintra, which the show already covered in the first season. Season 2 begins with one of the only short stories not yet covered by the show.

Do the Witcher books follow Geralt? ›

The Witcher books follow the story of the titular Witcher, Geralt of Rivia. A Witcher is a mutated human—most certainly a man—who possess supernatural abilities and has trained from childhood to battle monsters that emerged during the Conjunction of the Spheres.

How close does The Witcher show follow the books? ›

The tale of Geralt and the striga is from another short story by Sapkowski titled "The Witcher." The episode adapts the events faithfully from the book, with one exception –- Triss Merigold does not appear anywhere in the story. In fact, the books never reveal when exactly Triss and Geralt first met.

Does Witcher Season 2 follow the books? ›

Generally speaking, it is based on the plot of The Blood of Elves – the first novel in the Witcher series. However, much has changed in the screen adaptation.

Does Yennefer lose her power in the books? ›

Does Yennefer Lose Her Powers In the Books? Andrez Sapkowski's Witcher books tell a much different tale than the Netflix adaptation when it comes to Yennefer. During the Battle of Sodden Hill, she didn't lose her magic but was instead blinded by Fringilla Vigo.

How did Witcher season 2 deviate from the books? ›

There are a lot of differences here between the show and the books. First, the leshen isn't an enemy in the books, it's a monster that was created for the games. There also were no new monsters coming from the monolith that Ciri toppled in the show, so it couldn't have infected him like that even if he did fight one.

Does The Witcher Season 3 follow the books? ›

Events from Time of Contempt were put into motion in The Witcher season 2, but season 3 is really a faithful adaptation of the novel.

Who does Geralt marry in the books? ›

When Galahad asks if that's the end, Ciri says that she doesn't want the story to end like that. She claims the tale ends with Yennefer and Geralt getting married and living happily ever after, but cries as she says it. Galahad invites her to Camelot, which she accepts. The two ride toward Camelot, holding hands.

Does Geralt only use one sword in the books? ›

Many fans of The Witcher games have noticed that Geralt usually wields two swords, while the Geralt in the books and Netflix series only carries one.

How many years do the Witcher books span? ›

According to showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, Geralt's story spans about 20 years, Yennefer's story spans about 70 years, and Ciri's story spans about two weeks.

What books will season 3 of The Witcher cover? ›

Season 3 adapts the Witcher book The Time of Contempt, in which Ciri, Geralt, and Yennifer travel to Aretuza to hide from those hunting for Ciri, while she trains with Yen. And since season 2 was released, Hissrich has dropped lots of hints about season 3.

How is Geralt different in the books? ›

His broodiness is on full display in the games, but he's actually more broody and philosophical in the books. Book Geralt is often melancholic, deep in thought about how his mantra of only killing monsters often reveals that humans are usually the monsters. He's also prone to violent outbursts of anger in the books.

Does Ciri become a Witcher in the books? ›

The books see Ciri take on Witcher training, but technically never become a "true Witcher" as she never undergoes the Trial of The Grasses.

Why are the Witcher books out of order? ›

The reason for this order is that in the initial short stories time does jump around a lot. In the Netflix series, this causes some confusion with a lot of viewers, which is understandable. While it's not perfect, the better order is probably The Last Wish first.

Does Vesemir want to make more Witchers in the books? ›

The devastating loss of Eskel might have pushed him to want to keep his dying family strong, if only to keep from being alone on the Continent. In "Turn Your Back," Vesemir tells Triss that he has faced loss and that it is destiny pushing them to create a new witcher.


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