The Witcher Explained: 7 Fan Theories Answered
Toss a coin to your witcher... If you didn't just sing the rest of that chorus in your head, then it means you've probably not been up to speed with one of the most riveting shows of the Winter! Geralt of Rivia had us glued to our screens with his rugged, tough and entertaining adventures.
Even though you might have seen the first season once, twice, or even three times, it's possible that you still have some questions. And those are the exact questions that we hope to answer for you. Why is Geralt’s hair ashen? What is the Law of Surprise? What was the witcher’s third wish to the djinn? Keep on reading to find out the answers to these questions and more.
1. Mess with the Wishes
The episode in which Geralt and Yennefer first met raises many questions. What wishes did Geralt make? What happened to Jaskier? And did the djinn actually bind the lives of Geralt and Yennefer?
In the book, the Witcher first made an attempt to drive the djinn away with the help of magic, but he wasn’t strong enough to do it, and the djinn returned. Then Geralt resorted to an exorcism, which he was taught by his friend, priestess Nenneke - and we all know how that went! So it’s no wonder that the Air elemental was infuriated! But in the series, the Witcher’s magic happens to be enough to drive the djinn away successfully.
Geralt’s first wish was that Jaskier would shut up. That is why the bard’s neck was swollen, and the witcher had to seek help immediately. The sorceress he went to, Yennefer, rescued Jaskier, and Geralt finds himself immediately enthralled by her. So, without a shred of a doubt, the witcher makes his third wish – that is to always be with her.
Are these feelings between Geralt and Yennefer true, or is it just magic? If this wish worked, then why did they split up? You can find the answers to these questions for yourself in the coming seasons of the series – or by reading the books! But, we should add that in the game ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’ there’s even a special quest, in which Yennefer forces the Witcher to go with her and kill that very djinn.
After his death, all the wishes must vanish, and the sorceress cannot wait to find out if her feelings for Geralt are real. After the Witcher kills the djinn, Yennefer remains the same, but Geralt has to make his choice ... What do you think, are their feelings real?
2. Why did Geralt demand the Law of Surprise?
We come across this ancient custom three times in the series. According to it, any person (or creature) has the right to demand the Law of Surprise as a payment for his services. That is how Duny, also known as the Urcheon of Erlenwald, acquired his rights for Princess Pavetta when he saved the life of King of Cintra.
According to their agreement, he should have come to claim his Surprise in 15 years, and we already know the result of that from the series.
In just the same way, after defending Duny’s life, Geralt demanded a ‘boon’ from him – something that the rescued man had already possessed, but had no idea about. And this time, it happens to be Ciri. Will they have a romantic relationship? Definitely not! The Law of Surprise does not necessarily lead to romantic relationships, it just happened to be so between Duny and Pavetta.
The fact is that this custom is very common among the witchers. They often use it as a price for their services when the people whom they help don’t have enough money. It means that the witcher can get anything – a cow, or haystack, or money, but also a child. That is how boys got recruited to become witchers.
So it’s no wonder that Geralt turned to the Law of Surprise, ‘cos this was the first thing that came to his mind! Years later, Geralt rescues a merchant and makes another Law of Surprise deal, and… receives Ciri (again), who had been takin in by the merchant's wife during his absence. So the witcher receives the princess twice, which means that Ciri and Geralt's bond is truly fated.
3. Who is Visenna?
A wounded and delirious Geralt dreams about either Yennefer, or Renfri, or a strange woman named Visenna. So who is she? Oddly enough, she is Geralt’s mother, who gave her son away to be raised by the witcher Vesemir. But Visenna was not an ordinary woman, she was a sorceress and a healer. But, unlike many other sorceresses, she could have children. So why was Visenna able to give birth to a child?
In the series, we see how Yennefer gives up her ability to procreate for the sake of correcting her deformities. But it’s unlikely that all students of Aretuza undergo this procedure, right? The fact is that during their training in a magical academy, almost everybody becomes infertile. Although, some of the sorceresses are like Visenna.
Moreover, the rectoress of Aretuza – Tissaia de Vries – believed that nobody is born a sorcerer, therefore, mages should not be allowed to have children. That is why she introduced mandatory sterilization for all of her students, and this is what made all the sorcerers completely barren. Although, at the time when Geralt was born, Visenna had already been an adult. So, obviously, she could have completed her training before the introduction of this outrageous rule.
4. Why is Geralt’s hair grey?
In order to become a witcher, one has to go through a series of mutations known as the Trial of the Grasses. Their body chemistry is being changed in order to be able to fight monsters head-to-head. That means that they are much faster and stronger than ordinary people, and also have enhanced regeneration abilities.
The mages who invented the mutation elixirs constantly worked on their improvement. But still, as Geralt reveals in the series, only three boys out of ten survive this process. Geralt himself responded very well to the standard mutation procedure, so he was subjected to further, experimental mutations. That resulted in him having even greater strength and reactions, but also, according to the books, made his hair “white like milk”.
This is why Geralt of Rivia is often called The White Wolf. However, in the video games and in the series the witcher has grey hair, and this change is not actually explained. But our guess is that it is because on-screen, the totally white hair looks unnatural.
5. Confusing timeline
The series begins at three different points in time and with three completely different characters. The stories of Yennefer and Geralt begin long before Ciri was born. Even in Geralt’s storyline, some events are out of order. The first time we meet the witcher in Blaviken, where he gets into a fight with Renfri, after which he is called "The Butcher of Blaviken".
Well, no one could have thought that the witcher was the victim of an attack and simply defended himself, right? However, in this very first episode, one of the characters mentions Striga, whose encounter with Geralt we see later in the series. So how did the events actually happen in the show? Yennefer's storyline begins a little earlier than that of the witcher.
First, we see how an ugly and hunchbacked Yennefer acquires magical powers – and also her beauty. She becomes a court sorceress in Aedirn and spends approximately 30 years there. But after a failed mission she decides to become an independent sorceress. Geralt's storyline begins around this time and leads him first to meeting Jaskier, then to the feast in Cintra, where he meets Duny and Pavetta and invokes the Law of Surprise.
Geralt goes fishing for a djinn's bottle, Jaskier gets seriously injured and the two meet Yennefer for the first time. Later during one of the journeys, the witcher meets her again and finally tells her about his last wish to the djinn. As a result of it, the two break up, and while Geralt goes in search of Ciri, the sorceress finds herself in Aretuza again.
At the same time, Nilfgaard is planning to attack Cintra. Geralt tries to take Ciri under his protection, but Queen Calanthe puts him in prison, and soon the attack on Cintra begins. Ciri escapes and goes to the forest of Brokilon, where she is found by a doppler who has taken on Mousesack's appearance.
We’ll talk about the doppler again a little bit later, but in the meantime, Ciri manages to escape his clutches. However, the traumatic events in her life are far from over. While she accidentally kills her so-called friends who brutally attacked her, Yennefer becomes one of the mages who stood against the Nilfgaardian army in The Battle of Sodden Hill. The farmer’s wife takes Ciri with her, while Geralt simultaneously saves her husband and invokes The Law of Surprise deal on him.
In the finale of the season, Yennefer disappears during the battle, and Ciri and Geralt finally meet. Happy ending? Definitely not! There are still six seasons ahead, and there’s still a long haul that awaits us.
6. What happened to Yennefer?
Of course, we know what this powerful sorceress is capable of. Yennefer could create portals long before she started her magic training, so she could flee the battlefield at literally any moment. She definitely put a lot into the battle with the Nilfgaardian army, but it’s very unlikely that she died. So where did our beloved sorceress go? We won’t tell you, ‘cos it would be a HUGE spoiler!
7. The doppler problem
The first time we see a doppler is when he is hired by Cahir, who wants to lure Ciri from Brokilon. But the doppler suddenly betrays Cahir and attacks him. It’s extremely difficult to fight the doppler because he can become virtually anyone! However, Cahir manages to cut him on the cheek, so we can see which one of the two Cahirs is the real one. But we cannot be a hundred percent sure which one of them we see in the finale of the season. We can hardly see his face through the flames of the fire, yet we bet that the scar would be visible. So it’s most likely the same Nilfgaardian officer who haunts Ciri in her nightmares.