The Witcher season 3 volume 1 ending explained: Your biggest questions answered

The Witcher
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher season 3 is back and the stakes have never been higher for our central trio. As enemies from across the continent converge on Ciri (Freya Allan), Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) and Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) do everything they can to keep their pseudo-daughter safe. Across the first five episodes of season 3, this is no easy feat as they contend with fiery mages, Elvan warriors, and a certain absent father. 

All of the drama culminates in episode five as some big betrayals are revealed, setting up a tantalizing Volume 2. Below, we get into all of the major reveals, what it might mean next, and share some exclusive insight from the cast. Although, of course, be warned that we’re getting into major spoiler territory from here on out.

The Witcher season 3 volume 1 ending explained: A recap *spoilers*

The end of Volume 1 sees Yennefer plan a Conclave of Mages to try and prevent all-out war breaking out in the Continent. Working with Geralt, it also becomes an opportunity for them to uncover who is to be trusted in Aretuza by locating Rience’s (Sam Woolf) master.

There are plenty of people who seem to be up to no good, including Dijkstra (Graham McTavish) and Philippa (Cassie Clare) as they try to win Geralt over to Redania and get Ciri to join them. Then there’s Stregobor (Lars Mikkelsen) who’s been hunting for a magical book called the Book of Monoliths (remember that from Blood Origin?) to open portals for his own nefarious means. 

Everything reaches a fever pitch when Yen and Geralt try to trap Stregobor by sneaking into his office to locate the book. However, Yen is caught in the act of hunting through his safe and the council converges on them. She is forced to share the evidence stacked against the Elf-hating mage.

He’s thought to have been keeping a list of Elvan students who have gone missing, leading Geralt to connect the dots that he’s the one who created the horrifying flesh monster earlier in the season. Stregobor is arrested and it seems like everything has been resolved when some new evidence comes to light. 

After Philippa shared some insight into Lydia (Aisha Fabienne Ross), Yen and Geralt begin to figure out that maybe someone else has been manipulating her. Looking at Tissaia's (MyAnna Buring) scarlet ammonite bracelet, the White Wolf notices that Lydia was wearing similar earrings and had been speaking to none other than Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu).

Noticing this, along with the evidence that the mage had been in the place where Geralt had found the missing students, he and Yen conclude that maybe Vilgefortz is Rience’s master after all. However, before they can confront him, Dijkstra holds a knife to Geralt’s neck, warning him that he "should have chosen a side" in the final moments of the episode.

There’s a lot we’re expecting to see resolved in Volume 2, so let’s get into all of these major reveals.

Who has been kidnapping the students? 

So now we know that the real villain had been hiding in plain sight all along. Tissaia's partner and key member of the Brotherhood Vilgefortz has been pulling the strings in the background. Of course, this reveal is surely about to have some real consequences for rest of Aretuza in part 2 as we find out just what he has planned for Ciri. 

Is Geralt in mortal danger?

The Witcher

(Image credit: Netflix)

Even though he ended the season with a knife held against his neck, we’re going to suggest that Geralt is probably going to be just fine. The White Wolf has been in plenty of sticky situations before and to be quite honest we’d back the Butcher of Blaviken in just about any fight. 

What’s going on with Geralt and Yennefer?

An image from The Witcher season 3

(Image credit: Netflix)

It’s not all scheming and politics in Volume 1 as Geralt and Yennefer reconcile. The pair, who are bound by destiny, kissed in episode 4 before getting steamy in the Volume 1 finale. It’s nice to have some romance between the pair, especially seeing where they began season 3. If you'll recall, they were living very separate lives trying to train young Ciri.

Speaking about how their dynamic has changed, Yen actor Anya Chalotra tells GamesRadar+: "I was lost last season in every way. Playing losing her powers was difficult in the best way and I hope that showed. Coming into this season, having established a little bit more with [Ciri] and with Henry, I really felt that I had more support as Yennefer so I enjoyed knowing where it was heading with Geralt."

Where is Ciri?

An image from The Witcher season 3

(Image credit: Netflix)

Ciri has been kept out of the way with Jaskier deep in the woods. However, the pair received a visitor at the end of episode 4 in Prince Radovid, who was desperate to speak to the bard about his feelings. We don’t see them again before the end of Volume 1 so hopefully the Lion Cub of Cintra has managed to stay out of danger when left alone in the house without Jaskier. Although, given there are so many people after her though, we have to admit we’re feeling a bit nervous. 

What will happen in The Witcher season 3 volume 2?

The Witcher

(Image credit: Netflix)

Well, we don’t have any plot details yet for the second half of the season and Netflix has not yet shared a trailer for the final three episodes. However, we can be pretty sure they’ll be dealing with the aftermath of the Conclave and what Vilgefortz has been up to. 

There are also some other loose strings to tie up, including what’s next for Jaskier and Radovid, how exactly Emhyr (Bart Edwards) plays into the ongoing story, and whether Ciri can evade capture. We can’t wait to see more.

When is The Witcher season 3 volume 2 out on Netflix? 

The Witcher

(Image credit: Netflix)

Luckily, Netflix isn’t making us wait too long. The Witcher Season 3 Volume 2 is released in full on July 27. The three remaining episodes will be made available at midnight PT on that date. 

When is Henry Cavill’s last episode?

An image from The Witcher season 3

(Image credit: Netflix)

Henry Cavill’s shock exit as Geralt of Rivia has been a major talking point hanging over season 3 as viewers wonder when we’ll say goodbye to him. Cavill’s final episode will be the final episode of season 3. After this, he’ll be replaced by The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth in season 4 – and beyond if it happens

When is Liam Hemsworth joining the show? 

Henry Cavill in The Witcher / Liam Hemsworth in Poker Face

(Image credit: Netflix/Sky)

While we don’t know for certain, it seems like we’re unlikely we’ll see Hemsworth appear in the third season at all. Cavill only announced his departure from the show after season 3 wrapped filming and his co-stars say they’re yet to meet the actor in person yet too.

"I've been in contact with him," Joey Batey told GR+. "We've been emailing, we’ve been exchanging our favorite quotes from the books and things like that. His training regime is insane and he’s been devouring the books." Meanwhile, Chalotra said that they’ve spoken "just through email" with "a message of support when the news came out." She added: "I can’t wait to meet him." 

This all likely means we’ll be waiting a while longer to see his interpretation of the White Wolf.

The Witcher Season 3 Volume 1 is available on Netflix now. For more on the show, check out our stories on:

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.