The Witcher season 2 ending puts a serious spanner in the works, to put it mildly. By the season’s end, the lives of Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer are markedly different to what came before; new foes have emerged, breadcrumbs were scattered throughout the finale, and a certain cliffhanger left us teetering on the edge of our couch.
So… what now? If you’ve just finished off the season, there’s a good-to-great chance that you’re a little bewildered. The Witcher season 2’s ending threw a lot of new information at viewers in the hopes of setting up an epic third season. We’re here to guide you through all the new revelations, including your big Emhyr questions, and whatever else needs clearing up on The Continent.
Don’t worry, we’re not diving into book or game spoilers here, outside some essential context markers. Ready? Here’s your definitive guide to The Witcher season 2 ending – and what it means for what’s coming next. Let's begin with a recap of the finale.
The Witcher season 2 ending explained – spoilers!
After Geralt and Yennefer help fight off Nilfgaard soldiers outside Sodden, Yarpen Zingrin and his band of dwarves help escort Ciri back to Kaer Morhen. Unbeknownst to them, she has been possessed by The Deathless Mother, AKA Voleth Meir. Those who have been following along throughout the season will know she’s the old woman in the hut who appeared before Yennefer and Fringilla to offer them power (and, in Yennefer’s case, the return of her magic) if they did her bidding.
While being controlled by Voleth Meir, Ciri sneaks around Kaer Morhen and kills three witchers, but is stopped by a returning Geralt from slaying Vesemir while he sleeps. Ciri escapes – with the witchers preparing for battle and Yennefer set to make a potion to rescue Ciri.
While Ciri is under the spell of Voleth Meir, we see her hallucinating a moment from the first season’s premiere, attending a banquet with Mousesack and her grandmother, Calanthe. There, she dances and is oblivious to what’s going on in her real body.
Over in Cintra, Francesca and Filavandrel are mourning the loss of their newborn elven baby, who has been assassinated by unknown forces. As an act of revenge, Francesca heads around Cintra, marking the city’s newborns and killing them in cold blood. The remaining group of elves then leave the city walls.
Cahir and Fringilla, fresh off the latter murdering General Hake, are preparing for Emperor Emhyr’s arrival to Cintra – and hoping to use the death of Francesca’s elven baby as political currency in Nilfgaard’s wars against their enemies.
Back at Kaer Morhen, Geralt, and Vesemir track Ciri down to the main hall. Ciri screams and raises a monolith through the floor and breaks it, thus allowing monsters from other worlds to come flooding in – including two basilisks and a larger beast. After a lengthy battle, Geralt dispatches the large monster and the basilisks are defeated by Lambert and the other witchers.
In Ciri’s hallucinations/dreams, she meets her mother and father, Pavetta and Duny – and chooses to stay with them. In the outside world, however, Geralt’s words are breaking through.
To save Ciri, Yennefer realizes she must be the next vessel for Voleth Meir. She cuts her wrists and lets The Deathless Mother feed on her pain, letting Ciri escape.
Geralt’s final plan sees him tell Ciri to open up a portal and pull monsters – and Voleth Meir – back through it. That eventually works, though Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer are dragged through into another realm and are met by The Wild Hunt, a shadowy collection of horseback riders intent on capturing Ciri.
The trio escape back to Kaer Morhen just in time, but not without The Wild Hunt’s words echoing in Ciri’s mind. Geralt also reveals that Ciri’s powers opens doorways to other ‘spheres’ and worlds – and could be the glue that makes his and Yennefer’s relationship stick this time.
But that’s a story for another day. On a more immediate note, Ciri has plenty to worry about: the season ends with multiple forces tracking her down.
The Brotherhood of Sorcerers puts out a bounty on Ciri; Rience and a now-scarred Lydia are looking to seize upon The Continent’s chaos by capturing the Lion Cub of Cintra, too. On top of that, Istredd tells Francesca and the elves that Ciri is ‘Hen Ikeir’ (Elder Blood) and potentially the key to saving their race. However, Dijkstra’s owl – revealed to be the mage Phillipa – overhears this and reports back to the spymaster. In response, he tells her to fetch the bard to pay back his debt.
In one final twist, Emhyr arrives in Cintra and tells Fringilla and Cahir that he orchestrated the death of Francesca’s child, despite Fringilla saying she did it. The Emperor orders the pair to be taken away as he begins the search for his daughter: Ciri. Emhyr turns around to reveal he is actually Duny, Ciri’s father.
Who is Emhyr? And who is Emhyr’s daughter?
Surprise! Emhyr is the emperor and ruler of Nilfgaard, the antagonistic kingdom who are waging war against the North. He is also actually Duny, Ciri’s father. He had previously been seen in the first season being saved by Geralt. In those events, Duny was revealed to be cursed and Calanthe tried to have him killed after engaging in a secret relationship with Pavetta. Eventually, Duny and Pavetta (Ciri's mother) got married and Geralt claimed the Law of Surprise as a token of thanks. The last we heard of Duny, he had supposedly drowned in a storm. He’s very much alive and kicking by the time he gets to Cintra, however.
What has happened in the decades since Duny’s ‘death’ is unclear. It’s almost certainly going to be something that a third season will dive deeper into.
In the short-term, Emhyr will probably be set up as the series’ overarching villain. Nilfgaard is almost always up to no good, and he’s now entrenched in an upcoming clash against the elves and the North. With Ciri in his sights, you can also expect Geralt to come calling at his door – if Emhyr doesn’t get to him first.
Who are the Wild Hunt? The Witcher's new Netflix villains, explained
In the terms of the Netflix series, we know very little about the Wild Hunt – other than whisperings from Calanthe in the first season premiere about a mysterious horseman sighting.
In very simple, non-spoilery terms: they’re a band of undead warriors intent of bringing death and destruction everywhere they go. Think of them as The Witcher’s version of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and you’re on the right track.
Why they want Ciri is unclear at this juncture, though it’s likely that the third season (and, beyond that, the show’s endgame) will revolve around The Wild Hunt’s pursuit of Ciri. Video game fans, however, will know them as the primary antagonist of the third game in the series, Wild Hunt. They serve a similar purpose to what the Netflix series is setting up by having them hunt down Ciri to gain her Elder powers.
The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich described them to IGN as a "portent of doom."
"They're always just mentioned when war is coming, or a battle is on the horizon. And so they have this air of evil mystery around them. What we're going to start doing [in the show] is beginning to understand where they came from and what they want. And so, like all characters in Sapkowski novels, we're going to get a little bit deeper into them so they're not just the evil skeletal bad guys."
What is Hen Ikeir?
Istredd shouts out the name ‘Hen Ikeir’ to stop himself being dragged away by the elven guards. It’s a name that Francesca is glad to hear – it means Ciri has ‘Elder Blood’ and could be part of the prophecy that averts the end of the world and restores the elves to their former glory.
Who is Philippa?
At this stage, we don’t know much about the mage other than she’s in league with Dijkstra for their own purposes. Fans of the books and games will know she’s a major player in the court of Redania and is an extremely powerful mage with the ability to change her form. Expect Philippa to be a supporting antagonist in future seasons.
Are Dijkstra and Jaskier working together?
Dijkstra asked Philippa to bring him the bard. How many bards do we know in The Continent? Not many – and certainly not many who have somehow been elevated to the role of underworld smuggler, as Jaskier has done in his role of the Sandpiper.
Could Jaskier and Dijkstra be in cahoots? It’s possible. The bard clearly held some resentment towards Geralt. Acting as Dijkstra’s boots on the ground in Kaer Morhen could give him the upper hand in any attempts to grab Ciri, though we can’t see Jaskier keeping the truth intact for long if that’s the case.
Dijkstra also wants Ciri for his own ends: to take her, marry her off to the king of Redania and, in effect, be able to gain proper rule over Cintra by blood.
What is the Brotherhood up to?
The Brotherhood of Sorcerers and the kings of the North are the real wildcards in The Witcher’s future. Geralt warns Vesemir as much, saying if mages find out what Ciri is capable of they “won’t stop coming for her.”
And so it proves. Tissaia decides that Ciri is better off dead, putting a bounty on her and “anyone who protects her.”
The Brotherhood’s true intentions aren’t yet known, though they have good reason to get rid of Ciri – if only to avoid a political shitstorm and the changing of the guard on The Continent. Without the ears of rulers, the mages at Aretuza have far less power. Taking Ciri off the board keeps the game firmly within the mages’ reach. They are, after all, effectively the secret rulers of various kingdoms.
Does Yennefer have her magic back?
She does, though it’s a bit of a deus ex machina if you ask us. After Voleth Meir returned to her own realm, it appears that the pact was fulfilled and Anya Chalotra’s mage was back at full strength. Expect her to be a true force of nature in the third season. The Battle of Sodden Hill in the first season showed us a glimpse of her power, and she could help extend that further with more training and focus. Now that she has something to protect – Ciri and Geralt – there’s no telling how far she can go.
What happened to Voleth Meir?
The Deathless Mother had been a corrupting factor all season. She lured both Fringilla and Yennefer in with the promise of power. It led to Fringilla being more hardened in her role on the Cintran court – as evidenced by her killing the General and his men while they lay paralyzed – and Yennefer going to snatch up Ciri from under Geralt’s nose.
Thankfully, she was ‘defeated’ by (if we’re being cynical) the power of love. Ciri’s powers then opened up a gateway for Voleth Meir to escape back to her own realm, where she existed before the Conjunction of the Spheres. Which leads us to one final question – and it’s one we’re all likely going to be asking in the show’s future.
What is the Conjunction of the Spheres?
In very simple terms, The Conjunction of the Spheres was a cataclysmic event that occurred around 1,500 years before the events of The Witcher. Many worlds collided together, with monsters crossing the threshold and entire civilizations being destroyed in the process. As Netflix puts it in the synopsis for its prequel Blood Origin The Conjunction of the Spheres is "when the worlds of monsters, men, and elves merged to become one."
One of the biggest shifts is that the world of The Witcher Netflix series (known as The Continent) was once only populated by elves.
It was then taken over by ‘humans’ arriving from another world. There’s every chance the upcoming Witcher prequel Blood Origin will explore that event in more detail, while there’s a risk that Ciri – with her Elder powers – could set about causing a new Conjunction. There’s little wonder, then, why she’s the person everyone is gunning for by the time of The Witcher season 2 ending.
The Witcher season 2 ending has an extra surprise
Don't switch off before the credits! The Witcher season 2's finale has tacked on a full trailer for Blood Origin. Charting the Continent's darkest period, Blood Origin is "set in an elven world 1200 years before the world of The Witcher, Blood Origin will tell a story lost to time - the origin of the very first Witcher, and the events that lead to the pivotal 'conjunction of the spheres,' when the worlds of monsters, men, and elves merged to become one."
In the 2022 series, Sophia Brown will play Éile, a warrior of the Queen's guard while Michelle Yeoh plays Scian, "the last member of a nomadic tribe of sword-elves on a mission to retrieve a blade stolen from her people."