Happy Witcher Week! From Dec. 15 to Dec. 22, TV Guide and sister sites Gamespot and Metacritic are celebrating everything The Witcher. We have reviews, explainers, and everything you need to get ready for and break down The Witcher Season 2, which premiered Dec. 17 on Netflix. The following story is part of that celebration, and you can enjoy all of The Witcher content across sites right here.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the Season 2 finale of The Witcher. Read at your own risk!]
Holy twist, Batman! The Witcher Season 2 ended with a jaw-dropping reveal (at least for anyone in the audience who hasn't played The Witcher video games). The Emperor of Nilfgaard, aka the White Flame, was revealed to be Duny (Bart Edwards), Ciri's (Freya Allan) father, who was allegedly lost at sea with Ciri's mother when the princess was just a baby. The reveal answered one crucial question posed by Geralt (Henry Cavill) at the end of the season: How did Nilfgaard know who Ciri was before anyone else in the realm? But it also prompted a lot more queries.
It makes sense now how Nilfgaard was able to completely overwhelm Calanthe's (Jodhi May) forces in Season 1, but why? Calanthe may have objected to Duny being part of her kingdom when she first met him — she was not cool with the idea of her daughter marrying a man who looked like a porcupine — but after she saw her daughter's display of magic, she blessed their union, and it broke the curse obscuring Duny's face. As far as we know, the marriage was happy after that, and Calanthe was a fierce protector of Ciri after Duny and his wife were lost at sea. If Duny was still alive, why didn't he just come back to Cintra and take care of his daughter? Instead, he dubbed himself the White Flame, went to Nilfgaard, and waited about 12 years to burn Cintra to the ground and see his mother-in-law dead.
The rather violent nature of Duny's attempt to reclaim his daughter makes you question what the motives truly are. The reveal of his face also came with the news that he was the one who murdered the unborn elven child, killing all hopes the elves had of repopulating and rebuilding a kingdom of their own. Right now, the elves think that Nilfgaard's enemies are responsible for their loss and are on a rampage to get justice for their people. Who do they think is their last chance at salvation and peace? Ciri of Cintra.
Geralt came to the same conclusion at the end of Season 2, after Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) helped expel the demon Voleth Meir from Ciri's body, and the trio helped Voleth return home to a different sphere. The Witcher realized that Ciri's true power is to open portals between the spheres and that she will be the key to the elves' future. But if Ciri is now determined to help the elves secure a better life and Duny is keen on manipulating them into being his foot soldiers, that is going to make for one extremely awkward potential family reunion in Season 3, and that's without digging into the whole, "Um, why did you go over a decade without giving me a heads up you weren't dead?" thing.
So while Season 2 gave us a lot more clarity on who Ciri is and why she's so special, we are not that far politically from where we ended Season 1. Nilfgaard still wants to fight everyone. The Brotherhood wants to stop Nilfgaard in its tracks and has decided killing Ciri is the only way to do that. Geralt and Ciri, now along with Yennefer, have accepted their destiny but are unsure of what the next steps are considering everyone on the Continent wants them dead.
We can't wait to see how this mess gets worse in Season 3.
The Witcher Season 2 is streaming on Netflix.