The first season of Netflix’s The Witcher has taken viewers on a head-spinning journey as it follows Henry Cavill’s witcher Geralt and other characters through several decades and various places on the vast Continent. With the show following, three different timelines concurrently, it is perhaps no surprise that new viewers were left with many questions of which “How old are Geralt, Yennefer and Ciri?” probably ranked among the less complicated.
Now, The Witcher‘s official site has published a map of historical events that chronicles everything from characters birth dates to important events. If you have been wondering how many years have passed between Geralt’s fight with Renfri in Blaviken and his first encounter with Joey Batey’s Jaskier or between Yennefer’s admission at Arteuza and her manoeuvring to the court of Aedirn this is the place to go. The site has biographical data for important characters such as as Jaskier, Calanthe or Stregobor as well as entries on kingdoms, institutions and monsters. As such it may also be interesting for hardcore Witcher fans who would like to learn more about the show’s own lore.
It is available in 11 languages and has timelines for each of the three main characters as well as a general one for other events. Clicking on the dots will navigate you to the place of the event and open a small description. Clicking on the description will open a side-window with more details. For example, parts of the entry on Aretuza read:
“A magical academy, founded by Klara Larissa de Winter, situated on Thanned Island. The building’s dark brick and white lighting make for a beautiful contrast – its architecture vaguely reminiscent of the elves that built it. The island is hollow, harboring several caves and shallows below its crown jewel.”
“The academy is most commonly accessed by boat from Gors Velen. Mages in training and those visiting the academy would, of course be able to portal their way in and out, were it not that this is strictly forbidden. As a visitor, I’ve only ever been able to see Aretuza’s lowest level but if the rumors about Tor Lara are true, it protects a dark secret. At the bottom of the tower lies a pool whith white water, surrounding rocks much like a moat. This very water is Aretuza’s power source. Mages not capable of harnessing Chaos are transformed into eels, forced to live out their days in this pool and provide power to the academy.”
Interestingly, the site also contains information on the season’s culminative Battle of Sodden Hill that may be taken as a hint of what we’re in for in Season Two. As a reminder, the final episode closes with Yennefer disappearing after seemingly depleting her magical resources in a fiery explosion to stop Nilfgaard. In one of the last shots, we see King Foltest of Temeria (Shaun Dooley) arriving with an army to the rescue of the Northern mages but the danger is far from over. The Nilfgaardians under Cahir (Eamon Farren) and Fringilla (Fringilla) await the coming of a much larger force of over 50.000 men under the leadership of a general. This is how things stand at the end of the first season. The site adds the following information:
[Don’t read past this point if you don’t want to know anything about the plot continuing from Season One. MAJOR (potential) SPOILERS for the beginning of Season Two and the novel Blood of Elves ahead!]
“The battle seemed lost until Yennefer scorched the battlefield with a fiery braze that brushed passed all of Nilfgaard’s soldiers. But there was no cause for celebration just yet: the rest of Nilfgaard’s army had arrived. Thankfully for the Brotherhood, so had the Northern Kingdoms. King Foltest marched with bannermen from Kaedwen to Skellige, eventually defeating Nilfgaard.”
“The Soddeners who cleaned up the battle site told strong tales of those who had fallen: “…some of them were punctured like a pincushion.., others had their faces burnt off completely -barely a trace of humanity left on those smouldering piles of flesh.” For historians, it has been difficult to determine who survived Sodden and who hasn’t. We know that at least Yennefer, Tissaia, and Fringilla survived but many others’ fates are unclear”
It’s interesting that Skellige is mentioned alongside Temeria and Kaedwen. Does this mean we’ll get to see Blair Kincaid’s roaring sea-boar Crach an Craite again? After all, the Skelligans are out for vengeance for Crach’ uncle Eist Tuirseach (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson) slain at Marnadal and the fifty ships bound to aid Cintra that were sunk to the bottom of the sea by Fringilla. Judging by the information provided above, the larger Nilfgaardian army has also made it to Sodden. Here’s hoping that we’ll get to see a bit of the fight between the armies in the first episode of season two.
The second bit of information focuses more on the aftermath of the battle, stating that it was difficult to tell the living from the death. Fans of Andrzej Sapkowski will know that this an accurate representation of what happened in the books. Temerian sorceress Triss Merigold (played by Anna Shaffer in the show) was notably mistaken for dead and dubbed “The Fourteenth of the Hill”, as thirteen other mages lost their lives at Sodden. For a short while, Geralt also feared for the live of Yennefer until he was told the names of the casualties. It will be interesting to see if these plot lines will all make it into the show. What seems certain is that we’re in for a lot of catching up with characters like Tissaia, Vilgefortz, Triss, Fringilla, Cahir and of course Yennefer.