ciri song

Listen to Ciri Singing a Ballad with a Surprising Lore Connection in The Witcher Season 3

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The Witcher‘s third season will debut Volume 2 on July 27, along with the show’s biggest battle ever and Henry Cavill’s “heroic sendoff” as Geralt of Rivia. But, more importantly, Volume 2 will place Freya Allan’s Ciri front and center as she inherits the lead role from Geralt.

Throughout Volume 1 and in the past seasons, Ciri has learned from Geralt how to fight like a witcher, and she learned from Yennefer how to tap into Chaos and cast powerful spells. But it seems that she has also learned a thing or two from the bard Jaskier, as she will be singing her own ballad in Volume 2.

Fortunately, Netflix has already released this track on YouTube, and in addition to Freya Allan’s surprisingly good vocals, the contents of the song have a surprising lore connection. Listen to “A Little Sacrifice” in the YouTube video above.


A Little Sacrifice – Lyrics

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The mermaid Sh’eenaz watching the ship of Prince Algoval, art by Olga Kardas

The Prince did sit aside the sea,
Blushing with his Siren.
At lengths did they try to agree
Who’d forfeit their environ.

A trade for surf?
A swap for turf?
Who’d cave first and when?

For if yer goal be Paradise,
A life with your true love,
Ponder all yer wants in life,
And make A Little Sacrifice….

The water’s wet, the beachside’s dry,
And where they met is where they lie.
But where they lay, they cannot stay,
The tide is low, now they both know:

A trade for surf?
A swap for turf?
Who’d turn and let go?

For if yer goal be Paradise,
A life with your true love,
Ponder all yer wants in life,
And make A Little Sacrifice…

His choice was made aside the sea,
A twilit red horizon.
For she had finally made him see
His place among the sirens.

A trade for surf!
He knew what it’s worth
To trade foot for fin!

For if yer goal be Paradise,
Just give your love a firm nudge,
If he sinks to darkest night,
Embrace his Little Sacrifice!


“A Little Sacrifice” will most likely connect to the anime film The Witcher: Sirens of the Deep

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Essi Daven as she appears in Gwent: The Card Game

“A Little Sacrifice” is the name of an as-yet-unused short story from the book The Sword of Destiny. This short story tells a tale of Geralt and Jaskier’s attempt to help the human Prince Algoval realize his love for the mermaid Sh’eenaz.

The prince and the mermaid both love each other deeply and want to live together, but neither wants to make the “little sacrifice” of swapping “fin for foot” and joining the other in their realm. The song sung by Freya Allan’s Ciri is very clearly refers to this same story.

But this is more than just a bit of fan service with a reference to the books. In fact, this song very likely directly ties into an upcoming Witcher spinoff that will be an adaptation of the short story “A Little Sacrifice”.

The Witcher‘s second anime film, Sirens of the Deep, has been in development at Studio Mir for the past two years, and from the moment we first revealed its name, people have been speculating that it will be an adaptation of this short story. As a reminder, Studio Mir were behind The Nightmare of the Wolf anime as well.

READ MORE: The Witcher’s New Anime Features a Fan-Favorite Book Character

That was indeed confirmed when we revealed that the show has cast Christina Wren in the role of Essi Daven, a fan-favorite character from the short story. Essi also happens to be a bard, and she is probably the one who writes the song “A Little Sacrifice”, which Freya Allan will sing as Ciri in Season 3.

Jaskier sings this song as a lullaby to Ciri in Episode 4 of The Witcher Season 3, which he in turn may have learned from Essi. Alternatively, he could have written it himself. In any case, the chances are quite high we’ll hear another rendition of this tune in Sirens of the Deep, either sung by Essi or Jaskier.


Sirens will likely change some key details of “A Little Sacrifice”

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A siren, as portrayed in The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

Though Sirens of the Deep appears to be a rather close adaptation of “A Little Sacrifice”, the song points to two changes compared to the source material. The first is regarding the race of the mermaid Sh’eenaz.

The fact that the song specifically mentions a siren, rather than a mermaid, as the human prince’s lover is further confirmation that Sirens of the Deep will be an adaptation of this short story. If it was a mere reference to the books, then the song would mention a mermaid rather than a siren. But as the title of the anime film suggests, Sh’eenaz will likely be a siren and not a mermaid in the Netflix adaptation.

The second change is about the end of this love story:

His choice was made aside the sea,
A twilit red horizon.
For she had finally made him see
His place among the sirens.

In the Netflix adaptation, it seems that the fate of Sh’eenaz and Algoval will switch. Instead of Sh’eenaz switching her tail for a pair of legs and coming to live among the humans, Algoval will be switching his legs for a tail and living among the sirens. However, this may be another case of Jaskier rewriting history in his ballads. We will have to wait for Sirens of the Deep to see if the roles are reversed as implied in the lyrics.


Will Henry Cavill and Joey Batey reprise their roles in Sirens of the Deep?

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The short story “A Little Sacrifice” features some of the best Geralt-and-Jaskier scenes in the books, including a hilarious attic sleepover. No adaptation of this short story would be complete without the iconic duo’s shenanigans, so we’re fairly certain they will be part of the Netflix adaptation. But that raises the question: will Henry Cavill and Joey Batey reprise their roles in the anime film?

For Joey Batey, this would be simpler, and we’re leaning toward a “yes”. Batey has already appeared in the spinoff Blood Origin, which means he is interested in exploring and developing Jaskier outside of the main series. Although, this is still not certain. For example, Theo James lent his voice to Vesemir in the previous anime film, Nightmare of the Wolf, whereas he was portrayed by Kim Bodnia in the main series.

For Henry Cavill, it will be more complicated. As we know, Henry is leaving The Witcher after Season 3 and will be passing the torch to Liam Hemsworth for future seasons. That said, development and voice sessions started before he left, so there’s a chance.

Another possibility is that Sirens will serve as a debut for Liam Hemsworth in the role of Geralt, setting the stage for his live-action appearance in Season 4.


The Witcher Season 3 is available on Netflix with The Rats prequel in post-production and The Witcher: Sirens of the Deep anime by Studio Mir is far in production. Stay tuned to Redanian Intelligence and do pop into our Discord server to join in on The Witcher conversation.

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