The Witcher Season 1 Ending Explained: A Date With Destiny

There are two kinds of "The Witcher" fans. Those who know it from the books (or the video games), and those who know it from the Netflix adaptation. If you fall in the first category, the chances are that you were never lost or felt like you needed an explanation at any point during the events of the show. It also means you weren't losing sleep mulling over what happens next. Good for you!

Netflix delivers on its adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski's series of novels, bringing the Polish author's high fantasy tale of a monster-hunting mutant to life. But it's not always easy to follow because "The Witcher" is set in three different timelines. We see Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), a sorceress from Vengerberg, recruited and brought to Aretuza to study magic. We follow the adventures of Geralt of Rivia (the very dashing Henry Cavill) as he travels in the pursuit of killing monsters and earning coins. And we witness Princess Cirilla (Freya Allan) being driven away from her home after the Nilfgaardian army attacks the kingdom of Cintra. These events simultaneously occur in three different timelines, which makes it a little tough to keep up.

The finale, "Much More," put a pause on the adventures of the witcher himself but delivered on the magical spectacle in spades. If you ever felt a little puzzled by the characters and their timelines colliding in the finale, you're not alone. For you, dear "Witcher" fan, I am recapping the (many) events that unfolded in the season 1 finale. It's an excellent time to catch up before "The Witcher" season 2 arrives on December 17!

Geralt Convalesces From A Delirious Haze

When the episode begins, Geralt is seen finding his way through a refugee camp (the same one Ciri took shelter in during the second episode) and sees a man clearing out dead bodies. The witcher repeatedly instructs him to leave and is eventually forced to defend him by fighting off zombie-like monsters who attack them at the camp. Geralt is successful but gets bitten by the creature and spends the next 40 or so minutes recovering from a delirious haze. Now personally, I'd watch Henry Cavill and his character do anything — even if it is just lying down in a hay truck. But Geralt misses out on the Yennefer-sized action for a reason, and it's so that viewers can finally learn more about his past.

Geralt's hysterical state details perhaps one of the show's biggest revelations so far. We learn that the witcher was raised by a mysterious sorceress named Visenna, who abandoned him when he was young. He also refers to her as "Ma," making it seem that she is his biological mother. That's weird because most sorcerers/mages must give up their fertility to wield magic. Anyway, Visenna tends to his wounds with her powers, and they confront each other for the first time in many decades — in what appears to be a dream. Visenna motivates Geralt to follow his destiny, which finally propels him into searching Ciri (more on that later).

We also learn that as a young boy, Geralt was saved by Vesemir — a name we hear the witcher utter while still in a stupor. The show didn't explain Vesemir's role in his life, but the books position him as one of the oldest and most respected witchers. He's also a de facto father figure to Geralt. Season 2 will feature "Killing Eve" actor Kim Bodnia (he played Konstantin, the adorable family man hoping to start a murderer-for-hire agency) as Vesemir. Color me thrilled.

Yennefer Releases Chaos

"The Witcher" finale gives us a glimpse of the full extent of Yennefer's magical powers. Long gone is the frail woman who first came to Aretuza. It has been decades since her ascension to a mage, and Yennefer is stronger than ever. And she's taking a stand.

Remember the Nilfgaardian army? In an attempt to restore their lost glory, the Nilfgaardian Empire sends their army to capture the North, obliterating Cintra in the process. If they succeeded in invading Sodden Hill, Nilfgaard would enter the rest of the Northern realm. Following their conquest, the North gathered an army of their own, with an organization of mages called the Brotherhood of Sorcerers leading them.

Yennefer protects the keep at Sodden but struggles to hold her own. In a moment of desperation, she unleashes her magic upon the incoming army, a rain of fire that annihilates a rather large section of Nilfgaardian soldiers, causing them to retreat their forces.

"The Witcher" has thoroughly established that the use of excessive magic, referred to as "chaos," will kill the person who wields it. So, when Yennefer disappears after releasing her power, it's a cause for concern. Tissaia de Vries (a mentor to Yennefer at Aretuza), who is also wounded at the Battle of Sodden, worriedly calls out to Yennefer after she cannot find her. The season ends with a cliffhanger, and Yennefer's fate remains unknown. "The Witcher" season 2, however, has confirmed that the sorceress is alive and kicking — and will be seen in action soon enough.

Geralt And Ciri Meet, Finally

In the finale, Ciri meets a friendly, commoner woman who hopes to adopt the princess as her child. She brings her home, offering her a safe haven after the horrors she has experienced since Cintra was captured. But Ciri's new home doesn't remain home for too long because destiny, of course, has other plans.

"The Witcher" has always maintained that Ciri and Geralt are destined to meet. It is initially presented as a matter of fate, but halfway through the season, we learn that it's more complicated and exists due to the witcher's rightful claim to her. In witcher lore, there is the "Law of Surprise," a rule dictating that a man saved by another is expected "to offer his savior a boon unknown to one or both parties." In most cases, it refers to the saved man's child, conceived or born without his knowledge.

In the past, Ciri becomes Geralt's ward when he claimed the Law of Surprise in the spur of the moment, after saving Duny (her father) when a conflict transpired in Cintra. Unaware that Duny's wife was pregnant, Geralt was linked to Ciri immediately.

Back in the present, Geralt is still recovering from his injuries and is determined to find and protect Ciri. He's still lying in a hay cart, being towed by the local man he met at the refugee camp. Geralt is taken to his home — where it is discovered that the man's wife is the same woman who rescued Ciri. After the woman divulges that she brought home an orphan girl from the woods, Geralt remembers Yennifer's last words to him, "The girl in the woods will be with you always. She is your destiny." For Geralt, this is a moment where everything makes sense again.

The witcher quickly makes his way to the forest, knowing he will find Ciri there. And he does. Ciri and Geralt finally unite, and the princess asks him who Yennefer is before the credits roll.

Cliffhangers, Cliffhangers

It's a massive cliffhanger we've been holding onto for the past year, and season 2 will hopefully give us the answers we're looking for. But if we've learned anything during the season, it is that Geralt and Ciri's fates are intertwined with each other. Ciri has spent the entire season looking for Geralt, and yet, when she finally does meet him, the first thing the princess does is mention Yennefer. It's a clever foreshadowing of the future the three of them are fated to share together.

Once-lovers Geralt and Yennefer haven't seen each other in decades, but it is likely that the witcher and Ciri will look for her collectively in season 2. Meanwhile, Nilfgaard may have lost the war, but I doubt Cahir (the knight who desperately hunted Ciri) will give up so soon. We're yet to discover Ciri's powers and view the new dynamic between her and Geralt. Then there's Yennefer, whose whereabouts are unknown. With the introduction of Vesemir and a plethora of new characters in season 2, it looks like the real story is only just beginning.