The Witcher season 2 ending explained
Ciri has a target on her back as Geralt battles an old enemy – but what does any of this have to do with Nilfgaard and the Conjunction of the Spheres?
Geralt has faced his greatest trials yet.
The Witcher season two has finally landed, and fans have got fully sucked back into the monster-battling, kingdom-toppling antics of Geralt (Henry Cavill), Ciri (Freya Allan) and Yennefer (Anya Chalotra).
You may have already burned through all eight episodes of the new season – but if you were left a little puzzled by everything that went down in the final chapter (aka Family), never fear – now that you’ve tossed a click to your writer, we can explain what happened, and what it might mean for The Witcher season three.
Obviously, full spoilers are ahead.
**Spoiler warning for The Witcher season 2**
The Witcher season 2 ending explained
At the close of the previous episode, Ciri was possessed by the demon Voleth Meir, aka the Deathless Mother/witch from the hut who’d appeared throughout the season.
Voleth Meir used Ciri to murder some Witchers in their beds at Kaer Morhen, causing a clash between her, the remaining Witchers, Geralt, Jaskier and Yennefer. Using Ciri’s power to reveal one of the magical monoliths hidden in Kaer Morhen’s hall, during the final battle Voleth Meir portals in monstrous basilisks to keep the Witchers busy, while Geralt tries to contact Ciri within her mind.
Eventually, after the death of more Witchers and Vesemir’s (Kim Bodnia) failed attempt to kill Ciri and end the threat, Yennefer offers herself as a new host, trapping Voleth Meir within herself as she attempts to end her own life.
Instead, Ciri transports herself, Yennefer and Geralt to an unknown world, where Voleth Meir escapes. It’s suggested that this dimension is where the Deathless Mother originally came from, having been forced into the world of the Continent during the ‘Conjunction of the Spheres’ (basically, a load of parallel worlds briefly crossed over thousands of years before) event that also brought humans and other monsters to the Continent.
What is the Wild Hunt?
And also in this dimension? The appearance of the mythical Wild Hunt, a ghastly procession of mounted riders determined to have Ciri join their ride. If you’re a little confused by this, the Wild Hunt is actually an authentic part of northern European folklore – as in the series, their appearance is meant to presage great catastrophe or war, or at least the death of the one that witnessed them.
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(The Wild Hunt also feature prominently in the popular Witcher games, especially The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which is set a few years after the events of the books the TV show is based on).
Their appearance in the TV show is yet another clue as to the importance of Ciri and her unusual power, which combines the usual ‘chaos’ of mages with the ability to open gateways to other worlds (among other things). And the Wild Hunt aren’t the only ones with their eyes on her…
Who is Ciri’s father?
The episode ends with various factions across the Continent determined to get their hands on Ciri. King Vyzimir of Redania wants to marry her and lay claim to Cintra; the northern kingdoms and the Brotherhood of Mages put a bounty on her to prevent this; while the Elves realise that thanks to her Elder Blood (originally belonging to a subset of special elves, and passed to Ciri through generations) Ciri could be the one to save them all.
But most keen of all to get his hands on her is Nilfgaardian emperor Emhyr…who it’s revealed in the closing moments of the finale is actually Ciri’s father, formerly known as Duny and presumed dead for a decade or more. Twist!
In case you’d forgotten him, he’s shown in Ciri’s fantasies of life in Cintra while Voleth Meir is in control of her body. Anyway, he also reveals it was actually him who had the miracle Elf baby killed, and he arrests his underlings Cahir and Fringilla for pretending it was them, while also failing to hunt down Ciri.
Who dies in the Witcher season 2 ending?
Mainly, it’s Witchers who bite the dust in the finale. A possessed Ciri slits the throats of some of Geralt’s brothers in Kaer Morhen, while still more are killed by the Basilisks she brings into their home.
Elsewhere, eleven queen Francesca (Mecia Simson, above) murders countless babies in the human nation of Redania, in revenge for the death of her own child by Redanian hands (or at least, that’s what she believes). Fun stuff!
So as we enter season two we have Ciri, Geralt and Yennefer on the run together, several kingdoms and the Brotherhood of Mages trying to have her killed, the Redanians trying to marry her, the Elves trying to (presumably) recruit her while her dear old monomaniacal cult leader dad tries to bring her into his own fold. Sounds like a bad time to be the Lion Cub of Cintra.
The Witcher end credits scene
But if you watched on, it didn’t end there. The Witcher season two also had an end credits scene of sorts, showing first-look footage for new prequel spin-off Blood Origin.
In the brief glimpse you get a look at Michelle Yeoh’s lead character and her fellow elves, who live during the original Conjunction of the Spheres (see, it all ties together) and have to deal with the first influx of humans and monsters arriving in their lands.
They do so by (apparently) creating the very first Witcher – and you can learn more about The Witcher: Blood Origin, which is expected before the main series’ season three, in our full guide to the new series.