Netflix’s second installment of The Witcher was a big hit; the new chapter came with plenty of big plot twists and alterations from the source material. All this enhanced the narrative of the main characters. One particular arc was that of the mysterious identity of the ruler of Nilfgaard, more infamously known as the White Flame. The show revealed Duny, Ciri’s father, as the While Flame. However, he was sought to be dead.
So, how did he rise to power and eventually man the title of White Flame? And what happened to Pavetta, his wife and Ciri’s mother? The Witcher series is based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s short stories and novels. The franchise gained limelight after it was adapted into video games. The Witcher earned its first English language adaptation through Netflix in 2019.
Soon after its release in December 2019, The Witcher became the network’s most treasured property. Netflix released the second season in December 2021. The fantasy show tells the engrossing tale of its three main characters. These are Geralt of Rivia, Yennefer of Vengerberg, and Ciri. Season 1 follows them on a non-linear path, which ultimately brings them all together in the end.
The Witcher Season 2 makes shocking revelations about Ciri’s powers as forces from across the Continent try to capture her. The crown princess of Cintra trains under the mentorship of Geralt and his fellow Witchers as Kaer Morhen. As the show advances, Ciri and company face many perils. While the entire Continent seeks Ciri for her powers, the greatest threat to her future is Emhyr var Emreis, also known as The White Flame.
The Witcher Season 2 cleverly builds the suspense around his identity by mentioning “The White Flame” on several occasions. Fringilla (Mimî M. Khayisa) feels distinctly obligated to him. The sorceress claims that he was the one who “made her who she is”. In addition to this, the entire season focuses particularly on Ciri’s past and her upbringing.
Many of her visions see her family at Cintra, including her parents, Duny (Bart Edwards) and Pavetta (Gaia Mondadori). The pair were first seen on court in Season 1. But Season 2 indulges properly into their story. The season finale came with a massive jaw-dropping moment when it finally revealed the true identity of the formidable White Flame. And it is Emhyr var Emreis (also known as Duny), Ciri’s father.
So far, we’d believed that Ciri lost her parents because they drowned at sea. But at the end of The Witcher Season 2, we find out that Ciri’s father is not only alive, but he is also among the most appalling threats lurking in Ciri’s near future. The White Flame is actually Emhyr var Emreis, emperor of Nilfgaard. Emhyr is the son of Fergus var Emreis, former emperor of Nilfgaard, who was dethroned by the Usurper. The said character acted poorly towards both Fergus and Emhyr, and he turned Emhyr into a humanoid hedgehog.
Once cast out, Emhyr changed his name to Duny, and fell in love with Pavetta, which broke his curse. Later, after Ciri was born, Vilgefortz informed Duny about the prophecy that his child carried. This is why he returned to Nilfgaard, overthrew the Usurper and became the new ruler. Emhyr was menacing and cruel by nature. He unearthed the gravestones of his enemies to adorn his ballroom. Hence, the title of “The White Flame Dancing on the Barrows of his Enemies” was given to him.
It was when Emhyr learned of the prophecy of Ithlinne that he decided to claim his position at Nilfgaard. The prophecy stated that Emhyr’s son would inherit the Elder Blood and rule the Continent. The Witcher Season 2 revealed that Ciri has Elder Blood, and it is her lineage that is drawing enemies towards her. Emhyr intends to seek her daughter so she can give him his child, who will then rule the world.
Vilgefortz and Emhyr devised a plan where they would stage the death of Pavetta, Ciri and himself, and quietly return to Nilfgaard. But when Pavetta came to know, she protected Ciri and sailed alone with her husband. The two got into a scuffle on board, and Emhyr ended up pushing Pavetta into the sea. That day, Duny died, and Emhyr entered Nilfgaard.
The Witcher books give Emhyr’s intentions regarding his daughter a questionable turn of events. How much of the narrative The Witcher Season 3 will follow from the books remains to be seen. Given the history, it is possible that the writers will make some modifications in order to avoid making any mistakes. That said, the White Flame has only now made an appearance on the show. He is likely to pose a great danger in the upcoming season. And fans are eager to see how the show tackles Emhyr’s narrative while Ciri grows stronger.