The Witcher, who has become Netflix’s biggest ongoing fantasy franchise, has impressed the audience by staying true to the main themes of the original books. Except for a few minor deviations in the plot, the show adapts intricately to the main series and lays the groundwork for introducing a big villain for Season 3.
Throughout the entire season, the show teased the terrifying presence of these characters. And when they finally made their on-screen appearance during the earth-shattering ending of The Witcher Season 2, these characters were brutally compelling. They came donning the form of the infamous Wild Hunt, and the merciless Emperor Emhyr var Emreis of Nilfgaard. Aligning perfectly with the story’s main narrative, Emhyr will now be portrayed as the biggest villain in the upcoming instalments.
In essence, the central theme of The Witcher series revolves around humans and monsters. Sometimes, monsters have overpowering humanity. While other times, humans have an overpowering monstrosity. The Witchers, including the titular character Geralt of Rivia as well as his found family, are monster hunters by profession. Their kind takes refuge annually at the mountainous fortress of Kaer Morhen.
Witchers are mutated beings who possess superhuman abilities. They are created with the help of magic and alchemy. Their sole purpose in life is to be accustomed to monsters. But as both the books and games display with great depth, sometimes it is impossible to tell the difference. Who is a monster and who isn’t, is a lingering question, both literally and metaphorically.
Emhyr var Emreis is infamously known to be a monstrous entity in the universe of The Witcher. The Nilfgaardians identify and worship Emhyr as “The White Flame Dancing on the Barrows of his Enemies.” The title is usually shortened to The White Flame. In his canonical appearance, Emhyr is an unyielding conqueror and one of the main villains of the entire Witcher saga. With The Witcher Season 2 gradually leading up to the great reveal in the end, it is apparent that Emhyr is actually Ciri’s father, who until now was believed to be dead.
As an undeniable fact, Emhyr will pose as one of the main antagonists in Season 3. This is confirmed with the way Season 2 concludes. Where The White Flame wagers on to his intentions of ruling the Northern Kingdoms. As well as his quest to find Ciri in order to use her powers for his own ruthless gains
Humans revealing their evil intentions is what The Witcher’s both seasons have skillfully established. And the theme only intensifies as the show progresses. Humans in The Witcher series are responsible for making some highly villainous moves. For instance, in both the past and the present, humans have violently oppressed the elves. While this is a monstrosity of a greater level, the show manages to depict the dishonorable deeds of humans in trivial ways too. The best example is the wicked wizard Stregobor. The show features him right in the first episode when he plots against the cursed princess Renfri for personal enmity.
As a striking difference, the Continent also contains some monsters who only want to live their curses and want nothing to do with humankind and their dirty politics. The same stands true for Voleth Meir, the Deathless Mother. It is true that The Witcher Season 2 displayed the Deathless Mother as one of the main antagonists. But later we realize that she was confined 1500 years ago in a hut by Witcher after the event of the Conjunction of Spheres. And now awakened, all she wants is to return home to her original plane of existence.
On the other hand, The Wild Hunt is probably one of the more formidable dangers lurking in the series. Even for Geralt of Rivia, who has dealt with numerous threats in all his incarnations of The Witcher. Apparently, the Wild Hunt will become a peril of the highest order in the Netflix adaptation.
In the Season 2 finale, we catch a brief glimpse of the riders of The Wild Hunt. But it was enough to figure out that they too are seeking Ciri because of her Elder Blood. The Witcher will definitely develop the Wild Hunt’s narrative, and gradually show them to be a supernatural threat to the main characters. The buildup has a striking similarity with the looming hazards of the White Walkers in Game of Thrones. However, this fantasy TV series will probably not make the same mistakes as the latter.
Netflix is seeing a great run from The Witcher Season 2. The show has received an impressive response from both fans and critics. Critics have praised the show’s powerful storytelling, as well as admired the actors’ performance. In addition, the devoted fandom never stops sending its support to the franchise. This makes us hope that the Netflix adaptation will continue taking notes from the source material for the time being.
Moreover, it will be interesting to see The Witcher series slowly build towards incorporating its most despicable villains of all time. In the upcoming seasons, both Emyhr van Emreis and the Wild Hunt will receive a significant portrayal. And hopefully, an honest one too.
The Witcher Season 1 and 2 are now available to stream exclusively on Netflix.