The Witcher Season 2 finale made some unpleasant and shocking revelations. Towards the end, we find out that not only is Ciri’s father alive, but he is the infamously feared White Flame, ruler of Nilfgaard. And it was the White Flame who called death upon the unborn Elven baby.
Up until now, the audiences (as well as Ciri) believed that Ciri’s father had died with Ciri’s mother, Pavetta Fiona Elen. But to comprehend the reason behind the White Flame ordering the death of the Elven baby, we need to bring about some important instances from the original novels that the Netflix show chose to disregard for the time being. And it is nothing but the survival of the Elves.
The Witcher is a widely acclaimed Netflix series that follows the short stories and novels of the same name by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Throughout the first two seasons of the series, it was established that Ciri’s father Duny (aka Lord Urcheonof Erlenwald) perished alongside Ciri’s mother Pavetta. It was when the two decided to flee with Ciri in order to save her from all the forces that would eventually come after her because of “Ithlinne’s Prophecy”.
However, The Witcher Season 2 finale revealed that not only is Ciri’s father still alive. But he was Emperor of Nilfgaard, Emhyr var Emreis (aka, the White Flame). The White Flame was notoriously known for his voracious nature and merciless acts. All he wanted was to rule the north. And the entire Continent knew him as the ruler who paved the floor of his ballroom with the headstones of his enemies.
The White Flame killed the Elven baby in order to make sure that he could control the Elves any which way he wanted. According to Ithlinne (a famous Elven prophetess), the end of the world was nigh. And only elves would survive this apocalypse. They could only be saved by a pure-blood Elven child, also known as “the swallow”.
Time knows how very rare it is in the world of The Witcher for Elves to have babies. In fact, it is rarer still for pure-blood Elves to be born. Knowing that Ithlinne’s prophecy claims the presence of a pure-blood Elven child to protect the race of Elves from the apocalypse. It does not come as a surprise that the Elves would do anything in their power to protect the said child. As well as fight against those who would try to harm the child.
According to Duny’s knowledge of the same, there were only two potential candidates to fulfill the role of the swallow. Ciri and the unborn Elven baby. Thus, the White Flame had not just one, but two reasons for killing the Elven baby. Firstly, if the Elven baby presishes, he could easily manipulate the Elves into channeling their rage at his executioner of choice to blame for the murder of their child.
This would, additionally, speed up his other goals. And secondly, knowing how incredibly hard it is to give birth to full-blood Elves, the act only ascertains that his daughter Ciri would be certifiably apt for the role of the Swallow. Which is something he aims to use her for in the future.
Audiences of The Witcher have their own speculations too. Some believe that the reason behind the White Flame killing the Elven baby was purely out of spite. And not because the emperor had some hidden agenda. However, this perspective does not add any weight to the long-term goals that Duny seems to be plotting. Being as farsighted and evil as he is, it is doubtful that he would go to such an extent. That he would fake his own death and stay out of focus for over a decade. And all of this for the sake of pulling off a stunt that does not benefit him in any way whatsoever.