Warning: this article contains spoilers for The Witcher on Netflix.
Fans of The Witcher who have watched the entire series know that the dramatic ending included a major battle between the mages and the Nilfgaard. The battle ended with Yennefer seemingly roasting all of the Nilfgaard armies during the chaos on the rock with a fire spell, but not immediately exploding into ash like her fellow mages.
While that is the last we see of Yennefer of Vengerberg in the finale, when Geralt and Ciri are finally united, she asks, “Who is Yennefer?” Is the child Geralt is forever linked to perhaps foretelling an unfortunate ending for the troubled mage? Or setting up season 2, which could be a whole damn quest for Yennefer.
A dive into theories on Reddit shows fans are paying close attention to little clues and trying to figure out what’s next for our favourite intense mage. During a Reddit AMA with the show’s director, Marc Jobst, one person noticed a big change in Yennefer, asking, “Yennefer is wounded/exhausted in the battle in the episode and her posture starts to echo young Yennefer especially in the silhouette — was it done like that on purpose? It is an incredible detail and great acting by Anya Chalotra.”
Jobst noted it was not his intention but that it was an incredible moment, writing that actors like Chalotra “embody the part and, subconsciously, resonant moments like that become serendipitous.”
In another AMA on Reddit, this one with showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, fans asked if Yen’s disappearance was a sign she had died, as others who used the fire magic did.
Hissrich explained, “We tried to always keep a ‘cost’ to magic so that it couldn’t ever be an easy solution to a problem or circumstance. In terms of Sodden, Nilfgaard’s use of fire magic — creating fire from nothing, literally from the chaos in their bodies — was meant to be the ultimate sacrifice for their kingdom. Like Fringilla’s shriveled hand to the millionth degree.”
However, when Yennefer, who we learned early in the series is half-elf, uses magic it comes from ancient elven places, not from her own body (stay with us here).
“She isn’t creating it, just harnessing it,” explains Hissrich. “But it weakens her enough to allow for her disappearance.”
From what Hissrich says, it seems like Yennefer may have left the corporeal world for a minute to recharge, and will be back (also, Chalotra is signed on for the next season). And it sounds like Ciri and Geralt will be heading out to look for her, so get ready to toss a coin to your witcher.