With our three main characters all officially introduced to viewers, the journey for Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalorta) and Princess Cirilla (Freya Allan) have begun to slowly intertwine in the third episode of the Netflix fantasy series.
Another One Bites the Dust
While Geralt seems to believe he is the last of his kind, the episode opens with the miners of Temeria paying another witcher to find and exterminate a creature killing multiple townsfolk, but as he is drawn into a meat locker with shrieks and trails of blood, the witcher is killed by the unseen entity. While laying in bed next to a prostitute, who attaches his scars to the songs she’s heard from a traveling bard (see The Witcher episode 2 recap), the woman tells of a witcher spending time with her the previous month on his way to Temeria to kill a creature, but that he took the miner’s money and left. After paying the prostitute, Geralt leaves Roach with the hotel’s owner, to whom he owes three nights’ rent, and heads to Temeria to kill the creature and collect the reward to get Roach back.
A Kingdom in Despair
Geralt arrives in the mines as a revolt from the lower-class citizens is nearly about to get underway, as they blame their king, Foltest, for the creature attacking and want to see him dead instead, accusing him of treason. Despite initial pushback from the group, the witcher offers to conduct the hunt on what he believes is a vukudlak for a third of the price of his predecessor and to receive payment after as an apology from his guild, only to be interrupted by the king’s knights sensing a rebellion. The knights are instructed by the courtier Ostrita to escort Geralt to the borders of the town, as they have no desire for a witcher to be in their city, only to be met in the woods by Foltest’s sorceress Triss Merigold, who wants him to save the creature. Triss reveals that she was brought to the kingdom under the belief it was a vukudlak stemming from Foltest’s sister Adda having an affair with a man in town that gave birth to a child, the only heir to the throne as Foltest has never married, and to cure it, only to learn it was not what was killing people. Upon investigating the body of his fallen brethren, Geralt determines the town is being plagued by a shtriga, which is only conjured up through a curse and that since it is a female, it’s the kingdom’s princess.
A Magical Future
Yennefer and Istredd have become lovers as they both near the end of their respective lessons, and the former plans to return to her homeland of Aedirn as a mage to its king. However, the leaders of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers have other plans, as Stregobor reveals her elven ancestry to the chapter and the leader, Artorius Vigo, elects to have his niece go to Aedirn while Yennefer heads to Nilfgaard to keep their king in check, despite the Aedirn kings of the past preferring to have a native as their mages. Yennifer confront Tissaia about the matter, who reveals that Stregobor found out about her elven bloodline, so therefore Istredd has revealed her secret and derailed her plans for the future. Yennifer purposely misses initiation to try and draft a birth certificate for her stepfather to sign claiming to be her blood father so that she may avoid going to Nilfgaard, as the kings are known for molesting their mages rather than listening to their advice. Istredd reveals he has been chosen for a seat on the research chapter of the Brotherhood, which he can use to bring her along on journeys around the world. Yennefer refuses, criticizing him for trying to be heroic by putting her in a demeaning role as housewife while he ventures out on journeys around the world, and the two part ways after he belittles her for her desire to be beautiful and powerful.
A Disgusting Affair
Despite Foltest’s initial distaste for the idea of having Geralt investigate the matter, he’s willing to hear the witcher’s thoughts out as he locks the guards out of the throne room, during which Geralt accuses the king of having had an affair with his sister, who died years ago and whose crypt lies in a castle he abandoned following a Nilfgaardian invasion. Foltest is repulsed by his accusations and demands he leaves his kingdom, only for Geralt to instead investigate the abandoned castle with Triss tagging along. While investigating Adda’s room, they find letters from the two’s mother Queen Sancia cursing the two for having an affair and that Adda refused to have their child aborted. They bring the letters to Ostrita, who claims he knew of no such affair between the two, but Geralt reveals he recognizes Ostrita’s scent from a scent he noticed on Adda’s bed earlier, to which the courtier breaks down and claims that Foltest seduced Adda and that he’s her true love. He also confesses to putting the shtriga curse, albeit on Foltest, not Adda, but given the baby’s bloodline the curse befell it and it eventually ate away at Adda’s insides and came out as a hungry creature.
An Incredible Transformation
Following her breakup with Istredd, Yennefer undergoes the transformation to rid herself of her deformed features, choosing to stay awake during the process and to forgo her fertility in favor of her looks. After the painful process, Yennefer emerges at the graduation ball with her stunning new appearance and steals the king of Aedirn from Fringilla, having a dance with him as the two quickly strike up a bond and he offers her the position as mage for his kingdom, as he prefers having a native for his sorceress.
From Dusk Till Dawn
Geralt returns to confront Foltest over the revelation, but instead promises to try and cure the shtriga, his daughter, and leaves Renfri’s brooch with the king to give his daughter after the hunter succeeds. He brings Ostrita to the abandoned castle to use as bait for the shtriga, which kills him quickly. Geralt engages in battle with it, trying to bind it in chains unsuccessfully and then putting up a good fight using his powers and fists before it begins pinning him down, with which he uses his powers to bring out the floor beneath them and using a spell to keep it trapped in the crypt chamber. After taking refuge in Adda’s crypt to keep the shtriga in the sunlight, Geralt emerges to find it cured and now a young woman, who still attacks the hunter and creates a nasty slice in his shoulder that mortally wounds him while he takes a bite out of her shoulder that also proves to injure her badly. When he awakens, Geralt finds himself in Triss’ room, with the sorceress having nursed him to health and revealing that the princess has been sent to another kingdom to try and be fully cured. She also returns Renfri’s brooch to Geralt, telling him he uttered her name over and over again in his sleep. He receives his payment for the job from Triss and heads out to get Roach back from the hotel owner.
A New Danger
Ciri is awakened in the forest by a mysterious voice that beckons her, heading off in a trance. Dara wakes up to find her walking in no clear direction and takes off after her, finding she’s walking through a no man’s land without any issue, but as he chases after her, he is hit by an arrow, leaving him calling after her as she is drawn into a dark part of the woods.