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These are the primary protagonists of The Witcher
saga: the unlikely family of witcher Geralt, sorceress Yennefer, and their adopted child Ciri.
Geralt of Rivia
The protagonist (or co-protagonist) of all the media set in the Witcher's world. He's a witcher - an artificially created mutant, a monster-hunter devoid of emotion. At least, that last part is supposed to be true, too. He made his name removing the curse from Temerian princess Adda, and over the years became a legend in the Northern Kingdoms.
- Anti-Hero: Type II/III.
- Audience Surrogate: A possible way to justify his memory loss in the game, seeing as though the games are more popular than the books in areas other than Poland. It would feel weird for someone who came into it starting with the games that Geralt is already good friends with someone the player never knew of before (plus, it gives glimpses into the series lore).
- Badass. A professional monster hunter.
- The Butcher: Jerk Ass behaviour left him with this sort of reputation in many places.
- While he is certainly a Jerk Ass in this regard, the specific incident that actually acquired him the title of Butcher had extenuating circumstances (hence the title of the story: The Lesser of Two Evils).
- Carpet of Virility: In the first game. Omitted in the second.
- Covered with Scars: His body has a lot nasty-looking ones all over in the games. He also had a noticeable (if moving) scar on his face in the TV series.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not surprising given the discrimination and danger he faces as a Witcher.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: But he gets better in the video games.
- Invincible Hero: Subverted. Sapkowski noted once it got him tons of angry Fan Dumb letters.
- Famed In-Story: To the point that tales of his adventures are played in puppet theaters. Still, not every person he meets recognizes him, as befitting a society lacking in visual media. And as shown in several flash-forwards, the events of the Saga grow in the telling and become a matter of legends, too.
- The Fettered: How much exactly tends to vary, but he has his principles and he does stick to them most of the time.
- Folk Hero: Courtesy of bards — such as Dandelion — retelling Geralt's exploits at taverns, theatres and castles the withcer has become quite well known in the North. Though the stories tend to become more glamorous on the way, compared to the events that really took place.
- Genius Bruiser: Part of witcher training involves years of formal education in chemistry, biology, animal behavior, history, magic, and other subjects, and Geralt apparently did exceptionally well. He's more than capable of having a surprisingly eloquent intellectual discussion when the situation calls for it.
- As for Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, there were jokes circling around that he started to use big words in an attempt to impress a certain sorceress. This does not mean he isn't smart on his own, though.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Discounting the nasty-looking ones on his body, his are the fairly classic rugged hero scars, the most prominent being one that crosses over his left eye.
- Guttural Growler: His English voice in the games.
- Has a Type: As Geralt's dwarven friends remark, he seems to have quite a thing for sorceresses.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: His usual outfit. With lots of silver trim.
- Heroic Albino: "Total loss of pigmentation". As the result of the mutations and experiments that made him a Witcher.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Specific abilities made possible by witcher mutation include parrying crossbow bolts. Geralt's motion capture for the games is flashy and stylish to contrast with the more practical and realistic movements of heavy knights.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: By the nature of their mutations (they tend to paralyse higher emotions), all witchers are supposed to be jerks. The fact that he's not annoys him constantly.
- Word of God jokingly states that being Jerk with a Heart of Gold is the case for many witchers, but only Geralt tends to angst because of that. Consequently, other witchers regard him as a bit of a drama queen.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Under his bad guy facade hides someone dangerously (to himself) close to Chronic Hero Syndrome. As for the knight part - he gets briefly knighted, ironically, by his claimed native kingdom of Rivia, but almost immediately deserts his commission to continue his search of Ciri when the queen tries to order him around as other knights.
- Yennefer sums him up thus:
He'll lose his way, start to philosophize and pity himself, then he'll do something heroic but pointless and get killed, presumably stabbed in the back.
- And as the quote already mentions, he's also quite the angster. He reaches wangsting peak around the Saga's third book, when he's even called on this at one point.
- Last of His Kind: Some sixty or eighty years ago the base of the Witchers, Caire Muirehen castle, was attacked and destroyed by an angry mob incensed by some demagogue (suspected to be a rogue sorcerer). Equipment, laboratories and elixirs required for creation of the witchers survived, but everybody in the castle was killed. As the process required a skilled magic user, and the sole survivor of the staff was Vesemir, a fencing teacher (away at the time), no new witchers were created ever since. Thus Geralt is one of the last witchers left.
- Magic Knight: Witchers are created through magic, and thus have some affinity to it, giving them an ability to use simple combat spells called "signs" in battle. This is generally it, but Geralt, being the son of a druidess and inheriting The Gift, had the requisite ability to take up magic in full, but refused, and was even called up on it.
- Master Swordsman: Considered to be the best swordsman in the Northern Kingdoms. In the games, it seems like he lost some of his technique due to his amnesia (Serrit, one of the witchers who attempt to assassinate King Henselt, writes in his journal that Geralt's swordsmanship makes him laugh, but also mentions that Geralt still manages to be a fearsome opponent regardless). It is assumed that Geralt recovered most - if not all - of his former skill with a sword by the end of the second game.
- Meaningful Rename: The "of Rivia" part of his name was added by picking out of a bundle of sticks with different city names written on them. Initially, Geralt chose Geralt Roger Eric du Haute-Bellegarde as his first choice for the name, but Vesemir "explained" it'd be awfully cheesy. The point of all of this was to make his name sound more impressive, which eases contacts with important employers.
- Mr. Fanservice: YMMV whether he qualifies, but it seems to be what the devs were going for in the second game, as he loses his Carpet of Virility from the first game and was given plenty of shirtless scenes to show off his chiseled physique.
- Fan Disservice: On the other hand, his extreme scarring causes this for some. Even one of his nipples has been torn out!
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Geralt's actions will often come back to bite him (or someone else.)
- Papa Wolf: Towards Ciri. He gets to the point where he sees Ciri in any hurt girl, only to wonder later how could he not notice the difference.
- Parental Abandonment: A prerequisite to becoming a witcher. Sapkowski published a later short story about his parents and his mother made a brief cameo in one of the novels.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: After Ciri goes missing, he starts having prophetic dreams about her.
- Really Gets Around: He seems to be rather popular with the ladies. Though it has to be noted the game exaggerated it quite a bit.
- Red Baron: Known as the White Wolf in the Nordling Kingdoms, also Gwynbleidd (Elvish for White Wolf), the Butcher of Blaviken, and others.
- Retirony: In the novels, he intended to retire when the Rivian pogrom happened. In the games, the siege by Foltest on the La Valette Castle could have been the last day of Geralt's service to Foltest, after which he'd be free to pursue his fortunes on his own (plus Triss), if not for the actions of a certain kingslayer...
- Spanner in the Works: He has a tendency to get in the way of other people's convoluted plans, then slash his way out.
- Super Soldier: Created to fight monsters, though, not people. But oftentimes, there's no difference to him.
Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon
A Cintran princess, the Unexpected Child, Child of Elder Blood, and a stepdaughter of Geralt, Ciri is an unassuming girl who is a notable nerve, even more notable political asset, and a descendant of a really unique legacy. She appears first in the short stories, but becomes a co-protagonist in the Saga. She's but a child during her first appearance, but the events of the Saga lead (and force) her to grow up.
- Action Girl: Due to the witcher training she receives. She's not really modified or augmented, just trained and given some drug courses, but it still made her more than an equal match to most of the fighters in the series.
- Anti-Hero: She evolves into type V.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Acts like this when Geralt first meets her in Brokilon.
- Break the Cutie: You've got to admit the girl has her reasons. Let's count: Orphan? Check. Princess in Rags? Check. Being hunted? Check. Forced to leave her foster parents when things seemed to improve? Check. Her newly-found True Companions get a Total Party Kill? Check. Brutalized by a psycho? Check.
- The Chosen One: She's supposed to be the one to prevent The End of the World as We Know It. Ironically, it's heavily implied that she failed because her father backed off from the squickiest moment in the whole series.
- There was what could have been a second, marginally more appealing chance (basically she'd be a valued pawn with potential rise in status), but she turned it down (roughly) on her own.
- In a different way, witchers intentionally tried to invoke the forces of Destiny to this end, believing that such a child might become their equal even without using Super Serum.
- Doom Magnet: Even if it's just a side effect of her MacGuffin-ness, by the end of the Saga, she begins to believe it's fate.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Yennefer is fond of calling her "my ugly one", probably because she's aware that Ciri is envious of her looks, and that she has absolutely no need to be.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: She's the princess of the border kingdom of Cintra, and, through her father, of Nilfgaard Empire.
- Kick the Dog: at one point, lost and deprived of her surrogate parents, she joins a band of highwaymen and lets off the frustration by dog kicking.
- Last Of Her Kind: Double — as a last of the royal house of Cintra, and as a descendant of a long line of Elven eugenic experiments, designed to open the pathways between the worlds.
- Living MacGuffin: Due to her aforementioned legal, prophecied, and genetic status, she is a critical part of at least two or three gambits.
- Mars Needs Women: As a result of her genetic background, at least two people explicitly need her for breeding purposes. The third one needs just her placenta.
- Meaningful Name: Cirilla is a corruption of "Zireael", Elven for "the Swallow". Swallows symbolize spring and rejuvenation, which is also why the standard go-to potion by witchers for healing is also called "Swallow".
- Mystical White Hair: Platinum blond turning on white.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Initially not much more than a potential magician with a penchant for visions of the future, the circumstances force her to resort to various dormant powers granted by her genetic background: at first simple magic, then telepathy, culminating in the ability to move between times and places and, just possibly, to see and/or control ghosts of the dead. Since nobody could train her in them, How Do I Shot Web? is a recurring problem.
- Oracular Urchin: Like her mother, she's given to the periodical bouts of prophecying. This is the most notorious of her abilities — falling into a trance and predicting death sure does break up the mood at parties.
- Parental Abandonment: Initially more like parental death, but we later get to know that all of it was the Evil Plan of her father, The Emperor of Nilfgaard, to outmaneuver his enemies and advance his Wife Husbandry plan. Her mother really dies, though.
- Princess in Rags: After Cintra gets conquered and her grandmother, Queen Calanthe, commits suicide.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Her first (and, as far as we know, the only one consummated) romantic involvement in the novels is with a fellow Rat, Mistle.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the games, it's implied that she left the world behind and to its inevitable doom after her adoptive parents were killed.
- Tangled Family Tree: see the entry above about Elven genetic experiments. You'll need a fair bit of paper for notes to trace her basic lineage from the explanation by a knowledgeable background character in one of the books.
- Technical Virgin: The issue of her, ahem, purity has caused one of the dumbest flame wars in Polish fandom.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: She is the girly girl to Mistle's tomboy. Despite the fact that she is better with the sword than her.
- Waif-Fu: Geralt arranged her (heavily modified) witcher's training, and it pays off.
- She hasn't received any heavy magical or chemical modifications, required for full witchers, because witchers lacked the skills needed for that, and it was probably a good thing, too, as a) these modifications were designed for boys, not for girls, and b) survival rate was about 10% even with the skilled operator and care.
- Wife Husbandry: No, not by Geralt. It was her own father, The Emperor. He backed off from it, though.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: During the desert incident. She was warned not to play with Fire magic. However, that was due to the nature of Fire magic, and her other powers did not have an impact on her psyche.
Yennefer of Vengerberg
A sorceress whom Geralt loves. They met each other long ago, and afterwards had a truly legendary string of breakups and makeovers, as befitting a moody killer and a strong-willed sorceress. Though they are in separation at the beginning of the Saga, at Triss' advice Geralt asks her to help with Ciri's training, and so she becomes stepmother to Ciri.
- Dysfunctional Family: She had a rather abusive father or stepfather.
- Her own relationships (including the one with Geralt) tended to be less than smooth too.
- Half-Human Hybrid: She's a quadroon, or a quarter elf.
- Happily Married: In an Alternate Universe short story.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Inverted. She's a looker right now, even without magical enhancement, and has been ever since becoming a sorceress. Before, she had a hunchback, but healing deformities of their adepts is a matter of professional prestige among the wizards. Geralt figures this out when he puts his hands on her shoulders and realizes they aren't even. Discovering this doesn't change Geralt's feelings for her.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Most magicians are infertile, but Yennefer qualifies by being really dissatisfied with this fact.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Including Zero-G Spot and on the back of a stuffed unicorn.
- Mama Bear: Towards Ciri.
- Mind Over Manners: This is quite common among wizards; in this case, she tends to let her telepathy loose after orgasm.
- Purple Eyes: Matches her magic ability.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Compared in Season of Storms to a December morning. Being 1/4 elf certainly helps in this regard.
- Tsundere: Yennefer's breakups and makeovers with Geralt were legendary in the North, and the rumor was that Geralt survived only by being a witcher.
- Vain Sorceress: Even though she's moral, she's still a sorceress, y'know. For one, she uses magic to bolster her already good looks to stunning level.
- Your Favorite: How she met with Geralt. He needed a sorcerer to help Dandelion, injured by a jinn, but stopped to bring her apple juice to help with her hangover.
In his search for Ciri, Geralt gathered around himself a small party
. Whether these people joined him out of old friendship, romantic confusion, or other reasons
, it was perhaps best described by Angouleme: "you just can't not follow him
". In the end, they stood by him for good and for bad
A famous bard and Geralt's old friend. He was a character introduced back in the short stories, and appears in the Saga as well, following the witcher in his quest despite cowardly tendencies and a lack of combat abilities.
- The Chick: A male variant.
- Ironically, his original Polish nickname is Jaskier — or Buttercup in English.
- The Dandy: Which is only natural in his line of work, bard and part time spy.
- Everyone Went to School Together: unsurprisingly, as Oxenfurt Academy was the best and most prestigious university in the North, so it's only natural that many significant characters studied here, including him.
- Knowledge Broker: Not above some little spying on the side to augment his troubadour income.
- The Load: Dandelion is of pretty much no use to the party (until Toussaint), on the occasions his connections or talents could help, they don't by external circumstances or the problem is solved in a different way anyway.
- Lovable Coward: A textbook example.
- Cowardly Lion: Unwaveringly loyal to Geralt, though, even through torture and in the face of certain death.
- Non-Action Guy: He's most definitely not a fighter, despite his associations.
- Older Than They Look: About forty despite looking like he's in his late twenties.
Dijkstra: "You are almost forty, look like almost thirty, think you're twenty, and behave like you're not even ten."
- Really Gets Around: He has a reputation for this in the games (and in the novels, too). Whether he's as bad as Geralt is unknown. However, Geralt at least does not cause that many scandals.
- Spoony Bard: A fairly literal example.
- Tagalong Chronicler: except that, him being himself, Dandelion is writing his own autobiography along the way.
- Wandering Minstrel: Hey, he's the Bard in their world, easily the most popular and famous poet, musician, and writer of his time — and beyond.
A young woman with great bowmanship skills, acting as agent of forest-dwelling dryads among humans. She joins Geralt after his visit to Brokilon forest. Despite her tough, no-nonsense exterior, she is softer inside than she would like.
- Action Girl
- The Big Guy: She's contributing mostly by shooting up the baddies, so I guess she qualifies.
- Not really. She's most definitely not a Chick, but just isn't buff enough to tank it.
- She has enough strength to One-Hit KO a grown, strong man, and her expertise at range makes her the second most useful party member (after Geralt) in a fight.
- Braids of Action: Justified. She is an unmarried peasant woman.
- Broken Bird: While her childhood was not the happiest one, it is her state (mentioned below) that puts a strain on her mental well-being.
- But I Can't Be Pregnant!: she conceived with an elf during a particularly unlucky attempt at border crossing into Brokilon, but a Convenient Miscarriage happened as it was becoming obvious.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Talked out of it by Geralt, but soon after she miscarried anyway.
- Important Haircut: cuts off her braid after her Convenient Miscarriage.
- The Lad-ette: mostly so, although drinking binges aren't her forte.
- The Mole: In the backstory. Sometimes, an angry human mob decides to hunt some dryads for scalps; conveniently, there is a guide — Maria, a hunter's daughter, who knows local forests perfectly. Alas, somehow dryads ambush the mob and kill everybody — except Maria and some wounded dude whom she carries out. Milva plays the guide four times before someone makes the connection.
- Plucky Comic Relief: being an honest and down-to-earth commoner in a team of sometimes stuffy characters can bring rather unexpected consequences.
- Real Women Never Wear Dresses: It's stated she pretty much had to be forced into one, when the hanse was invited to a party in Beauclair.
Cahir Mawr Dyffryn aep Ceallach
knight under orders to capture Ciri. After his failure and to escape the inevitable punishment, he joins Geralt's party, who only reluctantly accepts his company. But his dreams prove that there is more to that than simple life debt, and that meeting the Child of Elder Blood leaves a mark on individuals.
- Black Knight: He's not that bad; most of it is the colour of Nilfgaardian armours and the fact that they're the bad guys.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Heel-Face Turn: See above; he was not outright evil, only serving the bad guys.
- Insistent Terminology: he's not Nilfgaardian, he's Vicovarian. In the Empire, only those born in the Empire's heartland call themselves Nilfgaardians, and... (the party stops paying attention).
- I Owe You My Life: This is the reason why he joined Geralt's party; Geralt unknowingly saved him from You Have Failed Me. Later he admits other reasons beyond that, though.
- The Lancer: In line with Five-Man Band standards, he's the hanse's second melee fighter, and the younger, more optimistic counterpart to older, angsty Geralt.
- Love Before First Sight: He fell for Ciri, after seeing her once as a child (and fueling her Black Knight nightmares ever since), and a second time in combat (she almost killed him). Both times he was under orders to capture her.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: He has the same dreams of Ciri as Geralt, proving Destiny has him more than a mere background.
- You Shall Not Pass: Dies pulling one against Bonhart so Ciri can escape. Cahir knows he has no chance against Leo when he does this but still manages to hurt — which is more than can be said for the Rats, and they fought him six on one.
Emiel Regis Rohellec Terzieff-Godefroy
A medic and herbalist who joins Geralt's party — supposedly, because he was already planning to go their route. Though friendly, he is an enigmatic individual, a man of intellect who lives in the middle of nowhere and has a share of habits someone paranoid might consider very suspicious.
A young girl, around Ciri's age, who joins Geralt's party on his request as a part of his deal with local Nilfgaardian authorities to locate and remove a band of highwaymen to which she once belonged. Though Nilfgaardian law is harsh, she is granted parole — the local governor saw Geralt through, and knew better than the witcher himself that he would not leave without her.
- Hair of Gold: She does have a heart of gold too, but rather than the standard image described in that trope's entry, she's closer to this one.
- Jive Turkey
- Princess in Rags: Not a princess, but somewhat surprisingly, she was a girl of relatively decent upbringing but ended up on the street during the Nilfgaard invasion of Cintra.
- The Nicknamer: It's usually "unca" or "auntie". Possibly related to her speech patterns.
- Replacement Goldfish: It is (rather heavily) implied that Geralt requested her parole because she reminded him of Ciri.
- Sixth Ranger: She only joins around the fourth book of the Saga.
- Street Urchin: Eh, she's close enough.
Whether for her political status, or her other qualities, capturing Ciri was a crucial part of these people's nefarious plots. Their actions are behind many of the Saga's events.
Vilgefortz of Roggeveen
One of the most talented magicians in the world, very young (less than one hundred years, which is considered young in the wizarding world), but incredibly talented and powerful, traits which also won him a seat on the governing body of Northern Kingdoms' magicians. His participation in the coup during the magicians' symposium on Thanedd Island revealed his Nilfgaardian backing, but his real motives are more sinister.
- Big Bad: His plans set the Witcher Saga in motion and he's by far the biggest threat Geralt faces in the novels.
- Bishōnen: Described as "classically beautiful". Later, though, he gets badly scarred in a magical explosion, ending with a freakish artificial eye in one of his eye sockets.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: An utterly egregious case of this. He opts to fight Geralt in single combat, weapon to weapon, out of desire to crush him utterly when he is utterly capable of ending Geralt with magic. Guess how this little stunt turns out for him.
- Catch Phrase: "You have pissed against the wind".
- Or, "You've mistaken the stars with their reflection in the pond".
- Evil Genius: The intellectually inclined, schemer and part-time evil mastermind among the bad guys.
- Evil Plan: Like that of Emhyr, it involves Ciri, but some details of execution differ, and it's for personal-megalomaniac reasons rather than imperial-dynastic.
- Evil Sorcerer: Easily the most smart and powerful wizard in the North, and he let it get into his head.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: His motives aren't what they seem at first.
- Mad Scientist: An almost textbook example, magic in their world being pretty scientific in nature, but see Magic Knight below.
- Magic Knight: He was the only human to soundly trash Geralt in a one-on-one fight. It is implied that his skill was magically enhanced.
- The Man Behind the Man: He turns out to be the mastermind of the Thanedd coup as well as the one trying to kidnap Ciri. He's also the one who convinced Emhyr to father Ciri in the first place, so (figuratively speaking) he's behind Nilfgard's actions as well.
- Mission Control: For Rience, whom he constantly sends out to run his errands.
- Off with His Head!: That's how Geralt killed him.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He's a sexist.
- The Starscream: To The Emperor.
- Squishy Wizard: Averted with flying colors.
- Stalker with a Test Tube: This example is even more sinister than you think it is. Even the other baddies are squicked, although he finds it distasteful and responds with a rant that they're hardly better.
- Take Over the World: Though he hangs a lampshade, saying he's a little ashamed to admit such a down-to-earth motivation. Basically, he's in the game for the thought of being able to say "A God Am I", that people pray to turn away his wrath.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: When playing Mission Control for Rience, through an artifact that's basically a magical walkie-talkie.
and errand boy, a wizarding school dropout expelled for theft and taken in by Vilgefortz to do the things not really suitable for respectable sorcerer. His background shows he was up to no good from the start, but as merely a servant, he pales in comparison to the rest of the villains.
- Catch Phrase: "With these hands, I will teach you pain."
- Karmic Death: During the battle on ice in the penultimate book. Made doubly awesome by the way it was done — Ciri cut his fingers that were clutching the ice (he slipped and fell into the water) with her skates.
- The Dragon: He's actually Co-Dragons with Schirru the half-elf, but the latter gets less screen-time.
- For the Evulz: He loves his job, what's to say.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a huge burn on his cheek, from Yennefer's fireball and Vilgefortz's refusal to heal it.
- Smug Snake: He loves to gloat at his victims and generally be a jerk, knowing that his boss will always support and cover him.
A bounty hunter tasked with eliminating Ciri's highwaymen friends and capturing her herself, what he does efficiently and without any incident. He then brutalizes her throughout one or a half of a book. As a good fighter and an intelligent man, he is a true professional, but the key to his choice of profession is something very different indeed.
- Badass Normal: He claims to have killed three witchers, despite having the advantage of neither their mutations nor any magical abilities. In light of that, taking on six bandits at once is hardly worthy of mention.
- Bounty Hunter: And a very successful one.
- The Brute
- Deadpan Snarker
- For the Evulz: His main motivation. He's a psychopath and proud of it. When a psychic scans him once, she compares the experience to putting her head into a freshly opened grave.
- Psycho for Hire: as he claims, he's lucky like nobody, save perhaps certain whores. He's paid for work he truly enjoys.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: empty, fishy eyes.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: A staple of witcher series' fans' Epileptic Trees is how would he fare in a fight versus Geralt.
- Ironic Name: It doesn't take a linguist to see Leo Bonhart stands pretty much for Lion Good-Heart. While the first one might arguably fit, the rest definitely won't.
- Villainous Crush: he develops one on Ciri, after witnessing her fighting skills. While probably not averse to sex, he may even be asexual as what really turns him on is fighting and killing. It means he'd like to impale her on his sword on an arena and feel her die, though raping her before or afterwards would be nice as well. And his last words are that their fight would be a great show.
- Villainous Valor: the people he kills, he tends to kill in combat.
- Wicked Cultured: Though not exactly in the sense of refined taste, this trope (or its cross with Genius Bruiser) does appear in that Bonhart is actually quite intelligent.
A Nilfgaardian black ops specialist, sometimes nicknamed the Great Imperial Nobody by those few in the know. Initially tasked with cleaning up the mess after the failure of the Thanedd coup, he later received orders to search for Ciri when hints began to show up that she might be within Imperial territory. He however had ambitions beyond those of his superiors.
- Dark Chick: Differing motivation, teamworking, more socially minded than the other bad guys. Male however.
- Dragon Ascendant: He became one of those for a short while after Vilgefortz's demise.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: He serves this role along with his team, as well as providing the manpower for several minor occurences.
- Rogue Agent
- Visionary Villain: It's ultimately subverted when one of his statements puts his own motives in question. We are never told whether it means he only pretended to believe in his cause, or it's merely a spat of cynicism.
- Weapon of Choice: His is an orion (which is pretty much a shuriken), explicitly stated as highly popular within cloak-and-dagger society for ease of concealability coupled with deadliness in a skilled hand.
Emperor Emhyr var Emreis
The infamous, ruthless and iron-fisted emperor of Nilfgaard, an expansive power from the south. His invasion of Cintra pretty much starts the whole Saga, and even after that he's the driving force behind many of the events.
- Affably Evil: He's a ruthless evil emperor and he's fine with it, but he's not The Caligula either, and knows when there is no need to play up the fearsome image. Though he has a sudden change of heart at the last moment.
- In fact, he considers Geralt his friend and is still grateful to him for his role in removing the spell that made him into a giant hedgehog knight in his youth. It still doesn't stop him from his machinations and conquests (and trying to kill Geralt — nothing personal, only business), though.
- Baleful Polymorph: back in his youth. Geralt helped him then.
- The Chessmaster: the extent of it depends on how much of his machinations he actually developed on his own, as he has a number of competent and trustworthy underlings, but the fact remains that he keeps up with the best of them.
- The Emperor: of the Evil Overlord type (though more in image than in personal brutishness).
- Gambit Pileup: What happens when everybody (and their little dog too) have plans upon the plans, and are determined enough to see to their completion.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: No, not Geralt's.
- Morality Pet: False Cirilla is this for him.
- The Man Behind the Man — He had a hand (well, not exactly everything went Just as Planned, but, hey, he tried!) in just about everything that happened, although the true extent of his involvement doesn't become apparent until late into the story.
- He is also behind the chaos that Letho causes in the second video game.
- Noble Demon: cruel, despotic, and ruthless as he is, he still has some basic decency left in him.
- Overly Long Name: Emhyr var Emreis Deithwen Addan yn Carn aep Morvudd, technically more of an overly long title/nickname. Doubles as Names to Run Away From Really Fast, as it means something along the lines White Flame Dancing on the Barrows of His Enemies.
- Wife Husbandry
- Well Intentioned but morally questionable plan — a rather squicky spoiler:to prevent the destruction of their world by an Ice Age predicted by Ithlinne Prophecy, he planned to father a daughter (Ciri, that is) who was both a a magical Source and could control the powers, then marry her to produce a prophecied Savior. However, Even Evil Has Standards (the SNAFU mentioned above notwithstanding), so he backed out of it, ironically, dooming their world to death and destruction...
Eredin Breacc Glas
A high ranking Aen Elle, or, one of the leaders of the Elven people known as Aen Elle. Most don't even know Aen Elle exist, but he himself — from a certain point of view — gained quite a notoriety.
- Big Bad: After being the Bigger Bad throughout the novels and the previous two games, Eredin finally takes center state in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
- Bigger Bad:
- His plans for Ciri are probably the greatest threat the world faces, but he doesn't play much of a role in the novels.
- In the games, his conflict with Geralt forms much of the Myth Arc, but Salamandra and the Kingslayers have thus far proven to be the greater immediate threat.
- The Fair Folk: As the King of the Wild Hunt, he kidnaps human children so they can serve the Aen Elle as slaves.
- Fantastic Racism: He really hates humans. Even Ciri, who is vital to his people's plans, is little more than "a gold nugget buried in dung" to him, and the part about "gold nugget" referred to her Elven ancestry.
- Planar Champion: A villainous example.
- Red Baron: Also known as the King of the Wild Hunt.
- The Starscream: He was likely the one behind the death of his king, Auberon.
- Walking Spoiler
- The Wild Hunt: His Dearg Ruadhri are seen as this by most people. It's not clear if their ghastly visages are solely a psychological weapon, or an imperfection of their ability to travel between the worlds.
Geralt and the others met many people, not all of whom were hostile. Some of them were. Others were friendly. Others yet were both or neither, clashing or cooperating with the heroes for their own reasons.
Yarpen Zigrin and Zoltan Chivay
Two dwarves, each with his own merry company, with whom Geralt travels at different points of the story. They meet each other only much later (or more like are shown to, as they appear to know each other well), but are put here together due to playing a similar role in the story.
- Ascended Extra: Zoltan is given an upgrade to The Big Guy in the two games.
- Characterization Marches On: Their paths diverge in the games. Zoltan becomes a full-on Lancer or Big Guy, while Yarpen is a side character in the second game.
- Cool Sword: Zoltan gives one to Geralt.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Zoltan strongly encourages this mindset, especially in the first game. As he says (reminiscing events of the Saga):
"Let me tell you something, witcher. Once we lead a group of women and children through a war-torn land. They slowed us down. We had to feed them, protect them, and we had to hide in the woods to pee instead of pissing by the road. In short, they were a burden, and ungrateful at that. Know why we helped them? It was the right thing to do."
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same
- Sophisticated as Hell: Zoltan. While it's a case with many of the main characters, his Warrior Poet tendencies blending with his blunt manner of speaking stand out the most.
- Veteran Instructor: In The Witcher 2, Zoltan takes the job of training the recruits in Vergen.
A group of highwaymen that adopts Ciri, who captured by local authorities after her jump through the portal at Tor Lara, found herself imprisoned together with one of them and helped with the escape. Separated from her friends and stranded in a foreign land, she finds a company among them.
Count Sigismund Dijkstra
The spymaster of the Kingdom of Redania, and later its regent after the death of the king. His duties make him occasionally clash or cooperate with the protagonists, and even later he remains a background character important not only to the world, but also the story itself.
- Acrofatic: Often described as a walking mountain of fat, he's nevertheless implied to be surprisingly agile for his bulk.
- Badass Arm-Fold
- Face of a Thug: His character model in the third video game has a very scary and dumb looking face, but Dijkstra seems to be just as sharp as ever.
- Genius Bruiser: He is described as a polar opposite of stereotypical cloak-and-dagger small-crooked-guy spy, yet he runs an extensive spy network and serves as an actual ruler during the Redanian regency.
- Isengrim Faoiltiarna, an Elven spec ops commander from Dol Blathanna, a man of considerable fighting prowess (he once bested Geralt himself), was visibly relieved when he found that Dijkstra is non-hostile during their encounter in less fortunate times.
- He Knows Too Much: Dijkstra obtains a very sensitive piece of information about King Vysimir's assassination. He makes his move by telling it to exactly one person — and that proves to be one person too many.
- Foil: He's somewhat of a foil to Geralt, also a man from outside the system (Dijkstra received the title of Count for practical reasons) having to mingle with highborn and deal with worldly affairs.
- I Did What I Had to Do: despite his job, which includes things like a gulag-like (or at least that's how other characters react to it) prison, he is a rather decent guy in person, even with a Cincinnatus streak.
- Man Behind the Man: Of the Redanian government.
- Don't forget Filippa Eilhart.
- Mission Control: for Dandelion, sometimes.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: His interests are often at cross-purposes with Geralt, but still, Dijkstra is very fair in his dealings. For example, he forgoes having revenge on Geralt for his broken leg - not because of mercy, but because that would be using his power for selfish reasons.
- The Spymaster: Obviously.
- Stout Strength: An extremely obese man, but his strength was legendary, up to the point that hardly anyone dared to test it.
A scheming sorceress and a former lover of Dijkstra, whose machinations tend to occasionally propel the plot. Events of the Saga lead her to setting up the Lodge of Sorceresses, a secret organisation of significant influence.
- Animorphism: She can assume the form of an owl. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that Ciri later nicknames her Miss Owl.
- The Conspiracy: She starts one, with the standard objective (technically it's to ensure the interests of magic users against the whims of politicians).
- Eye Scream: In the second game.
- Does Not Like Men: She did like them, only she switched to lesbianism and decided to start up an all-female magicians' conspiracy. On the other hand, she is not hostile towards men, she just thinks that women (read: her circle) would make better rulers.
- Man Behind the Man: she through Dijkstra (it's usually more like friendly deals and cooperation than manipulation, though), also her co-conspirators through similar or less voluntary means.
- Mysterious Backer: She supplies the heroes with intel and political backing, if only of their use to her own agenda. Even then, she holds at least some respect for them, and remains at least coolly polite when their aims part.
- Older Than She Looks: Described as looking about thirty, while being probably no less than three hundred. But this is usual for magicians of the Witcherworld.
- Out-Gambitted: For a scheming, power-behind-the-throne, conspiratorial sorceress, quite a number of people managed to trick her out. Including Geralt himself, and in the games, King Radovid, who not only sees through her manipulations, but has her arrested and blinded.
- The Owl-Knowing One: She's one of the most cunning sorceresses out there, and often assumes the form of an owl.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The novels call her Filippa, while the game uses the Anglophone spelling Philippa.
A short-haired resident sorceress from Toussaint, who has been recruited by Filippa into her conspiracy. When the hanse gets into the principality, she assumes an ostensibly advisory role, but only to manipulate them according to plans of the Lodge.
Tissaia de Vries
One of the most influential people in the wizarding community, Tissaia is staunchly on the side of neutrality of magic, a stance that she cannot shake off even as it becomes obvious that a group of influential magicians conspire with Nilfgaard.
- The Archmage: She pulls down the entire magical defenses of Arethusa, just so, in a heartbeat. For the record, raising them involved a whole year's work for a powerful magician.
- Driven to Suicide: As she realizes what was the outcome of her actions.
- Lawful Stupid: For her, the neutrality of magic is non-negotiable. Even when Dijkstra was only there to stop even greater infraction.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Her actions basically allow the Thanedd coup to proceed.
- Neat Freak
Codhringer (and Fenn)
A legal advisor and detective of renown. At a price, he can find out any secret — or conversely, befuddle any investigation, remove incriminating evidence, or arrange for any person to disappear. Geralt hires him to perform research on Ciri's heritage and find out who is after her.
The queen of Cintra, a kingdom
lying to the south of Yaruga river. Once upon a time, she hired a certain witcher to solve a troublesome affair involving her daughter and a knight suffering from a powerful curse
, which ultimately ended in the curse being lifted, the witcher making the request of the Unexpected Child, and the resulting tangle of the fates of everyone involved. Although she was a tough political player (nicknamed "the Lioness of Cintra"), she nevertheless could not prevent Nilfgaard from overrunning Cintra, and committed suicide to avoid falling into Nilfgaardian hands shortly after issuing a final edict to carry her granddaughter to safety. The girl eventually found her way into the custody of the same witcher who requested her years before.
An enigmatic — and eccentric — elven wizard, known only to few in the Witcherworld and then mostly in the context of the Tower of the Swallow. Among Aen Elle, however, he is one of the top dogs, the real brains behind the plans and actions of theirs.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He initially acts as a guide for Ciri in the Tower, but it turns out quickly that all he has in mind is his agenda.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Depending on how you interpret his behaviour, but he makes this kind of impression.
- Evil Genius: It's heavily implied he's currently in charge of the old Elven genetic program, and he plays this role in the triumvirate ruling the Aen Elle elves. The prospect of being handed over to his lab is a threat that is used on Ciri once.
- Fantastic Racism: He doesn't really have a stellar opinion on humans. You know, it's an Aen Elle thing.
- Mysterious Backer: Acts as this for Geralt once, providing him with explanations. Vague, but still.
- The One That Got Away: It's implied Lara Dorren was this for him.
- OOC Is Serious Business: When talking to him, don't mention Lara Dorren in an unflattering context. Just don't.
- Troll: He just can't help himself once in a while.
Characters expanded in the games
Some of the story's characters were carried over to the video games. While they appeared in the books as well, they were there mostly minor or background characters, and their roles in the games were more pronounced than in writing. That does not mean the characters mentioned above don't appear or have no role in the games - what matters here is the difference in notability between their role in novels and in games. Triss Merigold is a specific example - she is an important character in the Saga and would fit as well above, but her role in the games is a lot more important to their plot.
Another sorceress, a friend of Yennefer and former lover of Geralt (mostly during his breakups with Yen). She makes the witchers realise they can no longer just keep Ciri hidden in their castle, and thus has her hand in starting the events of the Saga. Later she also becomes a member of the Lodge of Sorceresses. Triss is a good friend to the main protagonists, and is always there to help when they need it.
- Ascended Extra: In the video games.
- Badass: Not just in magic. She has the smarts to survive and navigate the tumultuous politics that being a royal advisor call for.
- She Took a Level in Badass at some point during the Rivian pogrom, and later, apparently, through her membership in the Lodge. She had quite a timid, "girly" personality beforehand.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: In the books, she mentions boasting some impressive burnmarks on her body that prevent her from wearing low-cut dresses. There isn't an inch of her body that the second game doesn't show, and there isn't even a hint of this visible.
- The Polish Playboy interview of Triss lampshaded it, with the interviewer asking Triss about this directly. Her response was "of course all women have ways of looking good. But those are our little secrets that are better for men not to know."
- Bi the Way: According to her, it's a natural consequence of being Really 700 Years Old — after a century or two, you will have tried everything.
- It is heavily implied that their Love Triangle with Geralt and Yennefer, is actually Type 8, although it doesn't save them from the intense jealousy. Yennefer even feels a perverse pride in the fact that Geralt fascinates Triss so much.
- Chickification: Suffers one badly in second game.
- Cool Big Sis: to Ciri, whom she befriends during her visit to Kaer Morhen.
- Defictionalization: An odd example. A series of nude digital pinups of her were printed in the Polish Playboy as marketing material for the second game. Similarly, models posing as her and Geralt shot for a calendar in Russia, also for marketing purposes.
- Distressed Damsel: While not as bad as Shani in the needs-saving department, by the second game she becomes a repeat offender.
- It's even more jarring if you really compare Witcher 2's Triss to Shani. In Witcher 1, Shani will fight along Geralt when she's in danger. As for Triss, by the time of chapter 1, she will be rendered mostly defenseless.
- Hello, Nurse!: In the games, her beauty is often lampshaded. In the first game, there's a guest in Leuvaarden's party who wants you to know that "Triss Merigold is the most beautiful woman in the world". In the second game, Zoltan compliments her appearance, Cedric flirts with her, a troll falls in love with her, and Philippa Eilhart says that she "looks nice" when they chat via megascope.
- The Lancer: In the first game, especially on the Neutral route.
- Ms. Fanservice: In the second game especially, though elements of this were present in the first as well.
- Mundane Utility: Uses a spell to remove her clothes in the second game's sex scene.
- Promoted to Love Interest: In the games. It's also clear, she's taking advantage of Yennefer's absence to get close to Geralt post-amnesia. All is fair in love and war.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: she fought in a battle during the Nilfgaardian invasion of Cintra, got wounded and disfigured, and nobody recognised her before her name got carved on a memorial. It kind of weighs on her.
A female doctor and one of Geralt's old friends. In her first appearance, a student of medicine; later, a veteran of the Battle of Brenna, where she served in a field hospital. She also appears in the first game, where she is one of Geralt's contacts and a potential love interest.
- Action Girl: She may lack the mutations of a witcher and the spells of a sorceress, but she can still hold her own in a fight.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She does NOT take kindly to Geralt if he places Alvin under Triss' protection.
- Doting Parent: To Alvin if Geralt chooses her over Triss to take care of the boy. In contrast, Triss has more strict views on parenting.
- Fiery Redhead: Has no problem drawing a knife to defend her patients.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Nowhere in the novels she is shown as anything but a mundane, non-magical medic. The gamedevs nonetheless gave her a healing ability that looks rather magical when activated.
- Hospital Hottie
- Plucky Girl: Manages to be fairly upbeat in a job that means caring for horribly wounded soldiers or plague victims.
- Redhead In Green
The 'arrogant, sister humping, warmongering' king of Temeria, as well as a whole bunch of other places he beat into submission. A major presence in the first game, and his death starts the plot of the second.
Leader of the Scoia'tael commando on Flotsam. He aided the kingslayer with his resources. At first, until Letho the kingslayer decided to betray him.
- Archer Archetype: He's no slouch with knives though.
- Ascended Extra: His name is dropped a few times in the books, but it's not until the second game where he finally makes a physical appearance.
- Bad Ass: He's been killing humans for hundreds of years.
- Big Damn Hero: He has one on chapter 2
- Bodyguard Crush: Implied with Saskia. Bodyguard is a little bit of a stretch, though.
- Dark and Troubled Past: alluded to on several occasions (the Hydra Valley), though it's kinda in the job description.
- Defrosting Ice King: Iorveth mellows out a lot thoroughout the second game, at least towards Geralt. Culminates in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when, once they meet again after Geralt defeats the dragon, the usually grumpy Iorveth greets his friend with a friendly pat on the shoulder and a smile (arguably the first time he smiled genuinely in the entire game).
- Escape Artist: got out of every trap the Temerian special forces (and Roche personally) set for him.
- Mr. Fanservice: Tall, dark and elf-y.
- Eye Patch Of Power: His standard headgear consists of a headwrap that lowers down over his right eye, though you can notably talk to him without it during chapter 2, seeing that there is no right eye in his head.
- Fantastic Racism: Can potentially get called on it by Geralt.
- Noble Bigot: He makes no efforts to hide his hatred of humans, but he is willing to fight to create a country where humans, elves, and dwarves can live side by side in peace.
- Fighting for a Homeland: That's what he made Scoia'tael do, instead of just fighting, period.
- Genre Savvy: Issues several references to The Lord of the Rings.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: They look like evil scars, but he is more along the lines of morally ambiguous.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Iorveth is not the most approachable individual, acting very mistrustful and hostile to anyone outside of his Scoia'tael unit. He is also very vocal about his prejudice towards humans on top of being a ruthless, remorseless killer. However, he very much cares about the elves under his command and, compared to someone like Yaevinn from the first game, who wants to flat out overthrow the humans, he has a much more reasonable and grounded goal: he simply wants a place where elves can live in peace, far away from the discrimination that non-humans have to face in places populated by humans. Also, for all his prejudice, he is fair: once Geralt accused one of his best swordsmen, a young elf named Ele'yas, of murdering innocent humans on Vergen, Iorveth demanded proof. Should Geralt find evidence that proves Ele'yas's guilt, Iorveth will seek the young elf out intending to punish him.
- Sarcastic Clapping: When mocking Geralt.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: The townies of Vergen have this attitude towards him and the Scoia'tael: The only reason they're allowed anywhere near is because they're crack archers volunteering for the cause and there's an enemy army looming over them.
- The Power of Friendship: To Geralt: "You're the most honorable d'hoine I've ever known... my hatred for the species has abated for a while".
- Older Than They Look: Comes with being an elf.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sees himself as Necessarily Evil, though how much so is up for debate until he starts helping Saskia.
The ruler of Kaedwen, the largest of the Northern Kingdoms. Plans to conquer the Pontar Valley, which he claims to be his birthright, but first he has to defeat the resistance led by Saskia the Dragon Slayer.
- A Father to His Men: He's quite popular among his soldiers for the most part. Not enough to prevent an attempted coup however.
- Acrofatic: Despite his bulk, he is rather agile and an accomplished swordsman.
- Adipose Rex
- Bald of Evil: It's hard to tell under his crown, but yeah, he has a shaved head under there.
- Beard of Evil: It's remarked in The Witcher 2 that his beard makes him look more like a thief than a king.
- Blood Knight: He prides himself on being the strongest king of the North, and won't hesitate to invade a country again and again if he thinks he can win.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being a ruthless and manipulative individual, he was absolutely disgusted by Sabrina Glevissig's decision to cast a powerful fire spell on the battlefield of his previous campaign on Aedirnian ground, slaughtering a large number of soldiers, both friend and foe alike.
- Although it has to be remembered that Sabrina's spell also cost him the victory, which probably influenced his decision.
- Fantastic Racism: Has no respect whatsoever for non-humans.
- Fluffy the Terrible: King Henselt of Kaedwen, last of the line of the Unicorn.
- Of course, in Medieval myth, unicorns were dangerous beasts that only a maiden could approach safely. Henselt's lineage probably refers to the Bad Ass old school unicorns.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: What he did to Ves.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Not necessarily a good thing in this case though.
- Smug Snake: Really makes you want to let Roche kill him just to wipe that smile off his mug.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Even though Geralt and Roche saved his life and Geralt freed him from Sabrina Glavissig's curse, Henselt orders Roche's men executed, without a trial, for being part of a conspiracy they knew absolutely nothing about (only Roche was part of it), and tries to kill Geralt as soon as he meets him on Vergen, even though he had all but taken over the town already and Geralt was not fighting for either side.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Invoked by himself when Geralt and Roche call him out on his villainous acts. Indeed, barring a few exceptions, everything he did was meant to benefit his kingdom in some way.
A powerful sorcerer who serves as King Henselt's advisor during the events of the second game. Has little in the way of morals, but is devoted to his king.
Síle de Tansarville
A sorceress from the kingdom of Creyden who is known for her reserved nature. In the second game, she was sent to Kaedwen and tasked by King Henselt with finding a cure for his infertility.
- Absolute Cleavage: It's actually not *that* crazy like most examples, but it stands out because of her amazing... tracks of land, and the tattoo she's got on her chest, which was no doubt put there to draw the viewer's attention.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: She can ultimately be killed by her own teleporter; the very one she was intending on using to escape.
- Ice Queen: She's mean, reserved, and coolly rational. Not to mention that, fittingly, the kingdom she's from lies to the far north of the world.
- Manipulative Bitch
- The Mole
- Outgambitted: No matter how clever she was, Letho was just better.
- Pimped-Out Dress
- Ship Tease: With Geralt in Flotsam, assuming the player chooses the correct dialogue choices. Also overlaps with Defrosting Ice Queen. It doesn't last.
- Smug Snake: She snidely taunts Geralt about his impending death just as she's about to leave Loc Muine and everyone in it for dead before stepping into her teleporter...which then begins to tear her apart. She has no choice but to beg the man she intended to die to save her.
- Vain Sorceress: For being known as the "Koviri Loner" and infamous as a reclusive ice queen, she sure does seem to spend a lot of time taking care of her appearance. Her habit of wearing heavy make-up and Pimped-Out Dress had Bernard Loredo comment that she looks like "a whore on parade day".
- In fact, she puts on makeup for the fight with the kayran. Geralt snarks at this, saying that the kayran cannot see in color.
A particularly violent member of the Scoia'tael. In the games, he becomes leader of the Scoia'tael in Vizima. Like Siegfried, he is one of Geralt's contacts in the first game. He wants to overthrow the humans because he believes the world would be better off under the leadership of the elves.
- Break the Cutie: According to him, he once tried to live peacefully among humans. The humans would have none of that and made his life miserable. He eventually got fed up with human ignorance and decided to rebel.
- Can't Argue with Elves: There's no way to convince him to back off on his attacks on human civilians. Unless you kill him.
- Fantastic Racism: As an example, Druids are convinced most of the Scoia'tael have become indistinguishable from their oppressors.
- Kick the Dog: Twice in the novels:
- Killing an unarmed messenger despite Toruviel's warnings that doing so would only draw unwanted attention.
- Attempting to kill the wounded at a Northern field hospital during the Battle of Brenna.
- Not So Different: Claims to be this to Geralt in an attempt to lure him to his side.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: His philosophy.
- Warrior Poet: Which contrasts with his often cruel deeds.
Notable video game-only characters
And finally, the video games couldn't run solely on canon characters, and these were created for the purposes of the adaptation
Jacques de Aldersberg
The founder of the Order of the Flaming Rose and its current grandmaster. Fanatically opposed to nonhumans.
A young boy whom Geralt rescues from Barghests right in the outskirts of Vizima. By all appearances, he’s a perfectly normal child, but he is also a Source, and has great potential for magic and especially a thing for seeing into the future and traveling through time
A powerful mage and leader of a criminal organization called Salamandra. It’s his attack on Kaer Morhen and subsequent theft of Witcher mutagens that sets the plot of the first game in motion.
Letho of Gulet the Kingslayer
A mysterious Witcher from the School of the Viper who murders kings. Geralt seemed to know him, before the loss of his memory.
- Anti-Villain: He is ultimately trying to secure a safe place for fellow witchers to live in due to the huge discrimination they receive. Whether this justified murdering kings and causing chaos in the North is left up to the player to decide.
- Bald of Evil: Not entirely, though...
- Big Bad: Of the second game.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He betrays just about every alliance he makes, including Iorveth and the Scoia'tael, and Síle and the Lodge of Sorceresses.
- Dumb Muscle: Subverted. But he looks like he's one and knows how to use it to his advantage.
- Evil Former Friend: He and Geralt chased the Wild Hunt together and after Geralt offered himself to their King in exchange for Yennefer it was Letho who took care of the sorceress.
- Genius Bruiser
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a rather large, deep, and ugly V-shaped one on his forehead.
- I Owe You My Life: Geralt saved his life while chasing the Wild Hunt. So when Letho gains the upper hand during the duel in Chapter 1, he just lets Geralt go.
- Knife Nut: He has a pair of daggers that we never see him use in the game proper. The animated introduction in the Enhanced Edition, however, shows that he's no less dangerous when he uses them.
- Lightning Bruiser: Compared to humans, all witchers are very strong and fast, but Letho stands out for being, in Geralt's words, "a mountain of meat", and yet he is every bit as agile as his fellow witchers, who are a lot smaller and leaner by comparison. Letho's speed is even lampshaded in more than one occasion, first by Ciaran, the dying elf in the barge, and later on by a dying Cedric.
- Magic Knight: He's a Witcher, after all.
- Manipulative Bastard: He was able to trick the Lodge of Sorceresses into helping him. A member of the Lodge even hired him to kill one certain king, thinking he was just a Dumb Muscle.
- Mirror Boss
- Mr. Exposition: At the end, he'll happily explain to you the reasons for his actions, finishing up the Backstory and cluing you in on what's really going on in the grand scheme of things.
- Pet the Dog: Several instances of this. One, he doesn't kill Geralt after their first fight, due to feeling he owes the latter, and in general does not consider him his enemy. Second, in the past, he watched over Yennefer for a while after Geralt made his Deal with the Devil. Third, if Geralt does not rescue Triss in Chapter 3, then Letho does, and he protects her from the sorceress-hunting soldiers.
- Professional Killer: One that’s only after kings. It’s part of Nilfgaard’s plan to weaken the north before their invasion.
- Skippable Boss: At the end of the game, the player can fight him or let him walk away.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps
- Villain Forgot to Level Grind: When the player first fights him early in the second game, he is a very difficult boss. Defeating him even results in a cutscene where he defeats Geralt, but lets him live since Geralt saved his life before, making him feel indebted. The second battle feels a lot easier, as Geralt (probably) took the time collecting fancy new skills, weapons and armor, while Letho is largely the same.
Commander of the Blue Stripes, a temerian special forces unit tasked with handling nonhuman threats. Helps Geralt break out of prision in the Prologue under the condition that he'll help Vernon capture the kingslayer.
- A Father to His Men: He takes his responsibility very seriously. And his rage when his Blue Stripes are killed is truly frightening.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV/V
- Badass: Probably the best example is if Geralt chooses not to help him rescue Princess Anais. He rescues her anyway, though sadly not in time to save kingless Temeria from being carved up.
- Big Damn Hero: Surprisingly, he has one on Iorveth's route.
- Berserk Button: Several, but specially hates being called a "whoreson" because of his Dark and Troubled Past.
- Covert Pervert: While carrying a RRoD'd Triss, he takes solace in the fact that he'll die holding a nice ass, despite her protests.
- Also, you might see him walking around in the background when Geralt has sex with Ves.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Subverted. He has absolutely no problem inflicting horrible pain. The problem is, he can get so carried away his prisoners often die.
- Fantastic Racism: Mainly against Elves.
- He Who Fights Monsters: One of the reasons why Iorveth hates him so passionately is that Vernon, unlike his predecessors, becomes increasingly more vicious and accomplished the longer he leads the Temerian special forces division. There are even rumors that Vernon feeds on Elven ears.
- Hot-Blooded: His solutions to most problems is, "find the person in charge and kill him. If anyone gets in the way, kill them too." It usually works.
- Jerkass Woobie With a Heart of Gold: He's a brutal spymaster in a Crap Sack World. But he genuinely cares for Geralt and his men. He later gain a woobie point when his squad gets massacred by Henselt.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: His
main primary goal. It could be said that his route is composed entirely of this. In the end, Geralt can kill or witness the murder of Loredo, King Henselt, and Dethmold.
- My Country, Right or Wrong. Fanatically devoted to Foltest, even though the King he serves is quite immoral.
- Nice Hat: His chaperon.
- Parental Substitute: For Anaïs.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: How far is Roche willing to go? He castrates Dethmold before he kills him.
- Rated M for Manly: His concept art is essentially a High Fantasy Clint Eastwood, and he more than earns his reputation as a ruthless special operations commander.
- Reckless Sidekick: Verily. However, he remains competent in spite of his bloodlust.
- Tranquil Fury: He never screams or rants. The angrier he becomes, the more dedicated he is to destroying whoever stands against him. And Roche has a long memory.
- Undying Loyalty: Even their deaths won't sever his loyalty to those who managed to earn it.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His job as the head of the Blue Stripes. He was Foltest's proverbial dagger behind the back.
The Blue Stripes' second-in-command. She was rescued by Vernon from a gang of elves when she was a teenager and has been working for the Blue Stripes ever since.
- Action Girl
- Bifauxnen: Doesn't fool anyone, though.
- Butt Monkey: First she is used as bait by the Blue Stripes to ambush Loredo, almost getting raped in the process; then she has to deal with discrimination on Kaedwen's camp for being a female soldier, and finally she gets raped by Henselt and is forced to watch her friends get executed even though Henselt said he might let them live if she behaves (and she does). And then there's her backstory.
- Fantastic Racism: Subverted. Even though she hunts non-humans and suffered a lot at the hands of elves in the past, she claims that she does not begrudge the race as a whole and that she simply kills who she is ordered to, and that she makes no distinction between human and non-human targets.
- Only Sane Woman: Arguably the most stable-minded member of the Blue Stripes, Vernon included.
- Rape as Drama: At the hands of Henselt.
- Rape as Backstory: She was held captive for years by a gang of elves. The leader took a liking to her. Vernon and the Blue Stripes rescued her eventually, but unfortunately the damage had long been done.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only female member of the Blue Stripes.
- The Stoic
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After being raped by Henselt at the end of Act II, Geralt mentions that she's lying about something. Roche sends her off to meet up with them later, and then she's never seen again for the remainder of the game.
Saskia the Dragon Slayer
Leader of the Aedirnian resistance. She dreams of a land where humans and nonhumans can coexist in harmony. Actually the dragon Saesenthessis, who came to sympathize with the other races and wants them to live in peace with each other. Ultimately ends up becoming an Unwitting Pawn to Philippa Eilhart and the Lodge of Sorceresses.
- Action Girl: You won't know how much though until her true nature is revealed.
- The Ace: She is a beautiful, brave young woman who is just as smart as she is charismatic, and rumor has it that she killed a dragon single-handily. She turns out to be the dragon all along, and the bit about slaying a dragon was invented by Iorveth to make her seem even more like an ace.
- Badass Normal
- Brain Washed And Crazy which comes as quite a shock at the end of Chapter 2.
- The Dragon: Fittingly, but unwillingly, becomes this to Philippa Eilhart.
- The Extremist Was Right: Believes in the revolutionary idea that maybe humans, elves and dwarves should stop killing each other and live together in peace.
- Final Boss: If Letho is let go, then she becomes this, and in general proves to be a much straighter example than him.
- Founder of the Kingdom of Upper Aedirn
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Blonde, pretty, pure, and idealistic.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: A rarity in the world of a Witcher. Which makes sense as she's not actually human, but a Dragon.
- Interspecies Romance: Geralt can be implied to ship Saskia/Iorveth through one dialogue opinion in one of the endings. Saskia notes that she had heard many lewd things said about the two of them, but finds dwarves most interesting. Which apparently is a dragon thing. She does put some thought into the idea, though.
- Jeanne d'Archétype: Leader of a popular peasant uprising, takes on the role of a warrior and leader outside of society's role for women, persecuted and thought a freak by her enemies. Yep, she's a Jeanne alright.
- Lady of War
- Mind-Control Eyes: How Geralt notices that something is off about her behavior.
- Morality Pet: For Iorveth, who is fiercely loyal to her.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Golden dragons in The Witcher can shapeshift into virtually any form they want, but because Saesenthessis is only partially a golden dragon, (her father is a golden dragon and her mother is a green dragon) she can only shapeshift into one human form.
- Rebel Leader: Self-explanatory.
- Red Baron: Also known as the "Virgin of Aedirn".
- Virgin Power: What a lot of people seem to believe she has. Since as Triss correctly notes, virgins are a dying breed in the Witcherverse, it isn't that crazy an argument from a peasant's POV.
Siegfried of Denesle
A knight of the Order of the Flaming Rose. He is one of Geralt's contacts in the first game. A well-meaning knight who just so happens to be terribly misguided.
- Adorkable: His earnestness and desire to help the downtrodden makes him seem naive in comparison to the Crapsack World of the Northern Kingdoms.
- Badass: He´s almost as good at swordfighting as Geralt is.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Subverted if you side with the Order. He is very suspicious of his Grand Master's motives, and doesn´t hesitate to fight knights that side with him. Played straight in the other paths.
- Celibate Hero: Which makes him as rare as a unicorn in this setting.
- Everyone Has Standards: If you side with the Order, It becomes clear that Siegfried and the Knights under him do not approve of the Grand Master's schemes and when Siegfried ultimately succeeds Jacques as the Grand Master, he promises to change the Order for the better.
- Fantastic Racism: Averted. Compared to his fellow knights he is very reasonable and gladly helps out Geralt even though he´s technically non-human. He doesn´t even seem that hateful of any non-Yaevinn Scoiatael, going so far as to show pity to the starving rebels he fought. Played straight when siding with the Elves and sometimes on the Neutral Path.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Blond, noble, chaste, and a knight.
- Knight Templar: A milder example.
- Meaningful Name: Siegfried bears the same name as another selfless warrior of the north.
- Officer and a Gentleman
- Reasonable Authority Figure: As a frequent battler of the paranormal, he will listen to even the oddest of stories and requests from Geralt and help as best he can. Even more so when he takes over as the new Grand Master, and promises to change the Order for the better.
- Spoiled Sweet: Apart from his posh accent, the disdain he shows for the witchers' practice of charging money for monster-slaying could only come from someone who has never been forced to work for a living (something Geralt dryly points out when they first meet). Nonetheless, he is one of the most admirable characters in the game.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: When siding with the Elves.
- Virgin Power: He has taken a vow of celibacy.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist / Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Order of the Flaming Rose is a xenophobic military Order of which Siegfried is an enthusiastic member. Subverted however in that Siegfried is both a Nice Guy and carries no ill will towards any race in particular.
The commander of the Viziman city watch. A harsh, but ultimately fair man who proves to be extremely loyal to those he trusts. He tends to disappear at night and no one knows where he goes. It is later revealed he is a werewolf who uses his condition to fight criminals
The commandant of Flotsam’s town watch, Loredo is a corrupt slug who runs over his town like it’s his own personal fiefdom. He soon contacts Geralt for work and eventually buts heads with the Witcher, greatly lowering his own life-expectancy in the process.
- Bald of Evil: Not a hair on his ugly head.
- Bondage Is Bad: When Ves is posing as a prostitute, Loredo is revealed to shackle his lovers.
- Child by Rape: Not him, but his bastard with his elven Sex Slave.
- Possibly also him. According to the insane asylum sidequest his mother was a madwoman who survived the burning of the asylum, only to be raped by the soldiers before she stabbed their commander and fled.
- Corrupt Hick: Runs the town of Flotsam and controls its criminal rackets, drugs and illegal fighting rings.
- Dirty Cop: He's the head of Flotsam’s town watch, and he does anything but instill law and order.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Subverted. At first it seems like this is the case because he lets his insane mother live with him, but then it's revealed he holds her in contempt and uses her to manufacture the fisstech drugs he sells to Flotsam's addicts.
- Evil Is Petty: If Geralt doesn’t throw the fight against Loredo's ringer, he'll send goons to kill Geralt later. Later on, if Geralt sides with Iorveth, he'll set fire to a tower full of Elven women just to spite Geralt.
- Fat Bastard: He's noticeably doughy and one of the biggest bastards in the game.
- Fantastic Racism: Like many humans in the game, he doesn't care for the non-humans. He's instituted a pogrom against them in
- Fight Clubbing: Not him personally, but he's in charge of the fighting pits.
- Hookers and Blow: If you side with Roche, you'll see Loredo high on drugs while with a prostitute, really a disguised Ves. This seems to be regular behavior from him.
- Hypocrite: Hates non-humans, but not enough to stop him from keeping an elf woman as a Sex Slave.
- I Have Your Wife: Threatens to kill Geralt's two best friends, Dandelion and Zoltan, if Geralt doesn't do as Loredo wants.
- I Own This Town: Both controls the town legally and through its criminal enterprises.
- Jerkass: Introduced pretending to be about to show mercy to a soon-to-be hanged thief, only to kick the lever that sends him swinging. He only gets "nicer" from there.
- Karma Houdini: If you side with Iorveth and save the elven women from the tower Loredo set alight, he’ll not only suffer no punishment for his crimes, he'll actually succeed in selling out Flotsam to Kaedwen.
- The Quisling: Attempts to sell Flotsam to Kaedwen, rendering him a traitor to his country. Whether he succeeds depends on player choices.
- Sadistic Choice: If you side with Iorveth, he'll set fire to a tower filled with elven women, forcing Geralt to choose whether to save him or kill Loredo.
- Smug Snake: He's a fairly loathsome individual with no redeeming qualities, yet he seems to think quite highly of himself.
- Starter Villain: He's the primary villain of the second game's first act.