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The Northern Kingdoms


    Queen Calanthe 

Queen Calanthe Fiona Riannon

Portrayed by: Jodhi May
Voiced by: Christin Marquitan (German), Adriana Casas (Latin American Spanish)
"There is a simplicity in killing monsters, is there not?"

The Queen of Cintra, a legendary warrior.

  • 0% Approval Rating: After the fall of Cintra, it becomes apparent that she was a very unpopular ruler, with the common people considering her an intransigent warmonger.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • This isn't the first time Jodhi May has taken a suicidal jump rather than be captured.
    • In Game of Thrones, she played a witch, in an anti-anything-magical setting, who prophesied to a teen Cersei her own downfall. Cersei tries to Screw Destiny all her life, grows to become a sharp-tongued queen and is part of Lannister Household, whose banner is a golden lion. Comes The Witcher (2019), where Jodhi plays a sharp-tongued queen who hates magic and anything that has to do with destiny, is nicknamed "The Lioness of Cintra", often wears golden gowns and the banner of her house is a golden lion too.
  • Adaptational Badass: Despite Calanthe's ferocious reputation in the novels (and the fact that Cintra is quite egalitarian when it comes to masculine/feminine roles in war), it was never explicitly stated that she actually led her armies herself in battle or that she was a particularly great swordswoman herself. This significant shift in her disposition (from political towards military brilliance) probably also affects her Adaptational Villainy.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While Cintra seems to have prospered and remained secure under her rule, her reign also saw the purging of the elves and the subjugation of other southern territories. The establishment of this fact suggests Calanthe's (and by extension, Cintra's) imperialist expansion was known to most of the Continent. Thus, the invasion of Nilfgaard (and, by extension, the fall of her house) comes off less as a tragedy provoked by an ambitious, ascendant empire and more a competing imperial power swallowing up Cintra.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Brunette instead of blonde in the show.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Has chosen to ignore the results of the last time she decided to not honor the Law of Surprise and pays dearly for it when destiny refused to defend her kingdom from Nilfgaard's invasion.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The queen of Cintra, and a deadly warrior as well.
  • Badass Normal: Lacks the magical powers of her daughter and granddaughter, but still manages to be a Lady of War.
  • Batman Gambit: When she and Geralt meet for the first time, she tries to hire him. This is because she is fully aware that Duny of Erlenwald would appear to claim Pavetta, and was banking that Geralt would kill Duny because of his monstrous looks. However, her plan backfires, because Geralt easily can tell that Duny was cursed with his bestial appearance and defends him when it turns out that Calanthe tried to circumvent the Law of Surprise.
  • Battle Couple: Calanthe and Eist lead the defense of Cintra together.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Much like in the novels; while she's dying of her wounds, she throws herself out of a window in the midst of Nilfgaard's Rape, Pillage, and Burn of her kingdom.
  • Big "NO!": Happens two times in Season 1. Once, when Geralt claims the Law of Surprise for saving Duny's life, and once, when her husband, Eist, is killed.
  • Birds of a Feather: Double Subverted. She initially believes she and Geralt are alike, being Blood Knights who live for war. However, Geralt isn't those things once you get past his gruff exterior. Their real similarity lies in their hatred of fate controlling their lives.
  • Blood Knight: She is shown in multiple instances to be very bored/irritated when she is not in the midst of battle. She even exalts the "simplicity of killing monsters" to Geralt, in contrast to how she is forced to appear more prim and proper as a queen.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: She didn't bother bathing or changing clothes when she showed up at her daughter's betrothal party, having just squashed a revolt.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Waged a genocidal war against elves despite being descended from an elf herself.
    Vesemir: Sometimes our deepest hate is for the things we cannot change about ourselves.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Became queen and was leading Cintra's war effort when she was roughly the same age as Ciri.
  • Composite Character: She borrows a few elements from Queen Meve who mostly appears in the books, like being a Lady of War leading her own armies and wearing golden plate armour.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Of the foul-mouthed variety.
    Jaskier, about to sing a ballad: She...
    Queen Calanthe: No, no, no! A jig! You can save your bloody maudlin nonsense for my funeral.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Mother: Zig-Zagged Trope. It's shown that Calanthe is a bit more contemptuous of the Continent's superstitious customs and belief in destiny. The Law of Surprise seems to drive her hatred significantly, especially since it almost always involves her losing those she loves (such as Pavetta and Ciri). Furthermore, she (as her father before her) defied the Brotherhood of Sorcerers' attempt to inveigle a court mage in their kingdom. That said, she is not prejudicial towards magic (employing a druid such as Mousesack as a trusted adviser in her court), and is even aware that her family's bloodline has the potential for magical powers.
  • Fantastic Racism: Whether deeply-personal or culturally-inculcated, she clearly has little to no sympathy for non-humans. As shown, she has openly called for the death of Duny — and then there's her primary role in the Great Cleansing of the elves. The only potential non-human she even deigns to interact with is Geralt himself—and only because, as a witcher, he's a fellow Blood Knight like herself.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. Calanthe's pride and overconfidence in her country's power and its alliance with Skellige make her belief that Nilfgaard wouldn't dare trying to attack Cintra, until Nilfgaard eventually invaded Cintra's borders. She also refused help from the advisers of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers for years, which might have helped her against Nilfgaard and Fringilla's sorcerers if a majority of the Brotherhood hadn't declared Cintra a lost cause.
  • Feminine Mother, Tomboyish Daughter: Inversion. Due to her significant Adaptational Badass, this becomes more apparent between her and her daughter Princess Pavetta. Whereas Pavetta looks every inch a Princess Classic, Calanthe carries her Lady of War attitudes to violent and boisterous extremes.
  • Frontline General: Whenever Cintra's armies are amassed and charging into battle, Calanthe is always the first in the frontline. She gets mortally wounded, which ultimately renders Cintra more vulnerable to Nilfgaard's assault.
  • Heroic BSoD: According to Eist she went through one of these after Pavetta died. She was eventually able to pull herself out of it after several months of waking up screaming during the night.
  • Hypocrite: Called out by Geralt, when she tries to make Geralt leave with someone else's daughter to keep her own granddaughter away from him.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: A downplayed example as she's not especially vicious nor did she scheme for the throne. However, as shown in Adaptational Villainy, she's a fairly typical medieval warlord, brutally subjugating her people and purging her kingdom of a disliked ethnic group. She's not noticeably more vile than anyone else in the setting; it's just that she's a rare ruling queen who kept that role by refusing to marry and make herself subject to a husband.
  • Guttural Growler: Has a very deep, raspy voice, only suitable for a Blood Knight queen.
  • The Lad-ette: She arrives late to her daughter's banquet roughed up from battle putting down a fringe town uprising (which involves blood splashes on her face and disheveled hair and armor) and possibly drunk from victorious revelry, and later chafes at having to wear a bodice when she dresses for the occasion. She also quite vocally states her dissatisfaction with courtly duties and prefers to be out battling.
  • Mama Bear: It's clear she truly loves both her daughter and granddaughter, and she's fiercely protective of them, especially when it comes to Ciri due to the fact she's all she has left of Pavetta. However, she does occasionally take it to Knight Templar Parent levels, such as trying to kill the man Pavetta loves for being cursed and going to a lot of effort to prevent Geralt from taking Ciri. In both cases, this backfires on her; Pavetta unleashes dangerous magic on everyone to protect Duny, which finally persuades her to accept the marriage, while refusing to give Ciri to Geralt causes her to become caught up in Nilfgaard's invasion without his protection.
  • Marry for Love: Played with. She insists she agreed to marry Eist to "save [her] kingdom" via the alliance the marriage brought, but she's clearly not unhappy about the situation.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Somewhat. It is implied that Cintra's bloodline (especially the women) usually tends to produce Sources, and her mother was one, but she wasn't. She almost thought Pavetta was non-magical as well, until her betrothal showed her powers manifesting. Ciri inherited her mother's magical powers. From the books... 
  • My Beloved Smother: While not explicitly shown, Ciri's Rebellious Princess streak leading her to sneak around in commoner's clothes suggests she herself feels limited/stifled by Calanthe's rearing of her. Ciri even emphasizes that it is quite unfair that she's still quite naive about the ways of the world when Calanthe was supposedly already fighting her first battle at that age. Considering Calanthe already lost Pavetta (Ciri's mother), you can see where she's coming from.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Calanthe defies this very hard. It is even explicitly mentioned that the reason she took so long to remarry was because she would rather not be under the shadow of a husband and enjoy real power herself. She eventually married a man who prefers to let his wife rule, which is exactly what she wanted.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: She outlived her daughter, Pavetta, and spent months grieving. It's for this reason that she sheltered Ciri.
  • Parental Substitute: Raised her granddaughter, Cirilla, with her husband, Eist, after Ciri's parents tragically died.
  • Pride Before a Fall: If the events of the series are taken chronologically, Calanthe begins the series at the height of her reputation, power, and imperial influence. We eventually see her embarrassed at her daughter's betrothal (though not without some consolation of her own), eventually lose that daughter in an accident, and then finally see her kingdom fall to a competing empire she has dismissed in the beginning.
  • Red Baron: The Lioness of Cintra.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Upon seeing Eist die, she goes into a screaming frenzy and attacks the Nilfgaardian forces more fiercely. Unfortunately, being blinded by rage leaves one open to attacks and she gets mortally injured in the attempt.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: With the viewer seeing Cintra for most of the first season, Calanthe is seen as the central royal character who engages in administration, diplomacy, and combat.
  • Screw Destiny: She tries to circumvent the Law of Surprise, which binds Duny of Erlenwald to her daughter, Pavetta, after the former saved her late husband's life. However, she eventually has to accept that You Can't Fight Fate and gives her blessing to her daughter's marriage. After her daughter's accidental death, however, she has hardened again and refuses to let Geralt, again by the Law of Surprise, have Ciri and take her to safety. First, she tries to have Geralt killed, then lies to him and tries to make him leave with a fake Ciri, and finally imprisons him, until Nilfgaard arrives.
  • Teen Pregnancy: According to the timeline, she was 18 when Pavetta was born.
  • Tempting Fate: Not only her repeatedly ignoring the Law of Surprise, her dismissing Nilfgaard as a pitiful backwater and openly insulting their nobles also comes to bite her hard a dozen years later.
  • Trauma Conga Line: She undergoes two significant ones:
    • First, the loss of Pavetta (and by extension, her husband Duny) at sea. King Eist notes that while she has emerged from this hardened and more determined, she did spend nights howling in grief.
    • Second, and more tragically, her failing to prevent the invasion of Nilfgaard, ending with the fall of Cintra and her Driven to Suicide.
  • Young Conqueror: She won her first battle when she was Ciri's age.

    King Eist 

King Eist Tuirseach

Portrayed by: Björn Hlynur Haraldsson
Voiced by: Tommy Morgenstern (German), Armando Coria (Latin American Spanish)
"You kill them, kill me."

Eist is a noble from the isles of Skellige and the second husband of Queen Calanthe, and thus King of Cintra.

  • Aesop Amnesia: Lampshaded. In the twelve years between Pavetta's betrothal (in Episode 4) and the invasion of Nilfgaard (in Episode 1), Eist has turned from a man who threw down with half the Cintran army to help Geralt protect Duny and support Destiny, into a man who locks Geralt up when he comes to claim the child Destiny gifted him. The reason for the change? He raised Ciri and loves her too much to risk her safety.
  • Amazon Chaser: His wife is a fearsome warrior queen.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Despite being nominally 'king' of Cintra, it is never made clear if that is his actual title or if he's just prince consort (with all the historical subtext the phrase has), especially since it was explicitly noted Calanthe remains the 'senior' royal partner in the relationship.
  • Battle Couple: Leads the defense of Cintra alongside Calanthe.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's very laid-back, affable and capable of throwing down when required.
  • Dirty Old Man: He flirts with Queen Calanthe in front of his granddaughter, while his wife is swearing her subjects into fealty.
    Eist: (to Calanthe) Could use with a bit of "feel"-ty right now.
    Ciri: Gross.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He supports Duny and Geralt in their fight against Calanthe's men when the latter attempts to break the Law of Surprise.
  • Eye Scream: Dies with an arrow shot through his eye. Note that he didn't wear his helmet when it happened.
  • Fantastic Racism: His joke about how Calanthe would have killed the elves if she was taken as hostage by Filavandrel instead of Geralt in one of his adventures, shows that he has no problem with the slaughter of the elves.
  • Hypocrite: Remember him honoring the Law of Surprise for Duny? Twelve years later, he refuses to do the same for Geralt, because the child of surprise is the granddaughter that he has helped raise.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: He is all heart eyes for Calanthe every time she goes "fighting mode activated". He even maneuvers her into accepting his proposal in the middle of a melee.
  • Modest Royalty: Unlike his wife, he has no problem with Ciri going undercover to play games with peasant children.
  • Papa Wolf: Incredibly protective of Cirilla. He goes as far as to imprison Geralt, when Geralt refuses to give up on Ciri.
  • Parental Substitute: Raised Ciri together with his wife Calanthe.
  • Second Love: He is this to Calanthe, whose husband has died before the start of the series. Since she is not yet over his death (or more accurately, she'd rather enjoy ruling on her own name first), she initially rejects Eist's proposal. The events of Pavetta's betrothal finally allow her to accept, with the additional benefit of securing the alliance with Skellige.
  • Undying Loyalty: He tells Geralt that he feels this way about Calanthe after watching her pull herself out of her grief over Pavetta's death.

    Princess Pavetta 

Princess Pavetta Fiona Elen

Portrayed by: Gaia Mondadori
Voiced by: Mariana Santiago (Latin American Spanish)
"Destiny intervened, and our hearts collided."

The daughter of Queen Calanthe and the presumed heir to Cintra during the feast for her hand.

  • Age-Gap Romance: Duny was old enough to save the life of Pavetta's father before she was even born, meaning there's a considerable age difference between them.
  • Bus Crash: Drowns off-screen after her child is born when her ship goes down.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: Verbally chews out her mother for her genocide of the elves and for treating the slaughter of rebellious peasants as a game.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In her Establishing Character Moment, Pavetta's first spoken lines were to chew out the mighty Lioness of Cintra.
    Pavetta: Perhaps I should have some starving serfs brought into the slaughter, then. Or I could decapitate some elves and have their heads hung about as a lesson to those who would defy me.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She is a blonde princess who condemns her mother for the slaughter and mistreatment of the common folk and the elves.
  • Mama Bear: In one of the visions of her Ciri and Triss uncovered in Season 2, both her and Duny appear very concerned about something related to Cirilla (even preparing to abscond by boat to do so): Ciri immediately recognizes this was the night they died. Considering this sequence was immediately followed by the reveal of Lara Dorren's Dying Curse, it's likely their fear of just how strong in the Elder Blood Ciri is. Their anxiety likely coming from the sheer paranoia of anything Elven-related in the Northern Kingdoms—not to mention Calanthe's still-well known role in the purge of the Elves.
  • Marry for Love: Calanthe had an Arranged Marriage lined up for her, but Pavetta wanted to marry Duny, whom she fell in love with not knowing that she was promised to him by the Law of Surprise. Calanthe initially resists, but relents once Pavetta unleashes her powers.
  • Nice Girl: She's one of the few nobility to express concern for the lives of the common people, for starters.
  • Power Incontinence: Has strong latent magical power that she accidentally unleashes when she sees Duny almost getting killed. Her daughter inherited her mother's potential.
  • Princess Classic: She's a sweet, noncombatant princess who wants to marry for love, which contrasts with her fiercely independent and pragmatic Blood Knight mother.
  • Recessive Super Genes: Pavetta's grandmother also had her ability, but it skipped her mother.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She looks a lot like her daughter Cirilla, including having the exact same hair and eye colour.
  • Teen Pregnancy: According to The Witcher timeline, Pavetta was only 16 years old when she gave birth to Ciri. Given this is a medieval setting, Calanthe's lack of concern over her daughter's age is justified.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Seeing her own mother about to kill her true love in front of her results in a Big "NO!" and a violent vortex of wind upending the whole room and everyone in it, with her and Duny levitating in the middle where the air is eerily calm, with her chanting in Elder the whole time.



Portrayed by: Adam Levy
Voiced by: Atsuyoshi Miyazaki (Japanese), Humberto Solórzano (Latin American Spanish)
"You can't outrun destiny just because you're terrified of it."

A druid in the service of the royal house of Tuirseach of Skellige and later of Queen Calanthe. He is also an old acquaintance of Geralt's.

  • Barrier Warrior: When the Nilfgaardians are at the castle gates, Mousesack conjures a Deflector Shield that holds them off for several hours.
  • Cool Old Guy: Mousesack is a powerful magician, an honest adviser to his liege lords, and one of the nicest people in the entire series.
  • Court Mage: He is the de facto court mage of Cintra, despite the fact that he is a druid and not a member of the Brotherhood.
  • Death by Adaptation: Despite being very much alive in both the original books and the video games, Mousesack dies early in the series when a doppler assassin hired by Cahir stabs him to death and assumes his form.
  • The Good Chancellor: Unlike most sorcerers and sorceresses shown in the series, who tend to use their status as royal advisers mainly for their own benefit, Mousesack is genuinely loyal to Cintra and its royal family.
  • I Choose to Stay: Decided to stay with the Cintran royal family, after witnessing Princess Pavetta's magical potential, in the hope that Training the Gift of Magic would help with Pavetta's Power Incontinence. Unfortunately, Pavetta died not too long after giving birth to Ciri.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: A wise, humble and courteous man who takes his duty to serve and protect his country very seriously. This puts him in stark contrast to the court mages of the Brotherhood, who are overwhelmingly shown to be self-centered, ruthless in their pursuit of power, and apathetic to the plights of the common people.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: When the Nilfgaardians storm the royal palace, he stays behind and fends them off as long as he can to buy Ciri time to escape.


    King Foltest 

King Foltest

Portrayed by: Shaun Dooley
Voiced by: Dennis Schmidt-Foß (German), Humberto Vélez (Latin American Spanish)
"For all it brightens, love casts long shadows."

The king of Temeria. At first averse to Geralt, he eventually trusts in Triss Merigold's judgment and asks Geralt to lift the curse off of his niece, Adda.

  • Adaptational Personality Change: Foltest in the books was open and candid with Geralt from the start, and was grateful for the witcher's help and advice. He even gave Geralt lodging in the palace for the night. Foltest in the show has to be threatened physically before he'll even speak to Geralt.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Foltest is young and fairly handsome in the books, here he is middle-aged and overweight.
  • Adipose Rex: He's introduced pigging out on meat after it is established that Temeria is suffering from winter and his subjects are in misery. It's later revealed this isn't exactly due to apathy/lack of concern for his subjects, and more because he's in the middle of depression and a major dilemma.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: He was in love with his sister, Adda, whom he got pregnant and whose daughter, also named Adda, would be cursed to become a striga.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Played With. He agrees to send troops to support the defenders at Sodden Hill and he actually keeps his word — but Nilfgaard attacks early, so but his army arrives only after most of the battle is actually over. Yennefer's spell incinerated a significant part of the Nilfgaardian army just as he and his men join the battle. Nonetheless, his arrival basically ruins any chance the decimated Nilfgaard ans still have at taking Sodden, as they were expecting reinforcements around the same time.
  • Confirmed Bachelor: The death of his love, his sister Adda, (and the supposed death of their unborn child) devastated him, which is why he never married anyone.
  • Foil: To Geralt—both have a sort-of daughter who they ignore for years. But it's not to late for either of them to turn around and show up for them.
  • Papa Wolf: Refuses to allow anyone to harm the striga and only backs Geralt when he figures out that he intends to cure her.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: To his credit, he seems to have recovered his senses after the issue with his daughter is dealt with. He is the first to pledge alliance to the sorcerers fighting Nilfgaard at Sodden Hill.
  • Treachery Cover Up: To hide the fact that the monster that haunted the kingdom was his daughter born of incest, who was cursed by his courtier, Ostrit, to become a striga, he declares the deceased Ostrit to be a hero who sacrificed his life to kill the vukodlak. The miners then gather ore to build a statue for Ostrit.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Proving himself to be a distressing hypocrite considering how much he loves his own daughter, he's the one responsible for proposing a bounty of Ciri's head as in his eyes Ciri is too dangerous politically to be left alive.


Lord Ostrit

Portrayed by: Jason Thorpe
"Her memory will not be sullied, not while I'm alive to protect it."

A courtier in the court of Temeria, who has served the Temerian royal family for many years.

  • Adaptational Villainy: Freely admits to cursing Adda and her daughter. In the short story the episode is based on, it’s left ambiguous if it was him or Foltest and Adda’s mother.
  • Evil Chancellor: Ostrit is a high-ranking courtier and adviser to King Foltest, but he has also spent the last decade to thoroughly ruin his king and the entire royal family, with no regards for the well-being of the kingdom altogether.
  • False Friend: He appears to be a loyal subject and friend to his king, but quickly tries to frame Foltest for raping and murdering Adda, when Triss and Geralt confront him with the king's incestuous relationship with his sister. It's then revealed that Ostrit is to blame for Adda's death and her daughter's curse and that all he sought to do for the last decade was to ruin Foltest.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Failing to win Princess Adda's heart (who's already occupied with her brother) turns him into an insidious one.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Adda was not in love with Ostrit, preferring someone else socially-unacceptable instead... so he cursed her to death, which turned her daughter into a striga.
  • Karmic Death: He's killed by the monster he created.
  • Never My Fault: He wholeheartedly blames Foltest for the curse, completely ignoring that he cast it on Princess Adda and her unborn child to begin with. Even right before his death, while crying and begging, he tries to tell the striga it was all Foltest's fault.
  • Rationalizing the Overkill: He has clearly deluded himself into thinking that whatever happened is ultimately Foltest's fault — even the fact that Temeria is near civil war because of the troubles the striga is causing. Even worse is the fact that the person he cursed is ultimately the woman he claims to be in love with, and the Tragic Monster that came out of it is an innocent child.
  • Stalker with a Crush: It's eventually revealed he harbored unrequited feelings for Princess Adda — to the point that he still sleeps in her abandoned bedroom. This clues Geralt into the fact that he is in fact the guilty party.
  • Undignified Death: Tied and bound to Adda's bed as bait, the striga — who is implied to have realized that Ostrit is the person responsible for her condition — stalks him first within the shadows before ripping out his guts.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Rare instance of the villain not planning it beforehand: precisely because the reveal of the striga's circumstances would ruin/destabilise Temeria's royalty even more than it already has, Foltest and Triss decided to cast him as the hero who gave his life to slay the rumoured vukodlak. He's still dead and unable to do more damage, so it's more of an irritation than a serious problem, but it does mean that the witcher's guild never gets to (publicly) restore its reputation in Temeria.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Not unreasonably, he sought Geralt's protection and mercy after he is drawn into the fight with the striga as bait. However, because it is already established his actions ruined so many lives (especially the young princess turned into the striga), Geralt leaves him to his Undignified Death.
  • Would Hurt a Child: His curse ruined the younger Princess Adda from the womb, turning her into a striga.

    Princess Adda 
See her sheet here.


    Queen Kalis 

Queen Kalis

Portrayed by: Isobel Laidler
"People look at you for who you are, not for what you can give them."

The young queen of Lyria and mother of several daughters, whose husband plots to have her killed for failing to bear him a son and heir.

  • Awful Wedded Life: Kalis's marriage to the King of Lyria is not a happy one. He only cares about getting a son from her, while she complains that he cares for his hounds more than he cares for her. This is even before he sends an assassin to kill her for failing to give him a son.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: At first, she has a pleasant conversation with Yennefer and encourages her in her worldview, while also doting on her infant daughter. Under stress, she reveals her true colours, as she becomes more snappy and mean-spirited the more exhausted Yennefer gets, eventually even trying to sacrifice her daughter to save her own life.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Her insulting remarks towards Yennefer as their flight gets more desperate are more than just a little daring, considering Yennefer is the only one capable of giving her even the slightest hope at escaping the assassin. It is implied that her snapping is what eventually drives Yennefer to abandon her.
  • Parental Neglect: Though initially appearing as a doting mother, she actually cares so little for her daughter that she is willing to give her up to the assassin to bargain for her own life.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Yennefer conjures up several portals for her and Kalis to flee through, to the point of exhausting herself and nearly dying. Nonetheless, the moment she shows any sign of weakness, the queen begins to drop her nice façade and begins to yell at and insult her.
  • Slashed Throat: After unsuccessfully pleading for her life, the assassin kills her by telekinetically slashing her throat with a knife.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Heaping abuse on the one and only person keeping her alive, as an implacable assassin is closing in on her, has the logical result one would expect and the queen is promptly killed.

    Queen Meve 

Queen Meve Of Lyria

Portrayed by: Rebecca Hanssen

The daughter of Queen Kalis and the current Queen of Lyria.

  • Adaptation Deviation: Considerably younger than she is in the books (where she is a close friend of Queen Calanthe since their youth and old enough to have two adult sons; like Calanthe on the show, she is also a Lady of War). In the series, she's the youngest of the Northern Rulers by far, and Tissaia's words imply that she's fairly new at being a queen.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dryly points out that Ciri proved to be much less trouble when everyone believed her to be dead.
  • The Smurfette Principle: With Calanthe dead, she's the only woman among the monarchs of the Northern Kingdoms. Her presence implies her father never got the son he desired.


    King Dagread 

King Dagread of Kaedwen

The ruling monarch of Kaedwen during Vesemir's early years as a witcher, as shown during The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf.

  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The little we see of the king of Kaedwen suggests that while he looks suggestible or weak, he is not the kind of person who takes intrigue from favourites lightly or out of hand. For the most part, he has kept the counsel of Lady Zerbst (a very competent noblewoman). For that matter, even when he signed on to Tetra's purge of the Witchers at Kaer Morhen, he only did so when she gave him enough irrefutable proof of their villainy. Admittedly, having one of the Witchers executed (and the one with the least involvement at that) puts a damper at this.

    Lady Zerbst 

Lady Zerbst

Voiced by: Mary McDonnell (as the elderly Lady Zerbst), Jennifer Hale (young)
One of the leading royal councilors of Kaedwen. Unlike Tetra, she seems to have a better appreciation of the Witchers' role in the Continent.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: She tragically ends up being stabbed by Vesemir during a hallucination imposed on him by Tetra.
  • Happily Married: In a curious case for a fantasy setting, Lady Zerbst is one of the few noblewomen in the Continent who seems to be pretty happy both in her social standing and her personal life—taking pride in how her marriage produced a lot of children and how she seems content even as widow. The Reveal that Illyana and the late Lord Zerbst chose to Marry for Love, in defiance of class distinctions, likely played a role in this.
  • The Lost Lenore: For Vesemir, initially, until they reunite in Kaedwen—he a Witcher, she a noblewwoman. She unfortunately becomes this permanently with her death.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Tetra eventually discovering the connection between Vesemir and Lady Zerbst makes her think the latter's partiality to the Witchers was due to this liaison. They didn't even know up until they finally reunited, which is what furthers the antagonism.
  • Plucky Girl: The Reveal that she was Illyana, Vesemir's childhood friend, points to her being one. She has actually retained her spirit and wit even as a grandmother.
  • Rags to Riches: It was implied (admittedly by a malicious Tetra) that she married into the house of Zerbst, and that she came from less-affluent origins. The truth was less-salacious: as Illyana, she becaming a serving maid of the house, and eventually fell in love with the incoming lord.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: As mentioned, she has a better understanding not only of the politics of her kingdom, but also the roles of the people in it (Witchers included). She was the most vocal advocate for them against Tetra's pogrom. This rationality is further proven when she upbraids Deglan for his Monster Protection Racket, pointing out that the Sack of Kaer Morhen is something he brought upon himself.
  • The Rival: To Tetra, who to her view is a runaway bigot.
  • The One That Got Away: To some extent, despite her happy station with Lord Zerbst (who's since passed away), she does view Vesemir as this. It's likely they would have resumed their romance if she did not die during the Sack of Kaer Morhen.
  • Silver Fox: For a grandmotherly stateswoman, she's actually very svelte and good-looking. Nevertheless, it's still a bit embarrassing for her to admit that she does still have feelings for Vesemir, who's now a quasi-immortal Witcher who still looks far younger than her.

    Tetra Gilcrest 

Voiced by: Lara Pulver

A sorceress from Aretuza, she leads an anti-Witcher pogrom, coming to blows against Vesemir and the Witchers of Kaer Morhen.

  • Beauty Is Bad: Tetra is drawn to be very easy on the eyes (and Lara Pulver voicing her just adds to the sensuousness of it). She is also unrepentantly vindictive.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While she is the most visible antagonistic force against the Witchers as seen in The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, the entire mess which ended with the Sack of Kaer Morhen was not wholly her fault—as she would have had no hard basis for conducting it if Deglan and his accomplices were not actively engaging in a Monster Protection Racket.
  • From Bad to Worse: Her entire plan ends up having horrible repercussions down the line as it turns while the Continent's monsters were indeed waning, newer, more powerful ones from other Spheres would cross over decades later. As such, by driving the Witchers to near-extinction, she only made it more difficult for people to find help and selfishly made the Continent even more dangerous than it already was.
  • Hypocrite: Tetra cites bringing Kaer Morhen to justice for the good of Kaedwen because the Witchers are out of control. In reality, it was just plain and simple revenge on her part. When bringing an armed mob of peasants and her apprentices to Kaer Morhen, having destroyed Kitsu's home and lair to blame the Witchers, she also sided with Kitsu to bring an army of monsters to the fight.
  • It's Personal: Ultimately, her motivations for her anti-Witcher crusade boils down to this. While she eventually realizes not all Witchers were in on the Monster Protection Racket, her primary concern is to avenge her mother who was assassinated due a Witcher's con. Bring Kaer Morhen to justice or reforming it was never her agenda: she wanted to tear it down.


    King Vizimir 

King Vizimir of Redania

Portrayed by: Ed Birch
The King of the wealthy kingdom of Redania.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: In the books and the games, King Vizimir II was the Good King among the Northern Kings, one of the staunchest opponents Nilfgaard had during their war of conquest and his title as The Just was well earned, with Dijkstra pointing out to Geralt in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that him and Vizimir worked together for years in order to make Redania as powerful as it became. His show version, meanwhile, is more of an Upperclass Twit, who pays Dijkstra to take care of the kingdom's problems, and seems to spend most of his time complaining.
  • Fantastic Racism: Orders the roundup and execution of all the elves in Redania.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The other rulers of the Northern Kingdoms are weary of his ambitions and have meetings they don’t invite him to.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Not exactly small, per se (he is a king, after all), but he seems to harbor a higher opinion of himself than he deserves, and his conversations with Dijkstra suggests he's been angling to be the most pre-eminent among the Northern rulers. Lucky for him, Dijkstra's been working towards getting him just that.


Sigismund Dijkstra

Portrayed by: Graham McTavish
The Chief of Redanian Intelligence.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Instead of the portly figure he's known for in the games, here he has a Mr. Fanservice physique.
  • Affably Evil: He might run the Redanian Intelligence with ruthless efficiency, be an incredibly dangerous Hyper-Competent Sidekick who is pretty much the power behind Redania and very obviously is a master at political manipulation, but he's also a man who very rarely loses his cool and in almost every scene that he's in he is nothing but pleasantly polite and cordial.
  • Bald of Evil: It all depends how you classify a frighteningly effective Affably Evil Hyper-Competent Sidekick who is a master of political manipulation. We know at least that said baldness is not due to old age, as we see him shaving himself.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: It's made abundantly clear that Dijkstra is the real power in Redania. And everyone in the other Northern Kingdoms seem to know it, as well. It's very telling that when The Northern Kings meet near the end of Season 2, when they speak about how dangerous Redania can grow they all refer to Dijkstra as the main problem, not Vizimir.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Dijkstra is a frighteningly effective operative in the service of an imbecile king. His Establishing Character Moment has him foil an assassination attempt on Vizimir by his closest advisors by dispatching one with a throwing knife and forcing the other to drink the poisoned wine meant for Vizimir.
  • Mysterious Backer: His final conversation with Philippa in Season 2 strongly implies that he's been backing Jaskier's Underground Railroad operation for his own nebulous reasons and more than willing to exploit Jaskier for it. In his own words: "Bring me the bard. It's about time he paid back his benefactor".
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: While he spends most of the 2nd season as a calm and controlled Hyper-Competent Sidekick and master of Realpolitik, Emhyr's status as an Outside-Context Problem actually drives him into a drunken private rant to the point that he states that "Nothing he does makes any fucking sense!"
  • Realpolitik: Befitting his role, much of his scenes involve him discussing how Redania can exploit the balance of power between the fragile alliances of the Northern kingdoms, as well as the ascendant empire of Nilfgaard.
  • The Spymaster: He runs Redanian Intelligence, and is able to plant spies in places event the mages of the Brotherhood can’t.


Philippa Eilhart

Portrayed by: Cassie Clare
The sorceress and advisor of King Vizimir.
  • The Handler: She is the main point of contact for Dara while he is acting as a Redanian spy in Xin'trea relaying orders and collecting information.
  • Telepathy: When she's an owl, she communicates like this with Dijkstra and Dara.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Can transform into a barn owl at will, and spends most of season 2 that way.