The Witcher season 2 didn’t spend a lot of time on the Ciri/Yennefer relationship. In fact, it could be said the season ends – just as season 1 ended, with their story just getting started. Their relationship hasn’t had time to become much yet. However, Yennefer does have an advantage (or disadvantage) over Geralt at the end of season 1. She already had the opportunity to both earn and lose Ciri’s trust.
It all starts well, of course. Considering what Ciri has heard of Yennefer and what Geralt feels about her, Ciri’s inclined to trust her from the get-go. The problem, of course, is that the Yennefer she first meets isn’t truly trustworthy. And though, in the end, Yennefer is incapable of betraying Ciri – and Geralt – the fact that she considered it is certainly something that will hang over their relationship in Season 3.
So, let’s go a little bit into what this relationship managed to become in so little time, what it can become going forward, and of course, how Yennefer is the final piece in the puzzle of the family Ciri never thought she would get.
At first Yennefer seems wiling – and ready – to sacrifice Ciri to get her magic back. And it is through Ciri and sacrifice that she ends up actually getting it back. But it’s not because she sacrifices Ciri, but instead because she sacrifices for Ciri.
This is a huge thing for Yennefer. We’ve seen her care for people before – she clearly cares about Geralt – but the one thing we’ve never seen her do is put someone else’s needs above her own. In season 2, however, she gets to a point where she does it without thinking. Without prompting. When push comes to shove, she just cannot give Ciri up.
More importantly, however, Yennefer isn’t just incapable of sacrificing Ciri, she goes a step further and makes a sacrifice that could have well come at the cost of her life, just to save the girl. She’s driven by guilt, yes, and perhaps a little by the need to prove herself to Geralt, but above all she’s driven by the certainty that Ciri is special, and she must protect her.
Yennefer of Vengerberg has lived and loved and once, a long time ago, in Aretuza, promised herself she would never let other people decide her fate. She was going to hold onto power and make her own destiny. Feelings didn’t matter. Only power. Except, now, things have changed. Now, Yennefer finally sees beyond what she can do. Now Yennefer has finally found ….her purpose.
JUST A TEACHER?
This might be more difficult for Ciri than it is for Yennefer, if for no other reason than Ciri’s loyalty, at this point in the story, is to Geralt, and Geralt alone. Even with Yennefer’s sacrifice which helped save Ciri in the end, and Geralt’s reluctant acceptance of her joining them, Ciri has no reason to truly trust Yennefer, who betrayed her, and also clearly hurt Geralt.
But just as in Ciri Yennefer has found something she was missing, in Yennefer Ciri can find something she never truly had, even though she had her grandmother: a maternal figure. Someone she can commiserate with when Geralt is being monosyllabic or just a man, someone who can teach her magic, yes, but who can also comfort her, and talk to her about the kind of stuff you want to talk to a woman about, not a man, not even your father.
They’re not there yet, of course, but that’s clearly where the story is going. For the family dynamic the show wants to establish, a stronger bond between Yennefer and Ciri needs to be developed. And personally, we cannot wait to see that happen.
Geralt and Yennefer have always had love, but they have never had real trust between each other, and they have never had a reason as powerful as the one they have now to stay together and figure their shit out. But, seeing as they both feel responsible for her, there’s no better time than now.
And I’m not even talking romantically, though that will surely come, and we can examine it as we discuss the Geralt/Yennefer relationship. Instead I’m talking about the two of them as the parents in this dynamic. Because that might just require the highest level of trust there is.
If they can put aside their differences and work together, then Ciri can surely start to feel safe enough in the dynamics that it will help her relationship with Yennefer. And if the three of them can learn that together they aren’t just stronger, but happier, then there will be no monster – or prophecy – that can defeat them. Their family will win against any foe, no matter the odds.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of The Witcher season 2? Share with us in the comments below!
The Witcher season 2 is available to stream on Netflix.