In the world of The Witcher, where betrayal and heartbreak are commonplace, trust is a precious commodity. This mysterious fictional realm has taught us that genuine connections can often be found with strangers, even more so than within blood ties. The relationship between The White Flame, Emhyr var Emreis, and his daughter Cirilla serves as a crucial example tainted by such betrayal and selfishness, even though they had a blood connection. In the third season of The Witcher, Emhyr comes closer to his aim of capturing Ciri and intertwining her destiny with his own. To achieve this, he suppresses all enemy factions, ensuring a smooth path toward his goal. However, with both Geralt and Yennefer still alive, capturing Ciri and controlling her future will be a challenging task for the White Flame.
In The Witcher season 1, we were introduced to Emhyr as a cursed hedgehog named Duny, who sought to marry Pavetta. With Geralt’s help, his curse was lifted, and in return, Pavetta and Duny’s unborn child became Geralt’s destiny. However, it didn’t take long for Duny to reveal his true colors. When Pavetta gave birth to their daughter, Cirilla, Emhyr learned of a prophecy that the child of Elder Blood would become the ruler of the world. Driven by his unflinching thirst for power, Duny decided to leave for Nilfgaard, taking his daughter with him. Yet Pavetta, upon discovering her husband’s sinister plan, managed to smuggle Cirilla back to Cintra. Tragically, Pavetta lost her life during the boat trip.
While Cirilla grew up in Cintra under her grandmother Calanthe’s care, Emhyr overthrew the usurper of the kingdom of Nilfgaard and ascended to become the Emperor, known as the White Flame. His hunger for power remained unyielding, and his focus was set on bringing Ciri back to his kingdom to marry her. He believed that through this union, he could obtain a child of Elder blood who would eventually become the conqueror of the world.
Why Did Emhyr Plan A Siege On The Brotherhood of Sorcerers?
The Battle of Sodden Hill is renowned in The Witcher universe as a legendary and fierce conflict. Initially, in the first battle of Sodden, the Northern Kingdoms suffered a defeat against the powerful Nilfgaardian forces, which encouraged Nilfgaard to target the strategically important kingdom of Cintra. What the North didn’t realize was that Emhyr var Emreis had a strong desire to capture Princess Cirilla, which was another big reason for his fixation on Cintra. But fate had a different plan in store. The Northern Kingdoms joined forces and, in a moment of remarkable unity, sought help from the talented mages of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers. This powerful alliance made the Battle of Sodden Hill one of the most challenging and fiercely fought conflicts ever witnessed in the history of The Witcher.
The Nilfgaardian soldiers were acutely aware of the mages’ immense power; therefore, despite their huge manpower and fierce tenacity, they were in a brutal struggle against the magical power wielded by the mages. Nonetheless, the relentless attack by the mages forced the Nilfgaardian forces to retreat, abandoning their audacious plan to conquer Cintra, which served as a crushing blow to Emhyr’s ambitions. Unable to come to terms with the bitter defeat, Emhyr vowed not to repeat the same mistake again and began to scheme how to get the formidable Brotherhood out of the picture for good.
Emhyr var Emreis had long awaited this pivotal moment in his life. He devised a cunning plan to achieve his ambitions by gaining the trust of the Elven soldiers, led by Francesca Finderbair, who sought an official homeland for the elves. Emhyr made a deal with the Elven queen, and the terms might have been to aid Nilfgaard in taking down the Brotherhood of Sorcerers, with the elves being granted their promised homeland in return. This alliance aimed to ease Nilfgaard’s path to capturing Princess Cirilla.
However, a mole lurked in the Brotherhood, and it turned out to be none other than Vilgefortz, whom Tissia, the leader of the Brotherhood, deeply trusted. Vilgefortz shook hands with Emhyr and aimed to capture Ciri with his strategic moves. But he coveted Cirilla’s elder blood for his own purposes, to travel across the interdimensional realm, which led him to betray the mages of Aretuza in a cunning manner. He didn’t even bother to manipulate Tissia’s trust, ultimately casting a portal to allow the Nilfgaardian forces and the elves to infiltrate the headquarters of Aretuza, causing substantial destruction in their wake. While the war between these factions unfolded tragically, the White Flame’s carefully crafted strategy began to materialize. With the Brotherhood burned to the ground and weakened, the path to conquering the Northern Kingdoms became considerably easier for the ambitious Emperor.
In an unexpected turn of events during the climactic ending of The Witcher season 3, Vilgefortz outwitted Emhyr, proving himself greedier and craftier than the emperor was. In a surprising twist, the episode uncovered a shocking revelation: the Cirilla presented to Emhyr by Vilgefortz turned out to be Teryn, the mage’s previous kidnapping victim from Aretuza. As the false Cirilla stood beside the King, Vilgefortz’s disfigured face showed a sinister smile of satisfaction. However, beneath this facade of contentment, the true evil intentions of Vilgefortz became apparent. He cunningly plotted to keep the real Cirilla for himself while deceiving Emhyr with the fake version. Despite being so close to achieving his goal, Emhyr seemed to fall short in the end.
Emhyr and Vilgefortz had a longstanding acquaintanceship built on trust, as the King relied on the cunning mage for his dark deeds. However, if Emhyr were to somehow realize that the Cirilla presented to him was a fake, and that Vilgefortz was the mastermind behind this cunning strategy, it could lead to a fierce confrontation between the King and the treacherous mage. The subsequent installment of The Witcher promises even more twists and revelations, delving deeper into the mind of Vilgefortz and the White Flame. The question remains whether Emhyr would remain duped by Vilgefortz and continue his conquest of the North, or if he would seek retribution and take down Vilgefortz for this shocking betrayal.