‘The Witcher’ Season 3: How Did The Death Of Geralt’s Mother, Visenna, Impact Him?

The superhit Netflix series The Witcher released the first half of the third season yesterday. Determined to keep the hype alive for their shows, Netflix has come up with a new charade of splitting their most popular shows into two halves so that the viewership lasts for more than a month. Even if this marketing move could have been excused, the treatment of Henry Cavill by the makers of the show has been completely inexcusable, leading to the actor leaving the show after Season 3 wrapped up. Therefore, this year will be the last time we see Cavill don the Witcher gear, and he will be leaving with half the viewership. Speaking of the first half of this season, we witnessed a lot of growth in Geralt’s character, so today, we delve into exploring just how far the white-haired Witcher has grown as a person while slaying monsters and going on missions.

Spoilers Ahead


Who Was Geralt Of Rivia? 

The Witcher that we know makes his conversations through a series of short grunts and sighs, and he prefers to let his swords do the talking. The true fans of The Witcher series will know that Geralt would rather spend his time winning Gwent cards from merchants when he’s not going off to hack at the echidnas and necrophages. However, Netflix takes Henry Cavill’s Geralt in a different direction altogether and makes him a neutral witness to the never-ending planning and plotting that the courts and mages are fixated upon. In the early seasons, Geralt felt more at ease facing off against a wyvern than having to sit through the elaborate yet vacuous balls that the Northern kingdoms so ardently adored. However, with newer seasons and probably because of the effect of Yennefer of Vengerberg, Geralt has grasped bits and pieces of political tact simply as a mode of survival in a courtroom full of charlatans. As the fifth episode of the third season dictates, Geralt has learned his fair share of guises and conversations, even if he’s still inept at finessing his way through the caprices of the doe-eyed women who so obscenely fawn over the White Wolf. Thanks to his training at Kaer Morhen, Geralt was already adept at intuition and detection skills, but what he sorely lacked were the social skills that a nobleman depends upon, as much as a witcher depends on his silver sword. This season shows that Geralt can fake a smile or even start a fake fight if it helps him achieve an ulterior motive.


How Does Geralt Become A Better Father Figure To Ciri?

However, Geralt has to play a bigger role than just fighting monsters and slaying men, mostly because of the task he was entrusted with early in Season 1. This wasn’t a task to bring an emperor the head of a leech or retrieve a special sword, but to care for a young girl and bring her up as his own. Princess Cirilla of Cintra had come to see Geralt as her father much more than she did her own father, who, unbeknownst to her, was now the Emperor of Nilfgaard. At first, though, Geralt could only hone Ciri’s skills with a sword while failing to meet the other parental duties, like understanding what ails the child’s heart. Instead, Geralt focused too much on keeping Ciri safe over trying to realize what she wanted out of life. He’d rather delegate the responsibilities of helping Ciri develop emotionally to Yennefer, who, in turn, had come to see Ciri as a daughter. Things started changing in the middle of season 2, and by this season, Geralt was standing beside Ciri, his arm on her shoulder like a parent would, as he imparted the worldly knowledge he’d gained as a witcher even though this was just a lecture on Geralt’s unchangeable stance on staying neutral. Through his limited abilities, he tried his best to pass on the knowledge he’d gathered from his father figure, Vesemir, and even though he didn’t get it right the first few times, Geralt’s heart was in the right place.

Geralt even learned from the mistakes that he made with his ward, Ciri, and made sure not to repeat them. In one of the episodes, Ciri felt slighted that the man she saw as her dad couldn’t tell her that she looked beautiful, although she had to understand that there had not been any room for emotions in Geralt’s life for a very long time. However, during their voyage to Aretuza, Geralt instilled Ciri with confidence, telling her to follow her heart in whatever she wished to do. We do know that if situations were different, Geralt would have loved nothing more than to just live in an uninhabited land with Yennefer and Ciri and spend the rest of his life with them, but duty called, and he couldn’t stay away.


How Does Geralt Mature In His Relationship With Yennefer?

The deal with Yennefer was another thing altogether. Season 2 wasn’t the best for their relationship, as the love of Geralt’s life tried using his ward to gain her magical powers back. The trust had been cracked, the aftershocks of which could still be felt between Geralt and Yennefer as they traveled with Ciri to seek shelter. It took a while, with a lot of notes scribbled on parchments and the distance of a few weeks, for Geralt to realize he truly needed Yennefer and for them to return to each other. The trust had been hampered once, but Yennefer had promised to gain her love’s confidence back, and in a parchment that Geralt had left her, he admitted that he, too, would come to trust his lover again. The final episode shows how Geralt and Yennefer are truly inseparable and crave each other’s company so passionately. Additionally, when they put their heads together, they can defeat their target, even if they initially couldn’t understand who the real mastermind behind everything is. Geralt and Yennefer do manage to find out who the real culprit is, thanks to brainstorming that happens only when Geralt is around Yennefer.


How Far Does The News Of Visenna’s Death Impact Geralt? 

However, the greatest example of Geralt’s maturity and growth as a person is how he reacted to the news of his mother Visenna’s death. The Witcher carried disdain in his heart for the woman who gave birth to him and then abandoned him near Kaer Morhen because she was unable to sustain them. Geralt was subjected to inhumane and extreme tests, like every other boy who undergoes the Trial of Grasses to become a witcher, all because his mother Visenna chose to leave him alone on a dirt road. Having spent his life with anger in his heart for the woman for whom he could have done anything to ensure her happiness, Geralt’s frown at the news of her death spoke volumes. For a man known to keep his conversations to a bare minimum and his emotions even closer, Geralt bared his heart to Anika, Visennar’s friend, as tears rolled down his cheeks.

The Witcher showed his vulnerable side as the little boy, who was abandoned by the woman who was supposed to protect him, came to the forefront to express the pain from decades ago. He recalled how intense hunger kept the mother and son awake at nights when he was little and agreed that there were other ways to take care of the situation than deserting one’s child. Geralt’s tears expressed that, despite himself, he could never bring himself to kill the love he had had for his mother, and the news of her death brought out a well of emotions that the mutations of a witcher had supposedly made obsolete. Deep down, Geralt was a little boy who had missed out on a mother’s love, which made his resolve all the stronger that he would never abandon his daughter Ciri, even if that meant laying his life down in the process. Geralt is a mature person now; only the later episodes will reveal the rest of his character development.


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Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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