If you’re finished watching Netflix’s new fantasy series The Witcher, chances are good you may be left with some big questions about this world. Unless you mainlined author Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher novels, which serve as the basis for the series, or knew about the world of The Witcher through the CD Projekt Red video game series, you may have been left wondering about certain, seemingly pivotal elements like the Rule of Surprise or the White Flame, which is mentioned pretty casually in Episode 6, “Rare Species.”
It turns out the White Flame has ties to the ultimate baddies of The Witcher Season 1, the kingdom of Nilfgaard, and might just have big implications for Season 2, the arc of Nilfgaard’s leader, Cahir (Eamon Farren), and Nilfgaard’s ultimate fate.
Spoilers ahead of The Witcher Season 1.
If you’ve played The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings video game, the White Flame will sound familiar. In the game, the White Flame is a book you can buy from a Vergan merchant or you can find it on the beach near the character Sabrina’s pyre. The book contains important information about a Nilfgaardian king named Emhyr var Emreis. In the White Flame, the entry on Emhyr var Emreis reads:
Emhyr var Emreis – among all the rulers of that time, one cannot omit the Nilfgaardian emperor, known as Deithwen Addan yn Carn aep Morvudd, which means, in the Elder Speech, White Flame Dancing on the Barrows of His Enemies. Kings from the Buina to the Yaruga trembled at the sound of his name. His legions of steel-clad soldiers crushed countries under their heels and cast monarchs from their thrones. In his insatiable ambition, he had tried to conquer the north on several occasions, yet he had been forced to sign peace accords each time. Though he does not appear in our story personally, his long shadow often fell over the events I describe here.
The mention of the White Flame (aka, Emhyr var Emreis) may hint at what is coming in Season 2. You see, Season 1 ends with a major battle between the Nilfgaardian army (led by Cahir and his mage Frigilla) and the kingdom of Cintra.
Nilfgaard has been hellbent on Cintra for the entirety of Season 1. It’s the reason that Ciri (Freya Allan) lost her grandmother, Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May) and was forced to go on the run in the dead of night as Nilfgaard attacked the castle. Cahir, Frigilla, and the kingdom of Nilfgaard will remain the bad guys in Season 2 and if Emhyr var Emreis joins the action, then it may predict trouble for Cintra and for Ciri, in particular.
In the world of The Witcher, Emhyr var Emreis takes the Cintran throne in 1268, approximately 15 years after Ciri is born, and adds it to his holdings which include Nilfgaard. If we do the math, this means Emhyr var Emreis is on the throne around the same time Ciri finds Geralt and begins training with him and Yennefer. Even wilder, Emhyr var Emreis not only marries a false Ciri (previous identity unknown other than the fact she’s of Cintran nobility) at that time but he is also the father of the real Ciri that we know and love. It is, simply put, a total trip.
Considering many Cintrans don’t actually know what Ciri looks like and the fact we were already introduced to a fake Ciri in Episode 7, “Before I Fall,” it’s possible this fake Ciri will return and cause all kinds of trouble for the real Ciri. This is especially true if Emhyr var Emreis emerges in Season 2 as a villain alongside Cahir and Frigilla, who all seek to control Cintra.
The Witcher seems to be suggesting that the White Flame could play a major role next season. Or maybe it’s just a fun Easter egg. We’ll have to wait for Season 2 to find out.
The Witcher Season 1 is now available to stream on Netflix.