A Grain Of Truth
Episode 1 of The Witcher Season 2 begins with blistering cold snow in the dead of the night. A merchant arrives with his family looking for a place to stay. Unfortunately, they’re attacked by a monster that savagely dispatches them all.
Meanwhile, Yennefer is gone. The battlefield is a mess, with a mosaic of 20,000 soldiers lining the floor. Out the smoke step Ciri and Geralt, who are now together. Their fruitless search for Yen eventually leads them back into the woods again.
They’re at a bit of a crossroads, with Cintra out the question to visit. Geralt decides to ride for Kaer Morhen, the place Witchers go in the winter. Given the chilly conditions outside, he deduces that the other Witchers will have thee same idea.
En-route, Geralt finds a dead carcass by thee side of the road. Calming Roach, Geralt stumbles upon Nivellen, who’s very different now. Geralt is reassured that Ciri will be safe inside his home, but there appears too be something else within the walls, skittering about and watching Ciri from afar.
Now, Nivellen’s ties to Geralt stretch back to when Geralt wiped out a wyvern infestation for his father. Nivellen’s looks are linked to a curse inflicted on him by a Priestess, forcing him to live alone. She screamed words about love and blood. The magic is strong, so strong in fact that he’s unable to even kill himself.
In the middle of this, Nivellen talks about the potential coming of the end of days. With the world acting on its own accord and rumours abound of the Wild Hunt out riding, the world rests on a precarious knife edge.
That night, Geralt winds up playing a game with Nivellen, but the cursed man uses magical knives to fix the game of truths. This only furthers Geralt’s suspicions that something is amiss here.
Triss Merigold continues to suffer from bad dreams, quelled slightly by Tissaia using her magic. Fringilla is also lost, although as we soon find out she’s actually out in the woods with Yennefer. Despite being in chains, Yen realizes that they’ve won the battle. So naturally Fringilla intends to use Yennefer as a sacrifice to Nilfgaard to try and change their fortunes.
For now, Tissaia is more preoccupied with her prisoner, Cahir. He continues his discord regarding the White Flame, unwilling to speak. So naturally, Tissaia decides to use her magic to rip the memories right from his head.
That night, we find out what Nivellen is hiding. A strange creature known as a Bruxa in the house. It comes to Ciri that night, revealing her name is Vereena.
When Geralt finds the deceased merchant and his family outside, he hunts the creature. Eventually, out in the courtyard, he stabs Vereena but when she takes Ciri hostage, it’s Nivellen that shows and stabs her through the heart. Just as Geralt slices her head off, her eyes turn to Ciri “He’ll come for you too.”
This singular action frees the curse, turning Nivellen back into a man. The thing is, he allowed the Bruxa to stay and to feed on him. He offered a kindness to this creature, trying in vain to stave off the cravings. Whether she was a monster or not, the pair were in love. However, it doesn’t stop the fact she brutally murdered numerous villagers, including those aforementioned merchants.
Ciri and Geral eventually leave, heading back into the woods once more. Geralt promises to be there for her, making sure nothing happens to Ciri – if she’ll follow his instructions.
Meanwhile, back with Yen and Fringilla, they’re attacked out in the woods. With the entire platoon wiped out, Fringilla and Yennefer are left to try and thwart this invisible threat.
The Episode Review
The Witcher is back and Netflix’s hit fantasy show wastes absolutely no time getting right to the heart of the drama. Seeing all of our characters off on their own individual plot-lines is good to see, while the episode-of-the-week format continues too.
This time it falls to the Bruxa and an interesting tale with big shades of moral grey. This is one thing The Witcher has always excelled at, and it’s especially prevalent here with Nivellen and Vereena, who both love each other despite the horrible things that have happened.
Either way though, the ending hints that we’ve got some dramatic episodes to come, setting things up nicely for the season ahead.