Throughout this, we’re gonna be breaking down everything that you need to know about the timeline of The Witcher on Netflix. The events may leave you confused as some things that happen in episode 4 set up things in episode 1 and so on and yeah…it’s a lot of timey whimey wibbly-wobbly stuff.
Anyway, there will be heavy spoilers here, so if you haven’t had a chance to watch the show yet and don’t want to know what happens then I highly suggest that you turn off now. We’re spoiling absolutely everything here so you might wanna check out if you’ve not seen the season yet.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this video, so sit back, toss a coin to your Witcher and let’s get into our timeline breakdown.
The Witcher Timeline Explained
Ok, so the main thing that you need to know about the Witcher timeline is that the show actually possesses three distinctive timelines that all center around the season’s three main characters.
They are Geralt, Yennefer and Ciri.
The season initially seems to play out in chronological order with there being a reference to Ciri in Geralt’s timeline in the first episode, however, not everything is as it seems.
This is all prophetic and there’s actually a lot of things that are predicted in the season such as Ciri dreaming of Yennefer. We’ll get into all this later but we’ve laid out everything from beginning to end in order to make the most sense.
The timelines are deliberately put in place in order to confuse viewers and sort of drop mini-twists in when you begin to realise that things aren’t as they seem.
It’s an awesome way to layout the events and it sort of adds a mystique to all the proceedings of the season.
Geralt’s timeline is probably the main one as he is the only character that meets both Yennefer and Ciri however at some points they are all happening alongside one another.
In total they span across decades but with Yenn’s timeline being the one that happens first.
So yep, Yennefer is old, I’m talking like Prince Phillip old, I’m talking saying ‘My Wife’ in a Borat voice old.
Yennefer’s Timeline Explained
Anyway we join her as a hunch back who tends a farm. She’s pretty much treated like how the Dursleys treat Harry Potter and nobody really likes her.
We learn in the season that Yenn is half-elf and that her father died during a genocide known as The Great Cleansing.
In Geralt’s timeline, they refer to this almost as a legend and therefore we know it happened a long time before we ever meet our Witcher for the first time.
We know that Yenn can’t really remember her father all that well so he probably died when she was very young meaning that she probably arrived at Aretuza 15 years after the Great Cleansing. We don’t know how long that Yennefer studied for but she ages very little between her arrival and ascension so we can probably guess that it was roughly between four to five years.
So yeah, all this is happening long before the birth of Ciri, up to at least 50 years before.
Yenn begins developing her powers and slowly becomes one of the most powerful mages in the land.
She is tied to the Sorcerors though and must perform tasks for them.
Her Time As A Mage
The Sorcerers are using their mages to control each kingdom, strategically placing them in order to rule the courts. She wants to go to Aedirn but this is refused by her bosses and thus she turns to drastic measures in order to ensure that she gets her own way.
During this she has her appearance fixed. As we know from The Witcher lore, all magic comes with a cost, so in order to receive beauty she has to give up her ability to bear children. The procedure ends with her womb being removed in order to achieve this.
Yen gains a position in court at Aedirn, and she begins working there. However, this comes at the annoyance of Fringilla who is sent to Nilfgaard in Yen’s place. When at this location, Fringilla begins to empower the kingdom and we do learn that technologically it begins making leaps and bounds after her appointment there.
We also do know that it’s roughly about the time of Yennefer’s appointment that Geralt’s origin story happens. As a young man he is abandoned by his mother Visenna, found by Vesemir and trained to be a Witcher.
Fingers crossed we get to see Vesemir last time as there are rumours that he will be played by Mark Hammil. That’s just some fan casting but I would love to see it, maybe we will finally get the Luke Skywalker we should’ve got…anyway…
Yennefer begins working for the court in a position that spans 30 years. Here she has a couple of tragic events happen to her and she fails to save a mother and baby which massively changes her opinion on Mages, Kingdoms, sorcerors and so on.
Geralt’s Timeline Explained
It’s during this time that Geralt begins to have some adventures, he meets Stregaboar, lifts a Striga curse and so on. This is pretty much where his story picks up in episode one and his timeline and adventures flow from this point onwards. These tales are immortalized in song by Jaskier and for the next couple of decades, he becomes renowned throughout the Witcher land.
Yennefer abandons her post in the court and begins working independently though we don’t know how long she did this for.
Roughly though, Yennefer’s timeline takes place over the space of 70 years so we can assume that it was roughly about 10 years.
After gaining a reputation, Geralt attends a royal ball at Cintra. Queen Calanthe is looking for a suitable husband for her daughter, Princess Pavetta and during this, she insults a representative of Nilfgaard which eventually gives reason for their invasion later in the timeline but earlier in the show.
Yeah, it’s confusing.
The Law Of Surprise
In addition to this, the court is sent into shock when Pavetta reveals that she already has a suitor named Duny.
Duny had been cursed at the age of 13 by a mage but with the help of Geralt they are able to lift it.
As a thank you Duny gives Geralt The Law Of Surprise which turns out to be Princess Ciri who now has her fate tied with Geralt.
Geralt once more traverses the land and with Jaskier, he ends up discovering a Djinn Bottle in a lake and from this, he receives three wishes.
Not long after he meets Yennefer and he binds his fate to hers with his final wish.
The Last Wish Explained
We never find out what this is, however, there are some fan theories online that Geralt actually wished that they would have a baby together. This would not only save her life but also make it so that one day that she would be able to have children. It also makes their fates tied together and is probably the most likely one that I’ve seen though as I’ve said this has never been confirmed.
Yen and Geralt begin their on again off again relationship and separate for a couple more years.
However, they bump into each other once more on the adventure involving the Golden Dragon.
This seems too good to be true and Yen realises that the last wish by Geralt probably is behind it. She gets angry and storms off and this is the last time that the characters meet in season one.
Geralt goes to Cintra and Queen Calanthe and co try to trick him into guarding a fake Ciri, though he discovers this and is jailed for it.
Nilfgaard invade Cintra and Queen Calanthe dies.
Before he passing she instructs Ciri, who is now 14, to find Geralt.
During the invasion, Geralt goes looking for her but he is unable to find her and she flees to the wilderness. Cahir searches for her and Ciri realises that she has incredible powers.
She goes to Brockilon and is tricked by a shapeshifter. Nilfgaard wants her bad and they are pretty much ravaging the entire landscape.
Fringilla who is now leading the Nilfgaardian army attends court at Aretuza and a civil war happens.
It’s during this time that the battle of the bridge happens in which Fringilla attempts to take one that will give her and the armies access to the northern kingdoms.
This is known as the Battle Of Sodden Hill and it does have the potential to turn the tide of the war.
It’s an awesome action scene that is one of the highlights of the show and though it’s not completely carried across just how instrumental this location will be in the war, defending it is of the utmost importance.
Yennefer and her squad manage to defend it and she unleashes all of her powers at once, completely decimating the forces of Nilfgaard and killing many many people.
This is Yennefer’s last appearance in the season and after unleashing everything she disappears.
During this time, Geralt is badly injured and he is taken care of by a stranger. He has a vision of his mother Visenna and in the season finale he comes across Ciri.
Ciri asks who Yennefer is as she has been having dreams about the character and the show cuts to black ending the first season.
The Second Season
So, that’s all of the first seasons timelines. We did skip over some of the events just to keep everything streamlined but that’s pretty much everything that you need to know about the main events in the show.
We do know that going forward that Season 2 will have a lot more streamlined timeline and that the events will be happening in chronological order so finally…finally no more head-scratching.
Hopefully, this video helped you to get your head around everything, I definitely think the shows narrative aesthetic keeps it really engaging and I loved watching the events unfold in the way that they did.
This is a really unique show, made all the more unique because of it’s structural layout. I had a lot of fun putting this together and it was brilliant revisiting the show with a new understanding of how things were happening.
Anyway that’s everything that you need to know about the timeline of the Witcher on Netflix. Make sure you leave your thoughts on the layout in the comments section below.