The Witcher Season 3 Can Pay Off S2’s Divisive Yennefer Change
The Witcher season 2’s biggest Yennefer change was also one of its most divisive, but The Witcher season 3 has the perfect setup to improve on it.
Although The Witcher season 2 made a significant change to Yennefer’s story, that is something The Witcher season 3 can use in its favor. Just as important as Geralt of Rivia to the world of The Witcher, Yennefer of Vengerberg is not always in the same place, or even the same timeline, as Geralt or Ciri. Most of Yennefer’s stories have been solo adventures so far, which helps audiences connect with her character and raises expectations for any scenario where the sorceress can possibly interact with Geralt or Ciri.
The Witcher season 1 told Yennefer’s origin story, and the Netflix series has followed the character ever since. As such, changes from Yennefer’s story in the Witcher books are to be expected, as Anya Chalotra is absent in a lot of Geralt’s adventures. Still, The Witcher season 2’s biggest Yennefer change was also one of its most divisive.
Why The Witcher Season 2 Removed Yennefer’s Magic
In order to face Nilfgaard’s army at the Battle of Sodden Hill teased at the end of The Witcher season 1, Yennefer had to use fire magic, as revealed at the beginning of The Witcher season 2. As fire magic is forbidden and extremely dangerous, Yennefer had to give something in return for it to work. The price Yennefer paid to survive the Battle of Sodden Hill was losing her magic for the rest of the season. In terms of narrative, Yennefer losing her magic at the beginning of The Witcher season 2 was supposed to reveal a more vulnerable side of the character, but represented a huge, controversial deviation.
Yennefer then had to navigate the dangers of the Continent, which includes all sorts of monsters and wizards, without her powers. The problem is that such a storyline made it seem like Yennefer’s character was defined by her powers only. While the idea of showing a more vulnerable Yennefer who had to survive without her powers could have worked, The Witcher season 2 failed in showing that Yennefer is more than just her magic. Linking Yennefer’s story to Ciri and Geralt simply because Yennefer wanted her powers back also played against the connection those characters are supposed to have in The Witcher, and reduced Yennefer’s arc to merely retrieving her old powers.
Yennefer Is More Than Her Magic (And Witcher Season 3 Can Show It)
Yennefer does not lose her powers in the Witcher novels, so retrieving her magic is not the reason why she encounters Ciri. Still, Yennefer’s quest to get her powers back at least helped bridge two separate The Witcher plotlines, with Yennefer and Ciri now finally part of the same story. Yennefer plays a crucial part in Ciri’s future and in the decisions Geralt will make, which is how The Witcher season 3 can show that Yennefer is more than just her magic. Yennefer never lost her agency as a character, yet season 2 reduced the sorceress to what she can do, rather than who she is.
Future interactions between Yennefer and Geralt or Yennefer and Ciri can highlight who Yennefer is, how she perceives the world, and why she is such an important character in the universe of The Witcher. Given that The Witcher season 3 is expected to adapt Time of Contempt, the second The Witcher novel, the next season can link its current events with Yennefer’s past in a way that not even the books did. Yennefer’s origin story is not revealed in the books, at least not as much as in The Witcher season 1, and this is something the show can use in its favor.
More: Witcher Season 3’s Story Setup Can Properly Fix Its Yennefer Problem
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