The timeline of 'The Witcher' is convoluted, trying a similar format 'Dunkirk' did in 2017, to much success and breath-stopping moments. But 'Dunkirk' was a movie layered within two days of the evacuation of 'Dunkirk,' and the story was also distinguishable because of the three different aspects of the storyline used in the film, but The Witcher was not a two-day thing.
The story of The Witcher is spread out over a 70 year period, as explained by the creator of the series. Geralt’s story is more of a 20 years thing while Ciri’s arc is within two weeks, so you see how the story was inspired by Dunkirk and also caused a lot of confusion among fans when they were watching the show, thinking Geralt of Rivia could time travel.
Watch: The first fight scene of Geralt of Rivia
Geralt is not shown to have the ability to the time jump, they may make their own lore going forward, but there is rarely an instance in the Witcher books and games where a character is shown or seen time traveling. Geralt of Rivia has some powers, he is a mutant after all, but he is not shown to be able to time travel. But let’s take a look at the timeline and why the people are confused by the whole jumpy thing, also before you continue, a massive SPOILER ALERT! Proceed at your own risk!
The Timey Wimey Mess
There is a reason why the casual fans were unable to tell which side is up, middle and down after The Witcher was released. The simple reason for the trouble was the two leading members of The Witcher cast do not show any signs of aging, and all the terrains look the same with no evident clue to the passing of time.
Geralt and Yennefer look the same, and there is no way to tell which timeline comes first; this is also because of the show being based on the first chronological Witcher book, which was all short stories. So, staying true to the format of the book, the series also has a short story vibe with a connection at the end, but if you cannot follow the story in the first place, then there is little chance you will get it by the end.
So, let’s go through the timeline of the three leading characters and where they place in the grand scheme of things. First up is the eponymous Witcher character Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia.
Origin of Geralt, Meeting Jaskier, Yennefer and Finally Ciri
A young Geralt is with his mother on their cart when she stops and tells Geralt to get her some water from the forest, but when he returns, she is nowhere to be seen. The reason for the abandonment of Geralt was not made clear, but we knew Vesemir took the young kid, and after passing the trial, he became one of the Witchers.
But this is the story, which comes to light only in the final episode of the first season. Geralt is in a delirious haze, fighting death when he starts seeing his mother and insight into the origin of Geralt is provided, well, a little bit is provided.
As Geralt started his journey as The Witcher, he met 'Jaskier' for the first time after a hunt, and he started following the monster-hunting mutant. Their exploits, in whatever way you fashion, resulted in the now famous and beloved song “Toss a Coin.” And their time together also resulted in Jaskier also getting himself killed, which brings us to Yennefer, who helps them both.
Watch: The popular son Toss a Coin To Your Witcher
But before meeting Yennefer, we also saw Geralt act as a muscle for Jaskier as he went to Cintra during the courting ceremony of Ciri’s mother. This results in a fight to ensure, after which Geralt is given the law of surprise by 'Duny,' for saving his life and the law of surprise results in the linking of unborn Ciri and Geralt.
Over a year after the Cintra incident, Geralt and Jaskier meet Yennefer, and the two are involved in a hilarious love scene. The last time Geralt and Yennefer meet is when they go on a dragon hunt, and she realizes the reason they are linked to one another is because of the last wish he made to the djinn.
To catch you all up to the main story of the series, we hear 'Queen Calanthe' tell her guards to get the person in prison. We do not know then who he is, but then in the seventh episode, we see Geralt coming back for Ciri so he can protect her from the invading Nilfgard army. Calanthe imprisons Geralt, so he cannot take her granddaughter away and then the main story of the series, around the Nilfgard invasion, is connected from the first episode to the seventh episode, Then, at the end, Ciri meets Geralt in the jungle, so you are all caught up with Geralt’s timeline.
Yennefer’s Origin, Becoming a Mage, Leaving Court Life and The Battle of Sodden Hill
Yennefer’s timeline in the show is the longest of the three leading casts of the show with the creator saying she encompasses about 70 years of The Witcher storyline, and it all began with Yennefer being purchased by 'Tissaia' and getting her to Aretuza.
We see how powerful an untrained Yennefer is when she summons a portal, and then she spends a long-long time learning magic in the place. After Yennefer becomes a mage, she gets her new body, but the cost of her new life is she cannot bring another one into this world. She also manipulates her way into Aedirn, and Fringilla gets sent to Yennefer’s original posting of Nilfgard.
When we catch up with Yennefer again, she is protecting a royalty, and a battle with an assassin sent to kill the royal member results in Yennefer deciding she is not going to protect worthless people anymore. A child dies in Yennefer’s arm, and she is done serving rich a-holes with no regard for even their own kids.
Watch: Yennefer keeps the Nilfgard army at bay
Yennefer meets Geralt for the first time, and then as mentioned above, they go their separate ways when she finds out about the wish Geralt made. Yennefer finally returns of Aretuza again, and this time she stays because Nilfgard was getting out of control with the new “rightful king” wanting the whole Continent for himself.
The mages fearing the power of Nilfgard decide to go against their fellow disillusioned mages and make their way to Sodden Hill, the last place to make a stand against the massive Nilfgard army. The Battle of Sodden Hill is the main story of the final episode in The Witcher season 1, and Geralt’s origin plays a backdrop to the massive battle raging on only hours away from where he is.
Yennefer battles the dark magic using 'Fringilla' and uses all of her power to defeat the incoming army, then disappears. While at the same time, Geralt and Ciri embrace, and Ciri asks, “who is Yennefer.”
Ciri – The Easiest of all The Witcher Characters to Follow
There are not many mind-bending tactics used for the story of Ciri. From the sacking of Cintra to the seventh episode, only once we get to see the past of Ciri but except that almost everything is streamlined as her story reportedly takes place in a two weeks period.
Ciri meets people on her way to her destiny, she realizes about her power and also the reason Nilfgard wants her and then she finds the man she started looking for in the first episode of season 1, Geralt. She is still to meet Yennefer, but Ciri has seen what became of her in the Battle of Sodden Hill.
Though Ciri is a main character, her story is not as difficult to follow as it is with Yennefer and Geralt. And according to the creator of the series, the second season of The Witcher will be more focused; instead of the jumbled timeline, they played within the first season.
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