The Witcher: a simple breakdown of the complicated season 1 schedules

The first season of Netflix ‘The Witcher spans approximately 40 years of the main character’s story. To master all of these experiences, the series takes place in four different time series. If you are not familiar with the books, time jumping can make it difficult to keep track of things. So let’s clear everything up.

(Ed. Note: The following includes spoilers for The Witcher until the end of season one.)

The easiest way to think of The Witcher’s story in season one is a series of flashbacks. The “present” is always the act of Ciri, which begins shortly before Nilfgaard’s invasion of Cintra. Geralt from Rivia’s recent stories all lead to his meeting with Ciri.

In the meantime, about 30 years before Geralt’s season 1 adventures, sorceress Yennefer is training to become a magician. Once the two paths cross, their stories are mostly simultaneous (but still in the past compared to Ciri’s story). Depending on the length of time a particular scene takes place, characters who die early jump in and out of history.

With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the key characters in each episode of Season 1 of The Witcher.

Episode 1: “The Beginning of the End”

Geralt: the past (before Ciri’s birth)

Arrives in Blaviken and meets Renfri and the magician Stregobor. He realizes that there is something like a “lesser evil”.

Ciri: the present (during the Nilfgaard invasion)

Escapes Cintra when Nilfgaard attacks and uses her magical powers to defend herself during her escape. Embarks on the search for “Geralt von Rivia”.

Ciri (Freya Allan) tries to survive in the forest. Photo: Katalin Vermes / Netflix

Episode 2: “Four Characters”

Yennefer: the distant past (more than 30 years before Nilfgaard attacks Cintra)

During her stay in Vengerberg, the capital of Aedirn, her father sold her to the sorceress Tissaia de Vries, who trained her in Aretuza in magic.

Geralt: the past

Meet Jaskier the Bard; both are captured by elves. This adventure becomes the basis for Jaskier’s Witcher Ballad.

Ciri: the present (days after Nilfgaard’s invasion of Cintra)

Meet Dara and find a Cintran refugee camp that will soon be destroyed.

Episode 3: “Betrayer Moon”

Yennefer: the distant past (more than 30 years before Nilfgaard attacks Cintra)

Completes her education. At the behest of Stregobor, the magician whom Geralt will later meet in Blaviken, she is commissioned to serve as a consultant to the Nilfgaardian Empire. Unhappy with this result, she pushes into the service of the King of Aedirn, her original home.

Geralt: the past

Save the princess from Temeria.

Ciri: the present (days after Nilfgaard’s invasion of Cintra)

Becomes fascinated and hikes in the Brokilon Forest.

Episode 4: Of banquets, bastards and burials

Yennefer: the past (three decades after serving in the Kingdom of Aedirn)

Queen Kalis of Lyria escorts when an assassin attacks her, probably because the queen has not given birth to a male heir.

Geralt: the past

Participates in the engagement party of the Princess Pavetta of Cintra, where he saves the life of one of Pavetta’s clients, Duny, the Urcheon of Erlenwald. Geralt decides to get a payment through the Law of Surprise, and his reward is Duny’s and Pavetta’s child – Ciri.

Ciri: the present

Meets Queen Eithné and the dryads of the Brokilon Forest.

Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May) Photo: Katalin Vermes / Netflix

Episode 5: “Appetite in Bottles”

Yennefer and Geralt: the past (years after Princess Pavetta’s engagement party)

Finally, meet up with a Djinn during an unfortunate run-in.

Ciri: the present

A Doppler disguising himself as the Druid Mousesack, Queen Calanthe’s advisor, tries to get Ciri and Dara to leave the Brokilon Forest.

Episode 6: Rare Species

Geralt and Yennefer: the past (before Nilfgaard invades Cintra)

Go on a dragon hunt. Geralt reveals that in his third wish he was from the Djinn and bound Yennefer’s fate together. Yennefer is angry with Geralt for taking her freedom and insulting him for neglecting Ciri – to whom he is bound by the law of surprise – and is leaving him.

Ciri: the gift

Fight the Doppler and continue their attempts to avoid the capture of the Nilfgaardians that are chasing them.

Episode 7: “Before a Fall”

Yennefer: the past (just before Nilfgaard invades Cintra)

Meets with the Brotherhood of Sorcerers in Aretuza. Some of the magicians have teamed up to defend the northern kingdoms from the invading Nilfgaardians, and they are recruiting Yennefer to join them.

Geralt: the past (days before Nilfgaard invades Cintra)

Arrives in Cintra and tries to claim his reward for the Law of Surprise – Ciri – to take her away from Cintra and protect her from the approaching Nilfgaardian army. Queen Calanthe of Cintra, Ciri’s grandmother, doesn’t want to give Geralt to Ciri, so she tries to cheat him and later throw her in jail. When the Nilfgaardians arrive at Cintra’s front door, the queen changes her mind, but Geralt has left and lets Ciri flee, as we saw in episode 1.

Ciri: the present

Ciri meets some Cintrans colleagues who try to catch them. She uses her powers to kill her.

Geralt (Henry Cavill) and his loyal Ross Roach.Photo: Katalin Vermes / Netflix

Episode 8: “Much More”

Yennefer: the present

The magicians try to hold a strategic point to prevent the Nilfgaard Army from advancing north across the Yaruga River. When everything seems to be lost to the magicians and northerners, Yennefer decimates the attacking Nilfgaardians, but finally disappears from the battle.

Geralt: the present

Defend a farmer from undead monsters in the pillaged Cintran refugee camp, but are wounded during the battle. He is brought back to the merchant’s farm to recover.

Ciri: the present

Is brought to the same farm as Geralt and the two finally meet. Ciri asks Geralt: “Who is Yennefer?”

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