The hidden story fans are missing in The Witcher

For all that scene reveals about Geralt, it tells just as much of a story about Renfri. 

As the two characters stand face to face, swords locked, the exiled princess tells Geralt through gritted teeth, “They created me just as they created you. We’re not so different.” She’s referencing the many ways in which the two characters have walked the Cntinent, often painfully and alone. 

Geralt’s life as a witcher began when, as a young boy, he was subjected to the Trial of the Grasses at a witcher training academy. The harrowing experience requires one to consume mutagenic compounds and undergo a combination of alchemical processes while receiving extensive physical and magical training. After having his humanity altered through ritual and magic, Geralt now subsists on loneliness and humans’ hostility. 

Renfri, known to fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels as Shrike, is the show’s version of Snow White — if the Disney princess was a highly-skilled fighter with a penchant for impaling her victims and a massive appetite for revenge. The young woman was the princess of the small northern country born just after the Black Sun eclipse, a lunar event prophesied to bring about the births of 60 “possessed” girls who would end the world. 

After Renfri’s step-mother sees a dark, murderous vision of the girl in a magic mirror, she has the princess investigated by the town’s council. They, in turn, bring in a sorcerer named Stregobor (Lars Mikkelsen), who makes up lies about the young girl torturing animals to get her cast out of her family. With her isolated, it’s easier for Stregobor to enact his plan to steal her organs to help maintain his youth.

Now on her own, Renfri goes on the run after killing a man Stregobor sends to murder her. Born of ritual and magic, ostracized over others ignorances, and now a face that strikes fear, Renfri and her band of thugs build a reputation that almost rivals Geralt’s.

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