The Witcher: this brief guide should help you understand the timeline better

Even before I flung to my Netflix account to see “The Witcher”, the news was everywhere – focus on the issues. It was the next big thing. If Ebuka could tweet about it, then, I better go see the movie. Now, everyone has been complaining about the timeline, that it ends up confusing.

In fact, when I updated my Whatsapp status, stating that I started seeing the movie, Adeisda Oluwaseun (Don’t worry, you will know him soon – his fame is just a tad away) advised a bit on how I can understand the movie. “Whatever you see, is in the past. Only when you see the Princess after the way, that’s the present”. I said ok even if I didn’t understand what he was saying.

Anyways, here we all are, at the end of the first season, waiting on the 2nd. Confusion persists, but it’s surely a ploy to get us intrigued about the next season. Good job, Netflix.

Jumping across timeline-like its nothing, Netflix has done so well in fielding this amazing blend of fantasy and realism, smeared with doses of a ballad, making it an interesting show towards the end of 2019. We have had fantasies we understood, and there seems to be nothing new about fantasy and the creatures used. How about a confusing fantasy.

Well, a study by Alexis Nedd of Mashable should help us shed more light on the timeline issue.


The simplest timeline is that of Ciri. 

The timeline where Princess Cirilia surfaced, is just about a week towards the end of Geralt and Yennifer’s stories. Getting to this stage took 8 episodes. One thing though, all the activities of Geralt, was all in preparation fo him meeting up with Ciri.

At this same time, Yennifer conquered Cahir and the Nilfgaardians. Remember the Battle of Sodden Hill?

It would have been great if people aged in the movie, but, it wouldn’t be the Witcher, right?


What is the timeline of Geralt in the series? 

One thing was certain about Geralt’s timeline, the maker skipped forward a number of times, during the first season. In the second episode, he was made to meet Jaskier, and suddenly in episode 5, their friendship had lasted 5 years.

This could have been confusing, but the defined timeline of Queen Calanthe of Cintra came to rescue. Because her timeline intercepts that of Geralt.

In the first episode, Ciri goes to the banquet just before the slaughter of Cintra. There she mentions that her grandmother Calanthe won her first battle when she was her age. As that episode continues (with an earlier timeline), Renfin speaks to Geralt, saying that Calanthe just won that battle (The one Ciri spoke about). Now, it figures that the timeline of Geralt there, was when Calanthe was younger (at Ciri’s current age – her age at the banquet).

Moving on. According to Calenthe’s pre-slaughter argument with Geralt in episode 7, we know that the Witcher had not been in Cintra for 12 years since he left at the time Pavetta was in her first trimester of pregnancy with Ciri. Now, it would take nine months for baby Ciri to be born. That means when the argument took place, minus the 1year of being a fetus, Ciri was 11 years old.

In light of what was stated above about Calanthe being at Ciri’s age when she won her battle, that means the battle was won at her age of 11 years.

Let’s mark these intercepting timelines (when Calanthe was 11 years old, winning her battle, and when Geralt met Renfri in Blaviken) as year 1. This is Year 1.

The second port of call in Calanthe’s timeline is the betrothal of Pavetta. Calanthe wants to marry off Pavetta and brings up her own early marriage at the ball. In this case, it is very logical to think that Pavetta is set to be a young bride. In the Witcher books, her age is said to be 15. This is also true for the Netflix show.

Now, if Calanthe was 15 years old at her own marriage, and she gave birth immediately she got married (i.e a year after), then at the ball (where Pavetta is 15 years) Calanthe would most likely be 31 years of age. This is Year 20 in the timeline of Geralt.

When you add the Pregnancy of Pavetta and Ciri’s age to that timeline, that’s twelve years. This puts Geralt’s meeting with Ciri in Year 32. Hence, his adventure in season 1 is about 3 decades.


What was the duration of Yennefer’s timeline in the series?

Ok, figuring out her timeline is so very hard. But, you should remember that most of her story up to the time she met Geralt in episode 5, all happened before year 1 of Geralt’s timeline.

Yenn’s father, as you know, is a half-elf who died in the Great Cleansing. The great cleaning is a genocide, which according to the story is a semi-recent history as of the time Geralt met with Filavandrel and the other elves in episode 2. Now, since Yenn cannot remember her father, and she was still a young lady when she experienced the conduit event, then the great cleansing must have occurred about 15 to19 years, before the commencement of her timeline.

One other thing we don’t know is the duration of her study at Aretuza. As a result of this, it is impossible to know her age in human years when she ascends. And because no one ages in the movie, it is hard to even tell a difference in her age between arrival and ascension.

On getting to episode 4, Yenn made a statement that she spent 3 decades in the service of kings. Then in episode 5, she was already an independent sorceress who meets Geralt and Jaskier in Rinde. We know that she served kings for 3 decades, but it still does not help us add up her age, cos, she might have decided to sleep for years or just take some beer under a tree and watch bird flies, for as long as she wanted – an interval between her service and meeting Geralt.

If we are going to come close in predicting her timeline to accuracy, it would surely have so much to do with Nilfgaard and Jaskier the bard. Let’s leave it at that for now – 3 decades of service, before meeting Geralt.


Now, a look at Nilfgaar and Jaskier, in relation to Yenn. 

While Yenn was studying at Aretuza, there was a time she was almost placed in the service of the lecherous King Fergus of Nilfgaard. However, she conspired to serve King Virfuril of Aedim. Hence, as of the time of Yenn’s ascension, King Fergus was still in power. In that case, cunting down 3 decades can start at some point in his reign.

By the time Geralt was meeting with Triss Merigold – the sorceress that worked for King Foltest – King Fergus had already been killed and usurped.

During the course of the usurpation, there is every possibility that Yenn was still in the Brotherhood of Sorcerers. That’s what makes the usurpation critical. As of the time Fergus died, Triss Merigold just graduated from Aretuza, and she was able to recognize Yenn in episode 7.

Now, combining this information with the period of 10 years in which Geralt and Jaskier had been friends, surely cuts down the possible date in which Yenn would have abandoned the brotherhood. Geralt and Jaskier had met before the death and usurpation of Fergus. And their friendship had lasted for like a decade when they finally met Yenn (in episode 5).

Yenn had met the duo in Rinde, and she was already on her own. Now, the time of Yenn leaving the brotherhood would have fallen between the usurpation of Foltest and when the friendship of Geralt and Jaskier became 10 years.

If you take a countback from any date in this period, it will surely overlap with year 1.

From this, we infer that Yenn already left the brotherhood even before Geralt’s timeline started.

You can just imagine how old Yenn actually is.

As of the end of season 1, Geralt and Ciri are already together, Yenn is at Sodden. Let’s just hope that things get clearer in season 2, cos this is all so difficult to discern for the lack-luster mind. Maybe the movie is only meant to be understood by the super fans.

Reading again is permitted, if you don’t understand on first read – there is no big deal about that.

Again, welcome to 2020, Witches!!! (We can call fans of ‘The Witcher’, witches. Right?)


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