Princess Ciri’s Prophecy In Netflix’s The Witcher Explained
The first season of The Witcher focuses quite a lot on Princess Cirilla’s prophecy and her destiny, which is somehow bound to the fate of the world, but never actually explains what this prophecy is.
It’s safe to say that The Witcher saga is essentially the story of Ciri and her burdensome destiny. And while the first few episodes do a good job of chronicling the adventures of our protagonist Geralt of Rivia, the pacing overwhelms Ciri’s journey, and in some cases, downright changes the course of events. One thing the plot doesn’t fail to repeatedly bring up, though, is Ciri’s Source powers and the prophecy that links her to the world’s end.
In Episode 1, titled “The End’s Beginning,” Ciri flees the burning capital of Cintra and in her anguish unleashes a power that shakes the earth and allows her to escape from a Nilfgaardian officer. Later on, the princess’ powers are again manifested as the purifying waters of Brokilon Forest have no effect on her. At the end of Episode 7, “Before a Fall,” Ciri succumbs to the Source again, enunciating the words of a prophecy and killing the people who were pestering her.
This prophecy, which is known to book fans as Ithlinne’s Prophecy, is a core element of the plot as a whole and foreshadows a great blizzard that will engulf the Continent and destroy all life. Here’s a description of the prophecy from Blood of Elves, the third book in the saga:
“Verily I say unto you, the era of the sword and axe is nigh, the era of the wolf’s blizzard. The Time of the White Chill and the White Light is nigh, the Time of Madness and the Time of Contempt: Tedd Deireádh, the Time of End. The world will die amidst frost and be reborn with the new sun. It will be reborn of Elder Blood, of Hen Ichaer, of the seed that has been sown. A seed which will not sprout but burst into flame.
Ess’tuath esse! Thus it shall be! Watch for the signs! What signs these shall be, I say unto you: first the earth will flow with the blood of Aen Seidhe, the Blood of Elves…”
– Aen Ithlinnespeath, Ithlinne Aegli aep Aevenien’s prophecy
As detailed in The Witcher books, the elves and mages of the Continent believe that only a descendant of Lara Dorren, an elven sorceress who carried the Elder Blood, can save the world from annihilation. Princess Cirilla happens to be one of them, and Lara’s genes are preserved in her. This is what grants her special abilities, which include channeling the Source to travel in time and space. This is also what puts her on the run from powerful people.
Of course, it’ll be interesting to see how the prophecy will be addressed in later seasons of the live-action adaptation, and hopefully, we’ll get to learn more about Ciri’s destiny and what this prophecy means for the people close to her.
For now, though, be sure to catch the first season of The Witcher on Netflix if you haven’t already done so.