It’s always surreal to realize that Vilgefortz is the ultimate villain of The Witcher, and has been pulling the strings from behind the curtains since the story’s beginning. Books fans find that part in Time of Contempt stupefying to read through, and television viewers now feel much the same way.
That doesn’t mean we have all the answers, though. There’s still a lot of enigma surrounding Vilgefortz, and you must have at least a dozen questions as to his true motives. Why does he want Ciri so badly? Why did he trick Emhyr? How long have they been working together? What’s his endgame?
All of those answers will come in due time — or won’t, with how the live-action adaptation’s been faring recently. So for now, let’s see if we can answer the most glaringly obvious question: What was up with Vilgefortz’s face when he appeared next to the Nilfgaardian emperor in the finale?
What happened to Vilgefortz at Thanedd?
Geralt may be predisposed to “mistake the stars reflected at the pond for those in the sky,” but Vilgefortz will certainly find it challenging from now on to pick out anything.
After defeating Geralt in a one-on-one duel, Vilgefortz made his way to Tor Lara, the Tower of the Gull, where he knew Ciri was headed. The villain arrives at the scene a little too late, however, and finds the Cintran princess already channeling dangerous amounts of chaos and imbuing it with her own unique powers.
Vilgefortz reaches for Ciri, but our heroine travels in space and causes a massive explosion that brings the tower crashing down. Vilgefortz is also caught in the blast, and as a result, loses half of his face. The next time we see him, Vilgefortz is atrociously disfigured and sees through only one eye, a state he won’t even try to fix with magic for the remainder of the story.
The villain certainly takes his losses seriously, but from a certain point of view, it could also be argued that Geralt managed to buy Ciri some crucial minutes, even if he also suffered the biggest defeat of his life at the hands of the sinister sorcerer.
You can stream all eight episodes of The Witcher season 3 on Netflix now.