Netflix’s The Witcher is based roughly on the series of short stories, novels, and video games by Andrzej Sapkowski, ending on a cliffhanger for a fan favorite, Yennefer of Vengerberg. The series spent Season 1 following her story from her childhood years under an abusive stepdad through her ambitious plans to become one of the world’s most powerful sorceresses. But the finale’s Battle of Sodden Hill left fans wondering if Yennefer be in The Witcher Season 2. Her fate seems unknown.
The Battle of Sodden Hill, which occurs in the first full-length Witcher novel, Blood of Elves, is the deciding battle in the First War with Nilfgaard. The series opens with the Nilfgaardian Army overrunning Cintra in the show’s premiere episode, leading to the death of Queen Calanthe. The current Emperor of Nilfgaard, Emhyr var Emreis, is the one hunting down Princess Ciri throughout the show’s first season, after his invasion of the North.
With Cintra fallen, the Northern Kingdoms have lost their leader in Queen Calanthe, and there’s little preventing the Emperor from taking over the entire continent, upsetting the delicate balance of power. Desperate to stop Nilfgaard, the Brotherhood of Sorcerers convince the Lodge of Sorceresses to band together with them, along with the surviving armies of the smaller Northern fiefdoms of Temeria, Kaedwen, Redania, and Aedirn to turn back the invaders.
The good news is the battle ended in defeat for the Nilfgaard forces led by Coehoorn. But it wasn’t an easy victory. Battles that include acts of magic never are, and Nilfgaard had Fringilla Vigo on its side, one of the strongest sorceresses on the continent.
But just as the battle seemed lost for the North, Yennefer stepped up. After discovering her mentor, Tissaia de Vries was injured, Yennefer took her power into her hands. After so many years of preaching control, the injured Tissaia had told her to forget everything she was ever taught about bottling her magic up. Her strength and her wildness was the North’s only hope. “Let your chaos explode.” Using every ounce of rage she’d repressed her whole life, Yennefer stood upon the highest hill and burned the entire Nilfgaardian army to the ground.
But when the flames die down, she is gone.
Is Yennefer dead? The show leaves it a mystery, as Geralt and Ciri meet up hunting for the vanished sorceress, and Ciri’s final words: “Who is Yennefer?” But unlike some series, where a quick trip to the bookshelf would answer this question, Witcher fans have no such luck. The books suggest she may be dead, saying there is no grave marker for her. But what happens next does not occur on the page.
Eventually, Yennefer does return in the novels, summoned to become a mentor to Princess Ciri. But how she gets from here to there has never been dramatized. That’s not surprising, as much of Yennefer’s story in the novels is left for readers to imagine. But the show has made it a point to tell Yennefer’s story on screen, filling in those blanks.
Eventually, Geralt brings Ciri to Tissaia to begin training in magic, and from there, Yennefer enters the young girl’s life. With actress Anya Chalotra confirmed to be back for Season 2, viewers hope whatever happens to Yennefer during this in-between time will be part of the story.
But how exactly she returns is for the show to decide. With so much magic in the world, Yennefer being dead and resurrected is a definite possibility in the new season. Whatever happened to the sorceress, she will be back one way or another.