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Origins of Geralt of Rivia - The Witcher's White Wolf

VO: DP
If you’re looking for a monster hunter, you might as well get the best in the business. Welcome to MojoPlays and today we’re checking out the origin story of The White Wolf, Geralt of Rivia.
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When it comes to killing monsters, the White Wolf is one of gaming’s premiere monster hunters. Welcome to MojoPlays, and today, we’re exploring the origins of Geralt of Rivia.

A video game’s lead can make or break the entire franchise. Whether we love them or hate them, we have to, at the very least, be interested in who we’re taking control of. The grander the quest, the more important the title character is, because we’re going to be spending a lot of time with them. In a way, the lead is as important as the journey we embark on. We keep saving Princess Peach because we like playing with Mario. We keep fighting Ganon because we’ve grown attached to Link and his various stories. The same can be said about The Witcher’s protagonist Geralt.

Witchers are extremely skilled monster hunters, each one undergoing lengthy training and brutal physical mutation to become the best at what they do. This process takes an exhausting toll on the young trainees and many don’t survive the process. Those that do make it out the other side have super-human powers, including but not limited to, superior reflexes, resistance to disease and cat-like eyes that give the witchers very sensitive vision, allowing them to see their way around the dimly lit catacombs and caves that monsters tend to live in. With a combination of vast knowledge, physical prowess, alchemy and magical signs, witchers travel the world in search of monsters to slay, and the bounties their heads bring in.

The son of a sorceress, Geralt underwent this transformation as a boy and grew up in the wolf school stronghold Kaer Morhen under the tutelage of the witcher Vesemir. As witchers are often feared and shunned by nobility and common folk alike, Vesemir convinced Geralt to take on the title ‘of Rivia’, despite not actually being from that great and respected city. Geralt had a fairly straight forward early life, for a witcher, and when audiences met Geralt for the first time, he was already a veteran of many monster hunts. Scarred, brave and wiser than most, Geralt is often able to succeed in situations where many previous witchers had already failed. Not without kindness and sympathy, Geralt earned a reputation for putting sentiment and the well-being of others over his duties as a monster killer.

Geralt eventually returned to Kaer Morhen to help train the future generation of wolf school witchers, including his pseudo-adopted daughter Ciri. Without intending it, Geralt made a kind of family for himself, and thus, a life worth fighting to preserve. Of Geralt’s his many, MANY love affairs, his bond with the sorceress, Yennefer would withstand the trial of their lives.

In the books, Geralt and Yennifer’s tale comes to a bloody conclusion when an angry mob of humans kill them both for trying to defend a group on non-humans. Shortly after this is when Geralt’s story in the video games begins…

Geralt and Yennifer were found and brought back to life by Ciri and while the actual means of their revival is ambiguous, it may have something to do with, Ciri’s elder blood, something that gives her power beyond that of regular magic. Shortly afterwards, Geralt and Yennifer are attacked by The Wild Hunt, a group of evil, other-worldly elves who travel across dimensions building up their army. The Hunt is ultimately after Ciri, and kidnap Yennifer in an effort to draw Ciri to them. In exchange for Yen’s freedom, Geralt offers to join them. Eredin, the leader of the Hunt accepts and Geralt becomes a member of their army. When the first Witcher video game begins, Geralt has just escaped from the Wild Hunt and that, combined with his earlier case of full-blown death, has given him amnesia.

Yennifer has now gone off in search of Ciri while Geralt is rescued by his fellow witchers, with the help of sorceress Triss Merigold. On a quest to take back stolen witcher chemicals and regain his lost memories, Geralt resumes his previous life as a witcher, with many of his innate hunting and fighting skills still intact. During his adventures Geralt reunites with many old friends and his memory begins to slowly return to him. Geralt, still ignorant of his pre-existing relationship with Yennifer begins a serious romance with Triss. After recovering the stolen potions Geralt enters the employment of King Foltest. The second Witcher game begins with the King’s murder by another witcher and Geralt is blamed for the killing. Now embroiled in a web of conspiracy and power struggle, Geralt begins a new quest to clear his name, find out who the real killer is AND restore the rest of his memory. Along the way Geralt continues to re-unite with old friends and make new allies and enemies. Ultimately the events of Witcher 2 pave the way for the invasion of the Northern Realms by the Nilfgaardian Empire, lead by Ciri’s father, Emhyr var Emreis.

By the time the third game rolls around, Geralt has now recovered all of his memories, and sets out to track down Yennifer and rescue Ciri, who is still being relentlessly pursued by the Wild Hunt. Eventually re-uniting with Yennifer they rescue Ciri and with the help of Geralt’s allies and former enemies, vanquish the wild hunt.

While Witcher 3 has multiple ending and the canonical ending to Geralt’s story hasn’t been officially confirmed, the game’s publisher, CD Projekt released an epilogue video for the series’ 10th anniversary. In the video Geralt and company have all gathered together at Geralt’s vineyard in Toussaint where keen-eyed fans of the series will recognize a lot of familiar faces. The trailer functions both as a celebration of Geralt and his adventures as well as directly acknowledging the player and fan’s contribution to the series as a whole. While this may not be the end of The White Wolf’s adventures, this moment provides fans with closure, and thanks us all for taking part in Geralt’s journey.
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