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The Witcher S3: Dijkstra & Philippa's Lashing Session Is Based On Mutual Dependency

"The Witcher" Season 3 has finally eased up on the slow-burn story and given the fans what they want. Even if it is for a short time, Geralt (Henry Cavill), Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), and Ciri (Freya Allan) are the happy family that has been teased from the beginning. And on a more insidious note, fans finally get the morally grey character dynamic between fan-favorite character Dijkstra (Graham McTavish) and owl-loving mage Philippa (Cassie Clare), which was first teased at the end of "The Witcher" Season 2. Now, Philippa and Dijkstra are in full force in Season 3, pulling strings and making their plots.

On a more personal note, the season also shows a vulnerable side to the duo — or at least, vulnerable for them. When the two of them are alone, they engage in what can only be described as a dominatrix-inspired encounter as Philippa whips Dijkstra. The spymaster invites this power discrepancy, and as McTavish explains, for a logical reason.

"The kind of person that Dijkstra is, who is constantly repressing himself, really holding back, concealing whatever he's truly thinking... in a situation like that, he's allowed to be completely open and puts his trust in another person," McTavish told Collider. "By doing that, they increase their own mutual dependency upon one another."

Djikstra and Philippa can trust only each other

In the world of cutthroat politics, trust doesn't come easily. Dijkstra and Philippa are at the center of maneuvering politicians to their benefit, so naturally, they can trust only each other. They can be vulnerable, but only in the comfort of their chambers and with a whip. McTavish went on to put a romantic spin on this dynamic. Because Dijkstra is constantly playing with the royals and potentially putting himself in life-or-death situations, getting a lashing is the only way he can decompress.

"It's a really interesting exploration of what people who are very powerful do in order to deal with that, deal with the roles that they have in society," McTavish concluded. "It's not a coincidence that a lot of people that go to dominatrixes are judges and politicians and the rest of it, and they are like Dijkstra. High-pressure jobs. He just likes getting tied up and being seen to by his love."

Dijkstra and Philippa may not have the romantic appeal of Geralt and Yennefer, but they have a unique bond. The high-stakes world of court intrigue, and the upcoming coup, means they have to depend on each other. Whether or not that continues throughout the seasons remains to be seen. If "The Witcher" follows the books, Philippa and Dijkstra will have some rough terrain ahead.