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How Many Witchers Are Left Alive At The End Of The Witcher Season 2?

This article contains spoilers for "The Witcher" Season 2. 

If you're one of the (many, many) viewers who tuned in to help Season 2 of "The Witcher" break records on the streaming service (via The Wrap), you've no doubt been left with a few logistical questions. For a few fans on the series' always-buzzing subreddit, one of these questions had less to do with any overt deviations from the Andrzej Sapkowski novels that serve as the show's source material, and more to do with what they perceived as a severe narrowing of "The Witcher" world's population of mutated monster slayers.

"Doesn't anyone (care) that they killed almost all the witchers in the last episode?" asked one fan, while another wondered exactly how many Witchers were even alive on The Continent during the series' sophomore season (via Reddit).

Both are fair questions, particularly considering just how big a role the Witchers and their lore play in both the novels and the short stories, and how big a role they could ultimately play in the Netflix adaptation. But in determining the precise number of monster-killing anti-heroes left alive at remote Witcher training facility Kaer Morhen by the end of Season 2, it's probably most helpful to set the books and the discussion threads aside for the moment, and start with the (presumable) full roster given to us by the series itself.

Let's do some basic Witcher arithmetic

When Geralt (Henry Cavill) and Ciri (Freya Allan) first arrive at Kaer Morhen, we see Kim Bodnia's Vesemir surrounded by seven other Witchers. In the toast scene that follows, these Witchers appear to be joined by two more, bringing the total count to 11 (seven + Vesemir + Geralt + two more), before the arrival of Eskel (Basil Eidenbenz) makes a cool dozen. Of these 12 Witchers, only eight are named in the episode's credits: Geralt, Vesemir, Eskel, Coen (Yasen Atour), Lambert (Paul Bullion), Everard (Nathaniel Jacobs), Gwain (Jota Castellano), and Merek (Chuey Okoye). In Episode 2, a mutated Leshen takes over Eskel's body, forcing Geralt to kill his long-time friend when the latter attempts to strangle his mentor Vesemir. The count, as far as one can tell given that not all Witchers are listed as such in either the credits or the series' IMDb page, is now at roughly 11. 

In Episode 8, wherein several more Witchers are lost, the Voleth Meir-possessed Ciri kills Gwain, Everard, and (as Coen tells us) Merek in relatively short order well before the episode's epic battle even begins. The remaining eight Witchers go head-to-head with a dizzying array of monsters from another sphere, released when Voleth Meir, as Ciri, opens a monolith portal to the other realms. We learn from Vesemir's dialogue that two of the Witchers who die gruesome deaths in the ensuing battle are named Vartok and Yrden, while a third, unnamed Witcher has his head rather efficiently removed from his body by one of the fearsome new beasts. By all appearances, this means that at the end of Season 2, Episode 8, there are (including Geralt and Vesmir) no more than five Witchers remaining at Kaer Morhen. Unfortunately, that number is somewhat misleading...

But wait, there's (probably definitely) more!

The high death toll notwithstanding, all that number really tells us is how many (current) Witchers are alive and at Kaer Morhen at the end of Season 2. After all, the series has yet to introduce the other two schools of Witchers from Sapkowski's books: The School of the Cat and The School of the Griffin (via The Gamer). The School of the Wolf is the one we've seen so far. It's entirely possible the series will eventually dive-in to the remaining schools as it continues to unveil further layers of its source material's intricate world.

Moreover, at no point in Season 2 are we told that every Witcher on The Continent has returned to Kaer Morhen for the winter, and it's hardly the type of place to take roll-call (this isn't Hogwarts, people). Finally, although Ciri herself never technically becomes a Witcher (as she doesn't undergo the required Trial of the Grasses) her Elder Blood allows Vesemir and Triss Merigold (Anna Shaffer) to reconstruct the elixir necessary to create more Witchers. 

Ultimately, we can't know how many total Witchers are left standing at the end of Season 2 of Netflix's "The Witcher," we can only know how many of the Witchers to whom we've been introduced so far remain. It seems unlikely — given how much of Sapkowski's story the adaptation has left to tell — that the series won't continue to introduce more Witchers as its story progresses in Season 3 and (hopefully) beyond.