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The Real Reason Nilfgaard Wants To Capture Ciri In The Witcher

Ciri (Freya Allan) is a powerful figure in "The Witcher." Since her earliest appearances in the series, it was clear that she would hold an important place in the story. The first season saw her at odds with a grandparent intent on shaping Ciri's future. While that may have seemed like an all too familiar storyline for anyone who's been a teenager, the reasons for it all were crystal clear. Everything that occurred set her on a path toward Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill).

Season 2 is proving to be a pivotal point for Ciri as the storyline moves forward. Instead of being relegated to a smaller role, the character has moved into her own. She's pursuing a chance at becoming a Witcher herself as those around Geralt provide training. It also gives her the opportunity to explore her powers and what they might be. Still, Nilfgaard is never far behind, and its goals for Ciri remained less than transparent until a face from her past appeared.

A family connection

A few powerful revelations closed out Season 2, not the least being that Emhyr var Emreis (Bart Edwards) was alive and well. He proudly took his place at the throne of Nilfgaard, much to the surprise of Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni). His presence in the series creates the foundation to explain why Ciri is so important to this Empire.

Viewers might have seen the answer long before the reveal. Emhyr appeared with Pavetta (Gaia Mondadori) in the Deathless Mother's vision. Ciri — fighting against the illusion and yet somehow pulled in by its nostalgia — found it difficult to again let go of loved ones. In taking herself out of the dream, only Pavetta crumbled away into oblivion, leaving Emhyr unscathed. It was reason enough to guess that something was very wrong when his visage remained in one piece.

Anyone unfamiliar with the book series may have been surprised to find out Emhyr and Duny were the same person. It's easy to make the mistake since Duny first appeared in flashbacks as a half-man, half-hedgehog creature. For showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, the revelation came at the right time. "As soon as we start to see Emhyr again, we're going to know that he's Duny ... it felt like the right time to do it, and now we can actually dig into Emhyr and why exactly he wants his daughter back so badly," Schmidt Hissrich said on Netflix's The Witcher: Unlocked.

What it means for future storylines

Season 3 of "The Witcher" promises to delve into Emhyr's plans for Ciri. One element that could come into play is using her to gain control of Cintra's throne. For Emhyr, it would not only be a power grab but a final dig at those in Cintra who felt he didn't belong in Pavetta's life. The books take it even further with Emhyr's plans resting on marriage to his own daughter. There's no word if the series would venture into that part of the text.

It's more than just the future at stake for the 3rd season. Duny/Emhyr and Pavetta were believed to be lost at sea. While that may have been true for Pavetta, the same couldn't be said for her husband. Faking his death and letting those in power think he was lost became a major move, one that would help save the revelation for the right moment. With Cintra in tatters after the battle and loss of life, it's a perfect moment for the Nilfgaard heir to reappear.