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How Yennefer From Netflix's The Witcher Should Really Look

Hailing from the small town of Vengerberg, Yennefer from "The Witcher" came from humble beginnings. When first introduced in the Netflix fantasy drama, she looks far from the powerful mage we come to know her as. Due to being a quarter elf, Yennefer — played by Anya Chalotra — has a hunchback. Her elven blood gave her a twisted spine and she is often looked down on because of it. Her stepfather sells her for four marks to the sorceress Tissaia (MyAnna Buring) who takes her to Aretuza to learn to become a mage. Yennefer rises quickly in the ranks and becomes Tissaia's best student.

There is no doubt that the Netflix adaptation of Yennefer does justice to her character from the books and video games. Arguably her most significant personality trait is her tenacity. The powerful mage wielded fire magic at the battle of Sodden Hill, saving everyone but herself. The act had dire consequences and Yennefer lost her magic in season 2. Even so, she never lost her strength of spirit. This perseverance lines up with her portrayal in the books. But as much as the Netflix show gets right, there are some variations in the source material on how Yennefer should really look.

Magic is not a perfect solution to correcting all flaws

One theme the Netflix version of "The Witcher" stresses is a magic wielder's ability to correct anything and everything that they don't like about their appearance. All the sorceresses that graduate become more beautiful than they ever were before. Yennefer in particular goes through an extremely traumatic process of correcting her hunchback.

And while Yennefer did have a corrected hunchback in the Andrzej Sapowski books, the results were different. The books indicate that mages can correct physical flaws, but only to a certain degree. In fact, the books describe the women of the order to only be "pseudo-pretty." The magic corrects all major flaws, but cannot fix everything. 

In the novella "The Last Wish," Geralt describes Yennefer as attractive in some way but "not a great beauty." While magic corrected her hunchback, she still shows evidence of her past deformity. One of her shoulders is described as being higher than the other. So while what is considered a major physical flaw in the books is largely corrected, it is not perfect. This is a different picture than the show portrays.

Yennefer corrects all her flaws in the show

In the Netflix series, Yennefer corrects everything that she dislikes about herself. Her twisted spine is straightened and there is no evidence that anything was ever out of the ordinary. Tissaia even implies before the procedure that anything that Yennefer desires can be hers. There is nothing too difficult that magic cannot ultimately correct. Even Yenenfer's hair seems shinier after she commits to the corrections.

But other than that, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer is true to the character. Not only does she display the confidence of Yennefer's personality, but the main attributes of the character are honored. She has the flowing black hair ascribed to Yennefer as well as her trademark violet eyes. While she might be conventionally more attractive than the book version of Geralt seems to think, Chalotra accurately portrays Yennefer as the formidable mage book fans know and love.