Season 2 of The Witcher ended with a glimpse of the Wild Hunt, fanning a dread of mystery around the ominous force of ghostly riders. While fans await Season 3, The Witcher: Blood Origin has set up an origin story for the Wild Hunt. The prequel miniseries explored how the Wild Hunt came into existence, with an intriguing backstory about their leader, Eredin Bréacc Glas. It remains to be seen how the group will feature in The Witcher Season 3, which is expected to outline their purpose for Season 4.
The fantasy drama series created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich is based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s book of the same title. Sapkowski’s series of fantasy novels and multiple short stories have also been adapted into a trilogy of video games developed by CD Projekt Red. Released in 2015, the third game of the trilogy (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt) features the Wild Hunt as its main antagonist. This is not the case with The Witcher books, wherein the ghost-like riders played a minor part. Netflix draws from the books and the games to create a robust and meaningful story arc for the Wild Hunt in The Witcher Universe.
Where Do The Wild Hunt Wraiths Come From?
The Wild Hunt was introduced to The Witcher Universe in Sword of Destiny, the second book of Sapkowski’s series. They are known as the Wraiths of Mörhogg in the Isles of Skellige but self-identify as the Dearg Ruadhri, which means Red Riders. Led by Eredin Bréacc Glas, the King of the Wild Hunt, the Red Riders are a group of Aen Elle elves from Tir ná Lia, the capital of Aen Elle.
While their deathlike looks entrench the notion that they are spectres riding undead horses, the Wild Hunt are elves from another world. They roam different planes, spreading their menacing and gloomy aura across the universe. Blood Origin reveals their ghostly appearance was created after Balor abandoned them in a bleak world, where their king fashioned a helmet out of a skull.
What Do They Want With Ciri in The Witcher?
Widely regarded as ghostly beings, the Wild Hunt represents a grim omen of war. Having successfully intimidated humans with their looks, they travel purposefully unhindered through the universe, kidnapping unique humans and enslaving them to serve the Alder Folk, elves of the Aen Elle. The Red Riders have their eyes on Crown Princess Ciri of Cintra who’s linked to Geralt of Rivia by destiny because she has the Elder Blood.
Ciri encountered the Wild Hunt several times in The Witcher books, but they never got to be the main villain. However, The Witcher games depict them as a fierce group hunting for people with Elder Blood; this makes Ciri a treasured target for the Wild Hunt. As seen in the finale of The Witcher Season 2, the deathly riders are poised to become a major threat to the Continent when the show returns for a third season. Scheduled for release in two volumes made up of eight episodes, Season 3 Volume 1 (episodes 1 – 5) will be released on June 29, 2023; while Volume 2 (episodes 6 – 8) follows on the 27th of July 2023.
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