“Voleth Meir” majorly ups the stakes just in time for the finale, with many plot threads and dynamics coming together just in time.
This recap of The Witcher season 2, episode 7, “Voleth Meir”, contains spoilers.
Following on from the end of the previous episode, Ciri is gone. Well, not gone gone, but she has been whisked away from Geralt, which is the closest thing, especially since Yennefer, who’s with her, has her own plans for the child of destiny. Geralt knows this, on some level, or at least suspects it. While Ciri was able to open a portal to the hut where she was tended to back during the Battle of Sodden Hill, Geralt is left behind at the Temple of Melitele with Nenneke, who cautions him against rash action and mistrust. Nevertheless, he needs a portal of his own opening.
The Witcher season 2, episode 7 recap
We’re starting to get that endgame feeling, the kind of thing you want from a penultimate episode where various disparate plot threads and characters all need to come together in time for the finale. Fringilla’s leadership over Nilfgaard is tenuous as best, especially with Hake being openly antagonistic, the threat of the White Flame’s imminent arrival, and the possibility of a Redanian sleeper agent despatched by Dijkstra having slipped through the gate with all the other elves and refugees.
Of course, the double-agent, Dara, is already inside, ministering to Francesca and Filavandrel and their new child. The news of that child is causing all kinds of problems. It has convinced Filavandrel that now is the time to rebuild, not fight, which is not what Fringilla and Francesca agreed on in the hut, and the Council of Mages are terrified by the news.
Speaking of that hut, when Geralt meets up with Jaskier, and the bard tells him about the words Yen used to teleport away from the Oxenfurt whorehouse, he puts the pieces together. The titular Voleth Meir, it turns out, is a demon who feeds on pain — the first Witchers were hired to imprison her, where she has remained in her hut. But, thanks to Yennefer, the Deathless Mother now has a means of escape. It’s time for Geralt to go to Cintra, and that means borrowing a horse from Yarpen Zigrin, who conveniently happens to be nearby. All roads must converge on the way to the finale.
Meanwhile, Yen continues to school Ciri in the ways of Chaos, which is bad news for her — her eyes start bleeding when she pushes herself too far — and for those looking for her, who now include Vilgefortz after Triss reports what she saw at Kaer Morhen to Tissaia. Even though Voleth Meir has scarcely been mentioned throughout the season, the idea of her as a villain is beginning to take a real shape, her influence spreading all throughout the episode. Yen has been corrupted by her. Francesca got what she wanted, and had a change of heart that threatens an already fragile peace. But it’s in Fringilla that we see the corruption manifest the strongest. Poisoning her disloyal soldiers with paralyzing nightshade, she kills them all in full view of Cahir, threatening him into extolling her virtues to Emhyr when he arrives. All the while, the voice of Voleth Meir rattles inside her head.
This makes Ciri and Yen’s arrival at Cintra all the more ominous since we know that whatever the Deathless Mother wants with her, it can’t be good. Voleth Meir continues to speak within Yen, too, but the mage has a change of heart, deciding at the last minute not to lead Ciri to the door. But they’re too close. Yen and Ciri are able to communicate telepathically, revealing the planned betrayal, and the sudden shattering of her trust and explosion of her emotions causes even more damage to the ground she had already torn asunder when she destroyed the Monolith. Guards from Cintra ride out to capture her, but Yen helps her fight them off, and eventually, Geralt and the dwarves arrive to save the day. Geralt insists that Yen takes him to Voleth Meir’s hut, but when they get there, they find her having just escaped — something she shouldn’t be able to do unless she has had enough pain and misery to give her new life. That makes sense since, at the same time, Francesca and Filavandrel find their baby killed. The pain is intense enough to satiate the Deathless Mother. Her spirit, having flown from the hut in a flurry of embers, flies directly into Ciri, presumably taking control of her.