Why does Redania want Ciri? The Witcher Season 3 Explainer

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 3, 2023 (Last updated: July 5, 2023)
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Why does Redania want Ciri? The Witcher Season 3 Explainer

Why does Redania want Ciri? We discuss a key plot point from the third season of The Witcher. It contains major spoilers for the events of The Witcher Season 3 Volume 1.

Everybody wants Ciri.

That isn’t hyperbole, either. Since The Witcher Season 1, Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, otherwise known as “The Lion Cub of Cintra”, has been a hot topic. She is the target of multiple groups for various reasons ranging from familial to political, and she’s intimately tied to the show’s overarching mythology.

As of The Witcher Season 3 Volume 1, Ciri is being chased by a rogue fire mage, the rebellious elves of the Scoia’tael, the armies of Nilfgaard, the kingdom of Redania, and a horde of specters known cheerfully as The Wild Hunt.

In this article, we’re paying particular attention to why the kingdom of Redania is particularly keen to get its hands on Ciri.

Why does Redania want Ciri?

Of all the various parties with an interest in Ciri, Redania’s is perhaps the least complicated. It’s a power play.

Redania is one of the Four Kingdoms of the Continent. It’s very wealthy and respected and is a hub for scholarship and social progression. But it’s also at risk, like the other Northern kingdoms, from the steady march of Nilfgaard under the leadership of Emhyr var Emreis, The White Flame Dancing on the Barrows of his Enemies.

The tokenistic figurehead of Redania is its king, Vizimir, but power is really controlled by his spymaster, the ruthless head of Redanian Intelligence, Sigismund Dijkstra, and the mage Philippa.

Having already assassinated Vizimir’s queen, Hedwig, and framed it as an attack by Nilfgaard, Dijkstra and Philippa plan to marry Ciri to Vizimir to gain control of Cintra and consolidate their power. 

How did Dijkstra and Philippa try to capture Ciri?

Previous attempts by Redania to capture Ciri have been unsuccessful.

In The Witcher Season 3 Episode 1, Dijkstra and Philippa tried to persuade Jaskier to convince Geralt to send Ciri to Redania for her own safety. They threatened to expose Jaskier as the Sandpiper to strongarm him into helping them. 

Jaskier wasn’t entirely against the idea, since at this point the depth of Redania’s scheming isn’t known to everyone, not even its own king. He advised them to track down and eliminate the fire mage, Rience, suggesting that doing so would allow them to win Geralt’s trust and prove they had Ciri’s best interests in mind.

Jaskier also told Radovid, Vizimir’s charming brother, to bribe Codringher and Fenn for information on Rience’s whereabouts so they could accomplish this. However, Rience killed Codringher and Fenn and burned their home to the ground, and Geralt outright refused to hand Ciri over to anyone, for her protection or otherwise.

Does Radovid want to capture Ciri?

When Dijkstra and Philippa roped Radovid into this plot, it was mostly a way to keep him from meddling in their affairs, since he had the ear of his brother, Vizimir. What they didn’t anticipate was Radovid seemingly falling for Jaskier.

While it remains unclear where Radovid’s allegiances truly are, it does seem like his affection for Jaskier is genuine. They spent the night together ahead of the conclave of mages in The Witcher Season 3 Episode 5, and Radovid knows — and was visibly unhappy to find out — that Dijkstra and Philippa conspired in Queen Hedwig’s death.

While there’s still a chance that Radovid wants to capture Ciri for the good of Redania, it seems more likely that he’s a potential ally. 

Why is Ciri so important?

Outside of her political value as the only princess of Cintra, Ciri is also intimately tied to the mythology of the Witcher because she is possessed of Elder Blood, also known as Hen Ichaer or the Lara gene.

Elder Blood is associated with incredibly powerful magic and Ciri’s abilities in particular may include being able to navigate Spheres. The Conjunction of the Spheres, the event that introduced humans and monsters to a land previously exclusive to the Elves, suggested that the Spheres were… well, conjoined.

Ciri’s potential ability to move between Spheres makes her of particular interest to the Wild Hunt, and her Elder Blood is why Francesca and the Elves, who believe her to be integral to the Prophecy of Ithlinne and their pursuit of Dol Blathanna, consider her so important. 

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