Who is the fake Ciri in The Witcher Season 3? 

By Lori Meek
Published: July 30, 2023
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Who is the fake Ciri in The Witcher Season 3

Who is the fake Ciri in The Witcher Season 3? We discuss a key plot point in the popular Netflix series.

While the 7th episode of The Witcher Season 3 was almost entirely centered on Ciri and her arduous crossing of the Korath desert, she barely appears in the finale. Both Geralt and Yennefer believe Nilfgaard has captured the Princess.

They’re both desperate to find her before she gets to Emperor Emhyr’s court. 

At the Niflgaardian court, the Emperor and the evil mage Vilgerforz officially announce Ciri’s arrival and even present her to all courtiers in a pompous celebration. But when we see the face of the young introduced to high Nilfgaardian society as “Queen of Cintra, Princess of Brugge and Duchess of Sodden,” well… it’s not Ciri. 

But who is this fake Ciri, and why is she acting as if she is the Princess?

Who is the fake Ciri in The Witcher Season 3?

The fake Ciri Emperor Emhyr is introduced to his court with great pomp and circumstance as his long-lost daughter is Teryn. The young woman was a part-elf Aretuza notice kidnapped and brainwashed by Vilgefortz. 

Why is the girl pretending to be Ciri?

Teryn is brainwashed with highly advanced magic into believing she is Ciri. As far as the young girl is concerned, she’s not pretending. 

As a character, Teryn and her traumatic journey doesn’t exist in the book series. While a Ciri doppelganger does appear in the novels, there’s no magical brainwashing involved; someone manipulated her the old-fashioned way to take on a fake identity. 

Vilgefortz spent months kidnapping and experimenting on part-elven Aretuza novices, but the end goal of this deception is still a mystery. 

What happened to fake Ciri?

Earlier in the season, Geralt found Teryn and several other novices in a cave. Most of the novices had their heads magically separated, and their bodies molded together into a grotesque monster Geralt was forced to kill. 

As Teryn was the only survivor, the White Wolf rescued her. He was then shocked when the girl claimed to be Ciri and even recognized him. 

In a bid to help her, Geralt took the young woman to the druid sorceress, Anika, who used to be a friend of his mother. According to Anika, some highly advanced magic was used on Teryn to brainwash her into forgetting who she was. 

Geralt had left Teryn with Anika, who promised she would try her best to heal the poor girl. It’s unclear how Vilgefortz managed to get his hands on her again and take her to Nilfgaard. But he likely went looking for Teryn in the aftermath of the Battle of Aretuza, when the real Ciri blew up Tor Lara (and gave him a nasty burn scar.)

Considering how Vilgefortz tried to convince the real Ciri to allow him to train her, he may have planned to trick Emhyr with Teryn while hiding the real princess for his agenda. 

We also don’t know if Emhyr knows that the girl he calls “daughter” is not related to him. But in the brief scene of the two interacting, the Emperor seemed convinced he had the right girl. 

However, as Ciri’s presence in Nilfgaard could help him win the ongoing war with the Kingdoms of the North, it’s also possible Emhyr is fully aware and complicit in Vigefortrz’s deception. 

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