The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf Ending, Explained

Based on ‘The Witcher’ book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, Netflix’s ‘The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf’ is an adult-animated dark fantasy film that focuses on the early life of Vesemir, the grizzly future mentor and father-figure of Geralt of Rivia. It is produced by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, who also created Netflix’s live-action ‘The Witcher’ series. Here is everything you need to know about the film’s ending. SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf Plot Synopsis

The film initially goes back and forth in time to depict the child that Vesemir was and the infamous Witcher he became in his youth. As a child, he and his father are servants of a rural lord whose wife suffers from a mysterious ailment. One day, while out to acquire some blue gum for the lady, Vesemir and his friend Illyana draw the attention of the Skelligan Witcher Deglan, who tells them to take him to their lady. It is revealed that the noblewoman is possessed by a Mahr, which Deglan kills. Before his departure, he gives Vesemir enough coins and hope for a better future that the young boy eventually follows him to Kaer Morhen, leaving his old life and Illyana behind.

The training is brutal and the trials to become a Witcher are downright horrifying. Through alchemy, magic, and mutagens, the young trainees are made into more than humans. Most of the other trainees perish during the trial. In a letter, Illyana informs Vesemir that his father, the nobleman, and the noblewoman were all killed during an attack by the Kingdom of Kaedwen. As for Illyana herself, she was taken in by a kind and generous family of Kaedwen nobles. She urges Vesemir to forget his past life and her and find a purpose of his own.

After successfully undergoing all the trials, Vesemir becomes a Witcher. He kills monsters, swindles people out of money, and quickly garners widespread notoriety for his apparent apathy and hunger for gold. As the film opens, he saves a noble child from a Leshen in the outskirts of Ard Carraigh, the capital of Kaedwen, but leaves the remains of the boy’s sisters and father behind. The encounter with the Leshen also surprises him. The Leshens can’t speak, but this one does right before its death, making Vesemir realize that something much more dangerous must be lurking in that forest.

His actions draw the ire of Tetra Gilcrest, the sorceress at the Kaedwen court. She implores the King to attack Kaer Morhen and raze it to the grounds. But the Witchers are not without friends in the Kaedwen court. Lady Zerbst, who has inherited her position in the court from her late husband, defends them against Tetra’s charges. During a barfight, Vesemir and a fellow Witcher named Luka kill a couple of king’s knights and are subsequently apprehended.

Vesemir later learns that Lady Zerbst is Illyana. The son of the Kaedwen noble family that took her in married her. Illyana has led a full and happy life. She has three daughters and a grandchild. Over five decades have passed since they last saw each other. Unlike Vesemir, whose aging process was slowed down during the trials, Illyana looks her age. She reveals that the King has agreed to grant him and his friend clemency if he goes to the forest with Tetra and kills whatever monster has made its home there.

Vesemir agrees, and during the hunt, he and Tetra encounter a hybrid between a Kitsu, a monster that originates from an elf, and a Mahr. Because of this particular combination, the creature can create detailed and powerful illusions. They also come across a subspecies of basilisk that they have never seen before. Vesemir subsequently makes certain discoveries that rattle him to the core.

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf Ending: Who Created the Hybrids and Why?

The monsters can’t naturally mate with each other. However, humans have learned how to engineer them through alchemy. In ancient times, these hybrids were created to fight the elves and the Old Races. But the initial tests — as Reidrich, the head mage of the Witchers at Kaer Morhen, puts it — were “inelegant.” These monsters died not long after their spawning. Reidrich claims that he and his acolytes have been guarding those secrets. However, in reality, he and his acolytes have perfected the alchemy. The Witchers’ powers are the results of that.

As the Witchers have hunted the monsters for hundreds of years, the number of the latter has lessened over time. Because of this, Deglan came up with the desperate plan of creating new types of monsters by engineering several new species. Reidrich created the hybrids between the Kitsu and Mahr, which, in turn, tried to create monsters in her own image out of the elven girls that she kidnapped. However, these experiments were unsuccessful. During the hunt, Vesemir and Tetra find the remains of those unfortunate elven girls.

After Vesemir and Tetra realize this, the former lets his elven friend Fil go with the only survivor of the experiments before returning to Kaer Morhen to confront Deglan. Elsewhere, Tetra figures out that the Kitsu-Mahr hybrid is still alive. She finds the creature and convinces her to join her in her pursuit of vengeance against the Witchers. It is revealed that a Witcher killed Tetra’s mother after accusing her of witchcraft and theft. She then returns to the Ard Carraigh and gives the King the proof of the Witchers’ crimes. Luka is subsequently executed, and Tetra sets out toward Kaer Morhen with a large mob of soldiers, civilians, and her acolytes.

Are Reidrich, Deglan, Tetra, and Illyana Dead?

Yes, Reidrich, Deglan, Tetra, and Illyana are all dead. After arriving at Kaer Morhen, Vesemir confronts Deglan and Reidrich and learns that they indeed created the hybrids. Illyana comes to the Witcher headquarters to warn them and chooses to hide with the young trainees until the battle is over. Meanwhile, Tetra teleports the Kitsu-Mahr hybrid and all other hybrids that the Witchers created in front of the castle. In the ensuing battle, all the full-fledged Witchers are killed except for Vesemir.

The Kitsu-Mahr hybrid makes Vesemir kill Reidrich and fatally wound Illyana by making him believe that he is fighting her and Tetra. Deglan kills Tetra before succumbing to his own injuries. Vesemir leaves Kaer Morhen with Illyana after she convinces him to spare the Kitsu-Mahr hybrid’s life. They stop in front of a frozen lake. With magic, Vesemir turns it as warm as any hot spring. As Illyana passes away in his arms, Vesemir lets himself grieve for the first time.

Does Geralt Appear in The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf?

Yes, Geralt appears in ‘The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf.’ He is the bald trainee that hides with Illyana during the battle and later guides his friends out of Kaer Morhen through a secret passageway. Vesemir later finds them and offers them a choice, and all of them seem to choose the life of a Witcher. Their path ahead will not be easy. After what has happened at Kaer Morhen, they will be vilified wherever they go.

Furthermore, Vesemir will have to rebuild the school from the ground up. With Reidrich and his acolytes dead, there is no one who possesses the knowledge of alchemy to turn ordinary humans into Witchers. This means Vesemir has to find a mage who can accomplish such a task. In a way, this is a good thing. This allows Geralt and other future Witchers to start afresh, without the baggage of their predecessors. The film ends as Vesemir fully embraces his role as the mentor of Geralt and others.

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