Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ follows the politics and the chaos in the Continent where various kingdoms battle each other for control and power. Things had been relatively balanced between them for a long time, with humans turning their hatred towards elves, whom they killed on a mass scale when they took over the world. However, with the rise of the southern kingdom, Nilfgaard, everyone is forced to choose a side. The northern kingdoms have to work together to defeat the White Flame.
One of the things that make the Emperor of Nilfgaard a powerful force is the loyalty he inspires in his people. Cahir is one of his most devoted soldiers, ready to do whatever the Emperor asks of him. A word from the White Flame is enough for Cahir to turn on his friends. Is this why he killed Gallatin? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD
Why did Cahir Kill Gallatin?
When Nilfgaard declared war against the northern kingdoms, it turned towards elves as its allies. In the past, humans had driven elves out of their homeland, forcing them to retreat to forests and survive on meager things, leading to the race’s downfall. While elves weren’t particularly affable to Nilfgaard, Emhyr, aka the White Flame, gave them hope of getting back their lands. He told them that once the North was under his control, he would give the elves a place of their own. This promise of getting a kingdom where they could live with peace and prosperity leads the elves to fight for Nilfgaard.
They are led by Francesca, who is dedicated to the single cause of ensuring the safety of her people. In the second season, her pregnancy gives her another reason to ally with Nilfgaard, especially after the Deathless Mother visits her in the form of Ithlinne. While she starts to trust Nilfgaard, she forgets that Emhyr doesn’t actually care about the elves. He just wants them to serve his purpose, and if the elves stray from that, he is ready to kill anyone, including a baby. Emhyr repeats this ruthlessness in the third season when Cahir comes to him with Gallatin.
When Francesca discovers that Ciri is Hen Ichaer, she becomes more focused on finding Ciri than fighting for Nilfgaard. However, not all elves agree with her. While Francesca is busy looking for Ciri, Gallatin leads troop after troop of elves to fight the northern kingdoms for Nilfgaard. He believes Francesca is so blinded by her desire for the mythical Dol Blathanna and the promised Hen Ichaer that she refuses to see the reality in front of her. Gallatin wants Nilfgaard to win the war, which is the only sure way for them to get a kingdom of their own and ensure the race’s survival rather than chasing after a prophecy.
Unbeknownst to Gallatin, Emhyr also wants to find Ciri. The only one who knew about this quest was Cahir, who was punished for being deceitful. When Gallatin tells Cahir that Francesca is looking for Ciri, Cahir sees this as the opportunity to get into Emhyr’s good graces. He takes Gallatin to the Emperor, hoping to get back on the quest to find Ciri. He doesn’t care about the dispute between Gallatin and Francesca, even though he holds a soft spot for his elvish friend.
When Emhyr discovers that Francesca is looking for Ciri, he realizes their interests are aligned. He knows that the elves are too few to make an impact in the war against the North, so he finds it best to work with elves. This gives them a common ground and ensures Emhyr’s interests. If the elves are already motivated to find his daughter, he won’t have to incentivize them or keep them under constant scrutiny lest they focus on something else.
Gallatin, however, doesn’t know about this. He thought Emhyr would want elves to fight for him rather than look for some random girl and would support Gallatin in taking over control of the elves from Francesca. However, Francesca is more useful to Emhyr, and people like Gallatin would create problems for their shared goals. So, he decides to get him out of the way. He also uses this as an opportunity for Cahir to prove his loyalty, which is why Cahir kills Gallatin.
Read More: Who is the White Flame in The Witcher?