Netflix’s fantasy drama series ‘The Witcher’ follows the story of Geralt of Rivia, whose destiny is tied with Princess Cirilla of Cintra and Yennefer of Vengerberg. The show charts their tumultuous journeys through the Continent, where Ciri becomes the most wanted person after it is revealed that she has unimaginable power. The world they live in is full of monsters and creatures like dwarves, elves, sorcerers, and nefarious forces trying to get their hands on Ciri.
The second season sheds more light on the arc of the elves, who are led by Francesca. She brings hope for her people and charts a path for them to reclaim their place in the world, which was taken from them after humans arrived. Despite her best efforts, she and the elves meet a huge setback when Francesca’s baby dies. What happened to the baby? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD
What Happened to Francesca’s Baby?
One of the reasons why elves have become a rarity on the Continent is because, despite their long lifespans, they haven’t been able to reproduce. As humans grew stronger, the elves grew weaker and decreased in numbers as they died in wars and reproduced less frequently. The situation has become so dire that by the time the events of ‘The Witcher’ take place, it has been years since a pure elf was born. This is what makes Francesca’s pregnancy so important.
In the second season, the Deathless Mother presents itself to Francesca as Ithlinne and offers her help to rebuild the world for elves. She promises to keep her child safe and gives directions as to how they can claim back their home. Francesca is told to form an alliance with Nilfgaard, which is where Fringilla, who has also been visited by the Deathless Mother, comes in.
Fringilla and Francesca forge a friendship wherein the elves are granted refuge in Cintra in return for bearing arms for Nilfgaard. However, when the baby is born, the elves back down on the end of the deal. The birth of their daughter makes Francesca and Filavandrel reconsider their priorities. The child brings hope to their community which had not seen an elven baby for many, many years. Her parents realize that their priority is to keep her safe and sound. They thank Fringilla and Nilfgaard for their help, but they cannot risk the lives of elves in a war between humans.
Fringilla warns Francesca that backing out of the deal will not do they any good, and that’s what happens. The baby is killed, and with it, the elves fall back into despair. All the signs point towards Redania as the perpetrator. Francesca thinks that Redania killed her baby because they hate elves. They are also in a war against Nilfgaard, and because the elves aligned with Emhyr, Redania decided to punish them for it.
To seek revenge for her daughter’s death, Francesca marches across Redania, cursing the babies and killing them all at once. The elves declare a full-blown war against the country, which is what Nilfgaard needs. In the final scene of Season 2, Emhyr reveals that he ordered the murder of Francesca’s child. The Emperor has been looking for his own daughter, and he knows how one’s love for a child can motivate them. When he discovered that the elves were more inclined towards keeping peace and staying out of the way, he found a different way to encourage them. Killing Francesca’s child had the intended effect, and the elves did precisely what he wanted. This served his purpose, even if it meant the death of many innocents, elven or human.