Lydia van Bredevoort (Aisha Fabienne Ross) and Rience (Chris Fulton) are two new characters introduced in season 2 of Netflix’s ‘The Witcher.’ In ‘Turn Your Back’ (season 2 episode 5), Lydia comes to Rience’s cell in Cintra with a proposition. The latter was sentenced to 10-year imprisonment by Queen Calanthe for owing a debt to the Cintran crown. Lydia offers Rience freedom in exchange for him agreeing to track down Ciri. Initially, he refuses, believing that Lydia is working for Nilfgaard. However, when she reveals that she has a different master, Rience accepts. Here is everything you need to know about Lydia and Rience and their mysterious benefactor. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who Is Lydia and Rience in The Witcher?
Lydia and Rience are powerful mages, especially the latter, one of the few mages that extensively uses fire-based magic. Rience captures the bard Jaskier and torture him for information about Geralt and Ciri. Yennefer arrives, pretends to be drunk and Jaskier’s wife, and burns almost half of Rience’s face when he tries to threaten her. She then escapes with Jaskier. In the books, this plays out somewhat differently, as Yennefer still has her connection to the Chaos at this point.
Rience leaves death and destruction in his wake as he searches for Geralt and Ciri. He arrives at Kaer Morhen not long after the witcher and the princess have left for the Temple of Melitele. During his fight with Vesemir and Triss, he leaves the former unconscious. Before he teleports away, he takes the mutagen that Vesemir and Triss created with Ciri’s blood.
Later, Rience meets up with Lydia and convinces her to try to arrange a meeting between him and her employer. They know that Geralt is at the Temple of Melitele, and Lydia suggests that they should hire the ruthless Michelet brothers if Rience doesn’t want to lose the rest of his face. This comment later proves ironic as it isn’t Rience but Lydia who suffers several facial burns when she tries to apply the witcher mutagen on herself. The injuries refuse to heal, and her throat and larynx are so damaged that she is forced to use telepathy to communicate. In the books, her burns are the results of an experiment performed on a mysterious artifact.
Rience’s encounter with Geralt doesn’t go according to the plans either. All the Michelet brothers are killed, and Rience barely escapes. Rience finally meets the man behind his freedom. And together with Lydia, the two of them plan on how to take advantage of the current geopolitical situation on the Continent.
Who Is Lydia and Rience’s Secret Master?
While the show hasn’t made the revelation yet, the book readers will know that Lydia and Rience are working for Vilgefortz of Roggeveen (Mahesh Jadu), the charismatic, well-spoken, and powerful mage. After the Battle of Sodden Hill, he has come to be regarded as a hero. Along with Tissaia de Vries, he wrenches the control of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers away from Artorius Vigo and Stregobor.
It is revealed that he and Tissaia are now lovers as well. As it becomes apparent in the season 1 finale, he is secretly working with someone from Nilfgaard. In the books, that person is none other than Emperor Emhyr var Emreis. The two of them set their plans in motion years ago, when Emhyr was still using the alias Duny.
Beyond the façade of humility and idealism, Vilgefortz is ruthless, ambitious, and power-hungry. He seems to have realized Ciri’s familial connection to Lara Dorren, the legendary Elven sorcerer and the source of the young princess’ powers. And now, he wants to access the said powers through her blood.
Read More: Where Was The Witcher Season 2 Filmed?