June 3, 2023

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The Witcher season 2, episode 8 recap: Family matters

The Witcher second-season finale is upsetting, frustrating and exciting—everything you want in a finale, really!...

The Witcher second-season finale is upsetting, frustrating and exciting—everything you want in a finale, really! There are also two big reveals near the end. Well, it’ll be a surprise if you’re not clued up on your Witcher Lore—those in the know will have already guessed who’s coming. This episode really hits home that family is often who you choose to be with, rather than solely blood relatives. Again, we see so much placed on Ciri’s young shoulders, and again, she proves she’s much stronger than she looks. Lambert is also less of a prick in this episode, which is the biggest shock of all.

Before we get stuck into what Ciri and Geralt are up to, let’s get what I believe to be objectively the most gut-punching moment out of the way. Spurned by the loss of their child, Francesca and Filavandrel decide to leave Nilfgaard. It’s revealed that Dara has been a Redandian spy, communicating with Dijkstra about what’s been going down. Dara decides he doesn’t want to do that anymore just before the baby is killed, and ultimately blames himself for her death. Francesca reassures him it wasn’t his fault, and they leave for Redania, her hatred for humans restored. Once there, she wanders through a village and burns a mark into every baby, before killing them in one fell swoop. It’s an awful scene that ends with several babies screaming before a deafening silence, eventually filled with the cries of mothers. Francesca seeks justice for her people, not revenge, and this won’t be the last time we see brutality from her.

Episode details

Episode 8


Written by: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich

Directed by: Ed Bazalgette


In the North, Tissaia and Vilgefortz receive a visit from Dijkstra, who tells them of Ciri’s power in the previous episode. Tissaia feels that the child is too powerful even for the Brotherhood, so she convenes with King Foltest, King Henselt, and Queen Meve to decide if they should kill the girl and any and all who protect her, which puts Geralt and the Witchers right in the line of fire. King Vizimir over in Redania, however, wishes to combine their kingdoms through marriage so that he may have control of Cintra and have Redania become the most powerful Northern kingdom. Basically, it’s all getting a bit double-agent and dangerous in the North. At least with the Nilfgaardians, they’re upfront that they’re about to murder you.

the witcher season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

The list of those hunting Ciri grows longer while she, newly possessed by Voleth Meir, goes around Kaer Morhen killing Witchers. Voleth Meir sees in Ciri that she misses her family more than anything, so takes her to the grand hall, where they find her grandmother and Mousesack. This keeps Ciri distracted and happy while Voleth Meir uses her body for her bidding. Vesemir instructs the Witchers to take what elixirs they can, while Geralt persuades Vesemir to try it his way first: to coax the entity out of Ciri to leave them both alive.

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