Lauren Schmidt Hissrich produces The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, a Netflix adult animated dark fantasy film produced by a South Korean-American team. The film is a spin-off of The Witcher, a Netflix series. It focuses on Geralt’s mentor and fellow witcher Vesemir’s origin storey. On August 23, 2021, the film premiered.
Vesemir, Geralt’s tutor and adopted father, is voiced by Theo James in the anime film. The character will also be played by Kim Bodnia in the live-action performance. While Vesemir is a grey-haired veteran by Geralt’s time, he is a young and dashing swashbuckling Witcher who makes a living by slaughtering monsters in this film.
However, he is forced to confront his history as well as a monster preying on a country already beset by political strife.
This anime film is firstly, beautifully animated and also gives us a lot of insight into The Witcher’s universe along with laying down some key issues and answering questions such as the origins of Vesemir, what happens that make Witcher’s scarce and where exactly does Geralt meet Vesemir. Let’s take a look at what happens in the movie!
We come across the great and imposing Kaer Morhen. Geralt and Vesemir, as well as the other Witchers of the School of the Wolf, train and spend their winters at Kaer Morhen, a mountain castle.
By the time we see it in The Witcher Season 2, it’s a shambles, having been destroyed by a crowd and a gang of wizards who saw Witchers as monsters in their own right. In the beginning, we see the keep in its former splendour, but the gloomy voiceover foreshadows its doom.
The movie immediately jumps into actions as we see a lechen which is a monstrous cloaked skullfaced humanoid that can morph into a billion bats, kill a family. The only survivor is a little boy and Vesemir burns it alive in a frightening manner as the youngster watches, and we see some magical fighting.
We see the kKng and his counsellors are debating what to do about the out-of-control monster situation in the woods as the story of the murderous Lechen comes to light. Tetra is a powerful wizard who feels the witchers are scumbags who make monsters to murder them and so keep the business going. Lady Zerbst advises that they look into the issue and see whether there’s any proof to back up such a conspiracy notion.
The movie also delves into Vesemir’s childhood and how he became a witcher. He observes a witcher named Deglan exorcise a scurrying many-legged befoulment from within a woman during his childhood.
He’s taken aback by this. Since Deglan has asked him to assist with the exorcism, he keeps a close eye on everything. After the exorcism is over, Deglan mounts his horse and departs, but not before handing over two gold coins earned for his services to young Vesemir.
Seeing that, Vesemir wants to be more than just another poor person in a neighbourhood, toiling at day after day for a barely-there roof and a barely-filled stomach. He tells his close friend, probably someone he’s in love with, Illyana that he wants to travel the globe and establish a life for himself.
She on the other hand prefers to live peacefully in a lakeside cottage and start a family. It’s a real pity when he abandons her to pursue a career as a witcher, oblivious to the fact that it encompasses some truly harrowing experiences.
The movie follows Vesemir and his heroics but the actual storyline streamlines when him and his witcher friend, Luka kills two knights in a bar brawl. They are taken into prison but Lady Zerbst who is actually a 7y0 year old Illyana offers them a deal. She tells him that he will be granted his freedom along with Luka’s if he is able to clear the forest of all monsters.
Vesemir and Tetra team up to go and clear out the monsters from the forest. They realize that the entire forest is under a illusion spell and once Tetra removes it, they come face to face with Kitsu who is an elf mage but has been genetically mutated with a Mahr demon, making her a deadly creature. A massive fight ensues as she calls upon a basilisk. While the two of them succeed in killing the basilisk, Kitsu runs away.
They follow her and stumble upon an abandoned elven school. They entire and see various dead female elves and multiple resources for carrying out mutagenic alchemy. They also find a young female elf alive who is taken by Filivandrel to safety as Vesemir stops Tetra from killing them. It is also revealed that Tetra had led the genocide against the elves as well.
They find out that Kitsu was a crossbreed and that is when the realisation dawns upon them, the mages at kaer Morhen created Kitsu since only they knew how to use mutagenic alchemy. This serves as the perfect premise for Tetra to sound the war cry against the witchers. She executes Luka and begins the war.
In its premise, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf presents an intriguing dilemma: if the profession were more widespread, there would be greater competition for monsters to kill for a career.
In the present day, Vesemir has amassed a sizable fortune before travelling to Kaer Morhen, the witcher stronghold, for the winter season, but his colleague Luka and others have not been so fortunate. This type of supply-and-demand pressure can lead to ethical failings.
Deglan, Vesemir’s mentor, appears to have devised a trick by having Reidrich, Kaer Morhen’s personal magician, conjure new creatures for them to kill for money. While practising mutagenic alchemy on an elf, who later becomes the source of the creature army that decimates the witcher population, Reidrich’s secret processes also explain the mysterious origins of the witcher race. This revelation is what leads to the final battle.
The final battle is no short of epic. The mages who storm Kaer Morhen and the witchers who strive to safeguard their land engage in a tremendous battle. Tetra, a powerful witch with a seat in the King’s court, is in charge of the magicians. She has a strong dislike for witches and is described as a purist who believes witches are deformed crossbreeds.
The battle begins, and we see Tetra working with Kitsu, the elf and Mahr demon crossbreed, to send a torrent of demons and monsters at the witchers, using both of their magic. The battle is a bloodbath, with every single one of the witchers except Vesemir and the young recruits dying. Deglan saves Vesemir and brings the conflict to an end by killing Tetra in his final seconds.
The movie ends with Vesemir finding the 4 young recruits who had managed to escape the grounds of Kaer Morhen and us seeing a young Geralt being taken under Vesemir’s wing for training.
Vesemir – origin story
The movie traces the origin of Vesemir. We see through flashbacks that he is a young boy living in a village with his meek father and both of them work for a nobleman. He has a girl friend named Illyana and they are most probably in love with each other and they often run around in the village, stealing delicious cake to eat from the market and spend their days in the stables or playing with the snow.
It is during his childhood where he witnesses a witcher named Deglan exorcise a scurrying many-legged befoulment from within a woman, but only after ripping off most of her garments. This leaves him in awe.
He watches the entire thing since Deglan asks him to assit with the exorcism. Deglan leaves on his horse but before leaving, he gives young Vesemir, 2 gold coins out of what he had earned for his services.
We see then that Vesemir wishes to be more than simply another poor person in a community, and slave gis day away for a barely-there roof and barely filled stomach. He tells his friend Illyana that he wants to go away and see the world and make a life for himself but she would much rather live quietly in a house by the lake and start a family.
It’s a real shame when he abandons her to pursue a career as a witcher, unaware that it entails going through some genuinely painful experiences.
He makes his way to the mysterious and imposing Kaer Morhen where he is clubbed with the rest of the recruits and are to undergo a series of tests and challenges to prepare them for life as witchers.
We watch as Vesemir and other young recruits, many of them orphans, go through multiple tests which end in many of the boys dying a bloody death and then finally, he is mutated with a potion and emerges a witcher. With immense training, he is transformed into the cocky, skilled and handsome looking man that we see in series, slaying beasts left and right.
Do Vesemir and Illyana get together?
We see Vesemir and Illyana share a beautiful friendship and maybe even love but that is cut short when Vesemir leaves his village to go and become a witcher. We think that that chapter of his life is over but life oftentimes comes a full cycle and we see him encounter Ilyana almost 60 years later.
The twist comes unexpectedly. Lady Zerbst who was contstantly trying to avoid a conflict with the Witchers in the King’s court is revealed to be none other than Illyana herself who had come to the Zerbst family as a servant but had ended marrying their son because they fell in love, making her a Lady.
When Vesemir is thrown in jail for killing a Knight, it is Lady Zerbst who shows up to offer him a deal to kill the monsters in the woods in exchange for a pardon and this is where she reveals her true identity.
She talks to him about her life and three daughters as they reminisce even though now she is an old woman but Vesemir, who is now a witcher, hasn’t aged much at all.
She also comes to the witcher’s aid during the final battle between the witchers and mages. Right before the battle ensues, they share a passionate kiss with the full moon in the background but their happiness doesn’t last for long. While duelling with Kitsu and Tetra, Vesemir plunges his sword into Kitsu but realises that it was an illusion and that he had harmed Illyana instead.
He takes a wounded Illyana and they share a beautiful sunrise together before she passes away with her head on his shoulder, leaving him to sob in his grief.
Who survives the battle between the Witchers and the Mages?
A massive battle ensues between the mages who storm Kaer Morhen and the witchers who fight to protect their home. The mages are led by Tetra who is a powerful witch and has a seat in the King’s court. It is clear that she holds distaste for witchers and is said to be a purist and witchers are mutated crossbreeds according to her.
Her main reason for inciting the battle between the witchers and the mages is however embedded in her past. Tetra has a grudge against witches because she knows her sorceress mother was falsely accused of cursing a priest.
The priest’s cook had been paid by a witcher to poison his master so that he might make money by eliminating the alleged source of the priest’s illness. She had hidden in a cupboard and watched as the witcher killed her mother.
The battle starts and we see that Tetra is working with Kitsu, the elf and Mahr demon crossbreed and using both their magic together, she sends a barrage of demons and monsters towards the witchers.
The fight is a bloody one and results in all of the witchers apart from Vesemir and the young recruits dying. Deglan kills Tetra in his last moments of life, saving Vesemir and brining the battle to a close.
When does Vesemir meet Geralt?
While the fighting was going on, the young recruits along with Illyana were hiding instead of participating in the battle. When Illyana realises that staying within Kaer Morhen was dangerous and the kids will likely die, she makes them run away, as far as their feet will take them. The 4 remaining recruits escape through a hatch in the grain hold.
Vesemir comes upon them in the last minute of the movie and as Deglan had told him with his dying breath, he takes upon the responsibility to make them witchers and above all, better men. It is here that we see that the tiniest little kid who is bald is Geralt and this is where the story begins for the soon to be great Geralt of Rivia.