The Witcher: Why Yennefer saved Cahir

The Witcher: Why Yennefer saved Cahir and betrayed the Brotherhood

The Witcher series from Netflix is known for simultaneously touching on several storylines, one of which follows how Yennefer disobeyed the Brotherhood and freed the Niflgaard commander Cahir. Yennefer’s decision did not come as a surprise to book readers and game players, but it may have confused viewers of the show. Although Yennefer is known for her impulsive nature, most of her decisions in The Witcher series serve a specific purpose.

Cahir is introduced in the first season of The Witcher as a Nilfgaardian commander who is in charge of the invasion of Cintra and is determined to capture Ciri, whom she calls the Black Knight. In the last episode of season 1, Cahir and Fringilla command the army of the Niflgaard Empire against the army of wizards at the Battle of Sodden Hill, where Yennefer used fire magic to win the war. After their defeat, Cahir was captured by the wizards for further interrogation, and Yennefer was presumed dead. However, at the beginning of the second season of The Witcher, viewers learn that Yennefer is alive, but powerless, and her return to the Brotherhood causes concern for Stregobor, who does not believe in her loyalty. Therefore, Stregobor accuses Yennefer of being a Niflgaard spy, stating that she must kill Cahir or reveal to the Brotherhood that she has lost all her magic in order to declare her innocence. Instead, she unexpectedly releases him.

As Yennefer states at the end of the 3rd episode of the 2nd season of The Witcher, she freed Cahir not to help him, but to help herself. Unfortunately, none of the options presented by Yennefer from Vengerberg in The Witcher were ideal, and both led to much worse consequences. If Yennefer had killed Cahir, it would have meant that she would have become a pawn of the Brotherhood. In addition, since he is in his prison cell, she also tells Kagyr that she does not kill without purpose. On the other hand, admitting that she has lost her strength in front of the Brotherhood will lead to the fact that the elders of the Brotherhood will gain political influence, which will make her vulnerable. Therefore, Yennefer frees Cahir from his chains in front of the northern kings and queens and escapes with him, hoping that Cahir’s return to Cintra will restore her strength.

Yennefer has already betrayed the Brotherhood

While Yennefer’s betrayal of the Brotherhood may seem confusing, it’s important to note that this isn’t the first time she’s gone against them. In the first season of The Witcher, after she discovers that she is being sent to Nilfgaard and not to Aedirn because of her elven blood, she refuses to attend a mage initiation. However, she refuses to miss her opportunity to gain beauty and strength and demands that the sorcerer undergo initiation, which led her to win the place of the sorceress of Aedirn, as she originally wanted. In addition, she also disobeyed the Brotherhood, coming to the aid of an army of wizards during the Battle of Sodden Hill and defeating the Niflgaardians.

The character of Yennefer in The Witcher, despite her shortcomings, was never inclined to politicization, which is why it was so easy for her to betray the Brotherhood, especially with regard to saving Cahir. However, no matter which option was chosen from what the Brotherhood offered, she knew that none of them was right. Constantly, Yennefer has always put herself and her motives first, which makes her such an interesting character in The Witcher series.


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The Witcher: Why Yennefer saved Cahir
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