The Witcher monoliths explained

The Witcher season 2. Image courtesy Jay Maidment, Netflix
The Witcher season 2. Image courtesy Jay Maidment, Netflix /

If you’re one of the many people who tuned in to season 2 of The Witcher on Netflix, you might have more than a few questions. The second outing of the fantasy monster hunting show brought Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), his foster daughter Ciri (Freya Allen), and the mage Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) on a slew of adventures that introduced all sorts of new mysteries to the show.

One in particular that has intrigued both new fans and longtime devotees of The Witcher novels by Andrzej Sapkowski alike is the monoliths. These strange structures were revealed in the second season to be set at some very specific locations across the Continent…and to have some very specific connections to Ciri as well as the many worlds of the Witcher universe.

SPOILERS shall follow below for The Witcher season 2, as well as the general book mythos.

What is the Conjunction of the Spheres?

To understand the monoliths, we need to talk a little bit about about the Conjunction of the Spheres. This historical event was mentioned several times during season 2 of The Witcher, but to sum up, it was a moment thousands of years before the start of the show when multiple worlds overlapped. These worlds (called “spheres” in the show) aligned in such a way that monsters, humans, Elves, and a variety of other races were brought together on certain worlds like the Continent. Then, when the Conjunction ended, those races were stranded wherever they ended up. According to the novels, Elves previously had the ability to freely travel between spheres, but after the Conjunction their world-hopping ability no longer worked.

The Conjunction is going to be covered in detail in the Witcher prequel series Blood Origin, which stars MIchelle Yeoh and is due out sometime this year.

What are the monoliths?

Enter the monoliths. It’s not known when the monoliths formed exactly, but Istredd (Royce Pierreson), Yennefer’s former lover and an accomplished archeologist, said this season that it’s possible the monoliths acted as the conduits of power that allowed the Conjunction to occur in the first place. These tall stone obelisks are made of a material called stellacite, which we learned from The Witcher’s second season is believed to be nigh unbreakable, and takes hundreds of years to show even the tiniest sign of natural erosion.

Except there is something that is capable of breaking them in the show: Ciri. We first saw the princess of Cintra exercise her awesome power during the season 1 premiere, when she screamed with such force that she toppled one of the monoliths and caused a chasm to form outside the city. As we learned this season from Istredd, another monolith in the country of Nazair vibrated with a strange resonance at that exact moment, showing how these mysterious pillars are all connected.

During the climactic season 2 finale showdown at Kaer Morhen, the Deathless Mother possessed Ciri and used her supernatural powers to break the medallion tree in the keep’s great hall apart, revealing yet another monolith. This allowed the Deathless Mother to bring basilisks from another world straight into the keep. It also allowed Ciri, Yennefer, and Geralt to pass through to another sphere, where we caught our first glimpse of the Wild Hunt, a group of mounted warriors who sow terror wherever they go.

In short, the monoliths act as fonts of power, as well as portals — but only, seemingly, if you have the right key: the Elder Blood, a magical genetic trait that goes all the way back in Ciri’s bloodline to Lara Dorren, an Elven warrior of old who was mentioned several times this season. Dorren fell in love with a human mage, and though their story ended in tragedy, their progeny passed on this magical gene that allows for travel between worlds. This is going to be crucial to The Witcher’s story as it goes on, since many factions in the vast multiverse of the series have their own ideas about how best to utilize the Elder Blood.

It’s a sure bet that we’re going to be learning a lot more about the monoliths, other spheres, and the myriad races and creatures that inhabit them in upcoming seasons of The Witcher.

Next. The Witcher showrunner on why she killed off fan favorite character. dark

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