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Eist Tuirseach (d. 1263) was a Jarl of Skellige during the reign of his brother, King Bran, and Crach an Craite's uncle. He became the King of Cintra via his impromptu marriage to Queen Calanthe and, sometime later, he also gained the crown of Skellige. He ruled with his wife until 1263 when he was killed at the Battle of Marnadal during the Nilfgaardian invasion of Cintra.

He was described as being a sinewy warrior with a dark face, an aquiline nose, and white teeth. He was also, at least according to Queen Calanthe, noble, knightly, and classy.

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

Eist was born into Clan Tuirseach on Skellige Isles and grew up with his brother, Bran, and at least one sister who later ended up giving birth to Crach an Craite.[1]

He was an excellent warrior and while his brother was crowned, Eist occupied the position of Jarl of Skellige, the main commander of the military forces.[2] He helped advise his brother, along with the druid Mousesack, and became a mentor figure for young Crach.

It's not quite clear how Eist met Queen Calanthe, but it must have happened after the death of her husband King Roegner of Ebbing. They soon developed feelings for one another but Calanthe repeatedly refused Jarl's offers.[1]

Princess Pavetta's coming of age Edit

In 1252, Eist, Crach, Mousesack, famous skald Draig Bon-Dhu, and thirty seamen came to Cintra as legation from the Isles, with the significant four of them allowed to enter the royal castle where the fest was held. The chief goal of the Islanders was to ensure Crach's wedding with Queen Calanthe's daughter and heiress, Pavetta, to strengthen the alliance between Skellige and Cintra.

At the feast, however, a cursed knight who introduced himself as "Duny, Urcheon of Erlenwald" appeared and claimed Pavetta as his reward through the Law of Surprise for saving King Roegner's life. When Calanthe asked her daughter if she wanted to leave with the knight, the princess answered yes. This outraged many guests, Crach included, and a fight broke out. Pavetta couldn't handle it and The Force burst from her, nearly ruining the castle if not for the intervention of the witcher Geralt of Rivia and Mousesack. After this incident, Calanthe agreed to let Pavetta and Duny get married and, by doing so, unknowingly broke Duny's curse. The queen then decided to accept Eist's proposal and soon there were two weddings. By marriage, Eist became the king of Cintra.[1]

Reign over Cintra and Skellige Edit

Sometime later, Bran abdicated his throne to his brother and Eist became the Isles' king, although only in title as the actual power was held by Crach an Craite, who had ascended to the position of Jarl of Skellige after Eist's coronation. As the king of both Cintra and the Skellige Isles, Eist represented a personal union of both countries.[2]

Despite ruling over a vast realm, Eist had little interest in governing so his wife handled it instead. As such, while he reigned for thirteen years, he never truly participated in political intrigues and laws. However, his marriage with Calanthe was regarded as happy but, due to their advanced age, they had no children together.[3]

Death and legacy Edit

Eist and Calanthe stood in charge of their military forces when the Nilfgaardian Army marched through Marnadal Stairs and towards Cintra. The Battle of Marnadal lasted a full day and night until an arrow struck through one of King Eist's eyes, instantly killing him. Calanthe then gathered her remaining troops and retreated to Cintra where she was defeated in what became known as the Slaughter of Cintra.[3]

Eist's body was later retrieved from the fields of Marnadal by his Skellige countrymen and brought back to the Isles. He was buried in a traditional, stone tomb next to an empty, symbolic coffin for his wife as the queen's body was never found. Bran was then re-crowned as king[4] and the Islanders swore bloody vengeance on the Nilfgaardians, becoming their implacable foes.[5]

Trivia Edit

  • In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Eist was originally supposed to feature on a card in the Skellige deck.[6]
  • Unlike the books, in The Hexer TV series, Eist died soon after his marriage to Calanthe, before the Nilfgaard invasion. He was played by actor Jerzy Piwowarczyk in the movie and TV series.

Gallery Edit

Notes & references Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Question of Price short story
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ciri's genealogy - Eist Tuirseach
  3. 3.0 3.1 Blood of Elves
  4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  5. The World of the Witcher
  6. Leaked CD Projekt RED materials from 2014