Radovid V the Stern is the current King of Redania. He is the son of Vizimir II of Redania and Hedwig of Malleore, and thus a brother of Dalimira and Milena.
Depending on the player's choices in The Witcher, he is possibly married to Princess Adda the White, the oldest child of King Foltest of Temeria. And, depending on the player's choices in The Witcher 2, he may also be in possession of Foltest's other surviving child, Anaïs La Valette. If either are true, he is the most obvious successor to the Temerian crown.
He bears a deep hatred of mages. His father Vizimir II the Just was secretly assassinated during Radovid's infancy by the sorceress advisor Philippa Eilhart, who then assumed the regency in his name, and dominated and demeaned him throughout his youth. After he assumed the crown, his father-in-law, King Foltest, as well as King Demavend of Aedirn, were both murdered in plots in which mages (the Lodge of Sorceresses) were deeply implicated. King Henselt of Kaedwen was also the target of a murder by agents associated withe Lodge. The Third Northern War began very soon afterward, wherein the North was subjected to a bloody invasion by the Nilfgaardian Empire - with whom the mages appeared to be in league: their efforts in weakening the North through regicide appeared to have been coordinated with the Imperial invasion.
In consequence, Radovid V set out to purge all mages and magic users from his realms, confiscating their wealth and using it against Nilfgaard. He became known as 'The Stern' for his merciless, unforgiving nature and brooding demeanor.
Unknown to him, the Lodge only wished to assassinate King Demavend, not Foltest or Henselt, and was not in fact conspiring with Nilfgaard. However, Philippa Eilheart did in fact almost certainly assassinate his father. At the Summit of Loc Muinne, Radovid at last caught up with Eilheart, blinding her in punishment, but she escaped before she could be executed for treason and regicide.
In the Third Northern War, the young king shows himself to be a masterful military commander and strategic genius. After the collapse of Temeria and Aedirn (whose rulers had been assassinated), he quickly defeats Kaedwen and unites the remaining forces of the North under a single command - managing to stalemate the (far larger) Nilfgaardian forces at the Pontar river. If he survives, he eventually leads Northern armies to a crushing victory, uniting the entire North down to the Yaruga under his rule (with the presumed exception of Kovir). This places him among the most successful Northern monarchs of all time.
Despite this, many characters in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt claim Radovid has gone mad, that his ruthless persecution of mages is a sign of insanity. Geralt seems to agree. Sigismund Dijkstra claims this "madness" will bode ill for the future of Redania, and plots to become chancellor of Redania and rule the North himself. Dijkstra does not support Radovid, in spite of having been driven from the Redanian court in fear for his life by Philippa Eilhart.
Radovid is mentioned then and again throughout the game, but in Chapter III, Geralt gets to meet the king face to face. Their first meeting is not actually "live" as Radovid's image is merely visible courtesy of a telecommunicator, Hartmann's mirror. Their second meeting is actually face-to-face and in the flesh and takes place at Radovid's hideout. He is then seen outside the city on the landing at the beginning of Chapter V. Their final meeting is in Vizima's Trade Quarter.
In the game, Radovid is attempting the same thing his father tried a couple of decades before: joining the royal families of Redania and Temeria. Because of this, he asks Geralt's opinion about Adda. He fostered a link with Salamandra through "mutual acquaintances", and at one point considered them a possible ally; however, he eventually discarded them. A mannered, calculating individual, he is more refined than his opposite number Foltest but no less ruthless.
If Geralt manages to break Adda's curse anew, there is a scene of the happy couple promising a bright future, and the union of the two kingdoms into one. If Geralt kills the striga, though, Radovid reigns alone in Redania.
Radovid is a main character in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
- When Radovid's father, Vizimir II had fallen victim to an assassin a few years earlier, the prince had had but thirteen summers. The country fell into chaos, as usually happens in such circumstances, and queen Hedwig would not have been able to control things. The aristocracy, as they tend to – started to organize themselves into factions, attempting to tear something out for themselves. Some practically licked the boots of Nilfgaardian emissaries, doing so with much practice and a real sense of commitment. The Regency Council appointed to save the kingdom from the conflict managed to do so, and properly hung the traitors, yet its members disregarded their underage ruler. Therefore nobody among the Redanian nobles expected that Radovid would grow up to become a firm monarch who would repay all humiliations he and his mother had suffered during the regency. The king was quick to show that, if his father had earned the moniker of"the Just", he would be remembered by history as "the Stern".
- The sorceress Philippa Eilhart had the dubious pleasure of seeing the aptness of Radovid's moniker with her own eyes, so to speak. After presenting her with a list of charges, reinforced with personal animosity and information from the Imperial envoy, the king had her eyes put out. You might say that Radovid couldn't turn a blind eye to her sins.
- Even before Geralt related his impressions of the discussion with Radovid to me, I already had an feeling that it would be best to avoid attracting the Redanian monarch's interest to my modest self. When Geralt ended up in his dungeon, the king unhesitatingly provided him with a list of arguments detailing why it was in Redania's national interest that the future be deeply unpleasant for the witcher and Triss. He did point out, however, that it was nothing personal.
- Unlike the proud and sometimes self-centered Foltest, or the fitful, coarse Henselt, the king of Redania was a reserved, calculating politician. Geralt learned that he was not the sort of man that would allow himself to be deceived or led astray by prevarication. The king could instantly sense falsehoods and was gifted at maneuvering his opponents into revealing whatever information he desired.
- Radovid had very specific plans concerning his neighbor, the chaos-riddled Temeria. In this situation Fate, embodied by a certain witcher and a military captain, had delivered Anaïs La Valette, Foltest's illegitimate daughter, into his hands. Thus the Redanian king had a strong argument that Temeria should be acknowledged a Redanian protectorate. Thanks to skillful political maneuvering, Radovid greatly strengthened himself and his kingdom's position.
- Radovid had very specific plans concerning his neighbor, the chaos-riddled Temeria. Yet Fate, embodied by a certain witcher and a military captain, had delivered Anaïs La Valette, Foltest's illegitimate daughter, into the hands of Temeria's regent, John Natalis. Radovid would have to find some other way to expand his dominion.
Radovid V also appears in the game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
|Radovid the Great • Dambor the Black • Vestibor the Proud • Radovid II the Sailor • Radovid III the Bold • Vizimir I the Old • Vridank the Elf • Radovid IV the Bald • Heribert the Quarrelsome • Vizimir II the Just • Radovid V the Stern|
|Maria Pulcheria of Temeria • Caitlyn of Kaedwen • Cirra of Cintra • Viviana of Lyria • Cerro • Fiametta of Cidaris • Diana de Saint-Villiers • Hedwig of Malleore • Adda the White|
|Other Redanian royal family members|
|Falka • Riannon • Dalimira • Milena|