When I created Yennefer's character I wanted Geralt to fully grow, but then I decided to make things complicated. I created a female character who refuses to be a fantasy stereotype. To please the reader.
|— Andrzej Sapkowski|
Yennefer of Vengerberg (born on Belleteyn of the year 1173) — a sorceress who lived in the capital city of Aedirn - Vengerberg. She was the youngest member of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers and later the Lodge of Sorceresses attempted to recruit her. She is the love of the witcher Geralt of Rivia and a mother figure to Ciri, a former royal advisor to king Demavend of Aedirn and a close friend of Triss Merigold. The lady of Vengerberg was famous for her beauty, even though during the events of "The Tower of the Swallow" she was 94 years old. Yennefer had locks of curly, raven black hair fragrant with lilac and gooseberry perfume, falling in a cascade of curls on her shapely shoulders. Her face was very pale, triangular in shape with a slightly receded chin. Her eyes were cold and sparkling with a remarkable violet penetrating gaze, in anger blazing with livid, blue-gray fire. Those very eyes also concealed wisdom and imperiousness. Yennefer's nose was slightly long, mouth was pale with thin and slightly crooked, soft, sweet with lipstick, proud lips. On her long and slender neck hanged a black marigold with a star made of obsidian sparkling with a multitude of tiny diamonds embedded in it.
Yen had pronounced cheekbones, naturally slightly irregular eyebrows but trimmed by hand and emphasized with charcoal, long eyelashes and petite hands. Even in high-heeled shoes she wasn't tall, was beautiful but threatening, having incredibly thin and slender waist and slender legs. Yennefer's skin was as delicate as a sixteen-year-old girl. Her breasts were rounded and delicate, with nipples so pale that they were apparent only by their prominence.
She always dressed in black and white, at times wore stockings, wore frilled panties but never wore trivialities with underwire, she didn't need to. Her voice was resonant and mildly derisive. Her overall feminine shape was one of a twenty-year-old girl and she moved with a natural, unforced grace. She was a quadroon (meaning she had ¼ of elven blood, in her case on her mother's side).
Like most sorceresses, she was sterile. She secretly sought a way of restoring her fertility. She gave her motherly love to Ciri — the child destined for Geralt by the Law of Surprise — teaching her about magic while in Ellander, at the Temple of Melitele under the watchful eye of Nenneke.
Yennefer first appeared in the short story "The Last Wish" (in The Last Wish short story collection). She later appeared in several more "canon" short stories, including "The Bounds of Reason", "A Shard of Ice" and "Something More", one "non-canon" short story: "Coś się kończy, coś się zaczyna", and of course, all the novels in the Witcher saga.
It is implied in the story "The Last Wish" that her attractive looks were a product of magic and had been acquired during her training, as with most other sorceresses. Geralt notes how her shoulders are slightly lopsided and by the end of the story realizes that Yennefer used to be a hunchback. Nevertheless, his love for her does not diminish.
The short stories Edit
The Last Wish Edit
- "A pale triangular face, violet eyes and narrow, slightly contorted lips appeared beneath the black tresses...She had pretty shoulders, a shapely neck and, around it, a black velvet choker with a star-shaped jewel sparkling with diamonds."
- —The Last Wish (short story) The Last Wish (p. 226). Orion. Kindle Edition.
- "The sorceress finished fastening the straps of her slippers and stood up. Even in high heels, she wasn’t impressively tall. She shook her hair which, he found, had retained its picturesque, dishevelled and curling disarray despite the furious combing."
- —The Last Wish (short story) The Last Wish (p. 232). Orion. Kindle Edition.
- "He saw her left shoulder, slightly higher than her right. Her nose, slightly too long. Her lips, a touch too narrow. Her chin, receding a little too much. Her brows a little too irregular. Her eyes . . . He saw too many details. Quite unnecessarily."
- —The Last Wish (short story) The Last Wish (p. 236). Orion. Kindle Edition.
A Shard of Ice Edit
- "How ravishing she is, he thought. Everything about her is ravishing. And menacing. Those colours of hers; that contrast of black and white. Beauty and menace. Her raven-black, natural curls. Her cheekbones, pronounced, emphasising a wrinkle, which her smile – if she deigned to smile – created beside her mouth, wonderfully narrow and pale beneath her lipstick. Her eyebrows, wonderfully irregular, when she washed off the kohl that outlined them during the day. Her nose, exquisitely too long. Her delicate hands, wonderfully nervous, restless and adroit. Her waist, willowy and slender, emphasised by an excessively tightened belt. Slim legs, setting in motion the flowing shapes of her black skirt. Ravishing."
- —A Shard of Ice Sword of Destiny (p. 110). Orion. Kindle Edition.
- "She also possessed a very expertly stuffed unicorn, on whose back she liked to make love. Geralt was of the opinion that if there existed a place less suitable for having sex it was probably only the back of a live unicorn. Unlike him, who considered his bed a luxury and valued all the possible uses of that marvellous piece of furniture, Yennefer was capable of being extremely extravagant. Geralt recalled some pleasant moments spent with the sorceress on a sloping roof, in a tree hollow full of rotten wood, on a balcony (someone else’s, to boot), on the railing of a bridge, in a wobbly boat on a rushing river and levitating thirty fathoms above the earth. But the unicorn was the worst. One happy day, however, the dummy broke beneath him, split and fell apart, supplying much amusement."
- —A Shard of Ice Sword of Destiny (pp. 102-103). Orion. Kindle Edition.
The saga Edit
- "She looked him in the eyes and nodded her head lightly, making her glistening, black curls writhe and cascade down to her shoulders. She slipped the roast chicken onto a trencher and began dividing it skilfully. She used a knife and fork. Dandilion had only known one person, up until then, who could eat a chicken with a knife and fork as skilfully. Now he knew how, and from whom, Geralt had learnt the knack. Well, he thought, no wonder. After all, he did live with her for a year in Vengerberg and before he left her, she had instilled a number of strange things into him."
- —Blood of Elves (p. 31). Orion. Kindle Edition.
- "‘The earth which we tread. The fire which does not go out within it. The water from which all life is born and without which life is not possible. The air we breathe. It is enough to stretch out one’s hand to master them, to subjugate them. Magic is everywhere. It is in air, in water, in earth and in fire. And it is behind the door which the Conjunction of the Spheres has closed on us. From there, from behind the closed door, magic sometimes extends its hand to us. For us. You know that, don’t you? You have already felt the touch of that magic, the touch of the hand from behind that door. That touch filled you with fear. Such a touch fills everyone with fear. Because there is Chaos and Order, Good and Evil in all of us. But it is possible and necessary to control it. This has to be learnt. And you will learn it, Ciri."
- —Blood of Elves (p. 292). Orion. Kindle Edition.
- "A blinding flash materialised into a transparent sphere, and inside it loomed a shape, assuming contours and shapes at frightening speed. Dandelion recognised it at once. He knew those wild, black curls and the obsidian star on a velvet ribbon. What he didn’t know and had never seen before was the face. It was a face of rage and fury, the face of the goddess of vengeance, destruction and death."
- —Time of Contempt (p. 100). Orion. Kindle Edition.
The Tower of the Swallow Edit
- "Vilgefortz looked at the unconscious body being dragged across the floor towards the stairs that led into the dungeon. Then he looked up at Rience and Schirru. ‘There is always a risk,’ he said, ‘that one of you falls into the hands of my enemies and is interrogated. I would like to believe that you would be as strong minded as her under the screws. Yes, I would like to believe that. But I do not.’ Rience and Schirru remained silent. Vilgefortz turned again to the megascope, where an image appeared on the screen, produced by the giant crystal. ‘That’s all she located,’ he said, pointing at the screen. ‘I wanted Cirilla and she has given me the witcher. She did not have the empathic matrix of the girl, but when she became weak she gave me Geralt’s. I would not have believed she had such deep feelings for him…’"
- —The Tower of the Swallow
The other books Edit
Yennefer is mentioned few times during the novel and final appears in villa of Lytta Neyd by the end.
|“||Yennefer of Vengerberg, black-haired, dressed in black and white composition, brought to mind December morning.||”|
— pg(s). ??, Season of Storms (untranslated)
Yennefer assists Dandelion in writing "The Magic and Religions of the Continent", the third chapter of the compendium. Within the chapter, a fragment of records document her formative years as a student at Aretuza.
- Adepts name: Yennefer
- Former name: Jenny
- After initial testing confirmed her magical talent, the adept was admitted to Aretuza's first class. The girl comes from a pathological family – her father abused her psychically and physically. and her mother failed to support her. This rejection and abuse were likely precipitated by the deformation of the girl's spinal column and scapula (she was a hunchback), or possibly by her mixed human-elven bloodline (she is quarter elvish, her mother a half blood).
- It was undoubtedly the lingering effects of these traumatic childhood experiences that drove her to attempt suicide soon after admission to our academy. The girl tried to cut open her forearm veins and ended up inflicting serious tendon damage (healer documentation attached for reference).
- Despite the above, the adept was personally recommended and very highly graded by the Chancellor of our Academy, Archmistress Tissaia de Vries. Her deformities and tendon trauma were corrected with use of higher magic during her first year, and her further eduction has fully vindicated the Chancellor's high opinion.
- Adept Yennefer is highly talented and determined student. Her results on subsequent exams have remained excellent.
In the graphic novels Edit
Since she is important character to the lore, she appeared in many comics first of which were Ostatnie Ostatnie życzenie (based on the short story The Last Wish) and Granica możliwości (based on the short story The Bounds of Reason) by Bogusław Polch.Than she also appears in "The Witcher: Killing Monsters" and "The Witcher: Curse of Crows" by CD Projekt RED and Dark Horse Comics. In first mentioned she is only seen sharing bed with Geralt in his pleasent dream while in second she plays more important role. Both of them are original stories not related to books or previous graphic novels.
Yennefer does not appear in the first game. During its events (year 1273), Yen is 100 years old. However, she is indirectly mentioned on several occasions.
- In the Inn in the Outskirts of Vizima, Geralt can talk to a bard, who tells him about Dandelion, and about the ballads of the White Wolf Dandelion's sung. Among them the tale of how "Geralt married a sorceress and they live somewhere on the happy isles".
- At the very beginning of Chapter III, Triss tells Geralt that "the last time (she) felt this way, (Geralt) and a sorceress were playing with a genie".
- In Chapter III, talking to the butcher, near town hall, you can ask him " Do you recognize me? anything about me?" he answers " They say you chase anything in a skirt, but you're a real dog for sorceresses, Supposedly, you loved one once "
- In Chapter IV, the innkeeper of the Country Inn at Murky Waters can tell a tale about Ciri. Near the end of it, he says that the sorceress the witcher loved tried to revive him, but died in the process.
- If Geralt chose Triss as Alvin's guardian in Chapter III, and if he answers king Foltest when questioned about their relationship that he really loves Triss, the update on the Identity - quest says, among other things: "My amnesia prevents me from remembering our relations in the past, but I have the impression I once loved a sorceress, deeply..."
- In Witcher DLC "Side Effects" made by CD Projekt Red as part of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, Dandelion asks Geralt during their second conversation in jail :" ...and what about you and Yennefer?" And Geralt says to him: " I don't want to talk about this."
Yennefer appears in flashbacks in the second game.
In an optional encounter at the very beginning of the game Geralt (still without his memory) meets the Crinfrid Reavers where they mention that they were intending to rape the sorceress and not him (during the events of Sword of Destiny). Despite this they fail to remember her name believing her to be called "Connifer".
In the end of the game it is revealed, that Yennefer is probably alive, but has amnesia like Geralt, and that she is located somewhere in Nilfgaard.
Also, if the player decides to prevent Sile De Tansarville from being torn to bits, she will tell Geralt where to search for Yennefer.
Yennefer is one of main characters and certainly important in the third voiced and acted by Denise Gough. Face was originally intended to be based on 3D scan of Polish model Klaudia Wróbel, however after initial in game tests developers decided to reshape the face to make her look colder and mean. Her first appearence is in the opening cinematic where she is escaping from a battle between Nilfgaardian and Northern forces. Having recovered most of her memory, she has agreed to the serve the Emperor Emhyr's interests in the hunt for Ciri. There is also a free DLC which gives Yennefer an alternative outfit.
Yennefer had a note delivered to Witcher Geralt of Rivia stating that she needed to meet him urgently. Yennefer had given them a location to meet her, however the village was destroyed forcing her to flee towards White Orchard where Geralt alongside another witcher Vesemir lost her trail. Unknown to the witchers, Yennefer had then gone to Vizima, however as they had asked the nearby Nilfgaardian general for information towards her location the general informed Yennefer of this. Knowning the witcher would be Geralt Yennefer travelled to meet him immediately before taking him to Vizima to meet Emperor Emhyr var Emreis. En route, they are ambushed by the Wild Hunt, who slay their Nilfgaardian escort, before Yennefer destroys a bridge to prevent the Red Riders from pursuing them.
As it has turned out Yennefer had learned from the emperor that Ciri had returned to this world and that the Wild Hunt was pursuing her. After Geralt's audience, Yennefer explained that she had been using all manner of spells and rituals to try and track Ciri, only to alert the Hunt to her efforts. Therefore, she decided to rely on more conventional methods by turning to the best tracker she knows. She agreed along with Geralt to search for Ciri. She decided that he would search Velen and Novigrad for her whilst deciding to investigate Skellige herself.
Geralt later rendezvoused with Yennefer in Skellige during King Bran of Skellige's funeral, where she explained that she suspected Ciri to be behind a cataclysm on the eastern end of Ard Skellig but Ermion, another of Ciri's tutors, refused to let her access the site, until they spoke with Crach an Craite. Afterwards, Yennefer and Geralt attended a wake at Kaer Trolde, where they stole the Mask of Uroboros, which possessed the ability to see the past events of the place it is viewed it. Upon arriving at the devastated area, they were confronted by Ermion, who warned them that it could only be used once and that using it will bring a cataclysm upon Skellige. As Geralt argued with Ermion, Yennefer went deeper into the devastated area and activated the mask, which caused a storm. Geralt ran to Yennefer and, using the mask's power, they found a place in the area where the elven mage had disintegrated a member of the Wild Hunt, then opened a portal and fled with Ciri. Ermion arrived soon after, and the two told him what they have found out. Ermion revealed to them that the Wild Hunt was recently seen on Hindarsfjall, so Geralt and Yennefer went there to investigate.
Upon arriving to Hindarsfjall they went to the village of Lofoten, where the women were performing a ritual. Yennefer and Geralt interrupted them and asked about the Wild Hunt and Ciri. They were told that Ciri has been in the village, and that she was seen with a man they referred to as Craven. The two of them were in the stables right before the Wild Hunt arrived and attacked the village, killing many of its inhabitants. When asked about Craven, the women said that he went to the sacred garden near the village to defeat Morkvarg, some time after the incident, so Yennefer and Geralt went there to find him. In the garden, they found a body, and Yennefer decided to use necromancy to make it speak.
The man's real name was Skjall. From what the body said, they learned that Ciri left with the elven mage on a boat as they were being chased by the Wild Hunt. Later on, Uma arrived on the same beach. After hearing the whole story, Yennefer forced the body to go back to its dead form. Yennefer's usage of necromancy drained all the magical power from the sacred garden, which the villagers of Lofoten didn't take lightly, and they blamed Yennefer and Geralt for not respecting their customs and beliefs. Still, Yennefer didn't care much about villagers' opinions, and she and Geralt ignored their claims. After leaving the garden, Yennefer asked Geralt to meet with her in Larvik, another village on Hindarsfjall, if he wanted to help her with something.
Geralt met Yennefer at the inn of the village, where she told him she wanted to tame a djinn that belonged to a mage who sank his ship near Larvik harbor. They searched around the bay for the wreckage, until Geralt found a large crater on the bottom of the sea, and half of a seal inside it. He returned to Yennefer on the boat at the surface, and they concluded the mage asked the djinn to teleport him somewhere, which caused a part of the ocean's surface to teleport as well. Yennefer used the part of the seal to open a portal near the other half. Upon going through the portal, the two of them found themselves on top of a mountain, with the wreckage laying nearby.
At this point, Yennefer confessed to Geralt that she needs a djinn to remove Geralt's last wish, which was to bind the two of them forever, so that she could see whether they truly love each other or if they are together because of the magical bond. The player can decide how Geralt would feel about this. Going through the wreckage, they found the other half. Yennefer connected the pieces which summoned the djinn. After a battle, they tamed it, and Yennefer commanded the djinn to remove the magic between her and Geralt. After this, they decided to sit on the edge of the ship, and Yennefer confessed to Geralt that she still has feelings for him. At this point, the player can decide whether Geralt also keeps his feelings for Yennefer or if he is no longer in love with her. This choice doesn't affect gameplay as much, but it is crucial to the ending itself, and Geralt's fate.
After sitting some time on the edge of the ship, Yennefer opened a portal to her room at the Kaet Trolde inn, and they returned there. They knew Uma (also known as 'the ugliest man alive') was somehow important to finding Ciri, and assumed that it is probably a human, but under a curse. Yennefer decided to go to Vizima to report to the emperor, while Geralt went off to get Uma. Afterwards, they were to randezvous at Kaer Morhen and decide what to do with the cursed being.
As Geralt was on his way to Kaer Morhen with Uma, he was intercepted by Nilfgaardian soldiers, and brought to Vizima to report to Emhyr himself. Yennefer was also there, and the two of them explained to the emperor what they found out and what their plans were. Afterwards, Yennefer teleported to Kaer Morhen with Uma, while Geralt went there on his horse. Upon arrival, she started ordering everyone around. Subsequently, she contacted Ida Emean via megascope to translate the Elder speech riddle.
In order to lift the curse, Yennefer had to used a prolonged magical treatment on Uma to reconstruct his original body piece by piece. Using the phylactery Ciri had repaired, they were able to contain the curse. Uma is revealed to be a transformed Avallac'h, the elven Sage who helped Ciri, who revealed where their young ward was hidden.
Developer comments Edit
|“|| The sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg - a one-time member of the Lodge of Sorceresses, Geralt's love, and teacher and adoptive mother to Ciri - is without a doubt one of the two key female characters appearing in the Witcher books and games.
The books provided our artists with a greate deal of detailed information about Yennefer's appearance, including everything from her hairstyle, figure, and height to the color of her eyes and hair to such nuances as the shape of her face and nose. All of these traits were considered while drawing the concepts and creatin the model for this sorceress.
— pg(s). ??, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Artbook
Associated quests Edit
Journal Entry Edit
- The witcher first met the raven-haired sorceress a good twenty years back. Their friendship and feelings between them were born of a common adventure involving a genie and a wish granted to Geralt that intertwined their fates inextricably.
- In the time since then their relationship had, however, been quite stormy - rich in ups and downs, crises and break-ups. Geralt and Yennefer's love provides irrefutable proof that "opposites attract."
- A few years ago Geralt and Yennefer had, after a long separation full of adventures for them both, gotten back together again. Their moment of repose was interrupted by the Wild Hunt, which took Yennefer captive. The witcher set out at once to save her, but lost his memory while doing so. When he finally recovered it, he immediately set off once more on his quest to find his beloved sorceress.
- The circumstances of Geralt's initial reunion with Yennefer after two years were quite different than he had imagined. The sorceress was not only safe and sound, but had even secured the aid of an unexpected and mighty ally - the Nilfgaardian Empire.
- If Geralt romances Yennefer in Skellige
- A thick air of repressed hostility reigned during Geralt's time with Yennefer in Skellige. More than once the sorceress sharply expressed her displeasure, sparing no cutting remark - just like during the best years of their relationship. In the end, however, the witcher's patience was rewarded, and their expedition to retrieve the mask of Uroboros brought the former lovers back together.
- The gulf that had arisen between them during their time of seperation seemed that much narrower.
- In order to obtain the information they needed Yennefer did not hesitate to resort to necromancy, and destroyed the goddess Freya's garden while doing so. If the proud sorceress felt any guilt as a result,as usual she showed no sign of it.
- If Geralt helps Yennefer in The Last Wish
- The idea of hunting another genie together did not at first arouse Geralt's enthusiasm, but Yennefer had a truly valid reason for wanting it. If she succeeded in forcing the genie to take back the wish binding her to the witcher, she would finally know if the feelings between them were truly love or merely magic.
- If Geralt tells Yennefer he loves her in The Last Wish
- The genie granted Yennefer's request and broke the thread of destiny binding her to Geralt. Luckily it turned out their love could continue - without the need for supernatural assistance.
- Though the sorceresses' difficult character had made life miserable for everyone at Kaer Morhen, in the end it was her stubborn determination that led to Uma's disenchantment and lifting of Avallac'h's curse.
- Yennefer had always felt some ends justified otherwise unsavoury means. When it became clear rescuing Ciri would require the help of Philippa Eilhart and the other sorceresses of the reviled Lodge, she forgot about any bad blood and convinced Emhyr to grant them amnesty.
- Both Ciri and Yennefer were born on Belleteyn - In The Voice of Reason Geralt thinks that's an interesting coincidence.
Notes & referencesEdit
- ↑ in The World of the Witcher, the English translation of her real shortened name in Polish: Janka
- ↑ Partially based on: http://www.medianet.pl/~myszka/wiedzmin/yennefer.html
- ↑ http://www.grynieznane.pl/2015/10/twarzy-yennefer-w-grze-wiedzmin-3.html
- ↑ Yennefer face and hair concept https://www.artstation.com/artwork/yEOk9 https://www.artstation.com/artwork/XdrnL