Season 2 of The Witcher kicks off in December, bringing a significant expansion of the show’s cast of characters and notable casting that includes Bridgerton’s Adjoa Andoh as the priestess Nenneke and Game of Thrones’ Kristofer Hivju as the cursed noble Nivellen.
One of the most significant new characters is Vesemir, who will be played by Kim Bodnia of Killing Eve (despite rumors at one point that the role would go to Mark Hamill). During Netflix’s Tudum presentation, the streaming giant released a new Witcher franchise trailer, with never-before-seen footage from Season 2, including our first up-close look at Bodnia’s portrayal of the famous Witcher.
Netflix has built anticipation for his appearance and provided viewers with a way to get to know the character better by giving him a starring role in the anime prequel The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, where a younger version of the character was voiced by Divergent’s Theo James.
But who is Vesemir, exactly? Read on or watch the video below or at the top of the page to learn more!
The Witcher’s Vesemir: The Basics
Vesemir is the oldest and most experienced surviving witcher in the Netflix series and Geralt of Rivia’s surrogate father. Vesemir grew up as a servant to a noble household, but ran away to seek his fortune as a monster hunter after helping the witcher Deglan exorcise a monster that was possessing his mistress.
After going through the brutal trials and training required to become a witcher, Vesemir spent decades enjoying his profession. When the witcher stronghold Kaer Morhen was destroyed and most of the senior witchers were killed, Vesemir took it upon himself to protect and train the last of his kind.
Vesemir’s Powers and Abilities
Like all witchers of the Wolf School, Vesemir received intense instruction in combat and survival at Kaer Morhen. He underwent the Trial of the Grasses, which mutated him to give him the same golden eyes that Geralt would also acquire, and imbue him with superhuman strength, agility, and toughness while significantly slowing his aging process. The trial also renders the survivors sterile.
Vesemir has the ability to use magical signs in order to do things such as knock back foes or create fire. Like other witchers, he’s also trained in alchemy, brewing concoctions that can enhance his own senses or be used as destructive bombs. He’s a particularly skilled swordsman and taught fencing to the new recruits at Kaer Morhen when he wasn’t sneaking off to drink and flirt at nearby taverns. As a veteran witcher, he has extensive knowledge of the abilities and weaknesses of monsters. He also carries a Wolf School medallion, which allows him to sense magic that’s being used nearby.
Origin and Background: Geralt’s Mentor
Vesemir first appeared in Sapkowski’s Witcher novel Blood of Elves, which serves as the source for most of the plot in The Witcher Season 2. He was mentioned before then by Geralt in the short story collections The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny. Geralt refers to Vesemir as his father and the old witcher helps train Geralt’s own surrogate daughter, the child surprise Ciri, at Kaer Morhen. Vesemir is tough on all of his students, but he believes that approach helps give them the strength and determination needed to survive their very dangerous profession. He also shows compassion, telling his child recruits tales to help them fall asleep and ignore the pain of a tough day of training.
Most of the Wolf School witchers treat Vesemir like their father and he does his best to protect them. Because the secret to the Trial of the Grasses was lost at the massacre at Kaer Morhen, Vesemir believes they will be the last students he’ll ever train. He’s something of a tragic figure, a survivor of a bygone golden age whose seen monster hunters become less necessary and more reviled.
Vesemir in Netflix’s The Witcher, the Games and Beyond
Vesemir (voiced by) is a key character in CD Projekt Red’s video games. He’s one of the first characters that Geralt encounters in The Witcher, serving as a quest giver and guide to navigating Kaer Morhen.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt also opens with Geralt and Vesemir together as they attempt to find the sorceress Yennefer. While Vesemir spends most of the game back at Kaer Morhen and away from the action, he plays a significant role in The Witcher 3’s climax.
Netflix’s animated film The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf significantly fleshed out Vesemir’s backstory, depicting his childhood romance and dreams, his cocky youth as a master monster hunter, and his role in the destruction of Kaer Morhen. It also shows his compassion for elves, who are treated with contempt or outright exterminated by most humans. Vesemir has had other adventures referenced in the Witcher games that could potentially provide material for a follow-up film.
Before coming to Netflix, The Witcher books were adapted in the Polish TV series and film The Hexer. Vesemir appears in the series played by Jerzy Nowak, but he’s a priest instead of a witcher. In that series, Geralt is mentored by a character referred to only as the Old Witcher. Vesemir has also appeared on Gwent cards (a Witcher card game) and in the Witcher comics.
For more Witcher, check out the Season 2 franchise trailer featuring more Vesemir and Nivellen, our review of Nightmare of the Wolf, and the names of the Season 2 episode titles. The Witcher Season 2 will premiere on Netflix on December 17. Let’s discuss Vesemir and the rest of The Witcher characters in the comments!
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