Things You Didn’t Know About Yennefer From The Witcher Series

Of all the mages, witches, and sorceresses in the world of The Witcher, the one who stands out the most is undoubtedly Yennefer of Vengerberg. While she only properly appears in one of the three Witcher titles released by CD Projekt Red, her razor-sharp wit and immaculate sense of style have cemented her in the minds of fans.

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Still, for all its accomplishments, there are many aspects of Yennefer’s illustrious history that weren’t captured in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and there is much that you may not know about her if your only view into The Witcher world is the game series. Here are the most interesting things.

Updated on July 19, 2023, by Grant Burton: Yennefer of Vengerberg is an icon of fantasy, across video games, television, and in books. There are so many facts and details about her, many of which are small and subtle, some of which are obvious and more noticeable. This update focuses primarily on offering even more facts and details about the character, along with streamlining the reading experience a little by combining some entries and eliminating repetition.

20 Yennefer Lived With Geralt

The Witcher Season 3 Geralt and Yennefer

The love between Yennefer and Geralt is one of the key story threads of any medium of The Witcher. Early in their relationship, after an encounter with a Djinn that bound them together, Yennefer and Geralt lived together for near on a year in Vengerberg.

All was well for a time. Geralt became more of a chaperon to the witch than a working Witcher, and they essentially experienced the life of a happily, retired couple. Naturally, drama ensued, and their time together ended with both parties chagrined. This would not be the first time they lived together, nor the first time they fell out.

19 Yennefer Is Infertile

Yennefer and Geralt share a hug in the Witcher 3

Becoming a witch in the world of The Witcher has its drawbacks. One of which is that it renders the person infertile. Something Yennefer did not know ahead of time, and something she hated ever since. One of Yennefer’s greatest desires across the Witcher books, show, and games is to be a mother, by any means.

It’s not until she meets Ciri and starts to train her in the magical ways that Yennefer learns that there are more ways to become a mother. Additionally, her infertility is something she and Geralt have in common – who is also unable to have children – and they often bond over this.

18 Love, Or Magic?

Yennefer using magic in The Witcher 3

In the events of The Last Wish novel, Yennefer tries to combat a Djinn. In order to save them all, Geralt makes a wish. It’s unclear what that wish was, but the result is that he and Yennefer are bound together. In The Witcher 3, players can choose to end this magical bond and then decide if the characters are in fact in love or not.

Throughout the series, it’s unclear just how much of their relationship is magically induced, and how much of it is a genuine like for one another.

17 The Voice Of Yennefer

Actress Denise Gough

The English language voice of Yennefer is from Irish actress, Denise Gough. To some players, she may be recognizable on both a visual and vocal level. Denise has voiced several characters across many video games. She has appeared in Mass Effect: Andromeda, the Dragon Quest series, XCOM2, and many more games.

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In live action, Denise is perhaps best known for her role in Andor on Disney+, but has also appeared in the acclaimed miniseries, Under the Banner of Heaven. Her credits are many, and Yennefer is just one of her iconic roles.

16 Defying Expectations

The Witcher 3 Yennefer alternative DLC look

Writer, Andrzej Sapkowski created the character of Yennefer with a very specific purpose in mind. She was meant to subvert expectations and defy genre stereotypes. She was intentionally created to be different from other female characters in fantasy.

The degree in which he succeeded in this is up for debate, but she is a character who never becomes a damsel in distress, who doesn’t immediately fall in love with the hero, who can fight and stand up for herself, and who isn’t there purely to be a source of motivation for the male hero. She is tough, and independent, with her own goals and motivations. And on top of all that, she is cool.

15 Netflix Didn’t Provide The First Live-Action Adaptation Of The Character

Split Image Of Shots Of Yennefer From The Hexer Tv Series

Netflix and Anya Chalotra deserve plenty of credit for their adaptation of Yennefer as she’s one of the stars of the series. Yet, that’s not actually the first live-action version of the character.

Back in 2001, there was a polish movie called The Hexer, which later became a television series. They were adaptations of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher books. Yennefer features in both of them, and she’s played by an actress named Grazyna Wolszczak. However, she has a smaller role than Chalotra as Yen only appears in two episodes of The Hexer show.

14 She Really Likes Apple Juice

Witcher 3 Yennefer in Darkness

When Geralt and Yennefer first met in the books, he won her favor by bringing her apple juice. It was a very quick and simple moment, yet his actions helped sway Yennefer into helping him save Dandelion, who had been rendered helpless by the infamous djinn.

Of course, Yennefer had her own reasons for wanting to get her hands on the djinn, but it doesn’t stop the moment between Geralt and the sorceress from being pretty adorable. Who would have thought that someone as powerful and fierce as Yennefer would be charmed by something as innocuous as apple juice?

13 She Is Considered A Byronic Hero

Witcher 3 Screenshot Yennefer Is Heartbroken

It’s not often to find a female example of the Byronic Hero trope, but Yennefer fits it perfectly. She is withdrawn and cold to those who she doesn’t deem worthy of accepting her time.

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She is extremely ambitious and intelligent, but also prone to selfishness. Yennefer can be very cold and hard to get to know. Even she and Geralt have a hard time getting along on occasion despite the fact they’re considered to be the other’s one true love.

12 She Was A Character In The Witcher Battle Arena

A screenshot from The Witcher Battle Arena

The Witcher Battle Arena was a free multiplayer battle arena that users could participate in online to compete using the best characters from the franchise. Unfortunately, it was a relatively short-lived game. Players would compete in 6-player battles and have to capture three conquest points before moving toward a deathmatch.

Yennefer was one of the characters available to play in the game. She had an awesome weapon called the Dark Moon and a skin that you could change called Ravenlord’s Embrace. It’s a shame the game didn’t make it a full year before being shut down.

11 She Has Done Some Terrible Things For Love

Witcher Netlix Series Yennefer Looking At Screen

Pretty much every single character in The Witcher universe has done bad things as a means to an end. Yennefer is no exception. She has even used and brainwashed Geralt in the past. During their first encounter, she turned him into a puppet to get revenge against those who had wronged her.

She has also come close to killing him in some of her darkest and most enraged moments. Yennefer is not shy about admitting she can be cruel. When it comes to protecting Ciri, in particular, there is nothing she won’t do.

10 She Once Tried To Commit Suicide

Witcher 3 Screenshot of Yennefer in Default Outfit

According to the World of Witcher compendium, which contains writings by Dandelion, Yennefer once tried to take her own life. She was abused as a child and had a hunchback; this led her to depression and isolation.

While she was a student at Aretuza, Yennefer tried to kill herself by cutting her forearms. She managed to do a great deal of damage to her tendons but did not die. She even managed to impress the academy’s chancellor and receive a recommendation to continue her training as a sorceress.

9 Never Ask A Lady Her Age

yennefer in snow

While it’s mentioned at times that mages live unnaturally long, it’s never stated outright how old Yennefer of Vengerberg actually is. Given that we know she was born in the year 1173, we can conclude that by the time the first game takes place in 1271, she would be around 98 years old.

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This sharply contrasts with her own youthful appearance, as she still appears, for all intents and purposes, to be in her early twenties. A benefit of being an exceptionally powerful sorceress.

8 Elven Blood

Netflix Witcher Season 3 Anya Chalotra As Yennefer

One of the predominant themes of The Witcher is racism directed towards non-human beings such as dwarves, elves, and others. As such, it’s interesting to note that while Yennefer looks fully human, she is in fact considered a quadroon. In the real world, this term refers to someone who is one-quarter black by birth.

However, in The Witcher, this means that Yennefer is one-quarter elven, being the product of a human father and a half-elven mother. This heritage lends itself to her graceful features and could explain why she’s one of gaming’s most powerful mages, as elves are known for their magic talents.

7 The Abused Hunchback Of Vengerberg

Yennefer (pre magic) and Istredd in season 1 of The Witcher

One would never know it just from looking at Yennefer, but she was not born with such ethereal features. Yennefer of Vengerberg was born a hunchback, complete with crooked shoulders and a distorted frame. This deformity was the source of much strife in her childhood, ultimately leading her father to abuse her, physically and mentally, before abandoning her and her mother, as he was disgusted by her appearance. He also blamed her mother, claiming that the elven blood Yennefer had inherited from her was the reason for her hunchback.

Her mother then continued to beat on Yen, blaming her for her father’s departure. Yennefer eventually used magic to alter her appearance and make herself more “beautiful” and younger. Yet she retained the crooked shoulders. Whether it was intentional or not, this serves as a reminder of who she was, and perhaps still is under the skin.

6 Study At Aretuza

Yennefer tries to use her magic in a rainy forest

Yennefer was discovered during her youth by the Aretuza Academy, a school for aspiring sorceresses. Though she had a difficult time adjusting to such a prestigious and elite institution, she quickly became its best pupil.

By the end of her first year at Aretuza, Yennefer’s spinal column had been fixed, removing her hunchback. Subsequently, she graduated as one of the brightest and most talented students at the academy, setting her well on her way to becoming the dominating force that appears in the games.

5 Past Loves

Yennefer and her past love, Istredd

Geralt has the option to romance Yennefer in Witcher 3, and the sorceress only has eyes for him during this time. Yet, her romantic life was much more tumultuous in the past. Significantly, she took two other lovers before solidifying her affections for Geralt: Crach an Craite and the sorcerer Istredd.

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Though her affair with Crach (who also appears in The Witcher 3) was brief, her involvement with Istredd was complicated when he and Geralt met one another. Neither was willing to share Yennefer, with Istredd going so far as to propose marriage to her. In the end, Yennefer left both of them for a time, later reuniting with Geralt.

4 Blinded At Sodden Hill

Yennefer at Kaer Morhen in The Witcher 3

Yennefer was also present during the climactic battle of the First Nilfgaard War, the Battle of Sodden Hill. It was at this conflict that the tide turned decisively for the Northern Kingdoms, as their mages and sorceresses were able to overwhelm the opposing Nilfgaardian forces. However, this particular fight was not without cost, as many perished and many others incurred terrible scars, both physical and mental.

During the course of the fighting, Yennefer was attacked and blinded by Nilfgaardian sorceress Fringilla Vigo, and while she was later able to heal the damage, the emotional impact of the injury is something she still carries with her.

3 Training Ciri

Yennefer and Ciri in The Witcher 3

Sometime after the Battle of Sodden Hill, Geralt requested Yennefer’s help in training a child who was a Source – someone with access to tremendous magical power. This child was Ciri, and as Yennefer instructed her in the magical arts at the Temple of Melitele, she grew attached.

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From this point on, Yennefer’s relationship with Ciri developed into one that was not merely teacher and student, but more akin to mother and daughter. While this relationship is certainly seen in the game series, its origins in Yennefer’s magical tutelage are not discussed, leaving out the long history between these two characters.

2 The Thanedd Coup And The Lodge Of Sorceresses

Witcher 3 It Takes Three To Tango triss and yennefer

At a meeting of the Brotherhood of Sorcerers – of which Yennefer was the youngest member – on Thanedd Island, there was a falling out between mages supporting Nilfgaard and mages supporting the Northern Realms. Yennefer was present during these events on the side of the North. Which makes it that much more surprising that she aligns with the Nilfgaardian Empire in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

However, in the aftermath of the coup, Yennefer also refused to join the powerful members of the Lodge of Sorceresses as she disagreed with their goals. It seems Yennefer’s aim has never been power or patriotism, but rather a desire to find and protect Ciri from all who would use her against her will.

1 Malus Isle

yennefer and geralt in the Witcher 3

Directly prior to the events of the CD Projekt Red games, Yennefer traveled with Ciri to Rivia, where they found Geralt bleeding out from a fatal wound. Yennefer’s attempts to save him fell short, and in the end, it was Ciri (with the help of a unicorn, no less) who managed to bring Geralt back.

Ciri then took them to Malus Island, a mysterious isle hidden deep in the fogs of Loch Eskalott. It was there that Yennefer and Geralt recovered and rested before eventually being found by the Wild Hunt, kicking off the story depicted in the Witcher game series.

Next: The Witcher: What Is Ithlinne’s Prophecy?

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