Netflix’s fantasy series The Witcher brings the magical and dangerous world of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels to life, but the politics and kingdoms of the Continent can be a little confusing to keep track of. The Witcher‘s world map is particularly important given that all three of the main characters take their names from their place of origin: Geralt of Rivia, Yennefer of Vengerberg, and Ciri, the Lion Cub of Cintra.
Spanning decades, the first season of The Witcher bounces around all over the Continent – from the magical academy of Aretuza to Sodden Hill, the strategic gateway to the Northern Realms. Much of the plot also revolves around Nilfgaard’s attempted conquest of the Continent, which begins from Nilfgaard’s territory in the south and progresses north.
Between the show’s jumping around in time and jumping around the map, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of where the main characters are. Here’s a breakdown of the most important kingdoms in the Continent, their politics, and where Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri travel in The Witcher season 1.
The Countries & Politics of the Continent
As you can see on the map below, there are many different countries in the Continent, but the most significant of them are the Four Kingdoms of the Northern Realms (Redania, Kaedwen, Aedirn, and Temeria) and the Nilfgaardian Empire. We meet two rulers of the Four Kingdoms in The Witcher season 1: Foltest, the king of Temeria, who tasks Triss Merigold with capturing a striga; and Virfuril, the king of Aedirn, who is entranced by Yennefer after her transformation.
Also significant in The Witcher season 1 is the kingdom of Cintra, which is ruled by Ciri’s grandmother, Queen Calanthe. A proud warrior, Calanthe dismisses the threat of the advancing Nilfgaardian army, believing that they will never be able to defeat Cintra’s forces. However, in The Witcher season 1, episode 1, “The End’s Beginning,” we see the fall of Cintra and Ciri’s desperate escape from the castle.
Nilfgaard is ruled by Emperor Emhyr var Emreis, and to say much more about him would risk spoiling future episodes of The Witcher. All you need to know for now is that Emhyr is an aggressive ruler with plans to conquer the entire Continent. One of Emhyr’s top agents is Cahir, or the “Black Knight,” a member of Nilfgaard’s military intelligence who has been specifically charged with finding Ciri and bringing her back to Nilfgaard.
Finally, an important faction within the politics of the Continent is the Brotherhood of Sorcerers, which is led by the Supreme Council of Sorcerers. Members of the Council include Yennefer’s mentor, Tissaia de Vries, the wily old wizard Stregobor, and Fringilla’s uncle, Artorius Vigo. The Brotherhood of Sorcerers train mages and then assign them to serve the kingdoms of the Continent. In the season finale, Fringilla leads the forces of Nilfgaard. Some members of the Brotherhood ally themselves against her in defense of the Northern Realms, while others decide to abstain from the fight.
The Witcher’s World Map & Season 1 Locations
The map of the Continent above was created by a group of dedicated fans called the Ortelius Team, and offers a detailed look at the world of The Witcher. All of the action in The Witcher season 1 takes place north of the Amell Range at the center of the map, but it’s important to note Nilfgaard’s location in the far south. By the end of season 1, the Nilfgaardian Empire occupies more than half of the map – all the way up to Cintra – which puts into perspective the sheer might of the forces that Yennefer and the other mages face in the season finale. Now, let’s take a closer look at some other important locations.
One of Geralt’s more sinister nicknames is “The Butcher of Blaviken.” In The Witcher‘s first episode, “The End’s Beginning,” we get to see how he earns this name. The small town of Blaviken is located in the far north of the continent, on the coast of the Gulf of Praxeda. It’s here that Geralt meets the exiled princess Renfri, with whom he has a brief and tragic romance.
Aretuza and Thanedd Island
After being sold by her callous father, Yennefer travels due west from her home of Vengerberg in Aedirn to Thanedd Island, off the coast of Temeria. Thanedd is the home of Aretuza, the academy for training young ladies to become sorceresses. The island has powerful magical protections, and during her training Yennefer discovers the horrible truth about how its magic is fuelled.
Lower Posada, Dol Blathanna, and the Blue Mountains
Located in the northeast corner of the map, Lower Posada and the former elven kingdom of Dol Blathanna are featured in The Witcher season 1, episode 2, “Four Marks.” This is where Geralt and Jaskier meet for the first time, and Jaskier decides to accompany Geralt on his quest into the mountains in hope of finding inspiration for his songs.
Temeria is one of the Four Kingdoms, and Geralt pays it a visit in The Witcher season 1, episode 3, “Betrayer Moon.” Temeria is ruled by King Foltest, and the Brotherhood of Sorcerers sends Triss Merigold to the royal court to protect the kingdom during Nilfgaard’s conquest. She and Geralt work together to capture and cure a striga that has been attacking Temeria’s citizens.
Located south of Thanedd Island and north of Cintra is Brokilon Forest. Ciri is drawn into this magical forest in season 1, episode 4, “Of Banquets, Bastards and Burials.” There she meets the tribe of dryads that protect the forest – though they aren’t able to keep her safe for long.
In The Witcher season 1, episode 5, “Bottled Appetites,” Geralt and Yennefer meet for the first time in the Redanian town of Rinde. After Jaskier is attacked by a djinn, leaving him in desperate need of magical intervention to save his life, Geralt brings him to Rinde and finds that Yennefer has claimed the mayor’s house for herself.
Caingorn and the Dragon Mountains
In The Witcher season 1, episode 6, “Rare Species,” Geralt is recruited by a man called Borch to hunt down a dragon with a bounty on its head, courtesy of King Niedamir of Caingorn. The Dragon Mountains are located in the far north of the Continent, and according to the book lore humans have never explored what lies beyond them.
Sodden Hill and the Yaruga River
With Nilfgaard’s forces making their way north, The Witcher‘s season 1 finale, “Much More,” sees Yennefer and the other mages taking a stand at Sodden Hill, in the kingdom of Sodden. The fort guards the narrowest parts of the Yaruga River, a river that starts from an estuary in Cintra and spans the continent.
Though not visited in The Witcher season 1, Kaer Morhen is a key location. A keep in the far north east, Kaer Morhen is where young children were once trained to become witchers through a series of brutal trials that most of them do not survive. This is where Geralt was trained, and where his mentor, Vesemir, still lives.
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