|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 in 1173, was a sorceress who lived in Vengerberg, the capital city of Aedirn. She was Geralt of Rivia's true love and a mother figure to Ciri, whom she viewed like a daughter to the point that she did everything she could to rescue the girl and keep her from harm.
She helped advise King Demavend of Aedirn (though was never a formal royal advisor), a close friend of Triss Merigold, and the youngest member of the Supreme Council of Sorcerers within the Brotherhood of Sorcerers. After its fall, the Lodge of Sorceresses attempted to recruit her, but they didn't see eye to eye as the Lodge wanted to advance their own political agenda by using Ciri.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Description
- 3 Books
- 4 The Witcher
- 5 The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
- 6 The Witcher Battle Arena
- 7 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- 8 Notes
- 9 Gallery
- 10 Footnotes
- 11 References
- 12 External Links
Born in 1173, Yennefer had a rough childhood from the moment she was born due to her congenital hunchback. Her father immediately detested her due to this deformity and blamed Yennefer's mother for it, claiming it was through her side, with mages and elven blood, not to mention her having had an abortion before, that caused the deformity. Her mother initially tried to protect Yennefer, believing it was by the will of the gods, but her father still struck Yennefer until one day he left them both for someone else. After this, her mother, upset that her husband had left, also began to beat her own daughter.
At some point, due to her magical potential, she was received in the Aretuza school for sorceresses, where rectoress Tissaia de Vries became her teacher and mother figure. During her training, Yennefer tried to kill herself by cutting both of her wrists, severing her tendons, though she survived. Tissaia claimed that the purposefulness of her attempt was the only thing that prevented her from feeling contempt for her weakness, and continued her training. In accordance with the sorceresses' tradition, any physical flaw, including her hunchback, was magically removed. Yennefer eventually graduated as a sorceress.
At some point, Yennefer set herself up in the town of Rinde and, ignoring King Heribert's rules that no magic users could stay in Redania, openly practiced her magic and provided her magical services to clients by staying with Novigrad's ambassador, Beau Berrant, thus granting her asylum from the law while in the ambassador's home.
One morning, a witcher intruded on her sleep, revealing himself as Geralt of Rivia and that he needed her assistance in healing his friend, Dandelion, who had been afflicted by a djinn. After an initially rough greeting where Geralt responded sarcastically to her questions, Yennefer agreed to heal the bard, but she secretly made preparations in hopes of capturing the djinn, after Dandelion makes his final wish. When Geralt tried to stop her from using Dandelion, her spell took hold of the witcher, charming him to do her will against those on the town council who were against her.
After Geralt is arrested, she has Dandelion, now awakened teleported out into town with instructions to make his wish to free Geralt. Yennefer tried to capture the djinn, but it fought her, destroying a good part of Rinde in the struggle, not knowing that the djinn's master was not Dandelion, but in fact, Geralt, who still held one wish. Geralt arrived to see Yennefer struggle with her spell, and he tried to stop her, leading them to fight one another. She got the better of him, and he revealed to her that he was the one with the last wish that could free the djinn. Geralt knew that the moment he made a wish, Yennefer would be too weak to contain the djinn and it would kill her. So Geralt saved their lives, by wishing their fates were tied together. Yennefer was grateful to the witcher, willing to bind himself to her, and the two began a relationship.
A year in Vengerberg
Temple of Melitele
Yennefer traveled to the Temple of Melitele in Ellander and spoke to Nenneke about a cure for her infertility. While she was at the temple, she spent time looking around for Geralt, and after discovering he wasn't there confronted Nenneke and ended up quarrelling with her, before leaving the temple.
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.
Captive of the Wild Hunt
When Geralt was stabbed with a pitchfork during the Rivian Pogrom by the drunkard Rob and Yennefer brought near to death trying to save him, Ciri carried them onto a boat and brought them to the apple-covered Isle of Avalon. She then departed, using her powers to leave their world. Yennefer and Geralt lived together on the island peacefully in a house with an orchard and stopped keeping track of time. Both were presumed dead to the rest of the world, although ballads sung by Dandelion led some to believe they had married and lived in the happy isles. Eventually, the wraiths of the Wild Hunt came to the island, burned the house and orchard and took Yennefer captive, seeking to use her as bait to capture Ciri.
With Yennefer in tow, the Hunt traveled through different worlds and passed through Sodden, Cintra, and Angren, taking twenty-three others captive. The time was a blur of blood and fire, a wild chase across worlds. Determined to rescue her, Geralt pursued the Riders of the Hunt for over a year. With the aid of Letho of Gulet, Serrit, and Auckes, three witchers of the School of the Viper who joined him after he saved Letho from a Slyzard, he confronted the Wild Hunt at the Hanged Man’s Tree in Nilfgaard on the Winter Solstice of 1270. Outnumbered by the Riders, the battle reached a stalemate, and Geralt proposed a deal with Eredin Bréacc Glas, King of the Wild Hunt, to trade his life for Yennefer’s. Considering both suitable bait for Ciri, Eredin agreed without hesitation.
Alliance with Nilfgaard
Left in the care of Letho, Serrit, and Auckes, Yennefer was seriously ill, feverish, and delirious, to the point that the witchers believed she would die. Although she recovered from the sickness, she was left disoriented and had no memory. Not wanting Geralt’s sacrifice to go for nothing and aware that the headstrong, amnesiac sorceress would likely not survive long on her own, the four traveled the provinces of the Nilfgaardian Empire together. During their time together, Yennefer was a difficult companion, prone to outbursts. At one point, she attempted to seduce Auckes and drive a wedge between the witchers. Everywhere they went, Yennefer got into trouble and Letho, Serrit, and Auckes got her out of it.
One day, they were apprehended by the Imperial secret police. In Nilfgaardian custody, Yennefer was separated from the three witchers and questioned at length, though without any torture. Letho believed it was through her that the Nilfgaardians learned of the Lodge of Sorceresses. As she would not have informed on her fellow sorceresses consciously, he deduced that they used magical means to tap into her memories of the Lodge without her knowledge. Later, through the efforts of Emperor Emhyr var Emreis’ mages, she regained her memory. While at the palace, Yennefer was closely watched by the men of Vattier de Rideaux, head of the Nilfgaardian Secret Service.
Yennefer was held hostage in a cell until the day that Emhyr came to her and offered to grant her release and free reign of the Imperial treasury in exchange for helping him locate Ciri, his daughter. Wanting to help Ciri, who she also regarded as her daughter, and aware that the vast power of the Emperor would be of great help to that end, Yennefer agreed. Judging that Geralt had escaped the Hunt and trusting that his witcher mutations would ward off any serious injury, she opted against seeking out her lover and spent the months that followed trying any means she knew to find their adopted daughter. Methods including locating spells, haruspicy, and geomancy all failed to reveal Ciri's whereabouts but brought her activities to the attention of the Wild Hunt, who began to hunt after her trail. Sensing the Wild Hunt's pursuit of her and having exhausted magical means, Yennefer ultimately chose to enlist the help of Geralt, Ciri's adoptive father and the best tracker she knew.
The witcher in White Orchard
In May 1272, Yennefer sent Geralt a letter, arranging to meet in the village of Willoughby. However the village had been burned down, due to the Third Northern War reaching the region, so she headed through to the Nilfgaardian Garrison, passing through White Orchard in quite a rush. From the garrison, she headed to Vizima, meeting with Emperor Emhyr var Emreis, concerning the location of Ciri. After a while, she heard Geralt was in White Orchard looking for her, so the sorceress rode with a Nilfgaardian escort to the White Orchard inn where she found Geralt and Vesemir.
Yennefer announced to Geralt that the emperor himself had summoned the witcher to Vizima. After agreeing and saying their goodbyes to Vesemir, the pair left with the escorts toward Vizima. Once night struck, the company was attacked by the Wild Hunt. The riders killed all of the soldiers and just before they could catch Geralt and Yennefer, the sorceress destroyed a bridge with magic, blocking their pursuit. Just the two of them reached Vizima alive.
The lady of Vengerberg was famous for her beauty, even though she was nearly a century 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 hung a black marigold with a star made of obsidian sparkling with a multitude of tiny diamonds embedded in it.
Yen had pronounced cheekbones, natural, slightly irregular eyebrows 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.
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 quarter-elf (meaning she had a quarter elven blood, in her case on her mother's side).
It is implied 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.
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.
Yennefer does not appear in the first game. During its events (year 1271), Yen is 98 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 loved the witcher and 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 Síle de Tansarville from being torn to bits, she will tell Geralt where to search for Yennefer.
Yennefer was a playable hero in the now defunct MOBA, having been added with the Season 2 Update on 29 June 2015. Her alternative skin was called Ravenlord's Embrace and one of weapons was called Dark Moon weapon.
In the third game, Yennefer is one of the main characters, and is voiced by Denise Gough. Her face was originally intended to be based on a 3D scan of Polish model Klaudia Wróbel, however after initial in-game tests, the developers decided to reshape the face in order to give Yennefer a colder and meaner look. Her first appearance is in the opening cinematic, wherein she is escaping from a battle between Nilfgaardian and Northern forces. Having recovered most of her memory, she has agreed to the serve 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 the 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 garrison commander for information about her location, the captain 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 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 Tuirseach'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, while Geralt went there on his horse with Uma. Upon arrival, she started ordering everyone around, ordering Eskel to collect forktail spinal fluid and for Lambert to imbue the phylactery with Power from the Circle of Elements.
Subsequently, she attempts to contact Ida Emean via megascope but some interference cause her three separate megascope crystals to explode. When Geralt arrives, she has him search for the source of the interference, which turns out to be dimeritium bombs created by Lambert, which Yennefer suspected he planted out of spite. With that out of the way, Yennefer successfully contacted Ida, who translated the Elder speech riddle to be as old as the Aen Undod.
In order to lift the curse, Yennefer reveals that she intends to put Uma through the first half of the Trial of the Grasses and to use 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.
Yennefer was finally reunited with Ciri after so many years, but the happy reunion was short-lived, as the Wild Hunt descended on Kaer Morhen. Yennefer participated in the battle by putting up a magic barrier to force the Hunt's navigators to open portals outside the fortress.
In the aftermath of the battle, Yennefer decided that they needed to reunite the Lodge of Sorceresses and managed to work out a deal with Emhyr, with the promise of amnesty and asylum for the Lodge if they help defeat the Hunt. She and Triss traveled to Novigrad to search for Margarita Laux-Antille and Philippa Eilhart respectively.
Yennefer later met with Geralt at Crippled Kate's to wait for the one man who escaped Deireadh prison, who then panicked, assuming the both of them to be bandits and ran off. They managed to catch up with him and clear up the misunderstanding. Returning to Kate's, the escapee explained that his knowledge of herbs enabled him to use mushrooms growing inside his cell and belladonna to fake his death, tricking the witch hunters into throwing him into the corpse pit, which led to the sewers.
Yennefer then devised a plan for Geralt to infiltrate Deireadh through Oxenfurt's underground elven ruins and provided him with a device to signal her to teleport in once he had found Margarita. However, she could only teleport Margarita out, forcing Geralt to find another way out on his own.
- 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.
- In The Hexer TV series, she appears in 2 episodes, "Smok" and "Okruch lodu".
- See the GWENT standalone game version card: Yennefer