The Witcher season 2, episode 2 recap: The beast in Kaer Morhen

Family is a key theme in The Witcher’s second season, as well as finding what feels like home. The second episode focuses on the Witcher keep, Kaer Morhen, and the elves searching for Dol Blathanna. Unusual alliances form, and Yennefer and Ciri undergo quite profound transformations as they begin to realise exactly what they want. Geralt remains all solemn and fatherly, and we get to meet Vesemir and the rest of the Witchers for the first time, which is super-exciting.

Visions and dreams are a central theme in this episode, starting with Yen’s dream about having a baby with Geralt. This baby then combusts into flames in its cot, and we see a red-cloaked figure holding an elven babe. This foreshadows what’s to come in future episodes, but the cloaked figure seems to have infiltrated the dreams of Fringilla and the elven leader, Francesca Findabair, too, albeit in black and white robes instead. We meet Francesca and Filavandrel after they capture Yen and Fringilla, and they scarcely survive. Yen’s powers are still lost after her use of fire magic, but she’s still got her wily charms, whereas Fringilla wants to drive a hard bargain with the elves. Neither’s approach is enough on its own, so they must work together.

Episode details

Episode 2

“Kaer Morhen”

Written by: Beau Demayo

Directed by: Stephen Surjik

★★★★★

Eventually, they manage to persuade Francesca to let them assist her, and the three face a mysterious being who wishes to give them what they most desire—for a price. This leads to an alliance between the elves and Nilfgaard as Fringilla promises Cintra to the elves, and Francesca is promised by the crone that she will carry and birth the first true elven baby in generations. Yen seeks her power back, but refuses to give in to the witch’s temptation, so she’s left out. Her stubbornness works against her for most of the second season, and she’s left feeling bereft as things aren’t going her way for the first time. Meanwhile, Fringilla’s plan to bring Emperor Emhyr a new army in a bid to avoid punishment for losing the Battle of Sodden is underway.

All of this is offset by Geralt and Ciri reaching Kaer Morhen at last. The Witchers greet Geralt as “brother,” and Vesemir is thrilled that his favourite son is home. There’s a real feeling of warmth, love, and humanity at Kaer Morhen, despite this being a keep full of what’s supposed to be unfeeling mutants. This happy reunion is cut short when Eskel arrives, clearly sick and injured from recently fighting with a Leshy. Geralt soon puts Ciri to Witcher training as she wishes to become a powerful fighter to defeat Cahir and the forces that ruined her life. Geralt tries hard to distinguish that Witchers “don’t kill out of fear; we kill to save lives” but Ciri remains undeterred. 

The best part of this episode is the sad and brutal fight between Vesemir, Geralt, and Eskel. It becomes clear that his injury is more than just a flesh wound—the Leshy has mutated somehow and infected him, turning him into a human-Leshy hybrid. The episode hints at this early on—Vesemir ponders how Eskel didn’t know that fire to the heart would do the trick—so we get to see Geralt use Igni to light up his sword and strike down Eskel. Vesemir is obviously devastated at losing one of his sons, but there was little choice in the matter. This doesn’t stop Lambert from being a complete prick and taking a dig at Geralt for it, though.

The fight between the three Witchers is intense on all fronts. Once again, Cavill gracefully cuts through the air with his sword, throwing out signs where he can. Kim Bodnia’s portrayal of the wizened old Vesemir desperately wanting to save his son is powerful to watch, as you can see him and Geralt realise what they need to do. All in, parents wanting their children to live and have a better future is at the heart of this episode, there’s a lot of love in the room. As for what the hell is going on on the continent, Eskel’s Leshy pal is going to bring a lot of answers to the table.

Geralt of Trivia 

  • Fans of Nightmare of the Wolf will spot Deglan’s armour in Kaer Morhen as Vesemir gives Geralt a tour.
  • Keep an eye on the Medallion Tree as there will be one Medallion that looks very familiar. 
  • There’s a funny wee toad in the basement of Kaer Morhen. It was specially trained to stare down the camera, so get ready for it to look into your soul. 

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