Leaked images from the filming the second season of Netflix's The Witcher have revealed that Geralt will be taking on the Wild Hunt in the show's upcoming storyline. The Wild Hunt is among the most intimidating and powerful forces in the franchise's universe, as well as the ultimate villain of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
The Wild Hunt has strange origins, mysterious motivations, and a fascinating role to play in the story of Geralt of Rivia and Ciri. For those who may be unfamiliar, here's what exactly the Wild Hunt is, how it has been portrayed in other media, and what fans might expect from it in The Witcher's second season.
The name of the Wild Hunt comes from real-life northern European folklore. It is typically depicted as a group of spectral riders who tear across the night sky, often claiming the souls of those who see them. In some versions of this myth, they are led by Odin, the head of the Norse pantheon.
From the perspective of the average observer in the world of The Witcher, the Wild Hunt would appear to be very much like its folkloric basis. However, across the stories, the true origins and motivations of the Wild Hunt are revealed. Though the dark spiked armor worn by the huntsmen and their horses makes them appear like monsters, this is not actually the case. The Wild Hunt - also known as the Wraiths of Morhogg in Skellige - are actually a group of Elves from another dimension, something related to the Conjunction of the Spheres.
The Conjunction of the Spheres was a magical event which took place 1500 years before the main events of The Witcher books. It trapped creatures from across the multiverse on different worlds, and caused humans to appear in the world of The Witcher. During this event, some of the Elves from Geralt's world left through portals. The arrived in another reality, and became known as the Aen Elle Elves. They found their new home populated by two sentient races, humans and Unicorns. The Aen Elle eradicated the human population, and began a perpetual war with the Unicorns that continues into Geralt's time.
The Aen Elle built a civilization on their new world, but found themselves lacking viable slaves due to the eradication of the humans and the non-humanoid forms of the Unicorns. As such, their king Auberon Muircetach formed a group known as the Red Riders with the sole goal of invading other realities and taking back their inhabitants as slaves for the Aen Elle. General Eredin Breacc Glas was made the leader of the Red Riders. Using magic to make themselves look more intimidating, this group of raiders took slaves from countless worlds. They gained a new name, the Wild Hunt. Eredin himself became known as the King of the Wild Hunt.
The Wild Hunt preferred to raid their world of origin, finding that it had been taken over by humans in the time since the Conjunction of the Spheres. Over time some people gained knowledge of the Wild Hunt's true origins and purpose. A school of Witchers known as the School of the Viper became dedicated to studying the Wild Hunt. A few slaves even managed to find their way back through portals to their home-world, though their tales of a distant land of warring Elves and Unicorns were usually dismissed as insanity.
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