*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf*
Following the release of season 1 in 2019, Netflix’s The Witcher franchise has been expanded with the arrival of Nightmare of the Wolf, an anime that delves into the story of Vesemir, Geralt of Rivia’s mentor.
As well as detailing Vesemir’s monster-slaying exploits, the film also features a group of would-be witchers and in the final scene, one of them is revealed to be Geralt.
However, his appearance in Nightmare of the Wolf is a little different to what we know as his signature silver hair is missing, which has left fans asking why Geralt is blad.
Ahead of the release of The Witcher season 2 in December, Nightmare of the Wolf arrived on Netflix on August 23rd, 2021.
Set almost 100 years before the events of The Witcher season 1, the anime follows a young Vesemir, Geralt’s future mentor, who delights in his work and slaying monsters for coin.
However, when a strange new monster begins haunting a politically unstable kingdom, Vesermir finds himself confronting the demons of his past on a frightening and bloody adventure.
When Geralt is first introduced in Nightmare of the Wolf, he is shown as a young boy with blond hair and grey-blue eyes.
However, by the film’s climax, the young witcher takes on a totally different appearance with pale skin, a bald head and a witcher’s signature cat-like yellow eyes.
The reason for the change in Geralt’s look are the infamous Witcher Trials, the process that boys are subjected to that ensures they are strong enough to become fully-fledged witchers.
We don’t see Geralt go through the Trials himself but Vesemir’s haunting experience is put on full view and we’re not surprised that Geralt is looking a bit worse for wear.
In the Witcher universe, there are four main Trials that any budding monster-slayer must endure.
Trial of the Grasses | The first of the Trials is the most infamous and most painful. It involves injecting a concoction of chemicals known as ‘the Grasses’ that modify the body’s physiology.
The mutations that give the witchers their heightened senses, slower ageing and yellow eyes take about one week and only three or four out of ten boys survive.
Trial of Dreams | This Trial involves would-be witchers being subjected to psychedelic visions by supervising druids and it helps enhance the trainee’s abilities and augmented their night vision. Although, it does sterilize any who go through the process.
Trial of the Mountains | Also known as the Trial of the Medallion, the test served as an exam as it forced witchers to recall their previous training in order to survive.
Witchers from the different schools went through differing versions of this Trial with the end goal being to activate their medallions at a Circle of Elements.
Trial of the Sword | And finally, the Trial of the Sword is an optional sword duel that master witchers only resorted to if they doubted that a candidate was worthy of becoming a fully-fledged witcher.
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is available to stream now on Netflix after releasing on August 23rd, 2021.
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