‘The Witcher’ Season 3: Who Is Teryn the Fake Ciri & What Happens to Her in the Books?

teryn false ciri

The storyline of part 1 of season 3 of ‘The Witcher’ was intense because of the new revelations we saw along the way. One of the things that we saw was a girl that looked exactly like Ciri, as she was the only girl that survived the experiments of a rogue mage. The most interesting part was that the memories of Ciri were implanted in her as she believed she was Ciri even though her name was actually Teryn. So, who is Teryn the Fake Ciri in ‘The Witcher?’

Teryn was one of the mage apprentices from Aretuza that were kidnapped and went missing. She became part of an experiment involving someone that wanted to create a false version of Ciri. As such, she had some of Ciri’s memories and was the only one to survive the process.

When Geralt saw what happened to the other girls that were kidnapped and subjected to the experiments of this crazy mage, it was clear that this was the work of a madman. Teryn was lucky enough to have survived what happened to her, but she might never be the same after she spent quite some time thinking that she was Ciri. Now, let’s look at what we know about Teryn in the show and the books.

Teryn’s story explained

During the storyline of part 1 of season 3 of ‘The Witcher,’ Geralt tries to find out more about the rogue mage that was after them. That’s because he wanted to keep Ciri safe, and the only way for him to do so was to go look for the man that ordered the rogue fire mage to hunt for them. This led Geralt to stumble upon a hidden place that was believed to be where the young girls that were kidnapped from Aretuza were hidden.

Of course, the stars of that scene were the fused bodies of many different girls with their dismembered heads on the walls as they talked to Geralt throughout the entire scene. Their bodies were combined into one horrifying spider-like creature. And while that may be true, one girl survived that encounter untouched.


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Geralt rescued that girl and brought her back to safety. However, not only did this girl look like Ciri, but she also thought she was Ciri. She knew who Geralt was and knew he would come to save her. And that’s because she legitimately believed that she was Ciri.

Played by Frances Pooley, this girl was already tagged by fans as a character that could possibly play a false version of Ciri when she was introduced as a member of the cast of season 3. And that made sense because she actually looks like Ciri’s Freya Allan. 

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So, when this girl introduced herself as Ciri, Geralt was visibly confused because he knew this wasn’t the Ciri he was with the entire time. Fans were also quick to realize they were right about thinking that Pooley would play a false version of Ciri.

Geralt immediately went to a friend of his mother so that he could have this girl treated. In doing so, Geralt learned more about the fate of his mother. Anika helped Geralt by treating this girl, as Geralt was able to find out what happened to this girl and the other desecrated girls.

Upon waking up, the girl said that she was named Teryn and kidnapped from Aretuza with the other girls. That was when it was made clear that a mage was kidnapping girls from Aretuza to conduct experiments on them and make them think that they were Ciri.

This was one of the reasons why Geralt, Ciri, and Jaskier went to Aretuza to see Yen. When they found out that another mage in Aretuza had sabotaged Yen’s portal, that was when they ended up concluding that it was Stregebor that was responsible for what happened to the girls, as he was the only one who had a history of conducting experiments on young girls. But at the end of part 1 of season 3, they could put the pieces together and found out that the man that kidnapped Teryn and the other girls was Vilgefortz.

Teryn is an original character

As mentioned, when Pooley was announced as one of the newest members of the cast, fans started thinking that she could be playing the role of False Ciri. Of course, it is worth mentioning that Teryn is also False Ciri, to some extent, but is an entirely new character in the Netflix version of ‘The Witcher.’

That’s because no Teryn character exists in any of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books. She also doesn’t exist in the video games as well. Instead, as mentioned, the closest character to Teryn’s character is the Fales Ciri that was featured in the books. This false version of Ciri was called Cirilla Fiona.


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However, while they may be very similar in the sense that they were made to believe that they were Ciri, Teryn and False Ciri have a few differences in how they acquired Ciri’s identity.

Teryn, of course, was the subject of Vilgefortz’s experiments and was implanted with the memories of Ciri using some sort of magic or enchantment that made her believe that she was the princess of Cintra. On the other hand, False Ciri was never a novice mage from Aretuza and wasn’t someone whose mind was twisted using magic. Instead, she was an orphan that was groomed to be Ciri. As such, Teryn and False Ciri aren’t the same people, as they have different backgrounds.

teryn 1

While she is called Cirilla Fiona, False Ciri’s name is never mentioned, as she was always groomed to think she was Ciri. But while her story isn’t the same as Teryn’s, it is interesting to note that they appeared at the same time in terms of the flow of the story.

This leads us to believe that Teryn was meant to take the place of False Ciri as an original character that was inspired by the novels’ False Ciri. And that’s because season 3 of ‘The Witcher’ was primarily based on the Sapkowski novel entitled ‘Time of Contempt.’ 

As such, there’s a good chance there will be no False Ciri in the series because Teryn already fills that role. And that means there is a good chance that Teryn won’t have the same story as False Ciri in the novels.

Of course, in the books, the purpose of creating False Ciri was to trick Emperor Emhyr. While Emhyr knew that he was being deceived, he grew to love False Ciri and even married her to legitimize Nilfgaard’s control over Cintra. It is possible that this was the same thing that Vilgefortz was trying to do in the Netflix series before Geralt found out about it and foiled his plans when he rescued Teryn.

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