‘The Witcher’: What Is the Book of the Waning Sun? Explained

Tissaia de vreis in The Witcher
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“Oh yes, I can feel it. From ‘The Book of the Waning Sun.’ I wrote that book,” Tissaia reminded Philippa during the coup of Thanned in The Witcher’s third season. Philippa had used a binding spell from Tissaia’s book to restrict mages from using magic within Aretuza. Being the author, Tissaia knew how to break it, but fans still wonder what the book of The Waning Sun is about and what it means for the future of The Witcher.

The Book of The Waning Sun is just one of Tissaia’s many, many books, although it is only mentioned in the sixth episode of The Witcher’s third season. She has other books in Witcherverse detailing her beliefs in dealing with mages and magic spells, including The Poisoned Source. The contents of the Waning Sun are not explained in the show, but they are clearly powerful, judging by how the binding spell affected all the mages, including Vilgefortz.

Unlike The Poisoned Source, which only explains why mages should not reproduce, The Book of The Waning Sun includes powerful spells that block magic. Tissaia broke the binding spell mistakenly because she didn’t know that Vilgefortz was in league with Scoia’tael. Keeping it in place could have restricted Francesca’s powers, reducing the toll on Aretuza. So, why is this book so important, and what does it have to do with Tissaia’s death?

What is Tissaia’s ‘Book of the Waning Sun’ about?

Tissaia with books at Aretuza

Most details of The Book of the Waning Sun were not revealed in Season 3 of The Witcher apart from a quick mention of it by Tissaia. However, the episode also revealed that the book contains a binding spell, which is strong enough to limit other magical powers in a designated area.

Philippa tried to exploit the spell in her bid to help Sigismund Dijkstra destroy The Brotherhood for Redania. The spell was strong enough to restrain all the mages in Aretuza, including Vilgefotz, until Tissaia reversed it.

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The book is likely to be one of Tissaia’s guides for enforcing the order by restricting the power of mages in case they misuse their powers. Tissaia was also a strong believer in regulating the use of chaos, which is why she guarded Aretuza with her life. She wanted Aretuza to remain a home for gifted people like Yennefer to prevent their powers from being misused by greedy monarchs.

The Poisoned Source is the only book by the character mentioned in The Witcher books, so the show is the first place where The Book of the Waning Sun is mentioned. Judging by how the binding spell Philippa used worked, we believe the book is about putting magical powers in check or eliminating them altogether. It will definitely come in handy for Yennefer and her sisterhood as they go after Vilgefortz in the fourth season of The Witcher.

Yennefer might also use its spells to train Ciri and regulate her powers when needed. However, the full details of the book’s contents and what its spells can do remain to be seen later in The Witcher.

How powerful is Tissaia in The Witcher?

alzurs thunder 1

Despite encouraging restraint, Tissaia de Vries is one of the most powerful mages on the continent, rivaled only by Vilgefortz and Yennefer. She was a mother figure to all mages trained at Aretuza, so she defended Yennefer despite her many mistakes. She also understood that however powerful individual mages are, they are better served when they unite their powers to channel chaos, reducing the impact on each individual.

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Her approach was the basis of many rules of The Brotherhood. While some mages didn’t support her stern adherence to the rules, they respected her, which is why she was the leader of Aretuza. However, when Aretuza was threatened during Vilgefortz’s coup, she single-handedly channeled enough chaos to defeat Scoia’tael using Alzur’s thunder.

She also advised Yennefer to let her chaos loose when she used fire magic at the battle of Sodden Hill to defeat Nilfgard. Tissaia, therefore, believed that magic should never be abused because it has a cost and only believed in using it when necessary.

Why did Tissaia commit suicide?

Yennefer holding Tissaia after her death in The Witcher

Tissaia believed she was paying the price for the cost of using Alzur’s Thunder, also described as the spell of last resort. Being betrayed by her lover, Vilgefortz, was another cause of her depression that made her give up on life.

The spell took a huge toll on her body as she channeled all the lighting on her own. Unlike Yennefer, who only lost her magic when she used fire magic at Sodden Hill, Tissaia was greatly weakened by Alzur’s thunder, with her hair turning white during the spell.

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The elixirs that made her look young lost their power, revealing the true state of her aged body. Tissaia had also failed to notice Vilgefortz’s betrayal, leading to him destroying The Brotherhood and Aretuza on her watch. She felt it was time for her to retire and let Yennefer protect the future of magic on the continent.

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