‘The Witcher’: Why Is Yennefer Writing Letters to Geralt?

witcher yen letter geralt relationship
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Season 3 of Netflix’s hit series, ‘The Witcher,’ wrapped up, and it was quite a wait between Seasons 2 and 3 for fans. We saw some old flames rekindled, and finally, we saw a slight comeback and turn to the source material – even if for only a second. At the very beginning of Season 3, we see Yennefer writing letters to Geralt. But why is she writing letters instead of talking?

Yennefer writes letters to Geralt because Geralt refuses to speak to her in any capacity, angered by her actions in Season 2 of the show. Despite her atonement at the last second, she did try to sacrifice Ciri to get her own powers back, and Geralt wasn’t ready to forgive her.

So, trying to mend their relationship and express her remorse and deepest feelings, she writes letters to Geralt, hoping to get his attention and slowly earn his trust back. Little by little, she does so, but if you were a fan of ‘The Witcher’ books or video games, you’d remember that the letters between Yen and Geralt had a different history. Let’s dive into this lore a bit more (rhyme intended).

Why is Yennefer writing letters to Geralt at the beginning of ‘The Witcher’ Season 3?

To understand why Geralt is receiving letters from Yennefer at the beginning of ‘The Witcher’ Season 3, one must remember the ending of the previous season of the show and the actions that put Yennefer in a very unfavorable position in Geralt’s eyes.

You see, in Season 2, Yen lost her magic, and in turn, she believed to have lost herself – the only thing she believed to make her who she is. Yennefer would stop at nothing to regain her powers – and she did that.

Instead of building a mother-daughter relationship with Ciri, as she does in the source material, Yen was ready and willing to sacrifice Ciri by basically serving her to the Deathless Mother to possess her and use her. She was incredibly self-centered and egoistic, as was confirmed by
Anya Chalotra, the actress portraying Yen, in an interview with Digital Spy:

“I think she’s been very self-centered for a long part of her life, and meeting Ciri, and teaching her magic, and organically growing that mother/daughter relationship, really helps Yennefer to move into a different phase and one that is less self-centered.”

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What Anya refers to here is Yennefer’s character arc in Season 3. You see, at the very last second before Ciri was completely taken by the Deathless Mother, Yen had a change of heart and saved the girl. Despite this, Geralt would have a very hard time forgiving Yennefer for her actions – and rightfully so.

witcher yen geralt angry

This particular plot was a major deviation from the source material, so naturally, they had to somehow mend the relationship between Yen, Ciri, and Geralt for Season 3. That’s where the letters step in. In the very same interview, Chalotra continued:

“Her ego has definitely dropped. She’s laid bare in a way that she hasn’t been in before and is probably more vulnerable than she’s ever been before.”

While Ciri is slowly forgiving Yen for her past mistakes, Geralt completely refuses to communicate with her in any way. Trying to find a way to express her remorse and regret, Yen starts writing letters to Geralt, hoping they will soften him enough to at least speak to her. Seeing that their relationship was broken, she refers to him as ‘Dear friend’ in the letters.

Little by little, the letters do get to Geralt, and he lets his guard down. His relationship with Yen slowly grows again, and he entrusts her to look after Ciri without the fear of betrayal.

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Did Yennefer and Geralt reconnect in Season 3?

As mentioned, Yennefer and Geralt reconciled and reconnected in Season 3 of ‘The Witcher.’ By the end of the first volume of Season 3 – aka Episode 6 of Season 3 – Geralt and Yennefer are a couple again.

However, I won’t spoil what happens in the final two episodes of Season 3. Saying too much about Yen and Geralt might be a major spoiler, so I’ll leave it at that if you haven’t seen the Season finale yet.

Let’s just say that Geralt and Yen are struggling to keep their ‘found family’ together as war engulfs the Continent…

Did Yennefer send letters to Geralt in the books & games?

Seeing how much Season 2 deviated from the source material, it’s a fair question to ask if the letters from Yen to Geralt ever happened in Sapkowski’s books and ‘The Witcher’ games. And, you’ll likely be happy to know that those letters are, in fact, a nice homage to the source material – at least on the surface.

In ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,’ the game actually starts with Yennefer’s letter to Geralt. The letter, in its entirety, says:

“Dear friend,
Forgive me for not asking about your health or how you have been these last years. Time is very short.
I have important news. We must meet, and soon. Ride to Willoughby, near Vizima, and don’t spare the horses – while I do eagerly await our reunion, I won’t be able to wait, eagerly or otherwise, very long.
Your dear friend,
Yennefer.
P.S. I still have the unicorn.”

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As you may see, Yen refers to Geralt as ‘dear friend’ and herself as his ‘dear friend.’ For those who haven’t read the books before playing the game, it might come off as a bit confusing, as Yen and Geralt are romantically involved. So, why does she refer to Geralt as ‘dear friend’ in the letter?

Well, it’s actually a nice Easter egg from the books. In the books, Geralt was the first to write a letter to Yen, not vice versa. However, being kind of awkward and not knowing where they stand in their relationship or how to define it, he struggled with the introduction to the letter, so he opened it with ‘Dear friend.’

Naturally, seeing that their relationship was clearly romantic, Yennefer was not really pleased with Geralt’s regards, so she mockingly answered him with ‘dear friend’ in her own letter, repeating the phrase numerous times to highlight her discontent with Geralt’s phrasing.

witcher yen letter
A part of Yen’s letter to Geralt in the ‘Blood of elves’ book

They were clearly more than friends, and she was adamant about sarcastically letting Geralt know where she stood – as Yen would always do.

So, the answer is – yes, the letters appear both in the books and the video games, just not in the same way or form that they did in the show.

We don’t really know where the couple stands right now, nor how Season 4 will turn out after the departure of Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, but it’s safe to assume that the relationship will continue, one way or another.

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