Some of the biggest mysteries that Geralt and some of the other characters of The Witcher needed to solve in season 2 were the monoliths that are scattered across the entire continent. Specifically, the monolith that was the hot topic was the one found outside of Cintra, which was toppled and became the reason why more monsters were able to enter the world. But what exactly is a monolith in The Witcher, and how is Ciri connected to them?
Monoliths are structures that act as doorways to other dimensions in The Witcher. These are structures made of obsidian stone and are nearly indestructible. They are scattered all throughout the continent, but their origins and exact functions are still quite unclear despite all the theories about them.
Those who played the games would know that the monoliths don’t exactly play a huge role in the story of The Witcher. However, in the series, they were able to give these structures a bigger role, as they became doorways that monsters from other dimensions used to cross to the continent. Still, much is unknown about these monoliths, as we may end up knowing more about them in the next season.
What Are The Monoliths In The Witcher?
In season 2 of The Witcher, the story focused more on Ciri’s powers and the origins of her abilities, as there were plenty of different people trying to take her from Geralt for their own reasons. And while the Deathless Mother or Voleth Meir was the primary antagonist of the season, we also saw side stories that connected to the main story of season 2.
One such side story is related to the monoliths. But what exactly are monoliths in The Witcher? To understand what these structures are, we have to make a quick recap of the events that transpired in season 2 and even all the way back to season 1.
Early on in season 2 of The Witcher, we were introduced to a Witcher named Eskel, who appeared right after Geralt and Ciri went home to Kaer Morhen, the keep that the Witcher order calls home. When Eskel arrived, he was carrying the arm of a monster called a leshy, which is a tree-like creature that can be found in the forest.
Eskel was infected by the leshy and was turned into a leshy himself. But that’s an entirely different story. So, after Eskel’s death, Geralt and Ciri were able to trace the leshy that Eskel failed to kill. However, the leshy itself was killed and torn apart by a mutated creature that Geralt knew nothing about.
Geralt managed to kill this mutation and then brought back its head to Kaer Morhen to be examined by the mage Triss. Using her knowledge of magic, Triss examined the head of the creature as well as the arm of the leshy that infected Eskel. What she found was that both these monsters have traces of stellacite, which can only be found in the monoliths.
When Ciri touched the stellacite, she saw a vision of an unknown landscape with a monolith. After that, she explains one of the events that happened early on in season 1 before she even met Geralt.
If you can recall, the kingdom of Cintra was invaded by the Nilfgaardian Empire, as Ciri’s grandmother Queen Calanthe fell to her death. The queen ordered Ciri to escape the kingdom but was pursued by the Nilfgaardian commander Cahir Mawr Dyffryn aep Ceallach, who she calls the black knight.
Cahir pursues Ciri all the way to the plains outside Cintra. But when Cahir was about to close in on Ciri, the princess screamed her lungs out due to the fear she felt. Her screams echoed throughout the landscape as they caused the ground to open up and even topple the monolith found outside of Cintra.
So, while a monolith is merely an obsidian stone-like structure that can be found in different places across the entire continent, scholars were never really able to tell what they were there for and where they came from. As such, neither Geralt nor Triss was able to make sense out of the situation when they found out that Ciri toppled a monolith and that the creatures they found had traces of the substance that can only be found in a monolith.
Triss eventually opened a portal that took Geralt to the mage Istredd, a scholar who studies different monoliths all over the continent. Geralt explained the situation to Istredd and even told him that the monolith outside of Cintra was toppled. At first, Istredd could not believe it because he knew that monoliths were nearly indestructible. However, when Geralt showed him the head of the mutation that he killed, the mage changed his mind and was now ready to help the Witcher.
Geralt and Istredd traveled to the monolith found outside Cintra. While Istredd was in disbelief when he saw how large the chasm in the ground was, he and Geralt entered the chasm to investigate.
Meanwhile, Geralt could not understand why there were no corpses or other monsters in the chasm close to the monolith because he first theorized that monsters were trapped under the monolith. But because there were no monsters or even corpses found all over the monolith, this led Istredd to come up with a theory that the monoliths are actually connected to the Conjunction of the Spheres.
Geralt scoffed at that theory, as questions were left unanswered when a chernobog-like creature suddenly appeared out of nowhere in the chasm found close to the monolith that Ciri toppled when she made her escape from Cahir.
Meanwhile, when Yennefer was manipulated by the Deathless Mother into bringing Ciri over to her because the demon wanted to possess the girl, the beautiful mage did what she was told to do out of desperation because she wanted her powers back. While Yennefer eventually decided against surrendering Ciri to Voleth Meir, the demon was still able to possess the girl.
When the possessed Ciri was brought back to Kaer Morhen, she used her scream to conjure up a monolith in the keep’s main hall. From there, monsters appeared from a portal that opened up in the main hall, as the Witchers prepared to do what they do best—kill monsters.
So, with all that said, the monoliths are not impact points but are actually conduits or gateways that monsters from other dimensions use to travel to the world wherein the story of The Witcher takes place. And what you should know is that Ciri is once again the central figure that is connected to the monoliths.
How Is Ciri Connected To The Monoliths?
As mentioned, it was only when Ciri used her scream that a monolith was toppled and a chasm in the ground opened. After that, we saw in season 2 that a possessed Ciri used her powers to open a monolith in Kaer Morhen and summon different types of monsters that the Witchers had to fend off. But how exactly is Ciri connected to the monoliths?
Right after Geralt and Istredd went their separate ways, the mage went on to research more about the monoliths and the possible connection that Ciri has to them. He found out that Ciri’s genealogy is connected to something called the Elder Blood, which was a program initiated by elven mages long ago to create a being with extraordinary magical capabilities. However, the gene carried by that being ended up in the bloodline of the Cintran monarchs, and that is why Ciri has the power of the Elder Blood.
So, going back, Ciri’s exact connections to the monoliths is yet to be established, as Istredd is still conducting his research regarding these strange structures. However, what we can confirm here is that Ciri’s Elder Blood powers do have a connection to the monoliths, as only her powers can open and topple the monoliths.
In episode 8 of season 2 of The Witcher, we were able to see how powerful Ciri is, as she could use her powers to manipulate time and space and travel to different worlds. From there, we can possibly form a connection between the monoliths and Ciri’s powers, even though the exact connection is yet to be explained in the series.
Considering that Ciri is powerful enough to travel through time and space, it can be assumed that this is the same power that the monoliths require to open up a portal to other worlds that monsters can use to enter the world of The Witcher. In short, while the monoliths are the conduits or gateways to the other worlds, it is Ciri’s power that triggers those gateways to open.
How Do Monoliths Connect To Other Dimensions?
For now, we do not know the exact extent of how the monoliths in The Witcher connect to other dimensions. However, we can make a few assumptions based on the things that were explained by Istredd and the things that happened in season 2. But before we get there, we have to go back to 1200 years ago to the Conjunction of the Spheres.
The Conjunction of the Spheres is an event that was vaguely explained in The Witcher, but what we do know is that it was an event that allowed all of the different worlds to collide with one another. Istredd also mentioned that there were no monsters in the world before the Conjunction, and that is why he theorized that the Conjunction was the event that was responsible for bringing monsters to their world.
Meanwhile, the monoliths also appeared right after the Conjunction. The belief among the scholars of the continent was that the monoliths are impact points that were left behind by the Conjunction. They could not confirm that because they had no way to completely understand what the monoliths were and what they could do.
Going back to when Geralt and Istredd were investigating the toppled monolith in Cintra, the mage theorized that the monoliths are not impact points left behind by the Conjunction. Instead, they are actually gateways or conduits that allow the worlds to connect to one another. But because he didn’t understand the scholarly side of magic or much about the history of the world, Geralt dismissed that idea. Meanwhile, Istredd continued with his research.
Based on that discussion, we can assume that the monoliths are indeed gateways left behind by the Conjunction so that there would still be a way for people to travel from one world to another without the need for another Conjunction to happen. Still, that is something that is theoretical right now, as we don’t know for certain what the monoliths are and how they are connected to the other dimensions. We have to wait for the next season of The Witcher to release and for Istredd to finally solve the mystery of the monoliths.
Are There Monoliths In The Books?
While the monoliths play a central role in The Witcher series, what you should know is that they do not exist in the books. In fact, they are hardly even mentioned in the books at all. That means that the monoliths we have in the series are entirely original ideas that are unique only to Netflix’s version of The Witcher.
Are There Monoliths In The Games?
While the monoliths may not be in Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels, what those who played the video games know is that there are actually monoliths in the games. However, the monoliths found in the games are not exactly the same as the ones in the series.
The monoliths in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are obelisks that are scattered all over the swamp in the game. Traveling to all ten and confronting what you will find around the monoliths is essential to completing one of the game’s main battles at the Mage’s Tower. That means that they are not the same monoliths that are in the series.
Still, what we can assume here is that the monoliths that we have in The Witcher series are inspired by the monoliths found in the games because there are some similarities between them.
For now, we only have three monolith locations revealed in The Witcher series. The first is the toppled monolith found outside of Cintra. We also have a monolith in Nilfgaard because Istredd worked for the Nilfgaardian empire so that he could study the monoliths. Of course, we also saw a monolith in Kaer Morhen when the Voleth Meir-possess Ciri used her powers to open a portal that summoned monsters to the world.