Who Is Aelirenn in ‘The Witcher’ Season 3? Meet the Legendary Elven Hero

Aelirenn 1
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Episode 1 of part 1 of ‘The Witcher’ season 3 allowed us to see more of the events that transpired in the history of the Continent. Of course, the events that transpired in the past weren’t exactly shown, but we did hear a nice tale about an elf named Aelirenn, whose statue was in a sacred elven place called Shaerawedd. Of course, her story wasn’t exactly happy. So, who is Aelirenn, and what happened to her?

Aelirenn was a legendary elven hero who saw human activity’s dangers when humans started populating the Continent after the Conjunction of the Spheres. She led some of the younger and idealistic elves into a battle with the humans. However, they all died as martyrs when they fell to the humans.

The thing about Aelirenn’s story is that it can be a cautionary tale regarding the effects of acting like a hero when there really was no need to be a hero. However, it can also be a story of true heroism because she fought for what she believed in. So, with that said, let’s try to learn more about Aelirenn and what happened to her in the storyline of ‘The Witcher.’

Aelirenn’s story explained

We know that the story of the Continent in ‘The Witcher’ is full of different tales that stretch back to the time before humans started populating this land. Of course, humans were never native to the Continent because the elves were the ones that lived in this world centuries before the events of ‘The Witcher.’ The Conjunction of the Spheres allowed the world of humans to clash with the world of the elves and brought humans and monsters to the Continent.

The first episode of part 1 of season 3 of ‘The Witcher’ allowed us to learn a bit more about the history of the Continent and what happened between elves and humans in the past. We know that these two races were never really too friendly with one another. Humans were invaders that saw a land ripe for the taking after their own world had presumably been destroyed. On the other hand, the elves never liked how barbaric the humans were.

In episode 1 of season 3, we saw the trio of Geralt, Ciri, and Yen traveling to Shaerawedd and staying there to camp for the night while they were on their way to a different destination. They saw a statue of a female elf on that site, and that was when Geralt told the story of the elf called Aelirenn. In Geralt’s words, Aelirenn was a fool that led elves to their deaths when they fought against humans.

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However, in Yen’s words, Aelirenn was more of an idealistic elven woman who fought for her beliefs. Back then, the elves weren’t too bothered by the presence of humans because they thought they wouldn’t last too long in a foreign world. However, humans started populating the Continent and had become threats to the lives of the elves that were native to that land. That was when wars between elves and humans became more common.

When the humans were seemingly overpowering the elves, that was when Aelirenn tried her best to rally more elves to her cause. The elves she convinced to join her cause were the younger ones with the same ideals as her. As such, they all tried their best to take their lands back from the humans, only to lose to the more barbaric fighters they had no chance of beating.

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Geralt told Aelirenn’s story as a cautionary tale of what choosing a side can do to a person and how foolish it was for some people to try to fight against a force they had no chance of winning against. He tried to tell Ciri that being neutral was the way to go as he told her that choosing a side like Aelirenn did could make her a legend with a statue. However, choosing to be neutral can keep a person alive.

Nevertheless, Ciri was impressed by Aelirenn’s story because she thought she fought for what she believed in. As an idealistic young girl, Ciri thought she could also be like Aelirenn because she could use her power and voice to fight against the world and make her vision come true. And that was the reason why she thought that simply running away from the people pursuing her was not the right cause of action.

What happened to Aelirenn?

Of course, we know that Aelirenn died at one point in the past as she became a legendary martyr among the elves. That much is clear because Geralt told her story as a cautionary tale that was meant to warn Ciri about the effects of being too idealistic. But what exactly happened to Aelirenn?

Even though ‘The Witcher’ tends to depart from the source material, the good thing is that Aelirenn’s story is sourced from books and video games. Like her counterpart in Geralt’s story in the live-action version, Aelirenn was a brave elf that led a last stand against the human invaders long before the events of ‘The Witcher.’

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Known as the White Rose of Shaerawedd, Aelirenn tried to desperately take their land from the humans long ago when the elves were yet to lose the Continent to the human invaders that came from another world. However, the elders of the elves knew that they would lose to the humans, which was why they wanted to stay neutral, believing that their long lives could outlive the relatively short human lifespan. That was why some of the elves chose to retreat to the mountains instead of fighting the humans.

However, Aelirenn decided to rally the younger elves who wanted to take their land back even though they knew they didn’t stand a chance against the humans. Aelirenn did so because she didn’t want to wait for the humans to die, knowing that they could simply repopulate faster than the elves. As such, she held on to her ideals by refusing to give in to the human invaders.

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While Aelirenn may have successfully rallied the younger elves to her cause, they all died in honor after facing a much stronger host of human warriors. This was a complete massacre that completely annihilated Aelirenn and her fellow elves. And the problem was that this also led to the younger elves’ deaths.

Because Aelirenn led most of the younger elves to their deaths in that final battle, it became more difficult for them to repopulate as the remaining elves that retreated were the older ones that were no longer capable of reproducing. So, while Aelirenn’s last stand against the humans was quite noble, it was also foolish because she eventually doomed the elves and forced their numbers to decrease drastically as they found it difficult to repopulate.

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