While season 1 of The Witcher showed us the backstories of the three central characters, season 2 revealed the central plot of the entire series while also introducing new characters in the process of doing so. One such character is the Deathless Mother, who some of us are quite unfamiliar with because we may not have seen or read this character in the games or the books. So, who is the Deathless Mother on The Witcher?
The Deathless Mother is an ancient demon-like entity that was sealed away by the first Witchers many years before the events of the present Witcher timeline. She feeds off of pain and grows even more powerful when she manipulates people and makes them suffer even more.
Those who have read the books and played the games might end up getting confused because the Deathless Mother seems to be a new character introduced in season 2 of The Witcher. However, what you should know is that this character is perhaps a combination of several other characters, as you would understand more about her story the more you read this article.
Who Is The Deathless Mother On ‘The Witcher’?
When season 2 of The Witcher was released, many people realized that the show introduced new characters that may or may not be familiar to them. One such character is the Deathless Mother, who is also named Voleth Meir. Now, what you should know is that the Deathless Mother seems to be a character that is almost entirely made to be exclusive to the series, but that isn’t the case. Still, who is the Deathless Mother?
One of the things you will quickly notice about the Deathless Mother is how she was introduced as the major antagonist of season 2, and that seems to be a departure from the first season because it didn’t have a central antagonist. But being the antagonist of the second season doesn’t fully explain who the Deathless Mother is. However, we got to hear stories about this character as early as episode 2 of season 2.
When Ciri was exploring Kaer Morhen and looking at the relics of the former Witchers, Vesemir tells her the story of one of the first Witchers, who had to seal an ancient demon away. As the episode progressed, we got to see Yennefer, Fringilla, and Francesca unsealing the Deathless Mother, who shows them different visions.
Later on in the season, Geralt explains that the Deathless Mother or Voleth Meir is an ancient demon who feeds off the pain but was sealed or entrapped by the first Witchers long before the events of the present time and even way longer before Vesemir’s time. The fact that the first Witchers were made to imprison her means that she is a huge threat to the world and later on, as we discover, to the central characters of Geralt, Ciri, and Yen.
The Deathless Mother is a creature that is capable of feeding off pain and tends to love manipulating people who are vulnerable. This is why she usually goes after people who can easily be manipulated through their past pains. In this case, the Deathless Mother manipulated Yen, Fringilla, and Francesca. She becomes even more powerful the more that she feeds off the pain and suffering of the people she manipulates.
As the season progressed, we also got to know more about what the Deathless Mother wants and why she wants to gain possession of one of the other central characters, who you might have already guessed.
Nevertheless, even though Voleth Meir plays a huge role in season 2, many fans of the games and the books believe her to be a placeholder villain that would ultimately help set up the rise of the other prominent villains, such as the Wild Hunt and the emperor of Nilfgaard. But what we really believe, as far as the events of season 2 are concerned, is that The Witcher series was able to do so well in blending the different stories of the characters and in combining the Deathless Mother’s motives and own story with that of the other central antagonists that would be revealed later on in the series.
What Does Voleth Meir Want From Ciri?
In Episode 5 of season 2 of The Witcher, we see Yennefer in trouble as she is about to face execution for her witchcraft. However, she was able to escape her fate by calling on the Deathless Mother, who she did not trust when she first met her in episode 2. However, her desperation made her rely on the demonic figure, who appeared in her true form before she morphed into Ciri.
Voleth Meir tells Yen that if she wants her powers back, she needs to get the real Ciri because she is the key to getting her powers back. This means that Voleth Meir, being the manipulative figure that she is, was just simply manipulating Yennefer into stealing away Ciri. But what does Voleth Meir want from Ciri? Well, that is something that we will learn as we proceed with our discussion on her motives.
It was never a secret that Ciri has been the main target for a lot of different antagonists in The Witcher, particularly because of the powers she possesses. In season 2, we get to see more characters seeking to steal away Ciri and bring her back to Cintra, and one such character is the Deathless Mother, who manipulates Yennefer into handing Ciri over to her. In a way, she wants Yen to betray Geralt and Ciri.
So, the reason why the Deathless Mother wants Ciri is to gain control over the girl’s powers, which is the power to control the Elder Blood. Now, if you are familiar with the Wild Hunt, this is the same reason why they want to capture Ciri as well. And we will see the connection between Voleth Meir and the Wild Hunt at the end of the season.
However, when Yen realized how important Ciri meant to Geralt, her feelings for the Witcher prevented her from giving Ciri up to the Deathless Mother. Instead, Voleth Meir possesses Ciri and forces Geralt and Yen to battle hordes of monsters to save the young girl.
As an act of desperation, Yen offers herself up to the Deathless Mother in exchange for Ciri, and the demon agrees to the trade by escaping the young princess’s body and possessing Yennefer. However, Ciri uses her powers to control the Gate of the Worlds by teleporting the three characters to Voleth’s homeworld. In her homeworld, Voleth Meir releases Yen’s body and finds herself joining the Wild Hunt. This sets us up for the events of season 3 and the introduction of the Wild Hunt in the entire narrative.
Is The Deathless Mother In The Witcher Books?
As you might have guessed, the Deathless Mother is neither from the books nor from the games. In a way, she is a character that is almost entirely original to the Netflix series. However, what you need to know is that she isn’t entirely original because her identity and powers are cut from different characters that are present in both the games and the books.
Voleth Meir is seemingly a combination of two different characters or entities from the games. These are Gaunter O’Dimm and the Crones. However, neither of these entities have the Deathless Mother’s ability to possess other people. Still, they do possess some of the abilities that Voleth Meir has shown so far.
In season 2, we were introduced to the shrine of the Deathless Mother. We saw three skulls in the shrine, and that seems to be a reference to the three Crones, who are antagonists in Witcher 3. There were some people who thought that the Crones were going to be in season 2 due to how the hut wherein the Deathless Mother is imprisoned actually resembles the one in which you encounter the Crones in the game. Instead, we get the Deathless Mother instead of the Crones.
Another thing that is worthy to note is that the Crones also want to capture Ciri for her powers. But, instead of wanting to possess her body to increase their powers, the Crones want to eat her, and that isn’t something that Voleth Meir wanted to do.
You should also know that both the Deathless Mother and the Crones have the ability to change their appearances based on the desires of the person they are attempting to manipulate. However, because the Deathless Mother is simply one entity, we cannot say for certain that she is the amalgamation of the three Crones.
Meanwhile, there is also the fact that Voleth Meir likes making pacts with those she wants to manipulate. This is once again an ability that Gaunter O’Dimm or Master Mirror was able to do. Like the Crones, O’Dimm is also present in the Witcher 3 Game and is capable of granting the wishes of those he makes pacts with. However, what O’Dimm asks in exchange for the wish is the soul of the person he makes a contract with.
So, the fact that the Deathless Mother has the same shapeshifting powers as the Crones and was trapped in a hut that resembles the one where you encounter the Crones makes us believe that parts of her character were adapted from the Crones. On the other hand, because she likes to make contracts or pacts with people she deems easy to manipulate in exchange for their wishes also gives us an idea that the Deathless Mother is also taken from Gaunter O’Dimm.
That said, what we can conclude is that the showrunners of the Netflix series simply wanted to create a new character by combining the traits and abilities of some of the characters that are already present in the games and the books. This allows them to save in-series time as amalgamating multiple characters into one antagonist dispenses the need to introduce several characters with different storylines.