We all know that The Witcher is a series that doesn’t merely focus on one story because it also follows different subplots that some of the other characters are involved in. One such subplot included Yennefer’s story in season 2 when she saved the Nilfgaardian commander, Cahir, and essentially disobeyed The Brotherhood when asked to execute him herself. But why exactly did Yennefer save Cahir?
Yennefer saved Cahir because she didn’t have a choice. She was given two choices that were neither the best options for her. As such, the only choice was to not make a choice and to choose an option that was entirely new, and that was to save Cahir and then find a way to Cintra to get her magic back.
The subplot of Yennefer and Cahir was an interesting one because we never got to know more about the Nilfgaardian commander back in season 1. Meanwhile, his partnership with Yennefer gave us a good look at Cahir and his motives, as we got to see how his story was intertwined with the larger scheme of things in The Witcher.
Why Did Yennefer Save Cahir?
The Witcher is full of different characters that play central and secondary roles. While we do know that Yennefer is one of the central characters of the series, we also go to see more of Cahir, who is was the Niflgaardian commander tasked with the invasion of Cintra and the capture of Ciri. Of course, we also got to see Yennefer and Cahir on opposite sides in the final episode of season 1.
In season 1, Cahir didn’t have a lot of screen time because he was mostly portrayed as the looming figure that was hell-bent on capturing Ciri, who called him the Black Knight. However, in season 2, he had a more prominent role, especially after Yennefer saved him from death. But why did Yennefer save Cahir?
If you can recall, Cahir and Fringilla were leading the Nilfgaardian forces against the army mustered up by the mages in the final episode of season 1 in what is affectionately called the Battle of Sodden Hill. Meanwhile, Yennefer took on a leadership role with the mages in that battle. We did see Yennefer winning the battle by using fire magic, but we also saw that Cahir and his forces were beaten badly. It was later revealed that the mages took Cahir as a prisoner in the hopes of extracting information from him.
Meanwhile, as season 2 unfolded, the Brotherhood of Mages thought that Yennefer was one of the mages who lost their lives in the Battle of Sodden Hill. However, she survived and was taken prisoner by Fringilla and the Nilfgaardians. And the worst part was that Yennefer lost her magic when she used fire magic.
Yennefer eventually found herself free once more when the elves attacked the Nilfgaardians. However, things didn’t really go quite as well as she hoped when she returned to the Brotherhood, to their surprise. Tissaia, the one who trained her to be a mage, was happy that she was alive. However, Stregobor, one of the elders of the Brotherhood, felt that his power and hold over the mages was weakening when the “hero” of Sodden Hill returned.
To that end, Stregobor launched a smear campaign that made people doubt Yennefer’s allegiance. Because Yennefer was able to return unharmed, Stregobor believed that she was a Nilfgaardian spy. The only way she was going to prove her loyalty was to behead Cahir, who was taken prisoner.
The second choice that Yennefer could go with to clear her name was to admit to the Brotherhood that she lost all of her magic, and that would be proof enough that she was not a spy. However, that would make her look weak while the elders of the Brotherhood would only grow stronger in a political sense.
So, when Cahir was brought in front of the Northern kings and queens of the continent to be executed by Yennefer, the mage didn’t choose any of the options she had. Instead, she broke Cahir’s chains and pushed the pyres to create bedlam and chaos. Using that to her advantage, she escaped with Cahir and told him that she only saved him because she was saving herself.
Basically, the reason why Yennefer saved Cahir was not because she was a Nilfgaardian spy or because she loved Cahir. Instead, she chose an option that wasn’t available to her before the execution. That option was the best option for her because she didn’t want to execute someone and become the pawn of the Brotherhood. At the same time, she didn’t want the Brotherhood elders to grow in political power by discovering that she no longer had any powers.
The choice to save Cahir was a personal one because it was the only choice she could make. On top of that, she also believed that saving Cahir and possibly even taking him to Cintra could allow her to find a way to restore her powers.
In What Episode Did Yennefer Save Cahir?
The episode that showed Yennefer saving Cahir was episode 3. He saved him during the latter portion of the episode and near the end. It happened when they were just about to execute Cahir by making Yennefer their executioner. However, she had other plans, as previously mentioned.
Why Did Yennefer Disobeyed The Brotherhood?
If you can recall, Yennefer was never the most obedient mage on the continent. There were plenty of moments when she disobeyed the Brotherhood such as when she forced herself out of becoming the mage of Nilfgaard and when she turned rogue following the death of the queen of the kingdom she served. She even disobeyed the Brotherhood when she joined the mage army that quelled the forces of Nilfgaard.
That said, the reason why she disobeyed the Brotherhood when she was asked to execute Cahir was the fact that she was never really loyal to the order of the mages. She didn’t care for the politicizing and power struggle between the different mages because she had other personal plans of her own. Of course, obeying the mages in that scene with Cahir would only make their pawn and allow the elders to become even stronger in a political sense.