Our favorite Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, is known by many different names, White Wolf and the White One just to name a few. Besides these, Geralt is also known as the Butcher of Blaviken. Although a very badass alias, it carries a dark connotation. So why does Geralt have such a dark and gruesome nickname – the Butcher of Blaviken?
People started calling Geralt the Butcher of Blaviken after he killed eight innocent people in a town square during one of his missions.
Like every other story, this one is also not a clean black and white situation. There is quite a tragic background to this story that you should know to completely understand the story. To learn what really happened in Blaviken and does Geralt deserve this nickname make sure to read the article all the way through.
What is The Curse of the Black Sun?
The Curse of the Black Sun often referred to as the Mania of Mad Eltibald is an event of a solar eclipse is an event tied to the legend that foretold the end of humankind by the hand of sixty girls borne during this eclipse.
Many wizards, such as Stregobor believed that this would turn the girls into cruel monsters and started hunting them down. Killing them proved to be ineffective so they simply started locking them in towers to isolate the girls from the rest of the world.
The wizards firstly killed the young girls and later tried to break the curse by using their magic. We later learn that there were only a few people who believed in this curse and even Geralt didn’t believe the event was anything more than a simple eclipse with no magical connotations to it.
This was the cause for many people to attempt freeing these girls from the places they were being held at. A number of princes were successful in their quests and other girls managed to escape on their own or became powerful enough that the wizards left them alone.
Who is Renfri?
One of the girls kept this way was Renfri. She was born during the eclipse but her father didn’t give it much thought. It was only when he married Aridea that the fact became a bit of a problem.
She claimed that she had seen Renfri killing her in many others using Nehalenia’s Mirror, which is why Stegobor was sent by the council to investigate the young princess.
Stegobor simply wanted to isolate her, on the grounds that he had seen Renfrin harm and torture several different creatures. Her stepmother on the other hand wanted her dead, which is why she sent a thug to kill the young princess in the woods and bring her Renfri’s liver back as proof.
Renfri managed to defend herself by killing her attacker by driving her brooch into his brain, through his ear. After the event, she fled.
Her stepmother would continue her attempts to kill Renfri, sending multiple assassins after her, but Renfri became skilled in fighting over the years as well as being almost impossible to find.
She became known as the Shrike due to the fact that she would impale her victims. Many suspected that it was she who poisoned her stepmother, causing her death.
While still in Mahakam, she came across Stegobor and instantly remember the role he played in her early life, causing her to attack him. Stegobor managed to avoid her attacks by casting a spell that turned her into a mountain of crystal, which he left in the gnome’s mine where he brought down the tunnels so she could not be found.
She was saved by a prince from an unnamed kingdom who paid for the curse to be reversed. The prince returned to his family with Renfri, but his father did not trust her. A day after she was supposed to be executed the rest of the prince’s family was dead leaving him as the king.
She did not stay there for a long time, deciding to continue her search for Stegobor. She relentlessly hunts him down all the way to the town of Blaviken.
Renfri surrounded herself with a new gang of six men showing that she clearly meant to go through with her plan.
What happened at Blaviken?
Renfri quickly made it to Blaviken ready to get her revenge. At that time Geralt happened to be in the same town. Being acquainted with Stregobor, Geralt decided to try to talk Renfri out of her revenge plans. He refused Stegobor’s request to kill her, however, given that Geralt did not particularly like the mage.
Geralt easily located her in a local inn and talked to her there. Caldemeyn told her that she has until the morning to leave the town, upon which Renfri revealed a letter from King Audoen, making her untouchable.
The two left, but Renfri later snuck into the room Geralt was staying in and confronted him about her plan to kill Stegobor. She told Geralt that there are two ways to avoid bloodshed; one being that Stegobor has to leave the tower he was hiding in willingly and that she would then kill him in a remote area or that Geralt should kill him for her.
Geralt refused to kill for her and Renfri left, telling him that he has won. Despite this, the next morning Renfri and her men showed up at the marketplace planning to hold all the people there as hostages and only release them once Stegobor left his tower.
The plan fell through because, as Stegobor himself said, Renfri could kill all of Blaviken and surrounding villages, but he would not leave his tower.
Renfri returned to the marketplace to reunite with her man only to find them slain by Geralt. Distraught by the realization she drew her sword to fight Geralt.
Despite him urging her to stop she continued with the attack. They sparred for some time, the fight ending with Geralt killing the princess by cutting one of her leg arteries causing her death.
After seeing what has happened Stegobor left his tower determined to perform an autopsy on Renfri, but Geralt threatened to kill him if he came near Renfri.
Why is Geralt called the Butcher of Blaviken?
So how exactly does all of this contribute to Geralt’s nickname, the Butcher of Blaviken?
After Renfri put her plan into motion, Geralt realized she is planning to take advantage of the fact that the marketplace is at its busiest, and Renfri is going to kill people gradually until Stegobor comes out of his tower.
Although at the beginning he refused to help either of them, telling them that when confronted with a choice that involves two evils he prefers not to choose, he had to get involved because Renfri’s plan involved innocent people dying and that is one of the few things Geralt is not okay with.
To make sure this is avoided he fought with Renfri’s gang and ended up gruesomely killing all of them in a heavily populated town square. Despite the fact that Geralt was working to protect innocent people, the backstory of the event was unknown to the people who witnessed the fight leading them to view Geralt as a monster and giving him a nickname that echoed the sentiment.
The people condemned Geralt for breaking their nonviolent ways and lasting peace, ultimately causing them to cast Geralt out of the city.
What year did Geralt become the butcher of Blaviken?
Geralt became known as the Butcher of Blaviken after he got entangled in the fight between Stegobor and Renfri as both asked him for help. Stegobor wanted Geralt to protect him from Renfri and kill her, while Renfri requested Geralt to kill Stegobor for her to avoid innocent people dying.
Although the event is well known it is not specified when exactly it takes place. The most accurate we can get is placing it during the events that are depicted during the short story named The Lesser Evil.
How many did Geralt kill in Blaviken?
During this fight, Geralt killed eight people. Although the number seems low, people believed the eight killed men were innocent and that Geralt killed them in cold blood. The truth is a bit different though.
The important part here is that it was actual bloodshed in a very public place and the actual motives for the killing were unknown to the people Geralt saved.