What The Witcher 3 ending tells us about the new Witcher saga

Almost seven years after the role-playing giant The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Launched to critical acclaim, Polish developer CD Projekt Red has finally confirmed what most of us already knew: a new Witcher the game is in active development.

What people are less likely to know is what exactly that might mean for the series. Is it the witcher 4a direct sequel to the witcher 3, or a whole new story? Will it incorporate original characters from Netflix’s hugely successful adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s saga? More importantly, what has become of everyone’s favorite monster-hunting meteorologist – without the white wolf, how will anyone know when the wind is howling?

The natural place to start is at the end of The Witcher 3. Interestingly, there are two endings to consider here: the base game ending and the blood and winethe game’s second major expansion.

The former is arguably a better indicator of what’s to come, but the latter gives us Geralt of Rivia’s beloved swansong – a performance so flawless that a return to the stage could only end in disaster. A future Geralt cameo in the same vein as Kazuma Kiryu in Yakuza: Like a dragon or Emile in To deny: automata it might be tasteful, but nothing more than that… look, Geralt has been through a lot. Let him drink his wine in peace.

It’s more interesting to watch the original ending, widely considered canon for The Witcher 3. For those a little fuzzy on the details, there are three main ending scenarios in The Witcher 3: Ciri becomes a witcher, Ciri becomes the Empress, or Ciri dies. It’s also possible that Geralt dies in this last ending, though you never actually see him being killed – this is simply implied by the fact that the house he’s in is surrounded by around a million monsters.

Besides these four end conditions, there are also a variety of other permutations designed to texture the state of the world based on the decisions you’ve made throughout the story. Is Radovid still king or has he been dethroned by a disparate group of the Northern Kingdoms most unlikely allies? And the Bloody Baron? Did he die or did he go to the Blue Mountains with Anna? Who runs Skellige? There are so many different ways to The Witcher 3 to resolve that the development of a Witcher 4 respecting everyone’s decisions cannot be an easy task.

And yet, there is only one, actually half-decent, clue from the microscopic crumb of information CDPR has given us so far: a solitary, half-submerged medallion with what appears to be a face of feline.

a witcher medallion with glowing red eyes lying on the snow

Image: CD Projekt Red

In The Lady of the Lake – the fifth and chronologically final novel in Sapkowski’s Witcher saga – Ciri manages to retrieve three witcher medallions from a bounty hunter named Leo Bonhart. Later in the novel, she reunites with Geralt and Yennefer at Castle Stygga, at which point we get the following paragraph:

She took out the locket taken from Bonhart. She put the cat around her neck and gave the wolf to Geralt. “I hope you know it’s just a symbol?” ” he said.

“Everything is just a symbol.” She took Swallow out of her sheath.

It’s worth explicitly noting that there’s more than “Ciri has a cat locket and the new Witcher’s picture. the game also looks like a cat medallion! In The Witcher 3 “good” ending – the one where Ciri becomes a witcher – your final main quest before tackling the DLC is to deliver Zireael, Ciri’s illustrious sword from the novels. Do you know what Zireael mean in Elder Speech? Swallow. (You can inscribe it in the sword if you wish, or you can choose the Elder’s speech for “The lightning that strikes through the darkness, the light that breaks the night.” Whatever the inscription, the sword itself is called Zireael.)

In the same way that this sword is literally a symbol of Ciri’s early life as a witcher, referencing one of the medallions she took from Bonhart in the new promotional material feels like a deliberate choice. As she says herself, “Everything is symbol” – but these two very specific things are the only discernible symbols of the end of The Witcher 3 and the announcement of what will be the next Witcher the game is. It helps that Ciri actually wears her cat medallion in The Witcher 3too.

This is obviously just speculation, but it’s rational based on the information we’ve received so far. Fans have been clamoring for Ciri to become the series’ next protagonist ever since it was teased at the end of The Witcher 3while even players less invested in the universe can recognize that Geralt already got the happy ending he deserved.

Who knows – maybe Ciri is the one to run to find Geralt this time around? Maybe he gets a little too cheerful after she visits his vineyard in blood and wine, and, after several glasses of his best Erveluce, accidentally wanders into a trap set by a Wild Hunt apologist. (That obviously won’t happen, but it’s fun to think about.)

What matters is that the cat medallion has far more possibilities of actually meaning something than it seems. Maybe this game tells the story of a brand new cat school witcher. Perhaps the fact that the pendant is buried signifies a Nightmare of the Wolf-esque collapse of the Dyn Marv caravan, the school’s new headquarters (the old one was the aforementioned Stygga Castle). Maybe we’re miles away and it’s actually meant to be a weird dog inspired by Elden Ring’s messaging system.

Whatever that means, we’re getting a new Witcher game – the fact that we’re able to speculate what this might lead to with so much evidence of various thoughts and theories is thrilling. It should really feature Ciri, though.

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