Ciri is one of (if not the single most) beloved characters of The Witcher. Be it the book saga, the legendary video game, or the live-action Netflix series, the young girl has managed to stay a fan favorite. As amazing as she is, she also owes this popularity to her heritage. One of the most defining things about her lineage is that she is the daughter of Duny, who is also Emhyr var Emreis, or the mysterious White Flame.
Why does Nilfgaard want Ciri in The Witcher?
“That which you already have but do not know,” states the Law of Surprise, a custom as old as humanity itself in the universe of The Witcher. The Law of Surprise dictates that a man who saves another can ask of the save a boon. The boon must be unknown to one or both of the parties.
The first instance we see of the Law of Surprise is when we are introduced to Emhyr. He was the son of Fergus var Emreis, king of Nilfgaard. When Emhyr was a young boy, his father was overthrown by the Usurper. As a joke, a mage at the Usurper’s court turned the young prince into an urcheon. From here on, he would only be known as Duny. Duny saves King Roegner, who was unaware of his child Pavetta, invoking the Law of Surprise.
15 years later, Duny presents himself before Calanthe and marries Pavetta, as we have seen in the Netflix Original. This is also when Geralt invokes the Law of Surprise, making Ciri the Child Surprise of the Witcher. He conspires against Pavetta in an attempt to take Ciri away, after knowing about the prophecy of Ithlinne. Eventually, Duny takes Nilfgaard again and begins his attempts to get Ciri, a result of which was the fall of Cintra.
What does this mean for her in the future?
Duny’s Nilfgaardian name is Emhyr var Emreis, Deithwen Addan yn Carn aep Morvudd. When translated to English, this means The White Flame Dancing on the Barrows of his Enemies. This is pretty much all you need to know to foresee the nature of events Emhyr wishes to unleash upon Nilfgaard, Cintra, and the rest of the Continent.
In a brutal attempt to get his child back (for reasons related to power, not parental love), Emhyr killed thousands. Cintra was certainly not a weak kingdom with Calanthe at its head. Despite this, Emhyr managed to lay a siege on the kingdom and then attack them with full force. He did not stop at this. The Battle of Sodden was the prime example of the lengths Emhyr is willing to go to in order to acquire Ciri.
While book readers already know what befalls Ciri in later seasons of The Witcher, we do not wish to spoil it. To sum it up-the journey will not be easy. The swallow, the white wolf, and the obsidian star have many obstacles they need to get over with before they get a happy ending. That is, if they get a happy ending.