The Witcher series was created by Andrzej Sapkowski in the late 1980s. What started as a short story about a silver-haired Witcher named Geralt of Rivia soon spiraled into a large world of novels, a tv show, and game series by developer CD Projekt Red. Fans quickly fell in love with the world and the characters that Sapkowski and CD Projeckt Red created.
Geralt of Rivia is a well-known Witcher who is as handsome as he is dangerous. His journey on The Path is typical of those in his profession. Witchers take on contracts to kill monsters, but not sentient beings. The Path takes him through several different regions that will place him in the middle of unsavory situations, such as wars and marriages.
Geralt makes his disinterest in politics known, which matches the Witcher code of neutrality. Yet others around him constantly pull him into political battles between rulers and those with the desire more power. Geralt claims that Witchers don’t display emotions, but the characters in this series end up taking him on an emotional ride. Some characters are beautiful but with ugly intentions and others appear as monsters but are helpful and generous.
With a series over 30 years old, there are some incredible characters that stand out and some that deserved their terrible ending. This list is full of spoilers for The Witcher series. Hopefully, it will enlighten you on who you should be investing more time with and who you should try to avoid at all costs.
15 Best: Saskia the Dragonslayer
In The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, you soon learn that Saskia isn't a Dragonslayer. She's an actual dragon named Saesenthessis, daughter of the golden dragon Villentretenmerth. Saskia was a benevolent woman who does not want the throne for ill-means. The Dragonslayer nickname was a ruse created by her most loyal follower, Iorveth, Commander of the Scoia'tael. The ruse worked because Saskia was in the running to become Queen of the Pontar Valley.
In The Witcher series, discrimination amongst races and classes reigned supreme. She wanted the Free Pontar Valley to thrive as a place for humans and non-humans to live together. Saskia was ready to stand firm against those who opposed her. Saskia was a strong, benevolent Queen who was ready to protect her people. Few in The Witcher universe were both beautiful and deadly with a sword.
14 Worst: Dethmold
Sorcerer Dethmold is unsettling, both in his tone of voice and snake-like demeanor. He was extremely vain and his servant accuses him of using him as a sex slave. He held one of the highest positions on the royal court as an advisor to King Henselt in The Witcher 2. Mages in The Witcher series always strive to become advisors for the opportunity to manipulate them. He was loyal to his homeland of Kaedwin, but has no problems doing whatever it takes to get the job done.
Dethmold is more than willing to kidnap and murder those who stand in his way, making him naturally disliked. His powerful advisor position allowed him the power to demand the death of Vernon Roche's comrades, which was an action that led to the death of King Henselt. Dethmold was an evil manipulator who was more than happy to use his others for his own gain.
13 Best: Iorveth
Geralt first met Iorveth in the forests of Temeria in The Witcher 2. He ordered his Scoia’tael commanders to kill you and the Blue Stripes you were traveling with. It’s a terrible first impression meant to sway your decision between Vernon Roche and Iorveth’s path. As you continued on Iorveth’s route, you learned more about the leader of the Scoia’tael Commandos.
Iorveth isn’t your typical beautiful elf from fantasy books. When you speak to Iorveth near the Old Gate of Vergen, you’ll learn that Iorveth is a determined elf who is ready to fight to defend his dream. He simply wants a place for his people. His travels brought him and 100 elves to defend Saskia's dream of a free Pontar Valley. Saskia knows of his misdeeds yet trusts his excellent skills with a bow and arrow. Iorveth proves he stands firm to protect those he cares about and those who have earned his trust.
12 Worst: King Foltest
King Foltest commanded the country of Temeria. At first glance, King Foltest seemed like a respectable man. He commanded a large army of troops who were happy to fight in his honor. Foltest’s downfall was that he cared too much about his appearance and romancing women, making him an easy character to hate. At a young age, he fell in love and had an affair with his blood sister, Adda. Adda died during childbirth of their daughter, who was named after her mother. Foltest first contracted Geralt to lift his daughter’s curse in the novels, which are also used as the opening sequence of the first The Witcher game.
Foltest continued his short-sighted thinking in The Witcher 2. Geralt, Roche, and his advisor Triss Merigold helped him reach his lover Baroness Mary Louisa La Valette. Due to his attention to romance and lack of care to his country, his death brought on an intense war for the fate of Temeria.
11 Best: Olgierd von Everec
Olgierd von Everec was a Redanian officer and the last member of the royal von Everec family. Olgierd was no saint in The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone. He did his fair share of murdering, stealing, and ruining lives, but he was not evil, just lacking morals. What made him so intriguing was that he was aware of the pain he caused others, especially his late wife Iris.
At first, Olgierd seemed like a happy and carefree guy who just wanted to have fun, even if it was at the expense of others. As the story unfolded, you learned that Olgierd was also a romantic who wanted nothing more than to be with the woman he loved. He is well-liked by his crew, a skilled fighter, and you soon find out he is chivalrous. He doesn't allow his men to take advantage of women and demands a fair fight. Olgierd is a loyal man who cares for people deeply, even if it turns his heart to stone.
10 Worst: Cyprian Wiley
Wiley was more well-known by his nickname Whoreson Junior in The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. He was one of the four crime bosses in the city of Novigrad along with Sigi Reuven, Carlo Varese, and Francis Bedlam. He ruled the casinos and fighting arena. Wiley inherited his father's very sadistic methods and intended on collecting his debts by any means possible.
You'll find out that King Radovid V hired Wiley to cause chaos within the city. Once the city was in a broken state, it would be easier for the King and his army to sweep in and take it under his control. Radovid also funded Wiley's long line of prostitutes, but was not aware of what he was doing with these women. He murdered in gruesome ways and hung their bodies on displayed around his bedroom. Wiley proved himself a disgusting man who only took pleasure in hurting others.
9 Best: Vernon Roche
Vernon Roche is the most loyal person you will encounter in The Witcher series. Before the King Foltest was assassinated, he was incredibly loyal to him for molding him into a skilled swordsman and leader. His undying love for his country of Temeria was made clear as soon as you met him.
There comes a time in The Witcher 2 when you are forced to choose between Roche and Iorveth. Even if you decide to travel down Iorveth’s path, Roche still has your back. Sure, he wasn't happy you chose the elf he loathes, but he will come to your rescue when you are held captive. Besides from being in a leadership position, Roche is also skilled in setting traps and acting as a sword by your side.
When Geralt needs help defending Kaer Morhen and Ciri in The Witcher 3, Roche is more than eager to extend a helping hand. In a time of backstabbing and self-interest, you will find Roche to be one of the best friends Geralt could have.
8 Worst: Philippa Eilhart
Philippa Eilhart was King Vizimir's advisor before his assassination and Sigismund Dijkstra's former lover. She also demeaned and bullied Radovid V during his youth, which led to his hatred of mages. This hatred that would eventually lead to dire consequences for all magic users and non-humans. So yeah, Eilhart pretty much just sucks.
Sorceresses within The Witcher series are known to be manipulative and selfish. Phillipa was no different. Philippa was a member of the Lodge, which consists of sorceresses who conspired to murder kings. The Lodge Sisters desired more power on the royal court. This conspiracy led to Geralt being accused of the regicide of King Foltest in The Witcher 2. Phillipa was untrustworthy and more than willing to use people to increase her power within the royal court. She was also thrilled to belittle others and make them feel weak. Unable to finish her battles, Phillipa was a coward who always ran away before facing the consequences of her actions.
7 Best: Lambert
Lambert was the youngest of the Witchers at Kaer Morhen. In The Witcher 3, you may notice that he seemed jealous of Geralt’s well-known status. Lambert first came off as rude and sarcastic. He was proof that Witchers do have emotions and can felt them just as passionately as anyone else.
If you take the time to speak with him when you first arrived at Kaer Morhen in The Witcher 3, you’ll understand his anger. You’ll discover that he never intended on becoming a Witcher and was forced to do so due to his alcoholic father. He’s only so angry because he was not given a choice.
Lambert was very thoughtful of those close to him. He also hated the Trial process which led to the death of his close friends. Lambert was also very protective of Ciri and wishes to protect her alongside Geralt at Kaer Morhen. Though he speaks with a harsh tone, Lambert is a trustworthy friend who will fight by your side until the end.
6 Worst: Radovid V the Stern of Redania
Radovid V was the young king of Redania after the death of his father, King Vizimir. In The Witcher 2, he expresses his desire to rule over the land. Some of his methods soon become questionable and disgusting, such as marrying Anaïs La Valette, the very young daughter of the late King Foltest. He also gives a hint of his hatred of sorceresses and has one of his men remove Philippa Eilhart’s eyes.
When you encounter Radovid again in The Witcher 3, you will find that his mental state is declining fast. Radovid spends more time hunting those he feels are a threat than helping his people. His hatred for sorceresses has multiplied. You may also dislike sorceresses and agree with his methods. Radovid is an evil ruler who demands a witch hunt across the Rediania, which leads to the extermination of magic users, non-humans, and healers.
5 Best: Yennefer of Vengerberg
Yennefer of Vengerberg was one of the most polarizing characters in The Witcher series. You might have seen her as a cold-hearted sorceress with a heart as black as her hair. But she proved herself a loving adopted mother to Ciri, friend to Triss Merigold (whether she deserves it or not), trusted advisor to Kings, and Geralt’s fated companion.
Though she wields serious magic power, Yennefer also has a very serious personality. You might have been annoyed by the banter she had with Geralt or how she made demands of those around her. However, you’ll immediately notice how her heart melted when she reunited with Ciri and the passionate relationship she shared with Geralt. Yennefer was strong-willed but also stood firm in protecting those she cared about. Fierecly loyal, she was always ready to protect royalty on the front lines and the Witchers at Kaer Morhen.
4 Worst: Eredin Bréacc Glas
The world of The Witcher is diverse, but was set during a medieval time when most males, such as Eredin, did not see women as equals. Eredin was the leader of the Wild Hunt and had a history of haunting Geralt. When Eredin and Ciri first met in Tir ná Lia, he manipulated her as part of a plot to assassinate King Auberon Muircetach. The King wished only to use her as a warm vessel to breed an heir to the throne. He had a royal bloodline that he wishes to remain pure.
Eredin wanted to take Ciri’s abilities to travel through space and time. He also wanted her royal blood to extend his bloodline and gain powers for his own selfish purpose. He thought nothing of Ciri's feelings or how strongly she protested. Eredin was willing to spend a lifetime killing anyone in his path to take what he wanted. Not cool man.
3 Best: Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon
Ciri had high expectations to deal with. Her father, Emhyr var Emreis, wanted her to be his successor, the leader of the Wild Hunt wanted to take her powers, and she almost became a dryad in the forest of Brokilon before Geralt found her. Geralt and the Witchers at Kaer Morhen trained Ciri in the art of swordsmanship, while Yennefer taught her how to command her magic powers.
At first, Ciri may have seemed like a sheltered, spoiled little girl. However, she spent most of her late teenage years running from the Wild Hunt. This was not an easy task to accomplish and her evasion sent her through multiple worlds. Ciri met many people during her travels, possibly more than her adoptive father Geralt. She soon grew up into a caring, playful, and strong young woman. Ciri was a grateful woman and appreciated the sacrifices people made for her.
2 Worst: Triss Merigold
At first glance, Triss Merigold was a beautiful woman with a kind voice who only wished the best for her friends. Once you learn more about her, you’ll find out that looks are deceiving. She not only hides her physical deformities, but also her true intentions. Triss was one of the most selfish characters in the entire Witcher series.
Triss conspired with the Lodge of Sorceresses to kill kings in order to increase her influence on those in power. Triss took full advantage of Geralt’s altered state while he suffered from amnesia. She always wanted him for herself even though she knew her best friend loved him. In The Witcher 3, Triss left her hair in Geralt’s bed for Yennefer to discover. Triss was only looking out for herself. She was more than happy to sell out her anyone for The Lodge as long as it benefited her in the end.
1 Best: Geralt of Rivia
Geralt of Rivia was the star of The Witcher series for good reason. Geralt was arguably the most famous Witcher in the land, as he was known for his powerful fighting abilities and multiple romances. He was a handsome man with a weakness for sorceresses, even though only one, Yennefer, had his heart.
Geralt was unlike other main characters, in that he was not willing to get involved in political plots or petty squabbles. He did not wish for wealth or power. He knew how important it was to remain neutral, no matter how difficult it was. When he was forced to make a decision, he did not stand down and was more than willing to fight. He remained true to his word when he agreed to help someone. Geralt was also fiercely loyal to his own friends and his adoptive daughter, Ciri.
Loyal, fiercely powerful, and devilishly handsome, Geralt took us on an unforgettable journey as hero of The Witcher series.