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The Characters You’ll Meet In The Witcher 2

by Jeff Marchiafava on Apr 05, 2012 at 09:34 AM

Xbox 360 owners will finally get a chance to try out The Witcher 2 later this month. To prepare for the epic fantasy RPG, I thought I’d introduce you to some of the characters you’ll be meeting, complete with my own expert analysis.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know a lot about the fantasy genre. I saw those movies where Elijah Woods had furry feet and was fighting with some creepy guy over a ring, but that’s about it. That said, my incredible insights into Pokémon, SoulCalibur V, and Skyrim have proven invaluable to gamers, so when Adam told me that The Witcher 2 is a great game even though the main character is something called a witcher, I decided it was time to investigate. After countless hours of research and analysis, here’s what I’ve come up with.

Name: Geraldo Rivera Geralt of Rivia
Occupation: Witcher
Analysis: This is not at all what I thought a witcher would look like. I was expecting more black lipstick and a wardrobe you could buy at Hot Topic. Instead, Geralt is pretty bad-ass. He’s got a couple of swords, some metal knee pads, and a wicked scar over one of his eyes – which appear to be glowing yellow, I might add. I’m not sure how old Geralt is, but it’s probably one of those fantasy things where he’s like 110 years old, but physically he’s 25 and just has white hair.

According to the Witcher Wiki, Geralt has two nicknames: “The White Wolf,” which is okay, and the much superior title, the “Butcher of Blaviken.” You don’t want to mess with pretty much anyone who’s referred to as a butcher – even actual butchers. Plus, it turns out that witchers aren’t as wimpy as they sound. They actually travel the world killing monsters for a living. Kind of like Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars, only with more monsters and fewer ponchos.
Rating: Awesome

Name: Letho
Occupation: Witcher
Analysis: Oh man, this guy might be even more bad-ass than Geralt. One thing’s for sure: I definitely had this witcher occupation all wrong. Letho is a witcher from the School of the Viper, which I’m guessing is the Harvard of monster killing academies. He’s even bigger than Geralt, has cooler metal knee pads (complete with shin guards!), and one-ups Geralt’s eye scar with a giant bald head scar.

Letho is known as a Kingslayer. You can’t get much more hardcore than regicide, but the term “Kingslayer” doesn’t sound very professional, like you’re just wandering around slaying kings willy-nilly. Also, why has a monster hunter spent so much time killing royalty that he’s acquired a nickname for it? Stick to the task at hand, Letho.

I’m not sure if Letho and Geralt are rivals, but something tells me they probably don’t get along, and I’m not sure who would win in a fight.
Rating: Awesomer?

Name: Dethmold
Occupation: Mage
Analysis: Dethmold, huh? I think I have some of that growing in my shower. As far as mage names go, I guess Dethmold is scary, but any apprehension it evokes is instantly negated by his funny red hat. That thing looks like an old lady’s swimming cap.

Also, I think this guy might be a Pokémon trainer, based on the balls he has tied to his waist. And is his main weapon a weather vane? How is that helpful? In the heat of battle the best thing this guy can do is tell his enemy which way the wind is blowing. He better have some high level pocket monsters in those balls of his, otherwise he doesn’t stand a chance against Geralt.
Rating: Not Scary

Name: Triss Merigold
Occupation: Sorceress
Analysis: I'm not sure about this Triss character. Redheads are known to be trouble (I’m looking at you, Kyle), and I’m guessing redheaded sorceresses are even worse. Triss’ nickname is “Fourteenth of the Hill,” which might be the worst nickname I’ve ever heard. You know the old saying; fourteenth place is the thirteenth place loser.

Triss is actually called Fourteenth of the Hill because people thought she died in the Battle of Sodden Hill. So she got her nickname for being the fourteenth mage to die in a battle that she didn’t actually die in. Why not come up with a cool name based on that, like Triss the Unkillable? Or the Fire-Headed Phoenix? To make matters worse, Triss is allergic to magic, so even though she’s a mage, she can’t heal herself. How the hell was she the only mage to live through the Battle of Sodden Hill? I’m intrigued now.

The other thing you need to know about Triss is that she was Geralt’s lover in the first Witcher. However, Geralt will reportedly have new romance options in The Witcher 2. I’m still not convinced of Triss’ prowess on the battlefield, but if I was Geralt, I’d watch my back. Anyone who can summon a smoldering ball of blue energy isn’t the kind of person you want to jilt.
Rating: Trouble

Name: Iorveth
Occupation: Elf Commander
Analysis: Aside from the pointy ears, Iorveth looks nothing like those wimpy elves from Lord of the Rings. I doubt he’s going to be surfing around on a shield like Orlando Bloom or crying about whatever the hell Liv Tyler spent that whole movie series crying about. Instead, Iorveth is an elf commander who has killed countless humans and burned their villages to the ground. What a jerk!

We can learn a number of things about Iorveth from his apparel. First, he appears to have a problem keeping his sleeves up, since he’s got four belts on his arm. In fact, he’s got belts everywhere. Do elves in the Witcher universe have a problem keeping their clothes on? Even his bandana has a belt on it, to keep it from falling off and exposing his ugly face.

I think his bow may be made out of deer antlers. That’s the only reason I can come up with for it having two extra limbs. That’s just wasteful. You could make a whole second bow out of that thing. And look how small his coin purse is! Maybe if he had made himself a normal bow he would have had some money left over for a bigger purse. Or plastic surgery. I still wouldn’t want to mess with him, though.
Rating: Pretty Tough (For An Elf)

Name: Zoltan Chivay
Occupation: Miner/Jewelsmith
Analysis: Hey, I didn’t know Gimli was in this game. He was the only part of the Lord of the Rings movies worth remembering. Now he’s got a mohawk, which makes him even cooler.

Zoltan is a friend of Geralt, and is described as being reasonable and pragmatic. That doesn’t sound like a typical fantasy dwarf, but the giant-ass hammer looks about right. Apparently, he’s also good with a needle and thread. Just look at that patchwork.

In the first game, Zoltan was engaged to another dwarf and owned a salt mine, but it looks like things have taken a turn for the worse for him by the sequel. Hopefully that will give him a hankering to go around smashing things with his hammer.
Rating: Good Sidekick Material

Name: Dandelion
Occupation: Professor
Analysis: When Adam heard I was working on a feature about The Witcher 2’s characters, he told me I needed to make fun of Dandelion. Apparently Adam thinks I’m some kind of complete amateur at analyzing video game characters – I mean this guy plays the lute, for crying out loud. The need to make fun of him is self-evident.

In addition to being a professor, Dandelion is a poet, a minstrel, and a bard. That’s a hat trick of embarrassment. You know what else is a pretty good clue this guy needs to be made fun of? His name is Dandelion. This guy makes fun of himself!

Somehow, Dandelion is described as being Geralt’s closest friend. Geralt’s journal description of Dandelion in the first game states he’s an “indefatigable windbag, a buffoon, and a wastrel,” but also concedes that he’s a talented artist. I guess he’s got something going for him.
Rating: Aptly Named

Name: Vernon Roche
Occupation: Commander
Analysis: Roche is the commander of the Blue Stripes, which is like the Special Forces unit of the Temerian military. The Blue Stripes’ only military failure is not being able to catch Iorveth – I’m guessing he snuck off while they were distracted by the stupidity of his bow. Perfectly understandable.

I’m convinced that the Blue Stripes are awesome, but I’m still not sure about Roche. For one thing, he’s got a little treasure chest on his belt. What’s with the little treasure chest? And why does it have a lock? If Roche was really that tough, he wouldn’t need the extra security precaution – it’s already strapped to his waist.

Another reason I think Roche might be a pushover is his nickname. As a child, Roche’s family was so poor that his mom became a prostitute, which caused the other kids to start calling him “whoreson.” His bio states that he reacts violently to the term, but if it’s still out there, he must not be reacting violently enough.
Rating: Whoreson

Name: Foltest
Occupation: King
Analysis: Don’t let the crown and fleurs-de-lis fool you: Foltest is a stone cold pervert. Foltest is the king of Temeria. Despite his regal demeanor, he committed the not-so-classy act of knocking up his own sister Adda. The child, who was also named Adda, died from an unknown curse (a real one, not just the figurative curse of incest) and came back as a monster. Geralt was the one who finally dealt with the cursed monster (also known as striga), by either killing it or removing the curse (it was the player’s choice in the first game).

Foltest also had an affair with Maria Luiza La Valette, a baroness who he allegedly had two children with. In The Witcher 2, Foltest is attempting to get back his illegitimate children from La Valette by leading a civil war against her kingdom. Geralt also previously saved Foltest from an attempted assassination, but based on what I know of him so far, I’m not really sure why.
Rating: Pervert

Name: Sile de Tansarville
Occupation: Sorceress
Analysis: Sile is a founding member of the Lodge of Sorceresses, a secret institution of female mages, which Triss is also a member of. Geralt describes Sile as being different from the typical overbearing and manipulative magician, stating that she avoids politics in favor of research. None of this explains why she wears a bra on her head.

Geralt also describes Sile as strict, calm, and collected, and a woman who doesn’t display her feminine charms. Oh, really? If this picture is an example of a female character not showing her feminine charms, then what the hell are the rest of the women in The Witcher 2 like?

The only other detail I’ve been able to gather from this picture of Sile is that she has some kind of sorceress tattoo on her chest. Hopefully it doesn’t curse people for looking at her boobs.
Rating: Spectacular

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition will be released on April 17. Find out how it differs from the PC version in this trailer.