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20 Most Powerful Characters From the Franchise, Ranked

20 Most Powerful Characters From the Franchise, Ranked

Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels and short stories, as well as the video game series developed by CD Projekt Red, have captivated fans across the world for more than a decade now. While there are abundant adventures to embark on within the franchise, at the center of its sprawling narrative are powerful heroes and villains caught up in mysteries unfathomable to mortal men.

The Netflix series only propelled the franchise to new heights of popularity. It not only delighted fans by being equally dark and dazzling as the source material, but also caught the attention of mainstream audiences. Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Geralt of Rivia, in particular, drew them deeper into the role.

With three seasons premiered and a fourth already greenlit, the series’ addictive blend of politics, action, monster hunting, and mystery has made sure The Witcher will remain broadly discussed among fans of the fantasy journey for decades to come.

The Witcher

Like Sapkowski’s original books, as well as the games inspired by them, the Netflix series also introduces new characters into its rich universe. Some act as mere foils, while others are so formidable in strength that it’s impossible not to be captivated by them.

Whether it is their heroic acts or villainous acts, many characters have displayed a mastery of combative arts and unrivaled command of magic. Here we rank 20 of the most powerful characters from across The Witcher franchise, including the book series and video games.

20 Istredd

Although he is no match to Geralt of Rivia, Istredd is still a charming and ambitious sorcerer holding his own in the Netflix series. Now a respected mage in the city of Aedd Gynvael, he had formed a connection with Yennefer in their days at Aretuza and still believed himself worthy of her exclusive affection. His keen interest in archaeology and political influence made him rise among the wizarding elite.

Istredd was less into violence and more into knowledge. But Season 3 of The Witcher sees him trying to manipulate and deceive those closest to him. During the Conjunction of the Spheres, he offered insight into the truth about Ciri’s potential and the royal Cintran family tree. We only see him exercising his powers a couple of times, but it is clear that Istredd has darker impulses and is capable of winning certain fights.

19 Lambert

One of Geralt’s fellow Witchers from the School of the Wolf, Lambert arrived at Kaer Morhen as a child and trained with the gray-haired witcher and Eskel under Vesemir. In the games and in the Netflix series, he emerges as a prominently harsh, gruff and cynical character. Compared to others of his kind, he has a negative look on life and is often rude to non-witchers.

Although quick to scoff, Lambert is almost as good a fighter as Geralt, if not better. He possesses incredible reflexes and can swiftly deliver blows. On numerous occasions, he has slayed beasts single-handedly. In The Witcher Season 3, he helps Ciri train at the pendulum and teaches her combat tricks. He is also seen tirelessly fighting the forces of the Wild Hunt with Geralt, trying to enforce justice of his own kind.

18 Fringilla Vigo

She was once a student of magic at the prestigious school of Aretuza located on the lonely island of Thanedd, but Fringilla Vigo grew into a mage with immense prowess. From the beginning itself, she harbored great potential in the spectral arts. After she was officially initiated into the Brotherhood and outperformed by Yennefer, Fringilla became disillusioned with politics and sought greater power.

Currently serving as the chief mage of Nilfgaard, Fringilla plays a crucial role in the empire’s invasions and relentless pursuit to expand its control over the Continent. As far as the demonstration of power is concerned, Fringilla was seen unleashing firestorms and sinking Queen Calanthe’s reinforcements from Skellige. Her calm and calculative mind make her a formidable foe.

Related: The Witcher and 14 Other Popular Series That Are Based on Books

17 Tetra Gilcrest

Hailing from a long line of Witchers, Tetra Gilcrest makes an appearance in the Netflix animated feature, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, as an antagonist. The movie is set in her younger years of training and combat. She was the one that ultimately led the attack on Kaer Morhen. While defeated, her coup led was the reason the School of the Wolf couldn’t make new witchers anymore.

Although small in stature, Tetra more than compensates through a distinct mastery in the application of magic and alchemy as well as sheer tenacity. She fearlessly battles even the most experienced warriors within the lore. In one breathtaking clash, with the help of a mutated elf’s illusory powers, Tetra almost defeats Vesemir. Her intelligence and resourcefulness would make her a great adversary if she ever appeared on the main Witcher series.

16 Eskel

Eskel is also one of Geralt’s oldest witcher friends to hail from the School of the Wolf. He resides in Kaer Morhen with his fellow might brethren and rises to the occasion with his playful wit, courage and insight. His horribly scarred visage is testament to the battles he has fought and beasts he has defeated. In both the books and games, Eskel has used strategy and strength to fight foes. He even has a narrative resemblance to the White Wolf, what with his own experience in raising a Child of Surprise.

In the Netflix series, however, his fate was sealed too soon. Despite his heightened perception, Eskel got attacked by and tied to an ancient forest creature referred to as a leshy. The scene was an extremely memorable and tragic one and it led to the character’s death. Even though the same forest creature is seen on several occasions in the games, it was never the cause of Eskel’s demise.

15 Triss Merigold

Even though the Netflix series downplayed her strength, Triss Merigold is still highly regarded as one of the youngest and most powerful sorceresses. It also helps that her heart is always at the right place. With her shy smile and the kind of warmth that draws you in, Triss plays an influential role in helping Yennefer and Geralt navigate the complicated and dangerous climates of both Temeria.

During the Battle of Sodden Hill, she single-handedly held the gates and cornered a wave of Nilfgaardian soldiers. Because she is a master of elemental nature and her magic is linked to nature, Triss was also able to help Ciri unlock the memories within her bloodline, which was a massive turning point in the series.

14 Milva Barring

An exceptional human archer and daughter of the forest, Milva is introduced in Baptism of Fire as someone with a difficult past who changed teams until joining Geralt in his search for Ciri. Her closest affiliation was with the Dryads, who lived in and operated from Brokolin. Milva led crusades for them. She even got Cahir accepted in the team before developing romantic feelings for him in Toussaint.

Boasting a sharp aim and woodland stealth, something she learnt at a younger age from her father, Milva served as an invaluable ally to Ciri and Geralt. On countless hunts, she provided for her comrades and found creative tactics to get out of difficult situations. She’s also part of Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. It’s just too sad that she meets her devastating death in the fifth book, The Lady of the Lake.

13 Francesca Findabair

The beautiful elf sorceress of Dol Blathanna, Francesca Findabair harbors a violent disposition and unmatched control over magic. Despised for her heritage and yet respected for her dazzling intellect, she is seen navigating the cutthroat and perilous world of the Brotherhood with her husband Filavandrel aén Fidháil. All she wants is to rebuild elven supremacy, and for that she forms strategic alliances. One of which is with Fringilla.

When it comes to magic, few could match Francesca in a duel. In defense of her kin, she has torn down fortified walls and unleashed fury upon the streets of Cintra by killing every baby in sight after losing her own. Even the likes of Vilgefortz know to tread carefully around her. As seen on The Witcher season 2, during the battle at Aretuza, Francesca is capable of tapping into the darkest chambers of magic.

Related: The 10 Greatest Fantasy Movie Characters of All Time

12 Julia Abatemarco

Better known by her nickname, “Pretty Kitty,” Julia Abatemarco is a formidable mercenary introduced in Sapowski’s The Lady of the Lake as a pivotal character. We don’t know much about her backstory, except that she is a member of Adieu’s Free Company who went to prison with her companions but was released to aid the Northern Kingdoms in their fight against the Nilfgaardian Empire.

Her tactical mind and developing characters make her an indispensable character in the books. Julia possesses an innate draw towards the battlefield. We witness her powers channeled gloriously in the Battle of Brenna and Mayena, where she not only fought bravely but also turned entire gangs against each other. Julia is also among the few characters in the books who lived long enough to be sixty-five.

11 Stregobor

Stregobor is an infamous wizard and a master illusionist who rose to notoriety and villainy in the books and series through his own manipulations. Despite residing in his isolated tower, his paranoia made him use his magical powers for the most drastic and dangerous things.

Stregobor had a frail appearance but immense magical strength, having toppled armies of creatures once believed invincible. In The Witcher season 3, viewers saw a new side of the high-ranking mastermind as he carried out gruesome experiments on young mages for the “greater good” as he sees it and showcased an ability to do great evil with his fire magic, which makes him an immediate threat.

10 Regis

Out of all of Sapkowski’s books, Baptism of Fire is perhaps the most well-narrated and emotionally moving. Not only does it offer a nuanced look at Geralt and his march towards Nilfgaard with Milva, Zoltan, and Dandelion, but it also introduces one of the most likable (and incredibly powerful) characters in the franchise. Regis is a higher vampire of the advanced age who also appeared in the Blood and Wine expansion pack for the game.

He is witty, wise and humorous and often stands against injustices as an unlikely but long-time companion to Geralt. Centuries of roaming the continent have granted Regis the ability to surpass even the most powerful mages or monsters. Even though he has stopped drinking human blood (which is what gives vampires their strength), Regis is very dangerous and violent.

9 Vilgefortz of Roggeveen

Vilgefortz of Roggeveen is one of the most complex and intriguing characters in The Witcher. A brilliant and accomplished wizard, he has showcased disturbing morals and sent viewers into confusion about where his loyalties lie. Handpicked by Tissaia de Vries herself to join the ranks of the Brotherhood, Vilgefortz came to be known as one of the few mages who could navigate magic’s most forbidden realms.

However, Vilgefortz’s thirst for power and secrets led him to bring whole armies to their knees. For all his raw strength and unpredictable application of magic, it is a surprise that the series had underutilized his character for so long. But season three saw Vilgefortz defeat Geralt in a matter of minutes, a shift in narrative that has had fans speculating the franchise’s future. That said, Vilgefortz is one of the most lethal antagonists so far.

8 Philippa Eilhart

She is the sorceress advisor to the Redanian monarchy and a cunning member of the Lodge of Sorceresses. Philippa Eilhart climbed the ranks of power by being ruthless in her political gambit and she now works closely with the kingdom’s spymaster, Dijkstra, to use her stealthy schemes to pull the kingdom’s strings. As opposed to her partner Dijkstra, Philippa is patient and meticulous; she cares little about the consequences of her honeyed lies.

But Philippa’s true strength lies in her rare ability to polymorph, often into a gray owl, and slip out of danger using her instinct. In terms of strength and her knowledge of magic, she is at the same level as Yennefer. And because experienced witches like herself fear her twisted games and damning secrets, Philippa keeps them all dancing on their toes around her.

Related: 20 Best Dark Fantasy Live Action TV Shows

7 Emhyr var Emreis

Introduced much later into the series, during the final episode of the second season, Emhyr var Emreis was originally a charismatic leader known simply as “The White Flame.” With his ruthlessness and fearsome presence, he united the squabbling kingdoms of Nilfgaard under one banner and became the uncontested Emperor looking to capture Ciri, his daughter.

Unlike the other characters in the series, who use magic to assert dominance, Emhyr is somewhat of a messiah figure to his people. He rules absolutely and demonstrates no mercy for those who cross him. He has had generals, vast armies, and even powerful sorceresses under his command, Cahir and Fringilla being great examples. Because possess the same tact and acumen in governance as Emhyr, the current fates of kingdoms on the Continent seem to hang by his words alone.

6 Eredin

Leader of the fierce spectral warriors operating in the form of an elven cavalry known as the Wild Hunt, Eredin emerges from beyond the world in the Netflix series. Unlike many other adversaries, he is an Aen Elle king hunting Ciri so he can harness her powers to travel across different worlds, reshape time and space, and conquer all realms. Charming but utterly heartless, he is feared by the entire Continent.

Eredin has magic like no other. He can control storms and nightmares. As the leader of the Hunt, he tracks prey across dunes and cuts down an opponent in battle without a wince. Even though Ciri comes to her senses and realizes it’s best to stay away from Eredin, his power to transfer across worlds and bring an army of soldiers with him can become Geralt and Ciri’s most arduous challenge.

5 Leo Bonhart

As far as villains go, Leo Bonhart may not be the most original, but he definitely is the most formidable in The Witcher saga. A sadistic, merciless, downright terrifying yet highly skilled bounty hunter in the books, Leo carved a name for himself through astonishing feats that were otherwise deemed impossible. He possesses a calculative mind and strength that overwhelms even the strongest witchers.

Appearing in four of Sapkowski’s books, Leo has an interesting narrative arc. He is responsible for capturing and abusing Ciri, haunting her after she escapes. Leo also claims to have killed a couple of witches in his travels. As one of the cruelest persons on the Continent, this savage monster hunter had the ability to stir fear among all except Ciri, who eventually killed him.

4 Geralt of Rivia

Known across the northern kingdom as the “White Wolf,” Geralt of Rivia is the most renowned Witcher of his kind. He has proved himself powerful numerous times. Whether killing monsters or men, he wields his sword with incredible energy. Subtle of speech, Geralt survived the brutal process of mutation and emerged as a hunter who defends the innocent.

Tales of how he toppled monoliths, became the savior of the Striga and the Butcher of Blaviken, and protected Ciri with all his might have already started becoming immortalized through the bard’s songs. And so far, Geralt only has one loss under his belt, and that’s against Vilgefortz. That is likely to change in the upcoming season because, like the books and games, fate won’t stay bent against him for very long.

3 Yennefer of Vengerberg

Born with a hunchback, mocked and treated like a servant by her whole family, Yennefer of Vengerberg was rescued by Tissaia de Vries and brought to Aretuza to study magic. She then rose to become one of the mightiest sorceresses to have ever lived. Having mastered chaos magic with her boundless determination, Yennefer constantly tries to rewrite her painful past and prove herself worthy of admiration.

When speaking of Yennefer’s magic, she has limitless control over mind and perceptions. From shaping battlefields to seducing even kings, there is practically nothing Yennefer cannot achieve. Her ferocity was on full display during the Battle of Sodden Hill, when she used fire magic to single-handedly defeat the entire Nilfgaardian army even before King Foltest’s reinforcements arrived, an act that cost her her powers.

Related: 15 Fantasy Shows Like The Witcher to Watch Next

2 Tissaia de Vries

Tissaia de Vries only emerged as a devastatingly powerful leader in The Witcher Season 3. But her esteemed role as the Rectoress of Aretuza and premier sorceress on the Continent alone was enough to threaten and destabilize many. She has authority over all magical affairs, but she’s also a caring mentor who reformed the Brotherhood’s direction with her loyalty.

From holding her own at the conclave of the Northern Mages to turning back invasions alongside other sorceresses at Sodden, Tissaia has showcased ultimate strength and steadfast devotion in protecting those she loved. But it wasn’t until she was betrayed by Vilgefortz in Season 3 that Tissaia was pushed to the brink, and she displayed raw anger by using Alzur’s Thunder to kill nearly everyone on the battlefield – including herself.

1 Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon

Destined to be a ruler from birth, Cirilla is the only character in The Witcher franchise with raw and untapped potential. Known as the ‘Lady of Time and Space,’ she finds herself embroiled in grand prophecies and gifted with terrifying elven magic, but she’s yet to learn how to channel them correctly. Her transformation into a fierce champion is aided by the fact that she’s immensely courageous, resilient and compassionate.

Ciri’s inherent power, known as the ‘Elder Blood,’ grants her mysterious abilities even sorcerers dare not contemplate. In the first season, she was just a child, and she still toppled a monolith and opened the gateway to another world with just her scream. In Season 3, we witness her training rigorously, falling and getting right back up, and eventually using fire magic to resurrect her unicorn friend. Overall, Ciri is a character fans are looking forward to seeing more of.

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