12 Things You Didn't Know About Kaer Morhen

List Rules
Vote up the details you didn't know about the Witchers' keep.

Talking in-depth about Witcher lore and Kaer Morhen history is a bit difficult. For starters, the original book series is written in Polish, which means every single thing has been translated from another language. Secondly, the massively popular video game series is essentially a non-canon continuation of Andrzej Sapkowski's original saga. Also, there are comics that may or may not contradict the original stories in some cases. And, finally, the Netflix universe of the show is making the requisite changes necessary when adapting a long, complicated series of novels to the screen. Throw all of this together and you have a jumbled mess! What's canon? What isn't? Is the entirety of the Witcher franchise a shared universe or not? Who's to say?

And still, we felt it necessary to highlight some information about Kaer Morhen you might not know if you've just started catching up on the show. We're pulling from the novels, the games, and Netflix to create a fun little soup of information about the Witcher fortress. Some of the following may not be canon everywhere, but each tidbit certainly is canon somewhere.


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    7 VOTES

    The Keep Is Likely Built On The Site Of An Ancient Elven Fort

    The Keep Is Likely Built On The Site Of An Ancient Elven Fort
    Photo: The Witcher / Netflix

    It will come as no great shock to learn that the site of Kaer Morhen is old. Like, really old. According to The World of the Witcher, the great minds at Oxenfurt Academy (the finest educational establishment in all the land) believe the massive Kaer Morhen keep was built upon the ruins of an ancient elven fort. Continuing the age-old fantasy cliché of elves falling upon hard times after the rise of men, the main story of the Witcher franchise has a lot to do with ancient elves. Ciri is a child of the Elder Blood, after all. This is just a theory, though.

    The Witchers are a notoriously secretive and isolated bunch. They don't much want people coming around to inspect the ruins of their home. Who could blame them? They are reviled as mutants.

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    7 VOTES

    Ciri Is The Second Child Surprise Taken In At Kaer Morhen

    Ciri Is The Second Child Surprise Taken In At Kaer Morhen
    Photo: The Witcher / Netflix

    We're getting super into the weeds in video game lore here, but let's go for it anyway. As any viewer of the television series knows, Ciri and Geralt are tied together by destiny. He chose the "Law of Surprise" as recompense for a job well done on a lark and, moments later, it is discovered Princess Pavetta of Cintra is pregnant. Eventually, the pair end up at Kaer Morhen, but Ciri wasn't the first child surprise to visit the Witchers' home.

    Thanks to the content of "The Price of Neutrality" DLC from the first Witcher video game, Deidre Ademeyn - the child surprise of Eskel - was actually the first one to show up at the keep's doors. Deidre seems like the game's version of Renfri in that she is marred by the Curse of the Black Sun. It's hard saying a minor character from a 2007 game is super important to the overall canon, but here we are!

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    6 VOTES

    The Keep Is Surrounded By A Trail Known As 'The Killer'

    The Keep Is Surrounded By A Trail Known As 'The Killer'
    Photo: The Witcher / Netflix

    The School of the Wolf favors privacy above all else. If the world doesn't trust you, keep the world out. It's not exactly rocket science. And so, the wolven Witchers do their best to stay isolated. With this in mind, it helps to have a dangerous obstacle course/trail that surrounds the majority of the keep itself. It's good for training, and it's good for reclusion. A Witcher training course was shown in the second season of the Netflix series, but think of the one from the books as one of those on steroids.

    Ciri would never have been able to master this wild trail in a mere afternoon as she nearly does in the television show. In Blood of Elves - the first novel in the Witcher saga - it is said that young Witchers named it "The Killer," and Triss Merigold says the only way you can be sure that you're getting close to Kaer Morhen is to recognize "The Killer" when you get to it. 

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    11 VOTES

    Only Witchers From The School Of The Wolf Call Kaer Morhen Home

    Only Witchers From The School Of The Wolf Call Kaer Morhen Home
    Photo: The Witcher / Netflix

    One of the most interesting tidbits of Witcher lore resides in the idea of Witcher schools. Much like the wizarding academies of the Harry Potter franchise, there are different institutions in the business of killing monsters in Andrzej Sapkowski's venerable world. It makes sense. The northern continent is a massive place, and Witchers are well-known throughout the entire land. It wouldn't serve for the School of the Wolf to be the only ones running around to slay things that go bump in the night.

    Unsurprisingly, each Witcher school calls a different place home. Sapkowski only mentions three schools in his novels (with the School of the Cat and the School of the Griffin joining Geralt's Wolf School), but more have been added in the years since. The schools of the Manticore, Bear, and Snake have all been introduced into Witcher lore via the video games, and the School of the Crane was added in the Polish short story collection Tales From the World of the Witcher. Each school makes its home in a different place, like Kaer Morhen or Kaer Seren.

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    8 VOTES

    Kaer Morhen Was Sacked About A Century Before The Events Depicted On 'The Witcher'

    Kaer Morhen Was Sacked About A Century Before The Events Depicted On 'The Witcher'
    Photo: The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf / Netflix

    Witchers are not beloved across the continent. Unflattering stories are told about them everywhere. They are immediately mistrusted as soon as they show their faces in any village or town. Granted, the gruff mercenary-like clan plays into the fears of the general populace for their own benefit... but the hatred is real and dangerous, indeed.

    About a century before we meet up with Geralt, Ciri, and Yennifer on the Netflix adaptation, Kaer Morhen was raided and sacked. The events slightly differ between the Netflix universe (shown in the animated film The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf) and that of the original books. The result is the same: After a mob is led to Kaer Morhen to ransack the School of the Wolf, the majority of the Witchers are slain. This leaves the Wolf School struggling with numbers overall, and with many of their mage friends eliminated in the program, the ability to create new Witchers becomes very difficult, very quickly.

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    12 VOTES

    Mages And Druids Lived In The Castle To Oversee The Creation Of New Witchers

    Mages And Druids Lived In The Castle To Oversee The Creation Of New Witchers
    Photo: The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf / Netflix

    Witchers can do many things. They can brew potions and elixirs. They can track all kinds of evil beasties. They can use magical signs in battle. They're really good at haggling for more coin. Alas, the one thing they seemingly can't do that would be most useful to them is create other Witchers on their own.

    As was seen in the second season of Netflix's Witcher adaptation, each Witcher school cannot create new Witchers without the help of mages and/or druids. And, back in the heyday of Kaer Morhen, mages and druids actually lived with the Witchers inside the keep's walls. Talk about a serious boon in living quality. Need more Witchers? Boom, a mage. Need to be healed from severe injury? Bang, a druid. That was years before the events of the television show, though.