12 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Elves In 'The Witcher'

List Rules
Vote up the elven lore from 'The Witcher' you didn't know about.

You seemingly can't tell a fantasy story without the inclusion of elves, and The Witcher is no different. Though the elves played a much bigger role in Season 2 of Netflix's Witcher adaptation, what do you actually know about them? Devoid of lengthy lore dumps via exposition, The Witcher television series can be a bit cumbersome to take in at times. After all, there is a sprawling world lurking in Andrzej Sapkowski's eight novels, and the show is doing its best to bring the author's works to life. This means there are thousands of years for the show to cover and, understandably, things are going to get lost in translation from page to screen.

For instance, did you know that the elves are not native to the Continent? Or that the elves spent centuries colonizing the Continent before humans showed up on the scene? Oh, Nilfgaardians may have also descended from elves, as well! There are all kinds of interesting little factoids about The Witcher's elves waiting for you below, so don't be afraid to scroll on down.


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    20 VOTES

    Elves Spent Centuries Colonizing The Entire Continent Before Humans Showed Up

    Elves Spent Centuries Colonizing The Entire Continent Before Humans Showed Up
    Photo: Gwent: Art of The Witcher Card Game / Dark Horse Books

    If we're taking the canonical book timeline as gospel - and, why wouldn't we? - the original Aen Seidhe arrived on the Continent about 2,000 years before the first humans did. Of course, nothing is ever crystal clear with Witcher lore, and it is unknown if this refers to the first humans that arrived during the Conjunction of the Spheres or the first Nordlings who arrived around a thousand years after the Conjunction. The first humans, the Dauk and the Wozgor, have gone extinct by the time of the Netflix series, and the Nordlings are the humans that populate the show. Suffice it to say, it's all pretty complicated. 

    Anyway! Don't think about it too hard. What's important is that the elves were the first race to fully colonize the Continent years before humans set foot on it. The few elves that are left see the Continent as rightfully theirs, and Francesca and Filavandrel have proven they'll do whatever it takes to put their people back on top.

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    14 VOTES

    The First Elves Apparently Were Not Native To The Continent

    The First Elves Apparently Were Not Native To The Continent
    Photo: Gwent: Art of The Witcher Card Game / Dark Horse Books

    Back in the ancient times of Witcher lore, the precursors to the elves we know were forced to leave their original planet behind as worldwide collapse was imminent. The world they ended up on is the main planet of the Witcher series that is home to the Continent. They were said to have traveled to this world on a bunch of "white ships," which doesn't make much sense at all unless they were spaceships of some sort?

    Think about it for a second. Even if they did travel via portal, which is generally assumed, were those portals opened while the ships were sailing at sea? Did the portals lead to the seas surrounding the Continent? Were these magical white ships capable of sailing on land? Are we thinking far too much about the historical lore of a completely made-up fantasy series? 

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    22 VOTES

    Elves Destroyed Their Own Cities To Keep Them Out Of Human Hands

    Elves Destroyed Their Own Cities To Keep Them Out Of Human Hands
    Photo: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt / CD Projekt

    Upon learning the Aen Seidhe lived on the Continent for centuries before humans came along and ruined everything (you know, as we tend to do), one might wonder why there aren't elven cities dotted all over the place. There is a very specific reason for this: The elven rebels, who battled humanity when they began to spread over the Continent like a virus, burned down their own palaces, cities, and villages to stop them from falling into human hands.

    Battling humanity would lead the Aen Seidhe into becoming a mostly nomadic people who never really set down roots. Most of the historical landmarks of the Aen Seidhe from years gone by were more than likely lost in the numerous blazes that were set by their own hand. What do you think? Is this a smart way of keeping your secrets and ways of living out of the enemies' hands? Or is it just a waste of the elves' history, lost forever to the ashes of time?

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    11 VOTES

    Only Young Elves Can Procreate

    Only Young Elves Can Procreate
    Photo: Netflix

    So, how does an ancient race with a seemingly unending life span and a penchant for magic, sword fighting, and archery end up being almost entirely run out of the Continent? It most likely has something to do with the fact that only younger elves can procreate. By the time many long-lived elves reach an age where they would like to have children, they simply cannot have them anymore. Also, most elves have ended up mixing with other races to bear children. The Yennifer of the Netflix show is part elf, in fact.

    When two elves of fully elven blood actually manage to procreate, it is a matter of grand celebration among their people. Remember how big of a deal it was in The Witcher's second season when Filavandrel and Francesca managed to have a "Pure Blood" baby? After centuries of battle and upheaval, finding two elves of fully elven blood gets harder and harder each passing day.

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    16 VOTES

    The Wild Hunt Are All Elves

    The Wild Hunt Are All Elves
    Photo: Gwent: Art of The Witcher Card Game / Dark Horse Books

    Oh, have you heard about the Wild Hunt? They have a really cool name. They were teased heavily in Season 2 of the Netflix series. They obviously have a pretty major part to play in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. But what do you know about this marauding group of skeletal raiders? They seem monstrous, but that is just their outward appearance. There is much more to them than first meets the eye.

    The Wild Hunt (also known by the awesome moniker "the Wraiths of Mörhogg") actually is a group of Aen Elle who ransack entire worlds and capture humans en masse to make slaves out of them. They are able to travel to various planets, including the main Witcher world that houses the Continent, because their people hunt unicorns to harness their magical powers of time and space. Incredibly powerful elven warriors who can travel the cosmos at will? We wonder if they're going to have an important part to play in the future of the Netflix series or not...

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    16 VOTES

    Nilfgaardians May Have Descended From A Third Race Of Elves

    Nilfgaardians May Have Descended From A Third Race Of Elves
    Photo: Netflix

    What can be considered a "third race" of elves? We have the Aen Seidhe and the Aen Elle. Those two come from the same bloodline and were separated in two once they inhabited different planets after fleeing their homeworld. But, after thousands of years on a new world, could the Aen Seidhe separate into different races again? When something like this is undefined, it falls upon the fandom to figure it out for themselves.

    Enter the so-called "Black Seidhe." Are they an entirely new race of elf? Are they nothing more than a group of Aen Seidhe that merely separated from the rest of their people? And what's the difference? Regardless, legend states the Black Seidhe ended up mating with human settlers in their region, which led to the Nilfgaardians from the main Witcher lore. Nilfgaardians speak their own version of the Elder Speech, so it's plausible, but they could've just started speaking it out of the blue - so who knows?