Upon their first mention, the Wild Hunt appear to be just another typical take on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Seasons 1 and 2 of The Witcher. However, the Wild Hunt's backstory is actually quite wild and, in some ways, downright terrifying.
Normal citizens in the world of The Witcher view the Wild Hunt as supernatural omens, or as harbingers of oncoming doom. However, in Season 2, Princess Ciri (Freya Allen) learns to her horror in that the Wild Hunt are actual beings, and they're on the hunt... for her.
What are the true identities of the Wild Hunt in 'The Witcher'?
The first clue that the Wild Hunt give away in terms of their identities is when they refer to Ciri as a "child of Elder blood" in the Season 2 finale. Why is this significant? The fated child of Elder blood is a direct descendant of Lara Dorren, an elf, and is supposedly destined to save the elves from extinction.
Why would the mysterious Wild Hunt riders be so interested in someone who's destined to save elvenkind? Because the Wild Hunt are elves themselves. Elves from another dimension, that is. The elves of the Wild Hunt are known as Aen Elle elves, while those that reside in the same dimension as Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri are known as Aen Seidhe elves.
The Aen Elle elves use the Wild Hunt as a spooky, kidnapper cavalry.
Here's where the terrifying aspect of the Wild Hunt comes into play. Season 2 of The Witcher established that elves and humans aren't exactly best friends. The Wild Hunt takes it a step further by frequently kidnapping humans to take back to the Aen Elle's world to be used as slaves. After learning this horrifying fact, we give props to Ciri for quickly portaling herself, Geralt, and Yennefer back to their own world when it looked like the Wild Hunt were about to scoop her up.
On a slightly more humorous note, when the Aen Elle broke off to their own new world, they discovered another iconic fantasy creature already living there: unicorns (per the Witcher Fandom wiki.) Apparently, the Aen Elle are constantly at war with the unicorns in attempt to steal their magical abilities to travel through space and time. We propose that Ciri come up with a unicorn cavalry in Season 3 to protect herself against the Wild Hunt. It could work!
'The Witcher's' showrunner teased that we'll see more of the Wild Hunt.
The Witcher's executive producer and showrunner, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, agreed with IGN's comparison of the Wild Hunt as The Witcher's version of Thanos. (Remember that guy who snapped away half of the universe in the MCU?) "What we're going to start doing [in the show] is beginning to understand where they came from and what they want," she said. "Like all characters in Sapkowski's novels, we're going to get a little bit deeper into them so they're not just the evil, skeletal bad guys.”
With a third season of The Witcher already confirmed, it'll be interesting to see how the Wild Hunt factors into the overarching conflict. Will Geralt and Yennefer be able to protect Ciri from the elven riders of doom? Only time will tell. In the meantime, we'll be rewatching Season 2 of The Witcher, currently streaming on Netflix.