Is the White Flame a Religious Icon or Monarch in 'The Witcher'?
Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Seasons 1 and 2 of Netflix's The Witcher.
The mysterious White Flame is constantly mentioned in Seasons 1 and 2 of The Witcher. What is it exactly? The better question would be, who is the White Flame? The Nilfgaardians revere the mysterious character almost as a Christlike savior.
Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni) speaks of the mysterious White Flame (otherwise known as Emhyr) as if he is a religious icon. She tells Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) that the White Flame saved her life. Fringilla also states that the White Flame overthrew the Usurper. So in Fringilla's eyes, the White Flame is the true king of Nilfgaard.
Is the White Flame even real?
In Season 2, Episode 3 of The Witcher, Fringilla, Yennefer, and Francesca (Mecia Simson) all experience visions in an enchanted hut. Fringilla sees a vision of the White Flame, clad in a knight's armor. The vision of the White Flame tells Fringilla that Nilfgaard must work with the elves to reclaim victory after Nilfgaard's loss at the Battle of Sodden.
Meanwhile, Cahir (Eamon Farren), the Black Knight who led the White Flame's army in Season 1, is freed from enemy clutches by Yennefer. "Don't flatter yourself," Yennefer tells him. She too had listened to the vision she saw in the hut, which told her to free herself. Yennefer's vision wasn't the White Flame. However, after she frees the leader of the White Flame's forces, her face winds up on wanted posters all across the continent.
After all, it was Yennefer who unleashed her chaos in the Season 1 finale. Yennefer's power results in an annihilation of Nilfgaardian troops. Why would her vision motivate her to free the man in charge of the Nilfgaardian armies? Has the White Flame been moving every character like a chess piece behind the scenes?
The White Flame is real ... and not who you'd expect. (SPOILERS.)
The Season 2 finale of The Witcher finally answers the question of the White Flame's true identity. In an excellent twist, the White Flame is revealed to be Duny (Bart Edwards). Duny, or rather Emhyr, is not only the White Flame but also Princess Ciri's (Freya Allen) biological father. The White Flame has been looking for Ciri the whole time.
It is, of course, completely understandable to be rather confused by this big reveal. Didn't Nilfgaard sack Cintra in Season 1? The very kingdom that Ciri was the princess of? Why would Ciri's father be leading the charge against his daughter's own kingdom? And what happened to Ciri's mother? Season 1 led us to believe Ciri's parents died in a shipwreck.
Is this Duny's revenge against Calanthe?
Remember how Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May) was prepared to kill Duny in Season 1? Calanthe wasn't a fan of her daughter Pavetta's (Agata Buzek) true love. Duny had been cursed to look like a porcupine for most of his life, so Calanthe didn't want Pavetta marrying him. When Calanthe finally relented and blessed her daughter's nuptials, the curse on Duny was released. So the question is, did Duny become the White Flame out of a desire to get revenge against Calanthe?
We'll just have to wait and see what Ciri's father's motivations are when Season 3 of The Witcher is released on Netflix. Let's not forget that Ciri does have a loving father figure in Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill). It'll be interesting to see how Ciri's biological dad and her figurative father interact in the future.
In the meantime, you can stream Seasons 1 and 2 of The Witcher on Netflix.