Few people could've predicted that Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski's tales of Geralt of Rivia's monster-hunting and witch-wooing would have become the global phenomenon it is today, but here we are. The stories were adapted into a series of ridiculously popular and celebrated videogames by CD Projekt Red, and The Witcher is now Netflix's most popular IP.
Fans of The Witcher who've read the stories, played the games, and watched the show want to know: why are elves hated in the narrative's universe so much?
Why are elves hated in 'The Witcher'?
There are a lot of reasons to hate elves regardless of whatever story, movie, or video game they're being featured in. Playing as Link in the Legend of Zelda kinda stinks, because who the heck wants to walk around as Peter Pan fighting giant pigs and solving the same stupid puzzles over and over again?
And don't even get me started on the boring, super self-serious Lord of the Ring elves who are always glowing and rocking super dry-cleaned clothing despite the fact that they live in magical woods.
And while there's definitely a hatred for elves in The Witcher universe because of the race's general arrogance, the issue goes much deeper than that.
That's because the elves in Geralt's world are extremely racist and hate humans with a burning passion. It's kind of hard to blame them since human beings are procreating and taking over their lands.
Entertainment writer Mark Stamp answered the question on Quora quite well: "Dwarves moan about human ignorance but accept their coin and business. Elves, on the other hand, see even dealing with humans as comparable to putting up with brain-dead farm animals."
In the same thread, Roman Podolyan writes, "Elves often are racist, looking down at humans."
In The Witcher books, elves massacred and butchered humans in the most horrible ways. The book does not describe the details but says that when Geralt’s party saw what elves did to humans, it made almost everyone throw up.
Elves are the second youngest beings on the continent in 'The Witcher' world.
Humans came after elves, who came after dwarves, gnomes, and other "elder races." The elves more than likely arrived on the continent through a portal and lived in relative peace and harmony with other beings some 2,500 before humans began showing up.
That's because humans came with the Conjunction of the Spheres, a cataclysmic event that didn't just bring people but also monsters to the continent. This multiverse event (known as "Chaos" in the Netflix series).
According to The Gamer, there was also a gnarly human/elf war in the narrative's universe that has contributed to bad blood between the races.
The first humans who arrived on the continent were all about taking over things. According to the books, one of the OG continental humans, Jan Bekker, would figure out how to manipulate the chaos, giving rise to a human dominant world.
Many humans, especially in cities, ultimately treat elves and members of Elder Races like garbage, which makes the elves hate them more.
There did seem to be a time when humans and elves might've been able to make peace, and that's when two sorcerers, the elf Lara, and the human Cragen, fell madly in love with one another and even had a baby.
However, Cragen was killed, but no one knows who did it. Humans blamed elves, and elves think humans did it to their own because, well, people historically suck.
It's this assassination of Cragen that contributed to the bad vibes between humans and elves for a very, very long time in The Witcher universe. Lara was blamed for his death, and when she approached the Queen of the humans for clemency, she had her fingers sliced off.
Elves say she was begging for mercy for her unborn daughter. Humans say she was tossing her dignity away for a chance to save herself.
Lara ultimately gave birth to Riannon, the 4th great-grandmother of Ciri, before freezing to death. Baby Riannon was adopted by Cerro, the Queen of Redania. There's a lot more to cover about the relations between humans and elves in The Witcher, but those are the highlights of hatred between the two races.