The Witcher: Is Nivellen Still Alive & Will He Return In Season 3

The Witcher: Is Nivellen Still Alive & Will He Return In Season 3

After appearing in The Witcher, season 2, episode 1, “A Grain of Truth,” questions arose around whether Nivellen (Kristofer Hivju) lived and might return in season 3. Cursed to be a beast as punishment for raping a priestess, the episode concluded ambiguously for Nivellen: he killed his Bruxa lover and lifted his curse, but it was unclear what lay ahead for the remade man. The audience’s last encounter with him focused on Geralt’s (Henry Cavill) leaving after he suggested Nivellen take his own life.

The Witcher season 1 followed Geralt of Rivia and Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) as prophecy and destiny united them. In season 2, episode 1, due to the mysterious abandonment of a settlement, Nivellen offered them shelter. Despite his monstrous appearance, Nivellen promised them safety. However, he harbored a Bruxa, a monster responsible for the abandoned village whom, out of love, Nivellen kept sated on a diet of his own blood. Geralt fought the Bruxa to protect Ciri and Nivellen delivered the killing blow, restoring his human appearance. Nivellen then requested Geralt kill him, realizing looks did not make him a monster; actions did. So, Geralt left him to make his own choice.

Related: Are The Wild Hunt Undead? Why They Look Like Skeletons

It is unlikely Nivellen will return in The Witcher season 3 because his inclusion was a delayed homage to book fans. He featured in a single short story in Andrezj Sapkowski’s “The Last Wish,” and the show’s self-contained episode was in keeping with the structure of the source material. The author’s version of “A Grain of Truth” occurred before Geralt and Ciri met, meaning Nivellen was expected to appear in season 1 rather than season 2. Therefore, while Nivellen may not have taken his own life, his story most likely ended in the same episode in which it began.

It is expected that the open plots introduced in the previous season will be the focal point of The Witcher season 3, leaving little room for further exploration of Nivellen’s character. These included the return of Elder blood, the White Flame of Nilfgaard, and the Wild Hunt. Crucially, each of these related to Ciri, and at the end of season 2, Geralt’s priority was ensuring her safety. Nivellen consciously endangered her, making it doubtful that Geralt would allow their paths to cross again. Additionally, The Witcher has often adhered to a ‘monster of the episode’ structure, with a beast introduced and executed within the hour runtime. It is likely that “A Grain of Truth” was such an episode, with the Bruxa dead and Nivellen outed as an even bigger monster.

Nivellen’s story aligned with one of The Witcher’s central themes – humans have a greater capacity for evil than monsters. Nivellen’s decision to rape someone separated him from the unthinking ferocity of a Leshy or Chernobog. It was an important message, but also a final one. In the books, Nivellen did not return. However, the show has been noted for its deviation from the source material, so a cameo from Nivellen in season 3 would not be implausible.

If Nivellen isn’t in season 3, it wouldn’t necessarily confirm his death. When still in the guise of a beast, Nivellen confessed he had tried to “end it.” Love was Nivellen’s remedy, and with the Bruxa’s death, he re-entertained the notion, but there was no indication that he acted upon it. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether Nivellen lived. His confession of rape permanently ostracized him from both Geralt and the audience. Fans of The Witcher books were appeased with an unexpected nod to the source material, but they should not have high hopes of seeing Nivellen again.

More: The Witcher: Timeline, Flashbacks & Connections You Missed

Introduced and discarded in The Witcher, season 2, episode 1, fans wonder if they’ve really seen the last of Nivellen after he’s freed from his curse.

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