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This is about the latest book from the "The Witcher" series, Season of Storms.

In the epilogue we can read (spoilers!):

Nimue suddenly felt euphoria, balanced by numbness and the other effects of suffering fear. It’s a dream, she thought. It seems to me a dream. Because this cannot be real.

‘What’s wrong? Are you okay?’

Nimue plucked up the courage.

‘This mare…’ in her excitement she had difficulty pronouncing her words. ‘This mare is named Roach. Because that is what you name every horse. Because you, are Geralt of Rivia. The Witcher, Geralt of Rivia.’

He looked at her for a long time. Silent. Nimue also remained silent, staring at the ground.

‘What is the year now?’

‘One thousand three hundred and…’ she lifted her surprised eyes. ‘One thousand three hundred and seventy-three after resurrection.‘

‘If that’s so,’ the white-haired man wiped his face with a gloved hand, ‘then Geralt of Rivia has been long dead. He died a hundred and five years ago.

And later some kind of confirmation:

‘But…’ she hesitated. ‘But a hundred years… How is it possible to… How! is it possible?’

‘Such questions,’ he interrupted her, still with a warm smile, ‘should not be asked by future adepts of Aretuza’.

And finally my question is, can anyone explain the ending?

Did Geralt not only survive but also stop aging? Or somehow the witchers' craft was not ruined and Nimue met a new young witcher? Maybe anyone has insights on this?

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It is unclear, but its strongly suggested that this is indeed Geralt.

Now lets start from the end of your question: Witchers (just like wizards) age much, much slower: Geralt at some stage during the books says he is over 100, Yennefer if I remember right says in books that she is 94 (and at the beginning of the third "Witcher" game she would be exactly 100), old Vesemir is supposed to be older than the Kaer Morhen (in reality one could guess that he is about 200-300 years old if not more). Here is an interesting thread about age of main characters in "Witcher" series.

Now, on top of that please note that the "Season of Storms" is not continuation of games but the original book series,

which ends with Geralt and Yennefer living on their own island in Avalon (Ciri meets sir Galahd there)

that could also alter the speed of passing time in the original world. Please also note, that Ciri was able to travel in time - the very same Nimue has seen young Ciri when she was herself a teenager and later on when she was an older, powerful enchantress (this happens in the "Lady of the lake", where Nimue is researching the story of Geralt and Ciri). So it wouldn't be improbable if Ciri somehow moved Geralt in time as well.

  • Maybe I underrated the slow-aging ability of witchers, cause it looks like that Geralt was really "young" in epilogue (not a boy, but not a 200-year old). So maybe it really a time travel with the help of Ciri or Ihuarraquax. – Gino Pane Jun 22 '16 at 5:41
  • And by the way there is a nice research on sapkowski.su/…, which says that Geralt was nearly forty at the time he first met with Yennefer and a little more fifty at the end of Saga. – Gino Pane Jun 22 '16 at 7:11
  • @GinoPane there are quite confusing information about Geralt's age. Author said that in the beginning of "Baptism of Fire" Geralt is well over 50, in the games (don't remember the part) he says himself that he is close to 100. That would make him about 70 at the end of book series. We don't know how much time passed between end of the books and the game, but king Radovid is described in last book as a "boy", while he is an adult man in the game. – Yasskier Jun 22 '16 at 9:49
  • "Geralt and Yennefer living on their own island in Avalon (Ciri meets sir Galahd there" - To be precise, Ciri doesn't really meet Sir Galahad in Avalon, she meets him in Arthurian Britain. In fact it's strongly implied that wherever Geralt and Yennefer are, Ciri is not there. – TARS Aug 16 '16 at 11:45
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It's highly ambiguous, and intentionally so!

Now first of all, it is indeed strongly implied, even if never clearly stated, that this was Geralt. Among the obvious characteristics (his visuals, his horse, ...) and the ambiguous dialogue we also have the fact that he was hunting down one of Rissberg's "products", which the story already opened with and which he swore to hunt down.

However, even if that was Geralt, we should hesitate to draw a clear and definite statement about his survival or his prolonged aging from that. The entire encounter is highly ambiguous itself. You have to consider the whole surroundings of that encounter. Let's look at the matter:

  • There are very mystical and poetic statements about Geralt's place as a legend:

        She didn't give up. "The Witcher will return from the afterlife! He will return to protect the humans when evil raises its head again. As long as there is dark witchers will be necessary. And the dark is still there after all!"
        He was silent for long, looking to the side. Eventually he turned towards her. And smiled.
        "The dark is still there", he confirmed. "Despite the achieved progress, which should, as they want us to believe, lighten the dark, eliminate the dangers and drive the fears away. So far the progress hasn't made any major success in this regard. So far the progress only talks us into believing that the dark is only a prejudice which darkens the light, and there's nothing to fear. But that isn't true. Because there will always, always be darkness. And always will the evil spread in the dark, always will there be teeth and claws, murder and blood in the dark. And always will witchers be necessary. And always shall they appear where they're needed. Where they're called. They shall appear when they're called, with sword in hand. With the sword whose brightness drives away the darkness, whose brilliance pierces through the dark. A nice fairy tale, isn't it? And it has a good ending, as every fairy tale should."

    Now this could simply be him joking around about it, but it isn't placed in the text for nothing. It generally adds to the motif of a mythical fairy tale ending that the novel series already had afterall. (And like the novel series it presents us with that fairy tale-like ending while at the same time self-ironically pointing out, not to say mocking, that fact a little.)

  • Then there is the point of her possibly just dreaming it, when she awakes at the side of the street.

    ...The tale continues, the story never ends. But regarding the signs...There is one you don't know. It's called sun. Look at my palm."
        She looked. "Illusion", she could still hear from somewhere. "Everything is illusion."
        "Hey girl! Don't sleep, or they'll steal from you!"
        She raised her head. Rubbed her eyes. And jumped up from the ground.
        "Did I fall asleep? I was asleep?"

    However, this is ambiguous, too, since she clearly awakes at the end of the forest. So she seems to have crossed the forest somehow. It's unclear if it only was Geralt's supposed sign that made her fall asleep and forget him. Yet this itself would still be rather unusual for him to do.

  • And last but not least, we also have the ambiguity of the novel series' ending and the unclarity about Geralt's fate.

    And his possible afterlife in some mystical paradise (supposedly Avalon) in the first place.

All this reinforces that this epilogue isn't really intended to make a clear statement about Geralt's survival or his prolonged aging. Rather than that it follows the ambiguity, mysticism, and fairy tale-like character of the novel series' ending. And if anything, it seems to try to establish Geralt's fate as somewhat of a legend, a mythical hero, a ghost striving through the wilderness and protecting humans from monsters. But if he really is an actual ghost, or just a legend whispered and never seen by anyone, or the real Geralt returning into the world and living beyond his age, or if Nimue just dreamed all this, is a moot point. We just can't say and we're not really supposed to clearly say. You can and should decide that for yourself.


(In lack of an official English translation, let alone one I have at hand, the exceprts in this answer have been translated into English by me from Erik Simon's official German translation of Season of Storms.)

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Serously, I don't think the Epiloge is to be taken literally and has nothing to do with Geralts story. It is clear, the person Nimue talks to is indeed Geralt, but I got the feeling the conversation is more of a placeholder for a conversation between the author (Geralt) and the reader (Nimue) sharing their feelings at the end of their travels. This feeling is strengthened through the fact that it is unclear if the encounter was real or just a dream. On Geralt's statment that the witcher died one hundred and five years ago Nimue replies that this can't really be the end, that there has to be more, about Yennefer, about Ciri, and in this asking the question most readers had eventually. Geralt just answers that it is time to part with him, but admits that a story never ends.

This suggests that Andrzej Sapkowski isn't planning to write annother story about Geralt but leaves the option open to return to the witcher universe as there will be always darkness and the need for a witcher. I don't have any facts to support my theory, but I wouldn't be surprised if Season of Storms was Andrzej's farewell to the wichter's story. That could mean he's not planning to write another story in the witcher universe right now, but in the future it will be a possibility. As he is not very fond of others completing his story, he's probaply not talking about the witcher games.

So my final conclusion is, that the ending is unrelevant for the story but just a message of Andrzej to his readers and giving Geralt a final goodbye that his fairy tale and legend deserves. In the end the only clear thing he tells is that a story never really ends, leaving us hanging in the balance between the sadness about a lost companion and the hope for another chance to dive into Geralt's world.

Just be aware of the fact that literature doens't always mean what is written, and sometimes the true message has to be found between the lines.

  • 1
    This answer needs some grammar and spelling check. Also, while speculative answers are answers as well, we encourage answers that can be backed by canon information. Just for future reference. – Gallifreyan Dec 8 '16 at 10:02
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    i'm sorry for the grammar, english isn't my native language. For the Rest, everything is a speculative answer in this case. There is just the possibility that the ending cannot the explained through a cannon approach. – douche Dec 8 '16 at 10:11
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    I tried to improve the formatting and grammar a little. I think this is a very well-reasoned answer and an excellent take on the matter. You don't necessarily need canon information (especially since there clearly is none here at all, which holds for a majority of witcher questions) if you can present your approach in such a well-reasoned way and by proper argumentation against the work itself. – TARS Dec 8 '16 at 11:48
  • @CahirMawrDyffrynæpCeallach - which is exactly why I added "Just for future reference" – Gallifreyan Dec 8 '16 at 13:45
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Nimue hears at the end the voice of the vixen telling Geralt it's just an illusion, in parallel to her saying its just a dream; and just before this epilogue started the vixen was telling Geralt how powerful her kind used to be, that their powers weren't just confined to simple illusions and as he touched Yennefer (the illusion) he was able to get a glimpse of a time in the future where a little girl (Nimue) not only remembered him but his horse and was in love/obsessed with his legend. Now this also served to give Geralt consolation for spending the past few chapters saying over and over how much bad luck he's had and that nothing he does ends well. That all his efforts are futile and not appreciated, and Dandelion keeps trying to assure him, but the last time he said it Dandelion didn't answer.

And then the vixen appeared. And it also serves us not only knowing that Geralt was soothed knowing it's not all for naught - that his journey has a purpose; and also, in my opinion, Nimue represents us the readers, her "dream" was to say that one way or the other our hero survived; whether its through Nimue's memories/another dimension/whatever - it doesn't matter. What matters is that our hero is immortal. That dying to a peasants pitchfork has no meaning. The journey is whats truly important.

  • That's a very nice answer, though it'd be cool if you capitalised proper names the next time ;) – Gallifreyan Aug 26 '17 at 10:40
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I just finished reading Season of Storms and have been trying to understand the ending. The two answers I found here were really helpful and I would like to thank for them.

In addition I noticed something about the ending that is usually not mentioned. After Nimue wakes up at the ending there is the line: She looked. "Illusion", she could still hear from somewhere. "All an illusion." Now I saw this exact phrase, "Illusion, all an illusion." in the previous chapter in which Geralt and Dandelion runs into the vulpess (the fox devil). After the vulpess transforms to Yennefer and Geralt touches her cheek there is the line: "Illusion," He heard the vixen say. "All an illusion."

In my opinion the epilogue that took place in Jay Forest wasn't a dream. It was an illusion performed by the vulpess. She created an illusion or took form of Geralt for Nimue, just like she transformed into Yennefer for Geralt. I haven't thought deeply about what kind of a message Sapkowski is trying to convey here but I think an illusion performed by the vulpess could be an alternative to the dream hypothesis.

PS: Sorry for the writing style if what I am trying to say is unclear, it's my first time writing something like this on a website.

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