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The short story "Something More", last in the Sword of Destiny collection, jumps rather confusingly between reality with Yurga and Geralt's drug-induced hallucinations. Four of the latter are covered in the text:

  • his encounter with Yennefer at a Beltane celebration, making love and discussing their relationship (chapter III);
  • his encounter with Calanthe when he comes to Cintra to see the Child of Destiny, and his eventual empty-handed departure after a long discussion (chapter IV);
  • his visit to Sodden Hill, where he sees Yennefer's name as one of the fourteen on the stone (chapter VII);
  • his encounter with Dandelion during the Nilfgaardian war, in which he hears about the destruction of Cintra and the fate of Calanthe (chapter VIII).

The only one of these which is clearly a false vision is the third one, because Yennefer never was one of the Fourteen of the Hill. (Oddly, this is also the only one which wasn't clearly a drug-induced vision from the start; rather than starting with a paragraph break in the text like the others, it starts at the beginning of a chapter and ends with a paragraph break jumping to Yurga again.)

The second and fourth certainly have at least some amount of truth to them. Geralt tells Calanthe about his long-lost mother in the second, and he actually meets her in reality in the following chapters. And Dandelion's story about Cintra in the fourth is more or less accurate. But of course we don't know whether Geralt really did tell Calanthe about his mother, or hear about Cintra from Dandelion. However, maybe some of these events are confirmed in later books, just as the tale of Cintra is confirmed in the next book The Blood of Elves?

Are these visions memories of real past events, or purely hallucinatory?

I'd like to know to what extent we can draw conclusions from these visions as if they really happened. Did Geralt really meet Yennefer one Beltane, or go to Cintra and have that chat with Calanthe, or hear about the destruction of Cintra from his friend Dandelion? (Especially since I've already used the first one to draw conclusions in an answer to another question ...)

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    I think they were all real, though I don't remember any clear support in favour or against this being true. I'll have to read it again... – Gallifreyan Jan 3 '18 at 11:44
  • @Gallifreyan The third one can't be real, as it's directly contradicted by the following scene with Yurga. (Hence my confusion - up to that point, I'd assumed they were all memories of real events.) – Rand al'Thor Jan 3 '18 at 18:47
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    It's real partly - he really climbed the hill. As to whether he really met Death - it's a fantasy series, isn't it? ;-) – Gallifreyan Jan 3 '18 at 19:00
  • @Gallifreyan But he didn't really see Yennefer's name on the stone - it was never there. – Rand al'Thor Jan 3 '18 at 19:13
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    He didn't see it - it was concealed from him by the girl. He says it's Yennefer, but he doesn't actually read the name from the stone. – Gallifreyan Jan 3 '18 at 19:43
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For the first vision, encounters like this don't seem out of the ordinary for their relationship. Triss mentions in Blood of Elves that

. . . she had seduced the witcher – with the help of a little magic. She had hit on a propitious moment, a moment when he and Yennefer had scratched at each other’s eyes yet again and had abruptly parted. Geralt had needed warmth, and had wanted to forget.
Chapter 2, Gollancz edition

Apart from that, the memory with Yennefer and the memory with Calanthe is foreshadowed when Geralt drank the Water of Brokilone:

"Do you remember?"

His own voice that said... that said:

"I will return in six years... "

An arbor, the heat, the smell of flowers, the heavy and monotonous hum of bees. Himself, kneeling, offering a rose to a woman whose ashen curls were scattered beneath a narrow golden band. On the fingers on the hand that took the rose, rings of emeralds and large green cabochons.

"Return," said the woman. "Return if you change your mind. Your destiny will be waiting for you."

I never went back, he thought. I never went back to... Where?

Ashen hair. Green eyes.

Again, his own voice in the darkness, into the uncertainty where everything disappears. There are only fires, fires on the horizon. A whirlwind of sparks and purple smoke. Belleteyn! Night of May. Through the clouds of smoke, violet eyes, dark, burning in a pale and triangular face veiled beneath a tangle of black curls, watching.

Yennefer!
"The Sword of Destiny", the Reddit translation

Granted, this too is clearly a drug-induced hallucination, but, in connection with the later hallucinations it makes sense. Here Geralt remembers his visit to Calanthe, her green eyes and ashen hair. She says his destiny (the child) will be waiting for him. He also remembers his encounter with Yennefer, during which she told him to go to Cintra. He pieces the puzzle together and realises the girl he's been carrying around is in fact the child he was promised, but he was too fixated on the child being a boy (because that's what witchers want), that he couldn't do this before.


As to the vision on the hill, most of it should be real. He really did climb the hill (as Yurga finds him there), and he really read the names on the obelisk. However, it's unclear whether he hallucinated the enounter with the avatar of death, or if he really had it (or if it was something in between). Regarding him reading Yennefer's name on the stone - he didn't read it from there - the girl was obstructing his view of the last name:

He watched her carefully. She knelt, her body hiding the last name engraved on the stone. The girl emitted a glow of light against the base of the dark rock.
"Something More", from the Reddit translation

We may speculate whether she was really Death, or if the sun got to Geralt, but this scene feels the same as the scene with the jinn in "The Last Wish", in the sense that we're not supposed to know and it doesn't matter.


The last episode is most certainly true as it is rehashed by Yennefer in Blood of Elves:

‘Never mind,’ she said, toying with the empty tumbler. ‘Let us get back to more important questions. Those you were asked in the pigsty while your arms were being twisted out of their sockets. What really happened, Dandilion? Have you really not seen Geralt since you fled the banks of the Yaruga? Did you really not know he returned south after the war? That he was seriously wounded – so seriously there were even rumours of his death? Didn’t you know anything?’

I have no idea how Yennefer learned about this, but I htink it's true that Geralt and Dandelion met at Yaruga and escaped the Nilfgaardians together, though they parted shortly after part.

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