In the world of the Witcher, when someone saves the life of another, they can invoke the Law of Surprise to receive that person's next surprise. In the show, the only example we see of the Law of Surprise is a child of surprise (for both Ciri and her mother). However, it is implied that a child of surprise is very rare.

What are some other examples (from books, games, etc.) of what can be given by the Law of Surprise? Does it have to be something substantial or can it be anything?


It can be anything.

Anything that the person first finds at home which he doesn't expect to be there.

Of the price of a man who saves another can demand, of the granting of a seemingly impossible wish. 'You will give me the first thing that comes to greet you.' It might be a dog, you'll say, a halberdier at the gate, even a mother-in-law impatient to holler at her son-in-law when he returns home. Or: 'You'll give me what you find at home yet don't expect.' After a long journey, honorable gentlemen, and an unexpected return, this could be a lover in the wife's bed. But sometimes it's a child. A child marked out by destiny.
The Last Wish - A Question of Price

Most of the famous examples of the Law of Surprise involve a child surprise. Especially so in the case of witchers, who invoke this law in the hopes that the person they saved comes home to be greeted by their new-born child, which the witchers can then claim and train as their own.

  • Is the Law of Surprise simply an opportunity to dump an unwanted child off with the Witchers?
    – Valorum
    Jan 13 at 10:50
  • 2
    @Valorum Unlikely, because you'd have to not know you even had a child while you were away. It's a different story if the parent voluntarily gives them the child.
    – Voronwé
    Jan 14 at 3:05
  • 1
    “Honey, always have dinner ready for me whenever I get home: but make it a surprise” Feb 9 at 23:58

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