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In the Netflix series, it is made abundantly clear that Sorceresses cannot have kids. However, after rewatching the series (for the fourth time) S1E8 shows Visenna, Geralt's mother.

The fandom wiki states that Visenna is a sorceress, so how did she have Geralt? Did she have him before the "ascension", or is there something more?

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    Visenna was a druid. Also even in the show Ciri is a sorceress, child of another one. That was pretty much the point of Lara's gene.
    – Mithoron
    Dec 29, 2021 at 0:33
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    @Mithoron Sorceress as in "trained and graduated as part of much the same organization that Yennefer was" or just as in "female with magical abilities"? Because we have plenty of evidence that the latter is a pretty naturally occurring thing (in the show), and Sorceress seems to be a particular title rather than a generic descriptor. Dec 29, 2021 at 3:28
  • @zibadawatimmy It's not a title. For example Francesca was elven sorceress. Visenna was call both a druid and a sorceress because she was both - a female druid capable of using magic. In original text it's just "czarodziejka" - female wizard.
    – Mithoron
    Dec 29, 2021 at 14:58

2 Answers 2

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Not all mages are sterile.

There's a quotation at the beginning of chapter 7 in the Blood of Elves:

No one is born a wizard. We still know too little about genetics and the mechanisms of heredity. We sacrifice too little time and means on research. Unfortunately, we constantly try to pass on inherited magical abilities in, so to say, a natural way. Results of these pseudo-experiments can be seen all too often in town gutters and within temple walls. We see too many of them, and too frequently come across morons and women in a catatonic state, dribbling seers who soil themselves, seeresses, village oracles and miracle-workers, cretins whose minds are degenerate due to the inherited, uncontrolled Force.

These morons and cretins can also have offspring, can pass on abilities and thus degenerate further. Is anyone in a position to foresee or describe how the last link in such a chain will look?

Most of us wizards lose the ability to procreate due to somatic changes and dysfunction of the pituitary gland. Some wizards -usually women – attune to magic while still maintaining efficiency of the gonads. They can conceive and give birth – and have the audacity to consider this happiness and a blessing. But I repeat: no one is born a wizard. And no one should be born one! Conscious of the gravity of what I write, I answer the question posed at the Congress in Cidaris. I answer most emphatically: each one of us must decide what she wants to be – a wizard or a mother.

I demand all apprentices be sterilised. Without exception.

Tissaia de Vries, The Poisoned Source

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    The books and the series are really quite different, though. Dec 28, 2021 at 17:22
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    @JackAidley: Yes, in the Netflix series, the sterilization is intentional, while in the books it's described as a common natural consequence of channeling magic. It's wholly possible they don't contradict though; the quote above is from Tissaia after all. Sterilization of new sorceresses as policy might only have begun when she was put in charge of training new sorceresses, after Visenna was trained and graduated without being sterilized. Dec 28, 2021 at 22:28
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In the Netflix series it is not clear that sorceresses cannot have kids. For example, Yennefer was sterilized as a ritual sacrifice because she chose to have her body remade—to restructure the physical deformities she was born with. However, it is not clear that all sorceresses make that choice. Also, some may make such a choice—for example, in order to prolong their lives—after they have already borne children.

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