In the collection of short stories "The Last Wish", later adapted as The Witcher series of videogames, there is a story titled "A Grain of Truth", which I guess is a twisted retelling of "Beauty and the Beast".

In the end of this story, the vampire/bruxa Vereena gets killed by Geralt, but not before her love lifts the curse from the human-turned-into-monster Nivellen. It is implied that a combination of true love and blood was the only thing able to lift the curse.

That is what actually happens. But what was Vereena trying to do? Maybe it's the somewhat clumsy English translation, but it's not clear to me if her last action was trying to bite Nivellen in the neck (which would have killed him, since bruxa are implied to be incredibly powerful, and this one survived a slash by a silver sword), or trying to kiss him and end the curse?

Her last words ("Mine. Or nobody's. I love you.") clearly refer to Nivellen but are ambiguous. She could mean she wants to kill him or that she wants to lift the curse, destroying that which made him special to her: Nivellen's monstruous appearance.

Maybe someone who has read the Polish original can clarify this?

1 Answer 1


I heard mixed opinions about the translation, but I don't think original makes it much clearer. This is what I recollect from the story and a quick glance through the text.

I believe she was simply trying to kill him. "Mine or nobody's" refers to the fact that she was the one killing the girls that came to Nivellen. She was already wounded, perhaps mortally, so she was now trying to take him with her.

I don't think she had much awareness of how the curse worked and how to lift it. It was her professing love in her dying words that lifted the curse, alright, but her words were genuine. It was not her intention to free him from the curse by doing that.


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