Strongest Kingdoms of The Witcher Universe:
With Netflix’s The Witcher being all the rage this time of the year, many casual fans are still unsure as to the world of The Witcher. Fantasy Worlds can be very intriguing and exotic. And the Kingdoms within them are usually the most fascinating to know about. Here are some of the most powerful kingdoms in the world of The Witcher.
The Kingdom of Skellige is basically a group of islands in the northern areas of the continent. Once a feared opponent to the Northern Kingdoms, Skellige declined in power but managed to keep their strengths and military levels at appropriate levels to ensure even the powerful Nilfgaardian Empire did not bother them. Skelligens are known for their skills in the sea. Skelligen Drakaars are fast long-ships that can be used for ramming into an enemy shop and causing extensive damage. Skelligens like to use hit and run tactics but if a sufficient enough task force of Drakaars comes together, no navy in this world could stand in their way. They are known to be second only to the Kingdom of Cidaris in terms of shipbuilding capabilities.
Zerrikania is a Kingdom located to the east of Nilfgaard and the Northern Kingdoms. Zerrikania is placed in a geographically strategic location. Physically separated from the rest of the world by vast mountain ranges, lakes, oceans, and forests, Zerrikania has developed a diverse culture that is extremely exotic. The reason Zerrikania is also a military superpower is that they have had ample time to build up an economy and a war strength without fear of invasions or attacks from foreign nations. Zerrikanians worship dragons and have a matriarchal society. The Women take the lead and the Zerrikanian Army is called the Legion of “Free Warriors”. They are known to use poisons and venoms in extensively in warfare.
The Nilfgaardian Empire was once a Kingdom that saw frequent scrambles between the various potential successors and heirs to the Emperor’s Throne. But after Emhyr Var Emreis aka the White Flame took control of the Kingdom, he ended the petty rivalries by giving the entire Nation a purpose. Nilfgaardian armies use both their huge numbers and their magical proficiency to their advantage to give them an edge on the battlefield. Nilfgaard also is infamous for brain-washing her recruits. A fanatic is a far deadlier enemy to beat than a soldier. Using such tactics, Nilfgaard has almost conquered the entire Known World to become the most powerful Kingdom ever.
Located at the mouth of the Northern Kingdoms’ gateway, Cintra’s coat of arms is Three lions on an azure background. Cintrans soldiers are trained to become elite warriors. Their Knights are said to be the best in the entire world. Queen Calanthe used to lead Cintran armies to victory using nothing but her sheer ingenuity in battle and the ferocity of the Cintron Soldiers. Cintra rivaled Nilfgaard in strength but constant skirmishes with their neighbors turned them weak. What was once the pride of the Northern Kingdoms fell to the might of Nilfgaard that constantly grew in strength while Cintra dozed off!
What sets Aedirn apart from the rest is that they have enough money to field an army big enough to battle Nilfgaard. Mainly an agricultural economy, Aedirn is blessed with fertile lands and mineral resources. Using its vast coal reserves and steel manufacturing units, Aedirn has become a repository of power. Aedirn is also known to patronize strategists. Most of the Kings and Queens of Aedirn are known to be geniuses in terms of warfare. Aedirn was a country strong enough to fight Nilfgaard multiple times and live to tell the tale. It is still a distant dream for the Emperor Emhyr Var Emreis to conquer Aedirn for its resources. Aedirn has managed to push his armies back every time.
Kaedwen is known for to things – the famous Kaedwen Wine and the Dun Banner – the infamous light cavalry that can chop off a thousand heads when they ride into battle with their horses. Kaedwen was a small Kingdom but its fertile lands allowed it to flourish and gain a name for itself within the Northern Lands. The Dun Banner was once light cavalrymen that patrolled Kaedwen’s borders and killed trespassers and spies. During the Second Nilfgaard War, Dun Banner was called to the frontlines where they proved their mettle by singlehandedly handing a crushing defeat to the enemy forces. Their signature yellow uniform and beaver hats became a symbol of fear and regret the enemy.
Temeria is another of the Four Northern Kingdoms. While Kingdoms like Aedirn and Kaedwen quarreled amongst them-selves over disputed land, Temeria expanded its borders and became a rival superpower. Temeria may not have the advantage of numbers since it is one of the most sparsely populated Kingdoms. But what it lacks in strength it more than makes up for in Magic based Warfare. Temeria has a secret Magical Research Institute for young women that are trained in Battle Magic in the Northern Shores. Temeria’s army is small but after crossing swords with so many enemies in its history, it has become vigilant and battle-hardened.
Redania is the only country in the Witcher Universe that believes that wars need not be fought directly. Redanian spies are known to be the best in the world. They are trained in the art of espionage since childhood and placed as sleeper cells deep within enemy lines. Using this same tactic, Redania has developed a network of spies larger and stronger than anything the Northern Kingdoms have ever seen. But that is not to say that the Redanian Army is a toothless tiger. Redania has a legion of Mounted Knights and Armoured Cavalry that can protect and defend the Kingdom at a short notice. They also field one of the largest armed forces within the Known World.
Once a prosperous Kingdom situated around the Yaruga River, Sodden is now a Ghost State. During its hei9ght of power, Sodden flourished due to immense trade activities. It was what separated the South from the North and its strategic location allowed it to control the trade within the continent. Sodden may not have an army as large as Nilfgaard or Redania but it had considerable influence over the most powerful Kingdoms. Sodden believed in the Soft Power approach. They valued their connections and maintained relations with the most powerful nations who would become their military allies and lend them their strength at a moment’s notice.
Brokilon is the only non-human Kingdom in the Witcher universe. When Humanity banded together to banish the Elves, Dwarves, and other magical creatures out of their lands, they fled to the Forest of Brokilon, where a Queendom was established. The Dryad Queen along with the Hamadryads, ruled over the vast forest of Brokilon which was protected by powerful ancient magic and sorcery. Brokilon has an army of Archers that are trained to kill with one shot. They also field magic and monstrous creatures in battle. Using the forest to their advantage, Brokilon has managed to fend off the human invasion for hundreds of years and continues to defy them.
The Witcher was released on Netflix on the 20th of December this year. The official film synopsis for The Witcher reads:
“Based on the best-selling fantasy series of books, The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family. Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.”
The Executive Producer of the Witcher, Tomek Baginski, shares just how amazing he felt Henry Cavill’s performance was as Geralt of Rivia, the titular Witcher character in the hit Netflix show. As a killer of monsters who supposedly has no soul or emotion in him, the character would have been tough to play on screen and not just anyone can do it. Tomek Baginski says and we quote:
It’s about Henry, and how he became Geralt, and how he embraced this character and he literally became this guy. He was walking around in the jacket to make it work, because the leather had to be worn out, and there is no other way than to just live in this wardrobe, in this cloth, to make it work. For many weeks he was sticking close to the set, so he can be closer to the Witcher world. He was there. He became this character. . . . You don’t have very often an actor who is so committed to the role, and this was beautiful. It was such a great, great thing to work with.