The Witcher Season 1, Episode 7 recap: Before a Fall

The Witcher on Netflix, photo credit: Katalin Vermes
The Witcher on Netflix, photo credit: Katalin Vermes /

Episode 7 of Netflix series The Witcher revisits the fall of Cintra.

Previously on The Witcher, Geralt (Henry Cavill), Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), and others quested for a green dragon. Also, Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) was still not safe. Episode 7 apparently mixes elements of past and present.

In the past we see Geralt attempting to find Ciri before the fall of Cintra. However, we occasionally see Ciri after the fact, now on her own, headed to an area named Skellige.

In the past, Geralt sees the large Nilfgaardian army on the road to attack Cintra. Geralt meets Mousesack (Adam Levy), who we know eventually gets killed. As some assassin’s approach, Geralt holds a knife to Mousesack’s throat. When he meets her face to face, Geralt accuses Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May) of sending men to kill him.

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Geralt reveals he’s there to claim Ciri, citing the Law of Surprise (a concept mentioned in episode 4 of The Witcher).  Calanthe rejects the idea at first, then offers her a fake Ciri. Geralt promises he will keep her safe. Still, Geralt gets imprisoned between two gates and some walls (a tiny prison-space called a “gatekeep”).

The Witcher retells the fall of Cintra

The Witcher also looks back at Yennefer. After being rejected by Istredd the sorcerer (Royce Pierreson), Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu) swoops in on her — although it’s not for romantic or sexual reasons. Instead, he informs her that mages are being assembled to fight Nilfgaard, and he wants her to attend their little mage meeting.

Yennefer isn’t too keen on it but goes along anyway, perhaps due to curiosity. In any case, it gives her a chance to meet Tissaia de Vries (MyAnna Buring) and newer mages under her tutelage — Murta (Lilly Maria Cooper), Glacella (Anna Burnett), and Fola (Ella-Rae Smith).

Yennefer awkwardly remembers her past, including pushing Anica (Szandra Asztalos) into the water, after Anica was transformed into an eel (good times!). Yennefer reluctantly joins the so-called “emergency conclave of northern mages.”

Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni) also shows up defending Emperor Emhyr. Also, Triss (Anna Shaffer) accuses Yennefer of employing “forbidden magic” in the past. Still, at the end of the day, Tissaia asks Yennefer to help them defend Cintra.


The episode winds down with things ramping up. As the Nilfgaardians get closer to overtaking the castle, Geralt steals a guard’s keys to escape the gatekeep. When Queen Calanthe decides to finally recognize the Law of Surprise and let Geralt protect Ciri, they cannot find Geralt.

Fortunately, Sir Lazlo (Maciej Musial) does successfully protect Ciri, at least for a little while. However, at the sight of her kingdom falling, Queen Calanthe commits suicide by walking off the ledge of her castle window.

At a later time, Ciri steals a horse from a woman named Zola (Anna-Louise Plowman). While resting in a field, Ciri is approached by Anton (Rob Malone) and other former citizens of Cintra. Instead of helping her, they seem to resent her for her title as Princess, proceeding to attack her.

However, she soon reveals why she’s also called “the lion cub of Cintra,” as she seemingly becomes possessed by some force, then she proceeds to scream. It’s implied that these young ruffians are no match for her, but also that Ciri doesn’t really understand her own power.

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