In the Netflix series The Witcher, Geralt of Rivia is famous for his various names. Take ‘White wolf’ or ‘Gwynbleidd’ he has nailed his role in each of these names. Further, he is infamous for one of the alias ‘Butcher of Blaviken’.
Well, the name does not sound pleasant. Why was he given such a terrible name?
It all started with Stregobor, his belief in the Curse of Black Sun, and of course Renfri, so let’s get started with it.
What is the Curse of Black Sun?
The black sun referred to the full eclipse of the sun which had occurred after 1200 years. The consequence of this occurrence was presumed to bring the perilous event in the future. Actually, the prophecy made by a powerful mage named Eltibald proclaimed the destruction of the world.
The curse was actually the prophecy made by mage Eltibald. Black Sun refers to the time during the time of the solar eclipse. Eltibad had foretold that sixty girls, born under the solar eclipse, would turn into cruel creatures. This would bring a return of goddess Lilit which would be the reason behind the destruction of the world.
This curse was believed by various wizards including Stregobor. They started hunting and killing them down which turned ineffective thus the girls were locked up in a faraway tower from mankind. The wizards even tried to break their curse with their magic.
However, this curse was just believed by a few people. The girls were even rescued by a few of the princes. Few girls became strong enough to compel wizards to leave them alone.
Who was Renfri?
Renfri was one of the girls born on the Black Sun. She was born as a princess of Creyden. Despite her birth during a solar eclipse, his father didn’t consider her to be bounded by the curse. She was adored by her father and raised with privilege.
However, her father married Aridea who soon gave birth to a son. In a desire to make her son the heir of the throne, she proclaimed to use Nehalenia Mirror which revealed Renfri would be a threat to her and other human kinds from the matter of Curse of Black Sun.
Then the sorcerer named Stregobor was sent by a council to investigate Renfri. He spied on her and admitted to seeing her torture and harm other human beings.
Stregobor only wanted to isolate her from mankind whereas Aridea wanted to kill her. Hence, she hired a thug to kill Renfri taking her to the forest. Aridea further commanded to bring Renfri’s liver and heart as a shred of evidence.
The thug raped Renfri instead. Somehow, she managed to kill him and flee from the forest. She wandered along various towns hungry and cold. She even used to steal, and sell herself for the shake of filling her stomach.
Aridea didn’t stop yet. She sent various assassins and a poisoned apple to kill Renfri which thankfully didn’t succeed. Later, it was revealed that Aridea was poisoned to death. Nobody knew who was behind it, however, Stregobor believed Renfri’s hand in her death.
Somewhat like the story of Snow White right?
The war between Renfri and Stregobor
The hardship had turned Renfri into more strong as well as a cold-blooded person. She had made herself skilled enough to fight for her protection. She was soon ill-famed as the name of Shrike. Along with her bands of gnomes, she continued to rob merchants in the city of Mahakam until one day she came across the Stregobor.
Upon which she remembered the time on Creyden, he had been the reason for her suffering and hence she attacked him. Consequently, the sorcerer was able to cast the magic spell on Renfri that turned her into the slab of mountain crystal.
Fortunately, a prince found her and paid huge sums to free her from the curse. He took her into his kingdom where she remained as his mistress. A certain time later, she left the kingdom to search and avenge Stregobor and made it to the city of Blaviken.
Stregobor was threatful with losing his life. Meanwhile, Geralt was passing through Blaviken. So Stregobor met Geralt offering him offer him bounty to kill Renfri. He tried to prove to Geralt that the girl was cursed and was threatful to humankind.
Geralt was not convinced by his allegation, he didn’t think Stregobor was immaculate either due to the past consequences. Perhaps, he disagreed with the proposal. Stregobor further made him choose between the lesser evil which Stregobor considered himself.
Geralt’s response to this approach was quite fascinating as he said “Evil is evil… lesser, greater, middling. It’s all the same. If I have to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”
However, Geralt decided to talk to Renfri, thus he set off his way toward the market of Blaviken which had the busiest crowd during that time.
What happened in Blaviken?
Geralt had killed the monster in the city of Blaviken. He then goes inside the pub to claim his bounty, where he meets Renfri. They have a little conversation and Geralt where Geralts talk about her war with Stregobor.
Geralt located Renfri in the local inn and talked to her. Meanwhile, Caldemeyn told her to leave the town until the morning, which she refused.
Later, Renfri confronted Geralt and told him of her plan to kill Stregobo. If he wanted to stop the bloodshed in Blaviken city, either Stregobor had to leave his hiding place and she would kill him in the remote place, or Geralt himself should kill him.
Gerald denied her proposal. On the refusal, she went from there, but she had a different plan. She along with her henchmen showed up and spread in the busiest city in the early morning. She planned to hold all the locals of Blaviken hostage until Stregobor left the tower he had hidden.
However, the plan failed as Stregobor refuse to leave the tower even if Renfri would kill all the locals of Blaviken. Hence Renfri returned to reunite with her men to implement her plan and saw taking rent on her henchmen. He proceeded to slice them like they are paper dolls.
Despite being outnumbered, White Wolf easily slays each bandit that came through his way craving their limbs and impaling their torsos.
Enraged with Geralt, Renfri drew her swords and attacked Geralt. Although he urged her to stop, both of them battled for some time. Meanwhile, Geralt unwillingly wounded Renfri as he drove a knife through her neck, sadly she died.
Stragobor had got no chill. Learning the death of Renfri he left his tower determined to autopsy of Renfri’s dead body. Geralt threatened to kill him if he came near her.
Okay, the event took in Blaviken city but why is actually Geralt called Butcher of Blaviken? Hadn’t he fought the henchmen to save the locals? Why such a name then?
Why is Geralt called Butcher of Blaviken?
We already knew that Renfri had held the plan to take the advantage of the busiest city of Blaviken to hostage people and compel Stargobor to come out of his tower. She along with her men had spread along the city to implement their plan.
Geralt, on other hand, was not okay to let the innocent people of Blaviken die. Hence to avoid them from killing the innocent, he slayed those henchmen in the populated marketplace.
Well, all these things weren’t known by the locals. Without knowing the backstory people assumed Geralt was a monster who killed several men. Thus this ends them giving him the ruthless nickname “Butcher of Blaviken”.
Thus, this name came as a matter of misunderstanding. Geralt was actually saving those innocent people who eventually misperceived him to be the killer and hence named them a butcher.
How is Renfri important to Geralt?
Already we are known for the fact that Geralt had stopped in Blaviken to stop Renfri from attacking the innocent locals. These two clashed with each other which resulted in Geralt severely wounding Renfri.
The last word to Geralt was about the girl in the forest who will be his destiny. This referred to Ciri, whom Geralt had been bound by the Law of Surprise.
Geralt had acclaimed the Law of surprise in the past as a reward while saving Ciri’s father Duny from the attack of her grandmother, Calanthe. The reward ultimately referred to Ciri herself as her mother was pregnant with her and this news came as a surprise after the reward was announced.
Coming back to Renfri, her final words played important role in the Geralt’s as well as Ciri’s life.
Geralt was taken by the merchant to his home after Geralt saved him from a ghoul attack. He overheard the merchant’s wife mentioning the girl she had bought had run into the Bloviken forest. Upon hearing this, Geralt remembered Renfri’s final word hence he ran toward the forest and finally met Ciri, his ultimate fate.
The plot of The Witcher roams around the main protagonist Ciri and Geralt. Their meeting is essential in the series. Thus Renfri had a vital role in making these duo meet.
With the accusation of being the curse one, Renfri struggled throughout her life. She desperately wanted to avenge Stragobor who was a major reason for her suffering.
In between the battle between these two, Geralt was offered to kill one or the other. Though Geralt had refused both of them, he still had to get into the battle when it came to saving the innocent people of Blaviken. He fought with Renfri and also killed her henchmen to safeguard the people.
Despite his good intention the people of Blaviken misperceived him and blamed him for brutally killing the people around the city and named him as Butcher of Blaviken.
Sometimes you are not renowned for your good deeds, even you may be humiliated but we know our hero Geralt, right? He has never stopped helping innocents despite the consequences he has faced.