The Witcher Season 1 saved most of Geralt’s backstory for the finale, but fans knew a few things about his time as a Witcher. He was mutated as a young child and trained, along with others of his kind, by Vesemir, the only Witcher to survive from the previous generation. The boys were taught in the old keep of Kaer Morhen, which Geralt calls home, even if he never seems to visit. But with Season 2 heading there and spending quite a bit of the season in the castle, fans are probably curious to know more about it. So, what *is* Kaer Morhen, and why is it where Witchers train?
Warning: Spoilers for The Witcher Season 2 (and a few from Nightmare of the Wolf) follow. When fans rejoined Ciri and Geralt, now united for the first time, at the start of Season 2, Geralt had decided the safest place to stash his charge was Kaer Morhan. It took the whole first episode to travel across the continent to get there, and it was a fearsome sight when they arrived. The keep is old, having stood there since that Continent area was a coastline. (The name is a bastardization of “Caer a’Muirehen,” meaning “Keep of the Elder Sea.”) It’s also been sacked and burned, as depicted in The Witcher’s animated prequel, Nightmare of the Wolf.
The irony of Kaer Morhan is that while it has everything a Witcher needs for training, half of them don’t know how to use it. Vesemir, the Witcher who created this generation of mutants, was a fencing instructor. His followers are great hunters, but the scientists and the historians are all gone, and a lot of knowledge with them. One of the remarkable things about Kaer Morhan is how empty it is, as Witchers slowly lose their lives monster hunting. However, Vesemir’s desire to create a new generation with Elder blood could bring in a new population of young men before too long.
Kaer Morhan is very much a male-focused space, so much so that Ciri isn’t adequately taken care of there. When Tiss shows up at Geralt’s request to help his charge, she’s appalled that the girl doesn’t have basics provided, like good soap or menstrual pads. And although it’s got everything Ciri needs to become a physical fighter, it’s woefully inadequate for her budding mage skills.
This leads Geralt to eventually take her to the Temple of Melitele in Ellander, where she can get training for her magical abilities. But that doesn’t mean the show is done with the place — far from it, actually. As long as Vesemir resides there, it will always be the place Witchers go to rest when they come off the road. It’s the place where other Witchers, like Lambert and Coën, will be when Geralt needs them in the fights to come.
Furthermore, its protected entrance, “The Witchers Trail,” means it’s a place of safety, despite the occasional fire mage determined to get inside. With The Witcher Season 3 already greenlit, fans can expect at least a few more adventures, and a lot more fights, will go down within Kaer Morhan’s walls before the show is over.
The Witcher Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix.