Yennefer of Vengeberg is a very complex character. She is not so cold hearted as she seems, in fact she is very sensitive. She just tries to hide her emotions, because she thinks of them as weakness. She had a really rough childhood. Which had as an effect for her not to be loved, so she loves Geralt and Ciri but can't show it, because she doesn't know how. In the end, she finally learns how, due to Geralt's and Ciri's love and affection. In the books, she has an entire character arc (which usually stays unseen or is not very appreciated, because she is the third main character, with Geralt and Ciri taking the lead, so we don't have much of her perspective). In the first books, she can be a little bit bitchy, not only with those around her but even with Geralt, but in the next books she starts to show emotions for Geralt and especially for Ciri. Also, everyone kinda envies her (that can be seen a lot in the books. It's even stated by some characters like: Ciri, Sabrina, Francesca) and they don't like her because of that. She seems like a bitch because she just doesn't give a fuck about what people think about her. So, she just stays herself and doesn't try to change.
That is not because she doesn't have feelings, but because she doesn't know how to show them or she is a afraid of opening up and getting neglected. Have you ever wondered how she felt when she woke up on her house in Vengeberg and saw that Geralt had left her, without saying a word. Friendly reminder: Geralt is the only character that Yennefer lets in her house. Even when she was with Istread she was the one going to his house.
Yen always wanted to become a mother but she couldn't, and her trying to restore her fertility is a major part of her character. Even when she met Geralt with the djinn in Rinde, it was because she wanted the djinn to restore her fertility. She didn't want to leave with Geralt, not just because she was not a quitter and very proud to flee. She didn't want to leave because she thought of it as her last desperate attempt, as a "I accomplish that or I die" ( that shows how much that affected her).
Ciri's love is the one that really changed her. In fact, Yennefer always saw Ciri as the daughter she never had, even from their time in Ellander. And we can realize that from when Ciri got hurt during their training she called her daughter and she was really depressed while Ciri was in bed. That can also indicate her emotional scars, she thought she hurt her daughter and that reminded her of her mother and how she abused her. Also, have you ever noticed that she always called Ciri her daughter, but does it in a regular basis only when Ciri calls her mother. That's because she never forced her feelings over Ciri and she just wanted to make sure Ciri feels the same way.
She is also afraid of redemption, that can be seen when Geralt and her were at the Thanned Coup. He expresses his feelings and she replies that she loves him too, but didn't tell him because she was afraid he wouldn't feel the same way.
Someone except Geralt and Ciri that played a great role in her life is…Tissaia de Vries. Tissaia was the first person that believed in Yennefer and her capabilities, she also was the one that saved her. Tissaia was Yennefer's mentor and the mother figure that she needed. Thus, it made sense for Yen to admire her. Tissaia was described as a stern person which showed no feelings at all, even when she was comforting Yennefer she had a look without emotion and a cold and unfriendly attitude, which Yennefer adopted. That can be seen in the first meeting between her and Ciri. Ciri was jealous and wanted what Yennefer had, the only thing that she didn't want were her cold and stern violent eyes.
I have heard a lot of people claiming that she is interested in power and can be greedy with it. No… just a big no. Firstly, Yennefer could have easily taken advantage of the situation with the lodge and she could even have as political affection to the Northern Kingdoms as a king if she played it well. And we all know that she could easily played it that way. But she didn't, she sacrificed everything to try to rescue Ciri. She could even do both, but that would need time and Yen wants to find Ciri immediately, because she wants her to be safe and sound as fast as possible.
Even her bitchiness is just a wordplay. She has no intention of hurting Geralt or Ciri, she just expresses herself that way. For me personally, it's amusing to see them play with words like this.
All in all, she is a great and underrated character that, if you get to know her better and allow yourself to see things through her perspective, you will adore. I would like to add that I see in other series or books characters that have done a lot of crimes getting adored, even though they don't have a redemption arc, just because they where abused. That, made me sad because I thought that nobody appreciates her the way she deserves it.
- Tissaia de Vries and the price of neutrality
- I just finished the books and I don’t know where to go from here.
- [ENDING] Just finished the game for the first time and I feel empty inside. Anyone wants to discuss this with me?
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