What Is The Law Of Surprise In The Witcher?

What Is The Law Of Surprise In The Witcher
Warning: spoilers ahead for season 1 of The Witcher on Netflix. For anyone that didn’t read the book series or play the video games, it can take a second to feel like the world of Netflix’s The Witcher makes sense. Then, just as you’re getting comfortable with all the monsters, prophecies, and curses, they throw in the Law of Surprise, which is perhaps the most confusing part of the series.

In episode 4 of The Witcher, ” Of Banquets, Bastards and Burials,” we finally get a bit of backstory as to how each individual storyline is intertwined, The timeline is a bit hard to follow at times, but this episode does a lot to give a sequence to the stories. The first mention of the Law of Surprise happens as a banquet Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May) is holding for her daughter, Princess Pavetta (Gaia Mondadori).

Calanthe has plans to help secure her kingdom through the strategic matchmaking of her daughter until a masked knight named Duny (Bart Edwards) bursts onto the scene to claim Pavetta’s hand in marriage. His claim hinges on the Law of Surprise. Years earlier, Duny, who has the head of a hedgehog for reasons that aren’t fully explained, saved the life of King Roegner, Calanthe’s late husband.

The episode doesn’t go into too much detail on that other than he was cursed and only returned to his fully human form at midnight. The Law of Surprise is a covenant seemingly as old as time in the world of The Witcher, which actually has its roots in Polish and Slavic folklore. In short, the law states that a great deed such as saving someone’s life deserves a repayment equally as great and unexpected.

In return, a person can place a claim on something the person returning the favor doesn’t have yet (or at least know that they have). Whatever the indebted would not have possessed had it not been for the great deed seems to be what most people invoking this law receive.

  1. By tradition, I chose the Law of Surprise as payment,” Duny explains in the episode.
  2. Whatever windfall he came home to find would be mine.” In this instance, it was King Roegner’s daughter, Pavetta, because the king came home from the trip to find out he was going to be a father.
  3. The Law of Surprise acts as destiny.

Once claimed, it is inevitable. Making the whole “claiming her hand in marriage” thing a little less creepy, we learn that Duny and Pavetta met by chance, fell in love, and spent a magical night together before he came to ask for her hand in marriage (keep that in mind for later).

The invocation of the Law of Surprise does not sit well with Calanthe’s plans to marry her daughter off to form an alliance with a neighboring kingdom. She doesn’t care about the Law of Surprise and has no plan to honor it until destiny steps in to make sure it comes to fruition — also a huge sword fight, but mostly destiny.

Geralt comes to Duny’s aid and when Calanthe finally agrees to let Duny marry Pavetta, Duny insists on repaying Geralt. Geralt, rather nonchalantly given how much trouble it just caused, claims the Law of Surprise for his repayment. As if destiny divined it, Pavetta is struck with morning sickness on the spot and it becomes clear that Geralt’s reward for his great deed will be Duny and Pavetta’s child, Princess Ciri (Freya Allan).
The Law of Surprise in the World of The Witcher – What Is The Law Of Surprise In The Witcher The Law of Surprise is a custom that is familiar to all of humanity in the world of The Witcher, It is often invoked when a person comes to another’s aid, but the latter has nothing to give their savior in return. Thus, the savior can then call on the Law of Surprise.

There are plenty of ways one can invoke the Law of Surprise, with the main differences being in the wording. Some request “the first thing that comes to greet you,” while others ask for “what one finds at home that one does not yet expect.” Whatever the case, the Law of Surprise is essentially a gamble.

The savior never knows what they might acquire from invoking it. A reward could be something as simple as an eager dog, and other times it might turn out to be an unborn child. In The Witcher book series it was often Witchers who made use of the Law of Surprise, as it was one method of recruiting new students to their Witcher schools.

What are the rules of Law of surprise on The Witcher?

Law of Surprise Meaning In The Witcher – Here’s How the Law of Surprise Ties The Witcher Together Where Game of Thrones had a steep learning curve because of the millions of characters and the nuanced medieval political drama, The Witcher is challenging for a number of other reasons.

  • Netflix’s big fantasy epic is told and hardly scratches the surface of the worldbuilding found in the books and video games that the series is based on.
  • There’s a lot going on in The Witcher outside of the sex and magic, and it might leave some viewers—who haven’t played the games or read the books—a little, well, confused.
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But there’s one very important idea in The Witcher season one that doesn’t get a lot of actual explanation in the series, despite being the entire driving force behind why the main characters are connected. It’s called the Law of Surprise, and it’s key to understanding this show.

  • Here’s how the Law of Surprise: The Law of Surprise is a custom as old as humanity itself.
  • The Law dictates that a man saved by another is expected to offer to his savior a boon whose nature is unknown to one or both parties.
  • In most cases, the boon takes the form of the saved man’s firstborn child, conceived or born without the father’s knowledge.

This Law of Surprise is apparently inspired by Polish and Slavic folklore. provided a pretty good background on where The Law of Surprise comes from: Lately I’m seeing a lot of confusion about the Law of Surprise ( Prawo niespodzianki – literally “Right of the Unexpected”) – which at first, pardon the pun, surprised me.

I thought everyone was familiar with that motif since childhood. Maybe the show didn’t explain it well, but surely when you hear “Give me what you have at home but don’t know” it rings a bell? The Redditor goes on to point to a Russian fairy tale from 9th century folklorist Afanasyev called “The Sea Tsar and Vasilisa the Wise” that mentions customs similar to those found in The Witcher,

But, how this is actually applied to the plot of the show is a little bit more complex. It comes into play the fourth episode of Season One when Queen Calanthe (who dies in the first episode) is having a banquet for her daughter Princess Pavetta. Calanthe intends to strategically wed her daughter off to form political alliances, but a mysterious knight named Duny shows up to claim Pavetta as his bride.

Apparently, years earlier, this knight saved Calanthe’s husband, King Roegner’s, life. When Duny saved Roegner’s life, he said, “By tradition, I chose the Law of Surprise as payment, Whatever windfall he came home to find would be mine.” This turns out to be Calanthe’s daughter Pavetta, because Roegner returned home to find out he would be a father.

Now, by real life terms this whole law is pretty shitty—to claim ownership over one’s daughter to be your bride. But, at least The Witcher sidesteps this by revealing that Pavetta and Duny are somehow in love, even though the man has the head of a gopher.

  1. Did I mention Duny has the head of a rodent? Because Duny is also cursed for some reason and has a cute little gopher head.) Calanthe doesn’t want to abide by this ancient rule, so she orders her men to kill Duny.
  2. That’s where Geralt steps in to defend Duny and save his life.
  3. After a brief tussle, Calanthe agrees for Pavetta and Duny to be wed, and Duny turns back into a human.

But, after Geralt intervenes, he jokingly tells Duny that he should be repaid with the Law of Surprise for saving the gopher man’s life. The thing is, no one yet knows that Pavetta is already pregnant with Duny’s child, Ciri. And because Geralt evoked the Law of Surprise it means Ciri is now tied to him through the Law of Surprise. Culture Editor Matt Miller is a Brooklyn-based culture/lifestyle writer and music critic whose work has appeared in Esquire, Forbes, The Denver Post, and documentaries. This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Is Ciri the Law of surprise baby?

How Exactly Does the ‘Law of Surprise’ Work in The Witcher? What Is The Law Of Surprise In The Witcher This guy understands the Law of Surprise. Do you? Photo: Netflix Forget monsters and curses, the most confusing thing in Netflix’s The Witcher is the Law of Surprise. It’s a tricky concept that’s introduced early on, but the show doesn’t do much to explain it in season one.

Hardcore fans of The Witcher books or video games will immediately understand what it means, but for everyone else, we’re here to help. The fourth episode of The Witcher, titled “,” tells a largely self-contained story about Princess Pavetta (Gaia Mondadori), the daughter of Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May).

The can be tricky to follow, so it’s worth noting that Pavetta’s daughter Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) isn’t alive at this point and Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) is a smidge less embittered by a world that considers him a mutant and doesn’t even pay him even when he gets the job done.

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Anyway, Calanthe has big plans for her daughter’s hand in marriage, until a knight named Duny (Bart Edwards) — a charming gentleman with the head of a hedgehog — arrives to claim Pavetta as his bride, and he invokes something called the Law of Surprise to do so. But what the heck is the Law of Surprise? It’s an ancient concept within the world of The Witcher, loosely tied to actual mythology of Slavic and Polish origin — two folk histories to which Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels and the show return to regularly.

The law is relatively simple: As payment for a great deed like saving someone’s life, one can lay claim to something which the indebted does not yet possess. It turns out that Duny, the hedgehog gentleman, saved King Roegner’s life years earlier. “By tradition, I chose the Law of Surprise as payment,” he explains in the episode.

“Whatever windfall he came home to find would be mine.” The “windfall” in this case is Roegner’s daughter, Pavetta. As one might imagine, Pavetta’s mother Calanthe doesn’t care about ancient laws, and orders the men at the banquet to slay Duny. However, the Law of Surprise eventually wins out — with an assist from Geralt and a few others, who jump into the battle to defend Duny — which effectively rewrites the destiny of everyone involved.

Fear of messing with that destiny is ultimately the law’s power, which is why it’s such a respected practice. As a character named Eist puts it, “It’s an honest gamble. As likely to be rewarded with a bumper crop as a newborn pup. Or a child of surprise.

He could not know. Destiny has determined the surprise be Pavetta.” Of course, the whole idea also seems pretty gross: claiming daughters as payment for heroic deeds? Really? The Witcher ‘s writers handle this problem carefully by revealing that Duny and Pavetta fell in love and developed a relationship months earlier, before knowing she was his “payment.” They’re merely using the Law of Surprise to make their union official.

When Calanthe finally agrees to the marriage, Duny is freed from his hedgehog curse and he becomes a normal man again. And that’s where Geralt reenters the picture. Later in the episode, he almost jokingly suggests that he should be repaid for saving Duny’s life with the Law of Surprise — but little does anyone know at that moment that Pavetta is already pregnant with Duny’s unborn child.

What does child surprise mean in The Witcher?

What Is The Law Of Surprise? – Essentially, the Law of Surprise can be invoked anytime one person saves the life of another, creating a debt that must be repaid. sums it best: “The Law of Surprise is a custom as old as humanity itself. The Law dictates that a man saved by another is expected to offer to his savior a boon whose nature is unknown to one or both parties.” In the world of The Witcher, this essentially means that the person who invokes the law has the right to something valuable the other party either doesn’t possess yet or doesn’t know they possess yet.

  1. As a result, the law sometimes results in an unborn child being served up as payment, because the father didn’t know his wife/lover/mistress was pregnant — this is a child surprise, like Ciri.
  2. But the payment could just easily be a dog the debtor finds on the side of the road or an unexpected windfall that destiny obliges them to pass on to the person who saved their life.

The entire custom is rooted in patriarchal nonsense, and it’s pretty gross when you really think about. To the show’s credit, the writers have avoided making it look like Ciri and her mom were just possessions waiting to be claimed by Geralt and Ciri’s bio dad, Duny, but it’s still disturbing to think a child can be served up as payment for their father’s debt.

How did Geralt get Ciri Law of surprise?

Involving Geralt of Rivia –

King Roegner of Cintra, as a reward to Urcheon of Erlenwald, promised him “whatever he had left at home without knowing or expecting it”. This was his daughter Pavetta, for whom he officially returned 15 years later, although they had in fact already met

→ These events are told in the short story A Question of Price,

After curing him from his curse, Duny offered whatever Geralt of Rivia asked for. Geralt asked for “that which you already have but do not know”: Pavetta and Duny’s daughter Ciri, Geralt unknowingly names Ciri as his reward a second time when he saves the life of Yurga, for while the man was away, his wife took in the orphan girl. Geralt himself is a victim of the Law of Surprise. It was because of the Law of Surprise that Geralt was taken in as a Witcher.

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What did The Witcher say to the man who saved him?

Glossary Entry –

When a witcher saves a man’s life and the man says, “In gratitude, I will give whatever you desire,” the witcher then answers, “You will grant me whatever unexpected thing you encounter when you return home.” In rare instances, the surprise proves to be an infant, born during its father’s absence. Based on the Law of Surprise, the child belongs to the witcher, becoming the Unexpected Child to whom the witcher is bound by Destiny. Many Unexpected Children were brought to Kaer Morhen, where they were then raised and trained to be witchers.

What is the law of surprise and how does it work?

What is the Law of Surprise? – The Law of Surprise is a near ancient custom that can be invoked by a man who is saved by another. As a debt of gratitude, the saved man will offer his rescuer an unknown blessing to one or both people involved. In The Witcher lore, it is said that these godsends more often than not take the form of the saved man’s firstborn child – born without the father knowing.

Who is the unexpected child in the Witcher?

Glossary Entry –

When a witcher saves a man’s life and the man says, “In gratitude, I will give whatever you desire,” the witcher then answers, “You will grant me whatever unexpected thing you encounter when you return home.” In rare instances, the surprise proves to be an infant, born during its father’s absence. Based on the Law of Surprise, the child belongs to the witcher, becoming the Unexpected Child to whom the witcher is bound by Destiny. Many Unexpected Children were brought to Kaer Morhen, where they were then raised and trained to be witchers.

What is the law of surprise and how does it work?

What is the Law of Surprise? – The Law of Surprise is a near ancient custom that can be invoked by a man who is saved by another. As a debt of gratitude, the saved man will offer his rescuer an unknown blessing to one or both people involved. In The Witcher lore, it is said that these godsends more often than not take the form of the saved man’s firstborn child – born without the father knowing.

Who is the unexpected child in the Witcher?

Glossary Entry –

When a witcher saves a man’s life and the man says, “In gratitude, I will give whatever you desire,” the witcher then answers, “You will grant me whatever unexpected thing you encounter when you return home.” In rare instances, the surprise proves to be an infant, born during its father’s absence. Based on the Law of Surprise, the child belongs to the witcher, becoming the Unexpected Child to whom the witcher is bound by Destiny. Many Unexpected Children were brought to Kaer Morhen, where they were then raised and trained to be witchers.

What did The Witcher say to the man who saved him?

Glossary Entry –

When a witcher saves a man’s life and the man says, “In gratitude, I will give whatever you desire,” the witcher then answers, “You will grant me whatever unexpected thing you encounter when you return home.” In rare instances, the surprise proves to be an infant, born during its father’s absence. Based on the Law of Surprise, the child belongs to the witcher, becoming the Unexpected Child to whom the witcher is bound by Destiny. Many Unexpected Children were brought to Kaer Morhen, where they were then raised and trained to be witchers.

Is Geralt a victim of the law of surprise?

From legends and tales –

As a child, the legendary hero Zatret Voruta was given to the dwarves because he was the first person his father met on his return. Mad Deï demanded a traveller give him what he left at home without knowing it. This was the famous Supree, who later liberated Mad Deï from the curse that weighed him down. Zivelina became the Queen of Metinna with the help of the gnome Rumplestelt, and in return promised her first-born. Zivelena didn’t keep her promise when Rumplestelt came for his reward and, by using spells, she forced him to run away. Not long after that, both she and the child died of the plague,