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Having watched episodes 1-4, it appears there are at least three timelines being shown, and it's quite difficult to decipher between them.

The first time I noticed there were different timelines was Episode 3 "Betrayer Moon". In this, Foltest (a king aged around 40 in Geralt's timeline) appears as a boy of about 10:

The boy's mother refers to him as Foltest and scolds him. The boy and girl are arranged in such a way as to look almost identical to the painting of Foltest and his sister in the castle in which Geralt fights the Striga; another clue.

Episode 4 "Of Banquets, Bastards and Burials" then depicts an interaction between Geralt and Ciri's grandmother. As Ciri is not yet born, this part is at least 15 years behind Ciri's timeline:

Queen Calanthe has organised a banquet for suitors to her daughter, Ciri's mother. At the end it is revealed Pavetta is pregnant with Ciri.

Yet, in the same episode:

Geralt seems to still have only recently met the bard Jaskier/Dandelion, which leads me to think Geralt's timeline has so far been at least 15 years behind Ciri's the whole time. Assuming Ciri is around 15 in her timeline, throughout these 4 episodes.

The timeline for Yennefer seems to jump 30 years ahead in Episode 4, as revealed in Yen's dialogue at the start of the episode.

This corresponds with Foltest now being 40ish (10+30=40), but if Foltest is 40 in Yennefer's and Geralt's timeline, that would mean Ciri's timeline is still 15 years in their future.

Are my deductions accurate? What other clues are there to the various timelines?

A visualisation would be awesome here...

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    It's clearer in the further episodes but some things you have to deduce on your own . You are quite accurate about the timelines. – codeczar Dec 22 '19 at 12:04
  • I had the same question after noticing the interaction between Geralt and Dandelion, it's very confusing. – DustinDavis Dec 23 '19 at 3:10
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You are correct. There are three linear timelines: Yennefer's, Geralt's, and Ciri's, which start at different times but all coincide by the final two episodes.

Here is a timeline of the events depicted in the show:

enter image description here


Dates and relative position of events are taken from 3 sources:

In-show dialogue:

Ep.1 Ciri: You won your first battle at Hochebuz when you were my age.

Ep.1 Renfri: Queen Calanthe of Cintra, she just won her first battle at Hochebuz.

Ep.3 Tissaia: Princess Calanthe? Good luck with that. Word is she's even more stubborn than her father is.

Note: This event occurring in 1210 contradicts the official timeline stating Calanthe was born in 1216.

Ep.3-4 Yennefer: Instead, I've spent the last three decades cleaning up stupid political messes.

Ep.4-5 Jaskier: What's it been, months? Years? What is time, anyway?

Ep.2-5 Jaskier: Oh, are we not using "friend"? Yeah, sure. Let's just give it another decade.

Ep.4-7 Geralt: I've been away twelve years and I'd planned on staying that way.

Ep.7-8 Yurga: Cintran refugees, dead at least a week.

Ep.8 Sabrina: It hasn't been two days yet. How is Nilfgaard's army here already?

Showrunner's comments:

... Ciri's story takes place over two weeks, Yennefer's takes place over, you know, it's like 70 years. Geralt's takes place over 20 years.

- Interview with tvguide.com

Note that Geralt's timeline spanning 20 years does not match up with:

1. Ep01 occurring shortly after the Battle of Hochebuz (which Calanthe won at Ciri's age ~13).
2. Pavetta being pregnant with Ciri at the Banquet at Cintra.
3. Ciri being ~13 in the present day.

A more reasonable timespan is around ~30 years, which coincides with the dates given in the books.

Official Netflix timeline

  1. https://www.witchernetflix.com/

  2. A quick crash course in the multiple timelines of The Witcher. #TheWitcher

    enter image description here

    - NX - @NXOnNetflix, 10:52 AM - 7 Jan 2020

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    Wish I could give you more than one up-vote for this. It's exactly what I was looking for and thanks for including the dialogue excerpts. – oliver-clare Dec 27 '19 at 10:18
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    The weird part for me is that in the Dragon Hunt episode the dwarf projects the march of Nilfgaard in such a way as to suggest that Sodden would have to be taken before Cintra. But it definitely goes the other way around. – zibadawa timmy Jan 12 at 10:50
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Here's a chart I made recently. It briefly covers the events and their time of occurrence in the series. enter image description here

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Each episode of the first season of the show covers different stories from the first books by Andrzej Sapkowski.

For example:

Episode 1 - The End's Beginning is based on the 4th story from the book The Last Wish, called The Lesser Evil.

Episode 6 - Rare Species is based on the first story from the book Sword of Destiny, called The Bounds of Reason.

Even in the books, the stories are not linked chronologically and are set in different points along the timeline.

So yes, your deduction is accurate, the show jumps at multiple moments in time, as the main characters are introduced and to coincide with the original stories that each episode is based on.

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    Episodes shows stories in chronological order (for main characters), so it's not jumping back and forth for them. But stories of Geralt and Yennifer start decades before Ciri's. And then gradually merge. – user28434 Dec 23 '19 at 11:51

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