Over the course of the Witcher games, we’ve learned that Geralt hates portals. In Witcher 3, portals were more common, and he used every opportunity to complain about them. Despite being efficient, fast, and convenient, Geralt would when given a choice, always choose to travel on foot or by riding Roach. In today’s post, we’re going to answer the age-old question of why does Geralt hate portals?
Geralt hates portals because they are notoriously unstable. The fact that Geralt hates portals is canon because there are several quotes in the books that describe many atrocities that happened when someone was using a portal, and the portal collapsed before the person could complete the journey. Most notably, people were known to be separated from their limbs or torn in two parts, with the other half having never been found.
Now that you know, in short, why Geralt hates portals, it’s time to analyze it in a bit more detail. If you’re interested and want to know more, stay with us and keep reading!
Can Witchers use portals?
Witchers can and do often use portals. Portals are mostly opened by other mages, or there are various magical objects anchoring them in place. They are efficient, fast, and able to teleport a person from point A to point B near-instantly. Throughout the games, Geralt came face to face with many portals.
But most of his dealings with the portals were in Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt. Over the course of the games, his sorcerer friends, like Yennefer and Keira, opened numerous portals. He found portals anchored by power crystals which he could activate himself, and there were also pretty extensive quests that involved Geralt traveling to other worlds through portals.
Most of the time, however, when a portal is offered to him, he refuses, not so politely reminding everyone around him that he hates portals. But why is that?
Why does Geralt hate portals?
The answer to the question of why Geralt hates portals can be found in the books. As you know by now, the Witcher games are based on the series of novels written by Andrzej Sapkowski. Andrzej wrote about Geralt hating portals on numerous occasions, most notably in the books the Last Wish and Season of Storms.
On the damp bath-chamber wall shone the luminous outline of a door that framed a swirling phosphorescent milky nothingness. The witcher cursed. He didn’t like magical portals or traveling by them.The Last Wish
‘Do we have to . . .’ He cleared his throat. ‘It’s not far—’
‘[. . .] Don’t worry, my portals are safe.’
Geralt had once watched as only half a traveler using a safe portal flew through. The other half was never found. He knew of several cases where people had entered a portal and never been seen again.
As to the journey, he was not sure what had happened, how and why the portal opened by Degerlund had thrown him here – in a swampy wasteland. He doubted that this was the effect of a purposeful wizard’s action. A simple teleport malfunction was more probable, something that he was afraid would happen for over a week now. That which he had heard of many times and even witnessed a few times – when portal, instead of transporting its user where it was supposed to go, threw them into a completely different place, an absolutely random one.The Season of Storms
[. . .]
The worst portal malfunction that had forever discouraged him from teleportation, Geralt had witnessed at the beginning of his witcher career. Among upstarts, rich nobles, and golden youth, it was then fashionable to teleport from one place to another, and some wizards provided such entertainment for an enormous sum of gold. One day – the witcher had been at the place – a fan of teleportation had showed up from a portal cut precisely in half vertically. He looked like an open double bass case. And then everything had fallen and flowed out of him. The fashion for teleports noticeably dropped after this accident.
As you can see, Geralt hates portals because they are deemed to be unsafe and unstable. At any moment during the teleporting process portal can collapse on itself, and it can result in some pretty severe consequences. In the first quote taken from the Last Wish, Geralt recalls numerous people that went into the portals and never got out alive, or as a whole person for that matter. Portals have a tendency to tear a person in a few parts. The other parts are never to be seen again.
In another quote taken from Season of Storms, Geralt recounts the event when one young gentleman hired a mage to teleport him for an ample sum of gold. The young man never exited the portal alive. Instead, he was cut vertically, his insides spilling to the floor as the portal malfunctioned. He also recalls how people were lost on numerous occasions, completely displaced by the portals to a completely alien world.
As you can see, Geralt has quite valid reasons for hating portals, and If we witnessed such events for ourselves, we would be quite skeptical about them as well.