Most of the time, we’ve spent focusing on various aspects of Witcher gameplay. We talked about characters, quests, mechanics, and difficulties. We even covered in great depth where the Witcher games take place. Now it’s time to visit the Witcher timeline. We know that the games are based on books and that they are not canon. They are simply highly regarded fan fiction that attempts to continue Geralt’s story after the events that took place during the last book in the series called Lady of the Lake. Having said that, it’s time to answer some major questions regarding the timeline of the games. Let’s see when exactly Witcher Games take place.
Witcher games take place two years after the events of the book Lady of the Lake. In the context of the Witcher calendar, that would be the year 1270. The second game in the franchise Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings takes place immediately after the events of the first game in 1271. The last installment Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, takes place six months after the events of Witcher 2 in 1272, followed by events that take place during the Blood & Wine expansion that takes place in 1275.
Now that we know the basics of the Witcher timeline, it’s time to explore it in a bit more detail. If you want to find out more, stay with us and keep reading!
The timeline of the Witcher games
Witcher games are considered to be a non-canon continuation of the books written by Andrzej Sapkowski. The games share the universe, location, characters, and notable events with the book series. Thus we can be pretty accurate when it comes to the timeline of the games.
The last book in the series, called The Lady of the Lake, takes place in 1268, according to the Witcher calendar. To briefly summarize the ending, on the sixth or seventh of June 1268, Geralt is seemingly killed by an angry mob in the city of Rivia. The event will forever be known as Rivian Pogrom. What started as a casual argument between a human woman and a couple of dwarves erupted into chaos, and many atrocities were committed against non-humans. One of the casualties of the incident was allegedly Geralt.
Yennefer and Triss did their best to disperse the crowd, but there was no helping Geralt. Yennefer did what she could to heal Geralt, but soon she succumbed to the crowd as well. Ciri apparently took both of them to the pocket dimension that she could reach due to Elder Blood powers. The two allegedly spent the remainder of their lives in peace.
This was the ending of Geralt’s story when it came to books. When it comes to games, it was only a minor setback. In the rest of this post, we’re going to analyze the events and their timeline according to the Witcher games.
When does Witcher 1 take place?
Witcher 1 takes place two years after the events of the last book, Lady of the Lake. Geralt wakes up in Kaer Morhen. He is suffering from amnesia, and the first notable and chronicled event from this time is May of 1270, when members of Salamandra broke into Kaer Morhen and stole mutagenic substances and stimulants. This is the prologue of the first game as well. The remainder of the year, Geralt spends pursuing Salamandra and trying to recall his past. He also gains the friendship of King Foltest, who keeps him around like a good luck charm since Geralt has managed to stop one assassination attempt so far.
This leads us to the events of the second game.
When does Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings take place?
Witcher 2 takes place immediately after the events of the first game, but by this point, it’s already 1271. Geralt managed to stop one assassination attempt at Foltest’s life, but he failed to stop the Kingslayer, another Witcher, from ending the king’s life ultimately. Geralt is accused of doing it, but he manages to convince Vernon Roche, Head of Temerian intelligence, of his innocence.
For the remainder of the game, Geralt tries to make sense of the sudden erupting chaos that is happening around him. At the end of the game Letho, the Witcher from the School of the Viper that assassinated Foltest, admits that Emhyr of Nilfgaard employed his services. Emhyr planned to wage war on the Northern Kingdoms, and the best way to go about it was to assassinate the leaders and sow discord among the many Northern Kingdoms. Letho assassinated Foltest because Emhyr promised him that he would raise the School of the Viper to its former glory.
Letho also helps Geralt to remember some important events from his past, as well as some important characters, like Yennefer. The year 1271 was notable because the Third Northern War began, and Geralt returned to walking the Witcher’s path with Vesemir.
When does Witcher 3: Wild Hunt takes place?
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt takes place six months after the events of the Witcher 2, in 1272. Six months passed since Geralt witnessed the assassination of Foltest, and during the spring of 1272, Nilfgaard managed to invade and conquer a small Temerian village called White Orchard. It’s safe to say that Temerian army was obliterated, and Emhyr took over the royal palace at Vizima.
In the May of 1272, Yennefer contacted Geralt for the first time in ages. It seems that they both need help in locating Ciri, who is desperately trying to avoid the Wild Hunt.
Several notable events took place in 1272. For starters, Yennefer, Geralt, and Ciri were reunited. King Bran of Skellige died, only to be replaced by Cerys, Hjalmar, or his own son, Svanrige. Wild Hunt decided to invade Kaer Morhen, and Vesemir was killed during the siege. In a similar incident involving the Wild Hunt, Geralt’s old friend Crach an Craite, the father of Cerys and Hjalmar, was also killed. It was a bloody year, but one that ended on a good note, depending on the ending that the players got. Ciri traveled to a distant dimension and managed to stop the White Frost. She either survives or gets killed, depending on the player’s choices.
This was the end of Geralt’s story when it came to the base game. The second expansion, Blood & Wine, takes place three years after the events of the base game, in 1275.
The expansion starts with Anna Henrietta summoning Geralt to Toussaint, a vassal kingdom of Nilfgaard.
The events of the first Witcher game take place two years after the last book in the series, in 1270. This is followed by the events of the second game that take place in 1271. In the May of 1272, the events of the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt start and the story gets to the conclusion in 1275 during the events of Blood & Wine expansion. The events of the games span a period of 5 years.