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The Witcher – Episode #6 Explained: The Sword and Ax

Episode 6 – Rare Species: A mysterious man tries to entice Geralt to join a hunt for a rampaging dragon, a quest that attracts a familiar face. Ciri questions who she can trust.

One Final First

We open episode six to the bard, Jaskier,  playing his lute as two men sit waiting for the “dead Witcher.” As the two discuss stealing the Witcher’s gear, some random older man and two tough female warrior companions walk up. The two thieving men essentially tell them to piss off, but that was not the move. Geralt then arrives with the monster’s head, which he blatantly throws into the middle of the quarreling group. The two men who hired Geralt scurry off and the older man reveals himself as Borch Three Jackdaws. He then tells Geralt that he’s been looking for him before we cut to the intro sequence.

The Five of them find themselves in a tavern now as Borch yells at one of the people to “bring them one of everything you have… and keep the ale coming.” After some vapid conversation, we find out that there has been a very rare dragon sighting, which is what drew Borch and his two lady warriors to these lands. Borch explains that the King of the lands has commissioned a bounty for the green dragon’s head and that the hunt begins on the morrow. He’d like Geralt on his team because who wouldn’t want the most renowned monster hunter on their team, but Geralt declines the invite. Even with a firm no from Geralt, Borch continues catting and explaining the details of the hunt to the table. He points out a table of Dwarves that make up the second team and then a table of Reavers who make up the third. Jaskier, of course, makes a witty comment about remembering Borch mentioning four teams, and just as he does Yennefer comes strolling into the tavern with some random knight. Geralt almost instantly tells Borch that he is now in for hunting the dragon, but you have to think he’s actually got ulterior motives after seeing Yen.

Let the Hunt Begin

We fast forward to the next day as the four teams are arriving at the base of the mountain. Jaskier is upset that there will be no horses due to the trail being too skinny and we quickly learn that the Dwarves and Reavers are not big fans of each other. The Dwarven leader seems like a friendly guy outside of those death threats towards the reavers, but he also takes the opportunity talking to The Witcher to let him know that he should’ve sold his horse beforehand as this is more than likely a suicide mission. Yen then strolls over to Geralt and asks how it’s possible that she could have roamed the Earth for decades and never crossed a Witcher’s path, yet know shes ran into the same one twice. We learn that her escort is Ser Eyck of Denesle, and he is very much over the top about his being a knight.

Next up is a quick trip back to Brokilon as Ciri, Dara, and Doppler Mousesack are wandering through the Dryad’s area of the forest. Ciri is asking plenty of questions, and in case you forgot, she has been promised to Geralt by The Law of Surprise for saving her father, Duny. As the three continue walking and eventually exit the Dryad area of the forest, we get to see the difference between their area and the remainder f the Brokilon forest which is quite astonishing. The three push forward out of the Dryad’s area and continue on their way to who knows where.

Back on dragon mountain, Jaskier is making a very poor attempt at swooning Borch’s two warrior companions. The Bard asks why they’re following this old man and they tell Jaskier that Borch is “the most beautiful man.” Weird, right? Borch brings up Geralt’s sentiments towards Yen and mentions that The Witcher must be afraid of never seeing her again as he won’t peel his eyes away from her. Geralt somewhat avoids the comments from Borch and rambles on about how he thinks that this dragon may not be the most dangerous thing on this hunt. Borch smirks and tells The Witcher how glad he is to have brought the fearless Witcher who isn’t afraid of anything along with him then. Geralt tells him he must know nothing of Yennefer of Vengerberg, acknowledging that he is terrified by her and her presence.

Note to Self: Don’t Eat the Hirikka

As the groups continue making their way up the mountain, Jaskier and Geralt notice all the scorched earth across a valley towards the other side of the mountain. Borch mentions that sometimes when one’s people are struggling they will do desperate things to survive, but says it in a weird I’ve done something like this before kind of way. Jaskier, the generous, caring man that he is, announces that Borch’s female companions look famished. He takes it upon himself to fetch them something to eat and walks off from the group (oh boy). He doesn’t make it far before he notices a tiny little creature (or so he thinks) hidden in the bushes. The adorable little thing begins to growl and then emerges from the bushes revealing itself as a massive beast standing much taller than the bard. He takes off towards Geralt and tells him that he found one of his friends (LOL), but to our surprise, Geralt does not draw his sword. The Witcher tells everyone that this monster is a Hirkikka and that it is harmless, and it’s actually probably just starving (clearly as it is all skin and bones). Sir Eyck doesn’t care, however, and brushes past Geralt to brutally murder the poor thing.

Ser Eyck was also clearly starving because he puts the Hirikka over a fire to crispen up some meat. The dwarves warn him not to eat the creature, but Eyck ignores their warnings. This quickly ends extremely poorly for the night though and we see him flee from the group with the walking farts. As everyone remains around the fire, we get a little Witcher politics session that also gives us knowledge of Nilfgaard beginning their attacks on the realm. Some more chit-chat before Yen and the dwarves leave our favorite dragon-hunting group to themselves and we get a somewhat detailed lesson from Geralt and Borch on dragons. All dragons are rare, but among dragons, you can find three types. The green dragons are the most common, then red dragons, and following them both are black dragons that are almost never seen. Borch chimes in that there is a fourth kind of dragon, the golden dragon, but Geralt tells him it’s merely a myth that they exist. He then mansplains to the group what a mutation is and that typically they never just accidentally happen, making the golden dragon impossible to be real.

We make our way back to Doppler Mousesac, Ciri, and Dara just in time for our young elven friend to begin questioning why Mousesack is just now arriving to save Cirilla. Dara asks the Doppler why he abandoned the princess during the siege of Cintra and we see the first mistake made by the villainous man. He catches his mistake of starting his sentence with “we” and restates by saying “I”. Neither of the youngins notices this, but Dara begins whispering to Ciri that she needs to open her eyes and look at what is going on around her a little more clearly. Doppler Mousesack is clearly getting fed up with all of the questions and accusations, so he decides to change the subject. He reaches into his robe and pulls out Queen Calanthe’s sash for Ciri, which of course makes her forget everything Dara just told her.

Death While Bowel Emptying

Back at the hunt, the dwarven head honcho yells to everyone that he’s found Ser Eyck dead in the woods. Apparently, the poor bastard’s throat was slit while he was dropping a hefty Hirikka duece out in the woods. As the four groups continue their ascent up the mountain and the reavers pull up ahead, the dwarves mention to Borch and Geralt that they know of an old Dwarven shortcut through the mountain. Geralt tells them he will catch up with them as he goes to grab Yennefer, which ends up in quite the chat between the two. Yen is pissed that her escort has perished since she needed him for only one thing. I took that as she needed him to distract the dragon for her to kill it since she’s easily powerful enough to take down a dragon on her own, but I could be wrong. She ends up spilling that she’s looking for the dragon because of ancient wives’ tales that certain dragon ingredients can restore her fertility. Geralt laughs this off and tells her that none of this is true (really ruining everyone’s hopes and dreams this episode, huh Geralt?). Geralt then spills on Ciri and his Child Surprise, which eventually leads to him inviting her on the shortened path with him and the dwarves.

Even though it seemed as if all the sense that Dara had talked into Ciri’s head had all but vanished after she was given her grandmother’s sash, she begins questioning the Doppler Mousesack. He is extremely fed-up at this point and tells them that Geralt is waiting for them at the village that they’re very close to. It’s then like something clicks within princess Cirilla’s brain and she begins sneakily interrogating the Doppler. He slips here and gives himself away and then tells Ciri that he killed Mousesack. Dara attacks the faux Mousesack but gets knocked down. The Doppler grabs the knife that Dara was holding and we see his hand begin to smoke. Silver! He drops the knife as he walks towards the young elven boy. Ciri comes crashing in, grabs the knife, and holds it to the Doppler’s neck. This affects the man dearly and we see him transform into his hideous true form. Dara grabs the creature and holds him up against the tree. Ciri tells him to kill the beast and Dara pauses, allowing the Doppler to smack him in the face and knock him unconscious. A look of terror spreads across Ciri’s face and she turns sprinting off into the woods.

Shortcut to Death

The Dwarven shortcut is not all that it was cut out to be. The main Dwarf tells everyone to watch out for falling “scree”, which is apparently Dwarven for rocks. They make their way out to a ledge on the mountainside that has thin, rickety, wood planks built into it. Everyone other than the dwarves gets a look of displeasure on their face, knowing that this path was made for none other than dwarves, yet they all carefully step out and begin the dangerous trek up the shortcut. Rather quickly, Borch and his two female companions wooden planks crack and send them to their apparent deaths. Geralt and crew look extremely sad, but they know they must continue making their way up the mountain. As they finally reach the summit, Geralt decides to go visit Yennefer in her Hermione Granger tent where they finally announce their true feelings for one another. This scene was awesome as it showed sides of both characters that we hadn’t really seen much of yet up to this point in the season. The two do the deed and wake up next to each other the next morning, but to their surprise, the dwarves have left them behind and taken off for the dragon without their knowledge.

Ciri is still apparently sprinting through the snow sodden outskirts of the Brokilon forest when a Nilfgaardian soldier appears. He takes the young princess to Cahil, the Nilfgaardian commander, who begins apologizing to Cirilla. He tells her that he wasn’t trying to torment Ciri as he mentions the White flame, and then he tells the young girl that she is the key to everything. The camera had, of course, panned away from Ciri, and now we hear a strange noise. Cahil turns to find that the girl who was sitting there is now a duplicate of himself, and he realizes that it was not actually Ciri but the Doppler pretending to be the princess. The Doppler attacks the Nilfgaardian and looks to have the apparent edge as he knows all of Cahil’s tricks. But the Nilfgaardian commander prevails (somewhat) as the Doppler vanishes yet again.

Yennefer catches up to those meddling dwarves and shouts a spell that freezes the lot of them in time. She reaches the dragon’s lair and a few seconds later Geralt arrives as well, but they find the dragon already dead. In front of it is an egg and then from the other side of the cave comes Borch’s two companions who we all had though died. Yen then looks up at a large opening within the dragon’s lair as a massive golden dragon climbs down into the cave. The dragon begins talking and we find out that Borch was actually a dragon all along! Also, apparently dragons can speak without moving their mouths and I’m still not sure if I found this creepy or downright awesome. Borch explains that he joined the King’s commissioned hunt to keep his enemies close so that he could protect the egg at all costs. And right on queue, the reavers show up ready to slay the mystical beast and steal his young dragon egg. Geralt and Yen go crazy on these fools and kill every last one of them. Both had their struggles, but in the end, they come out on top after Yennefer plants a dagger directly into the main reaver’s throat.

We briefly cut to Jaskier who wakes up completely by himself and seemingly hammered (Super LOL). Back at the cave, the Dwarves have finally unfrozen and are extremely pissed that they missed the opportunity to slay a dragon. Borch strolls out back in his human form and offers them a peace offering of some dragon teeth though so that they can tell the king that his dragon problem has been taken care of. At first, they don’t seem to happy with the offering but then they realize that with these teeth they will get the reward the king offered, which if I’m not mistaken included a vassal-ship within the kingdom.

Tough Goodbyes

Apparently the Doppler found Ciri before making his way to Cahil and has tied her up to a tree by Calanthe’s sash. She hears footsteps rapidly approaching and begins freaking out. The person finally gets close enough for her to see and she’s elated to find out that it was not the Doppler but actually Dara. She was very quick to trust the elven boy though, especially after just witnessing the evil abilities that the Doppler had. Luckily for Ciri (and for us as viewers), this was actually Dara. He is pissed at Cirilla though and tells her she needs to find a new family because he’s outie. He thinks that she is pure chaos and that destruction follows her everywhere she goes, so he begins making his way away from Ciri to where I would assume is near the entrance to the Dryad camp within the Brkilon forest.

We cut back to Borch, yen, and Geralt as they chat atop the mountain. Borch mentions to the three of them that he now knows why Geralt doesn’t want to lose Yennefer, to which Yen asks what he means. Geralt hints at his unheard wish and Yen becomes furious. She now thinks that all of Geralt’s and her own feelings are pure poppycock and that the Djinn’s magic is what is making them fall in love. Some bickering ensues before Borch cuts them both off and tells them they will both not get what they’re searching for. Yennefer will never regain her womb and even though Geralt does not want to lose Yen, he will. Yen states that he already has as she storms off in a rage. Borch talks to Geralt about his destiny (no surprise here) before he also makes his way away from our Witcher leaving him atop the mountain.

We end the episode with Cahil and Fringilla discussing the escape of the Doppler. She mentions that they have still not found him but that they will, and that Cahil did not need to kill everyone in the inn to prove none of them were the Doppler. She also briefly mentions how he was the one who rose up and freed the Nilfgaardian people and answered the call to the white flame (FYI for those of you who don’t know what the white flame is). This seems to reignite the flame (no pun intended) within Cahil as he stands and tells Fringilla to gather the troops. It’s time for his army to continue their march as “The time of the sword and ax is nigh,” and we fade into the credits.

Be sure to watch out for the rest of our The Witcher reviews that will come out over the next few days. In the meantime, head on over to to view the rest of our killer TV Show, Movie, and Gaming reviews. For more of my personal content visit

One Comment

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  1. This is a great summary / explanation. I was a bit confused at the end with Cahil, Ciri & the Doppler and this perfectly cleared things up. So thank you!

    FYI ‘scree’ is actually a real English word and not just a made up Dwarven word for rocks. It’s an accumulation of loose stones or rocky debris.

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