The Politics of The Witcher 2 - Part 5: Radovid vs Philippa, the Clash of Titans
As seen in my previous articles, Radovid V the Stern of Redania and Philippa Eilhart were two major actors in the world changing events in the Witcher 2. Their epic rivalry shook the North and is deserving of a focus piece, where the evolution, brilliance, and mistakes of both characters are examined.
This piece is going to be slightly different than my previous ones in the sense that in addition to investigating the political events and calculations, I’ll also be looking at the thematic element behind this chess match between these 2 Realpolitik artists. The clash between Radovid V and Philippa Eilhart is also a clash between two contrasting world visions for a new order.
Before I start, I want to thank Zjarcal for the great images she made for me, they are awesome and you’re awesome. Love you!
My Top 10 Video Game Protagonists - Number 5 (spoilers)
We come to the last of the first half and the beginning of the second.
The next 5 protagonists will be more complex than the previous 5, so I will require longer pieces to examine and analyze them. These 5 had a very big impact on me and my gaming experience, and I hold them very dearly to my heart.
The full list can be found here.
5. Geralt of Rivia - The Witcher series
Dandelion on Geralt: “Is he a good man? I do not think so. Does he try to maintain his humanity? I believe he does.”
The Politics of The Witcher 2 - Part 4: Emhyr, The Hidden Chessmaster
As previously seen in my previous articles, the Witcher 2 portrays an intricate and complex political plot. It is thus to be expected that there would be several political chessmasters plotting, calculating and scheming in their effort to win the grand game; with the likes of Henselt desiring to conquer Aedirn and spread his influence to Temeria, Philippa Eilhart orchestrating the rise of a new state and the restoration of the Council and Conclave, Radovid plotting the demise of the Lodge and the annexation of Temeria, and Letho backstabbing one ally after the other to achieve his goals. It is interesting then that perhaps the most impressive chessmaster of the game didn’t even appear.
I am of course talking about the Emperor of Nilfgaard, The White Flame Dancing on the Barrows of His Enemies, Emhyr Var Emreis.
This article will focus on Emhyr’s plan as orchestrated in the game, by following his three agents, Shilard Fitz-Oseterlen, Letho of Gulet and Cynthia, and see how they coordinated with each other to fulfill their objectives to soften the North for an invasion.
Before doing so, I will first briefly introduce the Nilfgaardian Empire and Emhyr Var Emreis. Then I shall provide a quick description of each agent and their goals. I will then proceed with describing the chain of events that they were involved in throughout the game. Finally I will attempt to summarize how they coordinated with each other in a diagram, demonstrating their own ingenuity and resourcefulness, as well as the brilliance of Emhyr’s stratagem.
Hey, it's me KnightofPhoenix. Yes I have a tumblr now! So I'm writing part 4 of Politics of the Witcher 2 and I'm nearly done, I suspect it will be ready tomorrow or 2 days from now. So, how should I proceed? Should I post it in my own blog and you reblog it here? Or vice versa? I prefer the former to have some traffic on my page, if it's possible. Thanks!
Welcome aboard! 8D
That’s great! I’d suggest you post them on your blog because you made them in the first place so they’re 100% yours, hahah. I’ll just reblog and tag appropiately so that everyone can find them over here~
Here’s an edit I did for KnightofPhoenix, for CDPR’s “Your face in the game” contest. He is a carbon copy of King Radovid, so it was a no-brainer I guess. I just added a background (The Marble Room, Warsaw), edited the bald cap and made low-res shot look presentable. Hint, FILM GRAIN EVERYWHERE. Details for free! Pff, I’m cheap.
Hahah, yesss 8D
I knew he would enter this contest
I knew iiit
The Politics of The Witcher 2 - Part 3: The War for the Pontar Valley
Finally after an extended break, I’ve decided to resume my series and what better way to start again than with a bang. This article will focus on the Second war for the Pontar Valley, waged by the Kingdom of Kaedwen against the Kingdom of Aedirnin and an Upper Aedirnian movement. In my studies in Political Science, I have learned a methodology which I can use to analyze events and conflicts, and I thought it would be interesting and enlightening to do so for this particular war. In doing so, I will demonstrate how the war is more complex than it looks, involving several factors and phenomena. Indeed, this goes to show that CDPR writers know what the fuck they are doing.
In essence, the article will be answering the questions: “What caused the war? What factors decided its timing? What were the stakes?”
There are three levels of analysis that political analysts like to focus on:
The domestic level of analysis, which as the name indicates, deals with the domestic politics and internal workings of the polities involved in the conflict, being Kaedwen and Aedirn.
Then we have the regional / “subsystem” level of analysis. It was tricky to pinpoint, but I believe that the Pontar Valley and the area surrounding it (Aedirn, Kaedwen and Temeria, with Redania close by) has a particular shared dynamic that qualifies it as a subsystem.
And finally, the global / systemic level of analysis. As the name suggests, it deals with the global political stage in general, though when it comes to this particular conflict, the focus will remain for the most part on the North.
I will be investigating all three levels of analysis to reach our conclusion.
Before doing that however, it would be beneficial to give a quick overview of the contested land of the Pontar Valley.
Antagonist Comparison: Jacques vs. Letho
After playing a game that had sub-par antagonists to say the least (should be obvious which game I am referring to), I thought of doing homage to my two favorite antagonists of all time in my own way. Jacques de Aldersberg and Letho of Gulet. I wish to explain my admiration for them and why they are my two favorites, before I explain why Letho ranks slightly higher than Jacques in my eyes.
So let us begin!
The Politics of The Witcher 2 - Part 2: The Kingslayers
After making the brief overview for all factions involved, both major and minor, I thought it would be enlightening to look at one of them in-depth. The Kingslayers, four Witchers of the viper school led by the giant of a man Letho, are the main antagonists of the game, and their quest to fulfill their mission would lead them to interact, ally with and backstab several factions. This impressive maneuvering orchestrated by Letho, the leader of the kinglsayers, will culminate in a sequence of events that would sow chaos in the North and pave the way for the Third Nothern War.
Before starting, I must emphasize that much of what I wrote is my personal interpretation based on the knowledge we are given. A lot of it is left ambiguous and not explored with great detail, especially considering that a lot of it happened outside the game. The assassin that appeared at the end of The Witcher 1 in particular, is not mentioned at all, barring the first scene and a flashback sequence with seemingly a fourth Witcher in it next to Geralt, Letho, Auckes and Serrit, who most likely is our mysterious assassin. Also, I will not delve into their hunt of…the Wild Hunt with Geralt. My focus will rather be on what transpired in Nilfgaard and after.
The Politics of The Witcher 2 - Part 1: Factions Overview
This is something I’ve been wanting to do for quite a while. To write a series of blogs dealing with the story and political plot of The Witcher 2, which I found were great as far as video games are concerned. The blogs aim to underline several issues and concepts I find interesting. Chances are, they are going to bore many people, but eh :P
Needless to say, spoilers!
This first blog is a brief overview of all the factions, both major and minor, involved in the game that Geralt can interact with and in some instances, influence their fate. By “major faction”, I mean the major players that are present more or less throughout and/or have a dominating presence in the Loc Muinne Conference in Act 3. By “minor”, I mean the smaller players that are confined to one act or small locale and/or have a minor role in the Conference of Act 3.
After the brief overview, I will attempt to explain how they all interelate, which they do, in a vast and complex political web of intrigue.
Before all of that however, we should take a look at the map of the North:
(click to enlarge)
As we can see, the major kingdoms of the North are Temeria (blue), Redania (red), Kaedwen (green) and Aedirn (brown). The black bloc is the mighty Nilfgaardian Empire. The game deals with all five polities and more. For a detailed summary of the history of the Witcher universe, please check the Witcher wiki. Or this trailer that briefly summarizes the situation in the North immediately prior the game.
Please keep the map in mind for I will refer to it several times, more notably when it comes to Flotsam and especially the Pontar Valley.