Who is Eredin? Wild Hunt Leader’s Lore Explained

Eredin Bréacc Glas, also known as the King of the Wild Hunt, is an important character in the Witcher universe. 

Eredin is a member of the Aen Elle, a race of tall elves living in a separate world. He commands an elite cavalry known as the Red Riders, or the Wild Hunt, as they’re called on the Continent.

What does Eredin want with Ciri? How is his portrayal different in the books, games, and Netflix’s Blood Origin prequel? Here’s a closer look at the mysterious elven antagonist.

Disclaimer: Witcher book and game spoilers ahead!

Why Does Eredin Want Ciri?

Both in the books and the games, Eredin is after Ciri because of the Elder Blood gene she carries. Also known as the Lara gene, it allows the carrier and, more importantly, their descendants to travel freely between different worlds.

The Aen Elle elves lost the ability to travel through interdimensional gates (Ard Gaeth) after the Conjunction of Spheres, the central event in the Witcher universe. That’s why Avallac’h ran genetic experiments to create a child capable of freely traveling between worlds.

His work succeeded, and Lara, the daughter of King Auberon who carried the gene, was supposed to marry Avallac’h and give birth to a child that would again open the Ard Gaeth for the Aen Elle.

But instead, she had a child with a human mage, and the gene was lost to the elves. As a descendant of Lara, Ciri carries the Elder Blood gene, which is why Eredin, Avallac’h, and the Wild Hunt are after her in both the books and Witcher 3. 

In the books, the elves mostly want the gene to be able to invade other worlds. Meanwhile, in Witcher 3, the bigger reason is the White Frost, a global cooling that threatens to destroy the Aen Elle civilization.

Eredin in the Witcher Books

Eredin by artist Hikaru Yagi, one of the best interpretations of Eredin’s appearance based on the book descriptions.

Eredin plays a relatively subdued role in Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels compared to his more pronounced presence in the video games. His most significant appearance occurs in “The Lady of the Lake,” the final novel of the Witcher saga. 

Eredin is introduced as the commander of the Dearg Ruadhri (Red Riders), a group of mounted Aen Elle warriors that battle their arch-enemy, the unicorns, and raid other worlds for slaves.

He is a close ally of Avallac’h, and they work together to get Ciri to have a child with their King, Auberon. That would produce a child carrying the Elder Blood gene, who would again allow the Aen Elle to travel freely between worlds.

Although Eredin is ambitious, his loyalty to the cause of the Aen Elle may be his most important trait. While he desires power, he ultimately works with Avallac’h and Auberon to secure Ciri’s bloodline to benefit his people. 

This explains why, even though Eredin indirectly causes Auberon’s death by giving Ciri an aphrodisiac potion, most fans agree that this was accidental. 

Eredin’s Physical Appearance 

While the book mentions that Eredin is the same height as Avallac’h (about 2 meters), his appearance is the opposite of his close ally: an imposing, black-haired elven warrior with an intimidating face. In Ciri’s words,

Ciri looked at them. They were of equal height, meaning they were both extremely tall. But Avallac’h’s face was gentle, while the black-haired elf’s face brought to mind a bird of prey. Fair and black, she thought. Good and evil. Light and dark …

The Lady of the Lake

Did you know? There is some speculation that Ciri is attracted to Eredin the books, although, like many parts of the Witcher novels, it’s left up for interpretation. 

Eredin in the Witcher Games

He was different from all other elves. There was no shame in his gaze. He had never suffered persecution, he had endured no massacres, humans had not taken his land. This elf was not of this world. He was an invader.

Geralt, Witcher 2
eredin's appearance in every witcher game

Eredin makes an appearance in all three Witcher games by CD Projekt Red.

The Witcher

In the first game of the series, Eredin does not appear directly but is alluded to as the King of the Wild Hunt. His spectral presence haunts Geralt, embodying death and serving as an ominous figure linked to Geralt’s lost memories and past actions. 

Eredin’s role is more thematic, symbolizing the inevitable chase of destiny and the consequences of one’s choices rather than being a direct antagonist.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Eredin’s presence in “The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings” is similarly indirect. He’s briefly mentioned when Geralt recollects details about his past, with a flashback showing how Geralt traded himself to the Wild Hunt to release Yennefer.

Eredin in Witcher 3

eredin witcher 3

In “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” Eredin takes center stage as the primary antagonist. That’s why CDPR changed his portrayal from the books into a clear-cut villain. For example, the games explicitly state that he killed Auberon, becoming the new king of the Aen Elle. 

Despite this, Eredin has arguably even less screen time and dialogue than in the books. We agree with fans who criticized CDPR for wasting Eredin’s potential by not fleshing out the character more. It’s quite likely that the devs ran out of time, leaving Eredin and the Wild Hunt unfinished.

It would’ve been great to get a closer look at his motivations alongside a more nuanced portrayal instead of just making him an oversimplified bad guy.

In any case, Eredin leads the Wild Hunt in a search for Ciri to not only give the Aen Elle the ability to invade other worlds but also escape the White Frost that’s coming for theirs. But Geralt and Yennefer find Ciri first and bring her back to the Witcher fortress of Kaer Morhen.

Eredin leads the Wild Hunt in an epic assault on the fortress, where Geralt and his allies suffer losses but ultimately prevail.

Geralt, Ciri, Avallac’h, and their allies confront the Wild Hunt for one last time in the Skellige Isles. They defeat its generals before Geralt battles Eredin one-on-one and slays the Aen Elle King. With his dying breath, Eredin urges Geralt not to trust Avallac’h:

Avallac’h has tricked us both. He set us against each other…and made off with Cirilla.

Eredin’s final words, Witcher 3

Did you know? Witcher 3 was originally going to have a quest where Geralt infiltrates the Wild Hunt aboard the Naglfar ship by disguising himself with a spell or illusion. The quest would feature complex dialogue trees, with bad answers blowing Geralt’s cover. Unfortunately, the quest was cut because there were too many other things to do. 

Eredin in Witcher: Blood Origin

A young Eredin appears in the four-episode Witcher prequel series “Blood Origin.” He’s presented as a general of the Elven Xintrea empire, played by Australian actor Jacob Collins-Levy.

Unfortunately, his portrayal is a far cry from the books. For one, his physical appearance is quite different, as he lacks the imposing height, black hair, and “bird of prey” face mentioned in the books. 

More importantly, Eredin is portrayed as gay and has a love interest, which is not at all consistent with the books. Much like Avallac’h, Eredin’s portrayal in Blood Origin received considerate criticism from book fans. 

Eredin: Final Thoughts

Eredin is a fascinating character who plays an important role in both the Witcher books and games. Witcher 3 transforms him into a clear-cut villain, simplifying his character to create an overarching antagonist for the game. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t do his character justice, as he gets only a handful of lines.

That’s why many book fans prefer Eredin’s complex and nuanced portrayal in the novels. Nonetheless, in both cases, Eredin is an effective antagonist who embodies key themes of destiny, power, and the consequences of ambition.

We hope to see a more detailed, true-to-the-books portrayal of Eredin in future Netflix adaptations.

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