Unlike most of the characters in the Witcher universe, Letho of Gulet only appears in the Witcher games. A witcher from the School of the Viper, he’s the main antagonist of Witcher 2 and a minor character in Witcher 3. Letho is an underrated character liked by many for his complex motivations, formidable skills, and unique look.
In this article, we’ll delve deep into the complex character of Letho, exploring his rich lore and multifaceted significance as the Kingslayer. Tracing Letho’s journey through the Witcher games, we will unravel his motivations, alliances, and the intricate web of events that tie him to Geralt of Rivia.
Disclaimer: as always, be wary that there are spoilers ahead.
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Who is Letho of Gulet?
Letho: I have to kill you.
Geralt: Try it. But I’m no king.Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Letho is a Witcher from the School of the Viper that only appears in the Witcher games. Despite his muscular appearance, Letho is highly cunning and intelligent. Like many Witchers, he was taken as a child, learned the art of monster slaying, and survived the Trial of the Grasses.
He is known as Letho of Gulet, with Gulet being the name of a town near Vengenberg in Aedirn, one of the Northern Kingdoms. So the assumption is that he’s from here, even though it’s never confirmed.
Letho is considered one of the most powerful Witchers in the games and one of the rare few to have defeated Geralt. From childhood until his training as a monster slayer, Letho resided in Gorthur Gvaed, a keep similar to Kaer Morhen. The place housed the School of the Viper and its disciples. When the Usurper ruled Nilfgaard, he demanded that the Witchers of Gorthur Gvaed bend to his will.
The Witchers refused, and the Nilfgaardian Army seized the keep, forcing the remaining few survivors from the School of the Viper to hide. Letho and two fellow Vipers, Serrit and Auckes, were among them.
A Witcher’s Debt
In the year 1270, in a forest in Angren, Letho was facing a Slyzard when the monster hit him with its tail, poisoning the Witcher. Letho was on the brink of death when Geralt appeared, saving his fellow Witcher and earning Letho’s favor in return. At the time, Geralt was chasing the Wild Hunt for the whereabouts of Yennefer. Letho, Serrit, and Auckes share the Wild Hunt’s location and ride with Geralt to face the wraiths.
The party finds the Wild Hunt in Nilfgaard, at the Hanged Man’s Tree. The Witchers stand their ground against the Wild Hunt but reach a stalemate. Finally, Geralt offers a trade, himself for Yennefer, and the Wild Hunt leader, Eredin, accepts.
Determined to repay his debt to Geralt, Letho takes Yennefer under his care. The sorceress, however, is bewildered, amnesic, and causing all sorts of problems for the Vipers. Her lack of discretion attracts the Nilfgardiaan secret police, and Letho’s group is caught and thrown into jail. However, Emhyr van Emreis makes an irresistible offer to Letho: kill Northern kings, and he will restore the Viper School. Letho accepts, setting up the events of the second Witcher game.
Letho in Witcher 2
Kill as many rulers as we could. Lay the blame on the sorceresses. Breed chaos. Prepare the North, soften it before the invasion. And you know what’s incredible? We could not have imagined more fertile soil. No matter what the war’s outcome, the Northern Monarchs’ll accuse one another, pursue their god-given rights and be at each other’s throats for years to come.Letho, Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
Letho is the central antagonist in Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. The game’s spectacular opening cinematic shows a ship under attack by the burly assassin. The Witcher freezes most of the crew with a Northen Wind bomb and takes advantage of the racket to behead King Demavend III of Aedirn, his first target.
Originally Letho was supposed to kill King Esterad Thyssen of Poviss and Kovir. But after a serendipitous encounter with Síle de Tansarville, one of the founding members of the Lodge of Sorceresses, he decided to alter his plans.
Using the sorceress as a smokescreen to hide his actual employer and motives, Letho agrees to her request to assassinate King Demavend III of Aedirn.
As Letho himself claims: “Initially, she watched my every move. But sooner or later, everyone starts treating me like a big oaf. I mean, I can’t change how I look.” This allowed Letho to continue with his deception.
After killing Demavend, Letho claims he’s trying to hide from the Aedirnian manhunt, and Síle points him to Iorveth, a leader of the Scoia’tael. With the head of the king as a trophy, Letho introduces himself to Iorveth and discloses his king-slaying mission. They form a temporary alliance.
Second Encounter with Geralt
The Kingslayer’s next target was King Foltest of Temeria. However, the monarch had hired Geralt as his bodyguard, who opposed Letho’s first attempt. Aware that Temeria would suffer a siege, Letho infiltrated the castle as a wounded monk and operated in the commotion to assassinate Foltest.
Geralt heard the king and ran to his chambers, only to find the ruler already dead. The White Wolf chases after Letho, and since he’s still suffering from amnesia after the Wild Hunt, he fails to recognize the old acquaintance. Letho manages to escape from Geralt with the help of the Scoia’tael. When the guards find the king, Geralt is the only one in his chambers, becoming the primary suspect and earning himself a prison cell.
After murdering Foltest, Letho tries to convince Ciaran aep Easnillen, one of Iorveth’s lieutenants, to betray his leader. The elf refuses, and Letho kills his entire squadron to hide his traces, leaving Ciaran to be captured by guards from Flotsam. Letho alleges that he betrayed Ioverth because the elf was hard to manipulate, dangerous, and would eventually be able to see through his true intentions.
In the meantime, Geralt is pursuing Letho to clear his name. The White Wolf asks Iorveth for assistance because Letho tried to betray the elf. The Scoia’tael help Geralt, but when they find Letho, the Blue Stripes attack Iorveth. The next scene portrays Letho vs. Geralt, and the Kingslayer overpowers the White Wolf.
Letho spares Geralt, paying him back for the time he saved his life. This fight is significant as one of the only times Geralt is defeated and has led many players to speculate whether Letho is stronger than Geralt.
If we’re talking about pure physical strength, the answer is likely yes, given Letho’s bulky, muscular frame. However, Geralt is likely faster and a better swordsman. Another key factor is that Geralt isn’t well-prepared for the fight and still suffers from amnesia, which means he hasn’t fully regained his skills.
In any case, Letho kidnaps Triss and forces the sorceress to teleport them to Aedirn. Once they arrive in Vergen, Letho lets go of Triss and rendezvous with his fellow Vipers Witchers, Serrit and Auckes, in a hideout.
As his attempt to overpower Iorveth fails, Letho assumes that the Scoia’tael know his treachery. In a preemptive attack, the Viper Witchers massacre the elves under Iorveth.
Letho then charges his fellow Viper school Witchers Serrit and Auckes with assassinating King Henselt of Kaedwen. Meanwhile, he attends the Summit at Loc Muinne, a diplomatic gathering of politicians, sorceresses, and other influential individuals from the Northern Kingdoms and the Nilfgaardian Empire.
Saving Triss or Not: Letho Consequences
- If Geralt decides to rescue Triss at Loc Muinne, Letho doesn’t appear during the A Summit of the Mages cutscene.
- If Geralt doesn’t rescue Triss and helps Roche save Anais, Letho saves the sorceress but is captured by guards. During the Summit of Mages, Letho was present but restrained and snitched on the Lodge of Sorceresses. He claimed that they had conspired with him to assassinate the kings. When the dragon Saesenthessis attacks, Letho manages to escape.
Letho knew Síle would throw him to the wolves, so he sabotages her megascope, turning it into a deadly trap. The player can save Síle or let her die due to Letho’s trickery.
Finally, Letho visits the Temerian Quarter and has a possible final encounter with Geralt, depending on the player’s decisions.
After chugging some vodka and chit-chatting, Geralt regains the rest of his memories. Finally, Letho lays all his cards on the table, divulging his days of caring for Yennefer, his capture by the Imperial secret police, and the mission assigned to him by the Nilfgaardian Emperor.
Spare or Kill Letho
To conclude the dialog, the player must choose to confront Letho or let him go:
- If the player decides to fight Letho, you will ultimately kill him.
- If the player decides to spare Letho, he leaves, and the game ends.
Should you kill Letho in Witcher 2? While the decision is yours, we prefer to keep him alive. This allows you to meet Letho again in Witcher 3 if you start the game by importing your Witcher 2 save or simulate a save and say that you spared him. We also like his character because he fought to protect his school and helped Geralt, Yennefer, and Triss, showing that he does adhere to some code of honor.
Letho in Witcher 3
Letho has a minor role in Witcher 3, but will only appear based on your choices. If you load a save from Witcher 2 where you killed Letho, the man will not appear.
If you choose to simulate a Witcher 2 save, you will be asked several questions at the start of the game. The most important one is whether you killed or spared Letho. You can only do Letho’s sidequest if you spare him, which is our suggestion.
We don’t recommend skipping the save simulation, as the game will automatically make some decisions, including assuming that you killed Letho.
In case Letho does not appear in Witcher 3, albeit with the right choices, you may have to restart the game.
Letho Witcher 3 Quest: Ghosts of the Past
The most natural way to find Letho is during the sidequest The Fall of the House of Reardon, which takes you to a monster-infested manor. However, you can also stumble upon the location without taking the side quest. Letho’s location in Witcher 3 is in Reardon Manor.
Geralt notices that the environment is infested with traps and triggers the sidequest Ghosts of the Past. Geralt encounters Letho on a barn’s second floor, where the latter has already dealt with the monsters.
During their conversation, Letho informs Geralt that after escaping from Loc Muinne, Emhyr betrayed him and sent assassins and mercenaries after Letho. After dispatching some of the said mercenaries with the player’s help, Letho says he will hunt for Louis, who disclosed his location. The game will prompt the player with two choices:
- Love to see that: this one allows us to continue Letho’s sidequest, which we recommend.
- Good luck: you bid farewell to the Viper, and he’s never seen again. You can’t retake the sidequest if you pick this one.
Geralt follows Letho to Louis, who leads them to a bounty hunter called Vester. Next, Letho asks to go alone into the barn where Vester is and orders Geralt not to interfere. Letho attracts Vester and his pals but ends up losing the fight. Geralt runs towards him, and two more choices pop up:
- You’re good as dead: you fight the remaining survivors and kill them, but Letho isn’t too happy about it.
- Don’t want trouble: Geralt doesn’t fight the men but persuades them to take Letho’s medallion to prove his death rather than the head. That’s the best, narratively speaking, choice.
Both alternatives lead to the same outcome. Geralt notices that Letho isn’t dead but forged his death with Zanguebarian venom. However, he needed witnesses to back up his end and finally be rid of his pursuers. If Geralt kills everyone, Letho’s plan goes down in shambles. Still, this doesn’t make a difference, as you will still have two additional options:
- You could go to Kaer Morhen: Geralt invites Letho to the fortress. At first, the Viper is hesitant, but he accepts. Later on, he helps fight the Wild Hunt in the invasion.
- You’ll find a place to hide: and so Letho does. He goes away, never to be seen again.
If Letho goes to Kaer Morhen, there will be a few different dialogues just before the battle against the Wild Hunt. Most Witchers are unhappy with your decision to bring Letho there but brush it aside.
Why We Want to See More of Letho
Like many Witcher fans, we appreciate Letho for his depth and complexity. For one, he’s a formidable opponent to Geralt. However, not only his prowess in combat draws players in, but also his captivating backstory and conflicted motivations.
Letho’s loyalty to his fellow witchers and his desire to restore the Viper School give him a sympathetic angle that encourages players to view him as more than a simple villain.
Throughout the game, Letho challenges Geralt’s perceptions and forces players to confront moral ambiguities. This blend of intrigue, complexity, and combat skill makes Letho an unforgettable character that continues to captivate Witcher fans. We sincerely hope CDPR brings him back somehow, ideally with a game from his perspective.
Murillo loves three things: RPG games, fantasy books, and Henry Cavill. So it doesn’t come as a surprise why he immersed himself in the Witcher universe. After bulldozing the novels and getting a platinum trophy in the Witcher 3, he eagerly awaits the next game installment to further expand the saga.