The Witcher 3 has plenty of fantastic villains. While some are clearly evil, others are morally gray individuals driven by complex motivations. The moral ambiguity of these realistic characters gives them a depth that defies the simple characterization of a villain.
In this list, we’ll cover the 15 best Witcher 3 villains, including clear-cut bad guys and the more multifaceted antagonists that define the game’s morally complex world.
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15. The Caretaker
The Caretaker is one of the bad guys in the Hearts of Stone expansion. Even though he might lack the nuance (and screen time) of other villains from this list, he is no less memorable.
A demon summoned by Olgierd to serve his wife Iris, the Caretaker stands out for his unsettling appearance, personification of death, and difficult boss fight. It’s enough to make Geralt utter, “What the f*** was that?”
14. Whoreson Junior
Cyprian Wiley, known as Whoreson Junior, is one of the Novigrad’s most notorious criminals. Sadistic and psychopathic, he delights in torturing and killing prostitutes, as we find during the quest Get Junior.
He also has no qualms about killing his own father to take his place. All in all, Whoreson Junior is one of the few truly evil and irredeemable characters in Witcher 3. As such, we don’t feel bad for ending his life or seeing him left penniless to survive on the mean streets of Novigrad.
Morkvarg is a pirate who was infamous for his cruelty, pillaging the Skellige isles and even sacking a sanctuary to the goddess Freya and killing its priestesses. For that deed, he was cursed to be a werewolf with an insatiable hunger, bound to the sanctuary for eternity.
Although he’s another fairly minor character in Geralt’s journey, Morkvarg stands out for his clear-cut villainy. Even if you choose to lift his curse, Morkvarg says he will continue committing horrible crimes as soon as he’s free.
12. Novigrad Serial Killer
The Novigrad serial killer we encounter during the Carnal Sins quest is another overlooked villain of Witcher 3. The killer’s modus operandi is chilling, marked by ritualistic elements that suggest a deeply disturbed mind. As Geralt delves into the investigation, the complexity and depth of the killer’s motivations become apparent, intertwining personal vendettas with the city’s political and religious tensions.
What sets this villain apart is not just the brutality of his actions, but the psychological terror he instills. The mystery surrounding his identity and the suspense of the detective plot make this storyline one of the most gripping and darkly intriguing in the game.
Caranthir Ar-Feiniel is the chief navigator of the Wild Hunt. While he’s not as villainous as some others on his list, his unwavering dedication to Eredin, the big baddy of Witcher 3, certainly makes him an antagonist.
What we really love about Caranthir is the silent badassery he exudes. Without him, the Wild Hunt can’t even mount its massive attack on Kaer Morhen. He also saves Eredin, bests Eskel, an experienced Witcher, in armed combat, and gives Geralt and Ciri a tough fight.
And he’s the only Wind Hunt general whose face we never see, which only adds to his intimidating mystery.
10. Caleb Menge
Caleb Menge, the fanatical leader of the Witch Hunters in Novigrad, is a masterclass in psychological villainy. Under the guise of religious fervor, Menge orchestrates a brutal campaign against mages, non-humans, and anyone he deems heretical, leading to countless public burnings and tortures. His reign of terror destabilizes Novigrad and makes him a personal enemy to Geralt by placing Triss in danger.
What’s worse, Menge’s cruelty isn’t driven by supernatural power or ambition but by unwavering, twisted conviction. This makes him terrifyingly real and relatable, as he mirrors the dark side of zealotry and intolerance seen throughout history. His actions underscore the game’s exploration of the true nature of evil, suggesting that sometimes, humans are the real monsters.
Imlerith, another formidable general of the Wild Hunt and loyal servant to Eredin, stands out as one of Witcher 3’s most menacing villains. With his imposing physical stature and chilling, emotionless demeanor, Imlerith is a force to be reckoned with.
What makes Imlerith truly villainous is his murder of the beloved Vesemir, an act for which we seek immediate revenge. The act not only highlights Imlerith’s cold, unapologetic nature but also irreversible affects Ciri, Geralt, and the rest of the witchers. The few lines of dialogue we get from Imlerith during the boss fight only make him more intimidating.
Eredin Bréacc Glas, the King of the Wild Hunt, serves as the game’s titular antagonist. As the relentless leader of the spectral riders, Eredin’s pursuit of Ciri and her Elder Blood powers drives much of the game’s narrative. His motivations may be rooted in a desire to save his dying world, but his methods are ruthless, involving not only spreading terror across the Continent but also murdering his own king.
His cold determination and willingness to sacrifice anything or anyone for his cause encapsulates the essence of a classic villain. His pursuit is relentless, his power immense, and his impact on the world of the Witcher undeniable, marking him as one of the game’s most iconic adversaries.
7. Emhyr var Emreis
Emhyr var Emreis, the Emperor of Nilfgaard, is a mastermind of political intrigue. His ambitions for continental domination lead to the wars that ravage the Northern Kingdoms, causing untold suffering and upheaval. While his demeanor is calm and calculated, his methods are often ruthless, sacrificing countless lives for his vision of a united empire.
Emhyr’s quest to find Ciri, his daughter, is layered with both paternal concern and a desire to harness her prophesied powers for political gain. This duality makes him a multifaceted character. While he may not be a villain in the traditional sense, his Machiavellian tactics, imperial ambitions, and the moral compromises he’s willing to highlight his darker side.
The central character of the Hearts of Stone expansion, Olgierd von Everecis, is a prime example of how Witcher 3’s villains are rarely black and white. Inspired by the Faustian myth of European folklore, Olgierd is a man who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for wealth and immortality so he could be with the woman he loved.
As that kind of deal usually goes, his wish turned out to be a curse. His wealth has cost him his family, and immortality came with the price of inability to experience anything. While we certainly can’t excuse many of Olgeird’s actions, we can’t overlook that he’s not entirely irredeemable. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide his fate.
Dettlaff van der Eretein is another complex Witcher 3 villain. Even though he undoubtedly performs terrible deeds, he’s not purely evil. We find out that Dettlaff was manipulated by his former lover (who is also on this list) and that blackmail was the main motivation behind his actions. His remorse after killing his friend is a great example of Detlaff’s complexity.
What sets Dettlaff apart as a villain is not just his supernatural might but the tragic depth of his character. He’s driven by a profound sense of betrayal and heartbreak, making him both an emotionally driven, sympathetic figure and a terrifying antagonist.
4. Radovid V
King Radovid V is a notable villain in Witcher 3, thanks to the power he holds. As the ruler of Redania, his intense hatred for mages and non-humans leads to a brutal witch hunt across Novigrad and the Northern Kingdoms. Under his reign, countless sorceresses, mages, and other perceived enemies are persecuted, tortured, and executed.
While his martial and political skills are undeniable, his cruelty and paranoia define him as a villain. Radovid’s descent into madness and his unyielding vendetta against magic users, driven partly by personal traumas, make him dangerous and unpredictable.
Syanna, introduced in Blood and Wine expansion, is the estranged elder sister of the Duchess of Toussaint, Anna Henrietta. Born during a solar eclipse, she was believed to be affected by the Curse of the Black Sun, leading many to believe she would bring ruin to Toussaint. As a result, she faced exile and grew up facing hardships, fostering a deep-seated resentment towards her homeland and family.
Upon returning home, Syanna orchestrates a series of brutal murders in a revenge plot against those who wronged her. Syanna’s villainy is rooted in her tragic past, making her a complex character. While her actions are undeniably malevolent, they are also deeply intertwined with her quest for justice and recognition. This blend of personal vendetta and moral ambiguity makes Syanna a compelling and multifaceted villain.
2. The Crones
The Crones of Crookback Bog are among the most unsettling adversaries in Witcher 3. These ancient, malevolent beings — Weavess, Brewess, and Whispess — rule over the swamps with a mix of fear and dark allure. They present themselves as guardians of the land, but their true nature is far more sinister.
Feeding off the pain and suffering of the local populace, they demand regular tributes and make twisted bargains with those desperate enough to seek their aid. Their connection to the land and its creatures gives them immense power, and their willingness to manipulate, consume, and discard human lives reveals their malevolence.
The Crones’ blend of folklore horror and dark magic makes them some of the game’s most unambiguous and compelling villains.
1. Gaunter O’Dimm
Gaunter O’Dimm, also called “Master Mirror” or “Man of Glass,” emerges as perhaps the most enigmatic and malevolent figure in Witcher 3. On the surface, he presents himself as a mere merchant of mirrors, but as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that he possesses power far beyond comprehension, manipulating time, space, and the very fabric of reality.
O’Dimm’s true nature is heavily implied to be that of the Devil, making deals with individuals only to twist their wishes in cruel, ironic ways. But even then, all we can do is guess about the true nature and goals of “evil incarnate,” as one character describes him.
O’Dimm’s chilling omnipresence, immense power, and delight in the suffering of others earn him the #1 Witcher 3 villain spot. Perhaps we’ll see him again in a future Witcher game.
Gleb has been playing PC games since the late 1990s and has always enjoyed RPGs the most (Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls, WoW, Dark Souls, etc.). He had tons of fun playing Witcher 3, so he made this website for discussion, guides, and other info related to the Witcher game, books, and cinematic universe. He travels the world as a digital nomad and spends his time working on website projects, practicing kickboxing, and telling people how awesome intermittent fasting is.