Netflix’s “The Witcher” is filled with references to popular fairy tales. We are told of princesses locked in towers repeatedly during Season 1, a thinly veiled reference to Rapunzel. Episode 1 tells us the tale of Renfri, a rebel who was once a princess, living a gruesome version of Snow White. These storylines, inspired by well-known fairy tales, are all tied to the curse of being born during a black sun. These fairy tale representations are also linked to the law of surprise, as we see in the story of Ciri’s parents. Theirs is a love story we all know quite well, the tale of a beauty and her beast.
While it is not the Disney version we know (as it has elements of political machinations and courtly love), it is the story of a man cursed to look like a beast, and the woman who sees past his appearance to the goodness of his heart. In Episode 4, we learn how Princess Pavetta of Cintra and Emhyr Var Emreis, known as Duny, met and fell in love, and the role the law of surprise played in their match. We learn how Duny had once saved Pavetta’s father’s life, accepting the law of surprise as his reward.
Duny later learns that the unexpected birth of Pavetta herself is Duny’s surprise, resolving to meet and marry her despite his curse. It is when Duny appears at the ball presenting himself, asking for Pavetta’s hand in marriage, that Geralt plays an important role in their betrothal. Geralt is granted the law of surprise as his reward, setting the future events of the story in motion. It is with the marriage of this beauty and her beast that Geralt’s destiny is tied to Ciri’s.