Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher. A witcher is a monster hunter and people fear witchers because of their differences. As a child, Geralt was given up by his mother to the men at Kaer Morhen to endure mutations and experimental trials that, more often than not, killed the children they were inflicted on. Not only did Geralt survive these trials—he was so successful at them that he was chosen for additional mutations, which gave him enhanced abilities including greater strength, speed, endurance, ability to see at night and extreme resistance to pain. A side effect of these mutations is Geralt’s white hair color but he is anything but a white knight.

Geralt’s cynicism belies a greater depth of feeling than many think him capable of—witchers are supposed to be devoid of human emotion. However, Geralt is conflicted in that he feels very deeply for his loved ones. A loyal friend and a fierce protector of the innocent, ultimately Geralt would rather avoid violence whenever possible. But Geralt must make a choice, and over the course of the series we will watch as he reconciles his desire to protect those he cares for with his desire to remain above the fray in the Continent’s growing political unrest and upheaval.

Yennefer of Vengerberg was not born beautiful but rather, powerful. The budding mage was turned over to the Academy at Aretuza, where she was trained to become the most powerful sorceress the school would ever train. Yen’s innate power to harness chaos, doesn’t apply only to her magical abilities, but to the core of who she is as a person. Like Geralt, Yennefer has a survivor’s soul.

Perceived as ruthless and manipulative by many, the reality is, Yennefer insulates herself from the world so as not to be hurt and rejected the way she was by her parents. As the Continent grows volatile with palace intrigue and war, Yennefer’s connections to her friends and loved ones deepen, and Yennefer must learn to trust her friends and new family, allow herself to accept their love, and to rely on them as much as she relies on herself. Anya Chalotra, who plays Yennefer, adds, 'Yennefer is in a constant battle with herself. She is never satisfied, always striving for something else. She's vulnerable but courageous, fears both rejection and love.'

Princess Cirilla, or Ciri, Queen Calanthe’s granddaughter, had a sheltered upbringing and experiences tremendous loss when Cintra falls and she escapes. Thankfully, she has allies on her side, most importantly Mousesack. He is a druid, a person of authority, connected to the queen, who sees him as a confidante.

Freya Allan, who plays Ciri, describes her character as 'inspiring and complex, having gone from a secure home, with people around her to being suddenly dropped into a very brutal world, experiencing huge loss in just one night.' Allan continues, 'Ciri is relentless and not afraid to ask questions. Very stubborn but also naïve. Having lost everyone, she suddenly discovers things she never knew.'

Ciri soon encounters 'Dara,' an elf, and they embark on a journey of friendship and loyalty throughout several episodes. Allan explains, 'Dara has also experienced great loss, and somehow they share the same pain. They help each other and form a special bond.'

Even loners stumble upon a friend on occasion, and so does Geralt when he meets Jaskier-a singer of songs about faraway places he has never been. Jaskier is at a particularly low point in his life when he encounters Geralt, scrounging for bread and trying to make his way in an unwelcoming world.

Batey, who shared laughs with Cavill on and off set, says, 'Jaskier is clever, but he lacks wisdom and a worldly perspective. Being tied up next to Geralt, suddenly in peace talks with Elves, with knives to his throat, is the first time he’s faced death. From here on, he makes the decision to not leave Geralt’s side. This is the guy you want to guy to be around.'

Jaskier brings light-hearted humor to the story while developing a loyal friendship with his new-found hero. Different as they could be, Geralt's succinct bluntness comically juxtaposes with Jaskier's utter lack of brevity. Batey reveals, 'Sometimes it takes just one line for Geralt to say what Jaskier says in a full paragraph.'

Cahir is an intelligence officer in the Nilfgaard army. A military man tasked with one specific job. Eamon Farren, who plays Cahir, says, 'My wardrobe feels lush, it feels rich, it feels straggly. Much like the world Cahir inhabits. And it’s why I only see Cahir when I look in the mirror.' His uniform is adorned with a standard Nilfgaardian cavalry sword, which has a utilitarian, common manufactured look.

Renfri’s bad luck started at birth, not only because her mother died in labor, but because Renfri was born during the Black Sun – a solar eclipse prophesied by the mage known as “Mad” Eltibald to produce 60 girls that could destroy humanity. Renfri was believed to be one of them.

A princess, beautiful with fair skin and silken blonde hair, her father remarried when she was young to the lovely Aridea. Aridea wanted to be loved and respected by her new kingdom, so she asked for the wizard Stregobor’s help to see the future. Unfortunately, it foretold her death and destruction at the hands of Renfri. Stregobor helped Aridea plot to kill Renfri. They sent a thug to take her into the woods and murder her. What no one counted on was Renfri’s escape...

Renfri dies at Geralt’s hands but Renfri will continue to haunt the Witcher, often playing as his unexpected moral compass as he’s forced to contemplate his morality. Over the course of the series we will learn more about her backstory and the surprising ways that it will play into the journey of our heroes, and the history of our villains.

Tissaia is no fair maiden. MyAnna Buring, who plays Tissaia de Vries explains, 'Tissaia is a rectress of Aretuza, one of the most powerful sorceresses, and she trains others to be likewise.' A retuza is an academy for sorceresses, and an incredibly powerful institution. This is where everyone who seeks to practice magic will come through, to learn and rise, or to fail and be turned into eels that lend magical power to the institution.

Tissaia becomes Yennefer’s mentor, despite all the hardships that Yennefer endures while in Aretuza. Tissaia’s relationship with her student begins as one of very strict and demanding matriarchal love, which evolves throughout the season.

Calanthe is The Lioness of Cintra, a fighter at her core, and Ciri’s grandmother. Calanthe took the throne at age 14 after her parents died, and at 15 she earned her name of 'Lioness' after winning her first major battle in Hochebuz against Nazair. Despite enormous pressure from the court, Calanthe put off marriage for as long as possible. The truth is, she would have preferred to stay single and rule her kingdom as she saw fit, with no interference from a husband who she would be forced to obey. But, eventually, a marriage had to be made and an heir to the throne produced. After living her life in the service of her people, Calanthe was finally able to follow her own heart when she accepted the proposal of Eist Tuirseach. And, upon Pavetta and Duny’s death, Calanthe raised Ciri to be strong and stubborn, just like her grandmother, and it is through Ciri that Calanthe’s spirit lives on.