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.