Wondering what the monoliths are in The Witcher? If you're here, you're probably in the middle of watching or just finished the second season of The Witcher (opens in new tab) show on Netflix. While these strange obelisks appeared briefly in the first season, they got a lot more screen-time during the show's second outing.
Back at the beginning of the first season, we see Ciri's scream inadvertently take down a monolith in Cintra. And because of the chasm that opens up as the structure collapses, she can escape the clutches of Cahir. The significance of this becomes clearer in Season 2. If you haven't finished watching, be careful of spoilers below. Here's what we know about The Witcher monoliths.
The Witcher monoliths: What you need to know in Season 2
The monoliths don't feature in The Witcher books (opens in new tab), but they do appear briefly in the games—though their original meaning seems to have been repurposed for the show.
It's not known where the monoliths themselves came from or what created them. They appeared throughout the Continent after the Conjunction of the Spheres over a thousand years before the events of the show. They were believed to have been the impact points during the Conjunction when the different realms collided, and monsters, elves, and humans had to learn to share a world for the first time.
In episode 4 (opens in new tab), Geralt discovers that fellow Witcher Eskel and the Leshy that killed him contain stellacite, a material only found in monoliths. He sets out to find Istredd, who has been studying the Continent's history, for help.
In episode 5 (opens in new tab), both Geralt and Istredd travel to the site of the toppled monolith in Cintra—yep, the one Ciri brought down in Season 1. On closer inspection, both believe that the ancient monoliths must be conduits or gateways to those other worlds, and that's how the monster that attacked Eskel arrived. This is confirmed when Ciri calls out in distress to Geralt from Kaer Morhen, and both he and Istredd hear her from the site of the Cintra monolith, and a new monster is unleashed from some other plane.
A monolith comes into play again in the final episode (opens in new tab) of Season 2 when Voleth Meir, the Deathless Mother, possesses Ciri's body. She breaks open the medallion tree to reveal a small monolith inside. Shattering the construct with her scream, Voleth Meir then summons forth basilisks to fight for her through the portal she has opened to another realm.
No doubt we'll find out more about the ancient monoliths in the third season, maybe along with who or what created them. But for now, we'll just have to content ourselves with the knowledge that whatever their reason for existence is, it's probably not good for the inhabitants of the Continent.