In The Witcher Season 3, the villain Rience continues to track down Cirilla of Cintra on the orders of his employer. So, who does Rience work for?
In The Witcher Season 2, we know that the sorceress Lydia van Bredevoort freed Rience from prison on the condition that he would find Ciri.
Later on, Rience tells Lydia that he wants to meet her employer, but she refuses, saying that her “lord is a private man.” At the end of Season 2, Rience and Lydia meet with her employer, but we don’t see who the employer is.
In Season 3, it’s always emphasized throughout Part 1 that Rience is working for someone. So, who is this mysterious employer? Who does Rience actually work for?
Rience works for Vilgefortz. Vilgefortz has been using Lydia to use Rience in order to find Ciri.
Warning: More spoilers ahead for The Witcher Season 3 Part 1. Read at your own risk!
Rience in Netflix’s The Witcher Explained
Rience is a fire mage who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for crossing Queen Calanthe of Cintra.
In The Witcher Season 2, Rience was freed from prison by the sorceress Lydia on the condition that he would find Ciri. Rience initially refuses, believing that Lydia works for Nilfgaard.
He sees himself becoming “the White Flame’s bounty hunter” and says that he has “no interest in owing a favor to Nilfgaard’s false god."
Lydia then says that it’s fortunate for them both that she’s not working for Nilfgaard. So, Rience accepts the offer to be free in exchange for tracking down Ciri.
He first kidnaps Jaskier for information, but the latter was saved by Yennefer. Later on, he was able to track down Ciri at the Temple of Melitele but was stopped by Geralt.
In The Witcher Season 3 Part 1, Rience continues to track down Ciri. Realizing that having Ciri’s blood would allow Rience to track them everywhere, Yennefer, Geralt, and Ciri come up with a plan to draw Rience out and set up a trap for him.
Rience arrives at Shaerrawedd and attacks Ciri. When reinforcements arrive, Rience opens a portal to escape, but Yennefer does not let it close so that Geralt can cross over.
Geralt and Rience fight until Geralt is forced to leave after the situation at Shaerrawedd gets worse. But before leaving, Geralt breaks both of Rience’s wrists.
Later on, Yennefer explains that Rience’s portal was dark and it took her over, with her still feeling its residue. She realizes that Rience isn’t the only rogue mage they’re dealing with and that “someone very powerful is puppeting him.”
So, who’s been backing Rience? Who does Rience work for?
Who is Rience Working For?
Rience’s mysterious employer is Vilgefortz. Vilgefortz has been using Lydia to use Rience in order to find Ciri.
In The Witcher Season 3 Part 1, Rience tells Lydia that the only reason he accepted the job is because Lydia said she doesn’t work for Nilfgaard.
Lydia, who now communicates telepathically, emphasizes that working with Nilfgaard is not the same as working for Nilfgaard.
She then says that the White Flame is just a means to an end and a small piece of a bigger puzzle.
Rience responds that he’s growing tired of being kept in the dark and that if their employer wants him to go along with the plan, he has a demand of his own.
Towards the end of The Witcher Season 3 Part 1, Geralt and Yennefer realize that the real threat is Vilgefortz, not Stregobor. Geralt and Yennefer realize that Lydia's earrings match the bracelet Vilgefortz gave Tissaia.
They were made of scarlet ammonite, something that's only found in the mines of West Redania, which happens to be near the castle Geralt found the missing girls and Teryn.
So, the one backing the fire mage Rience is Vilgefortz. Lydia works for Vilgefortz, which makes the latter the employer of both Lydia and Rience.