Three episodes into the first half of the third season of the Witcher, now on Netflix, Ciri meets a beautiful young Black woman in a town square who begins flirting with her about, all of things, basilisks. “That would be a rip-off,” the woman says of the possibility that a covered cage contains a baby basilisk. “How scary could that be?”
Ciri tries to warn her that in fact, it could be plenty scary. “They are unpredictable,” she says. “And unpredictable means trouble.”
“What’s wrong with a little trouble?” the woman replies, before Ciri turns to face her.
This woman, who never formally introduces herself, is Mistle, one of a group of young thieves called the Rats who have a big role to play in Ciri’s future (and also a prequel TV series of their own to come). Played by the talented Christine Elwin, Mistle is equal parts clever and playful. When what is actually a baby wyvern (think: dragon that can’t yet fly) escapes from the cage, Ciri goes for her knife only to discover that Mistle has stolen it. She returns it just in time for Ciri to kill the beast.
But after the battle is won, Ciri realizes she’s had her money stolen, too. “Hey Trouble,” Mistle calls from horseback, holding Ciri’s bag of coins before she rides away. “You were great in there.”
It’s a fantastic meet cute, maybe the series’ best. (Sorry YenRalts, but this is way cuter.) It’s also a complete departure from the books, in which the teenage boy Fabio, who accompanies Ciri through the town square, ends up her earnest and hospitable companion. Here, he’s a pill interested mostly in self-advancement, while Mistle—who does not appear in the best-selling books by Andrzej Sapkowski until after this season—seems like an equal. It’s actually maybe the first time in the entire series that we’ve seen Ciri interact with someone who just sees her—not a prophesy, not powers, not a reason for concern. Her.
And if you think that’s got to be attractive that’s got a lot of uninvited drama swirling around her, you are correct. Stay tuned.