It was recently revealed that Game of Thrones star Kristofer Hivju is likely to be playing the part of Nivellen in season 2 of Netflix's hit show The Witcher, which delighted fans of the books, specifically The Last Wish. The character of Nivellen is one of the more memorable characters fans meet in the book, but that story did not make it into season 1 of the show. It would seem it is set to make its debut in season 2 though, so for those who don't know what that story and the character of Nivellen are all about, here's a quick rundown to get you up to speed. Now, spoilers for The Last Wish are incoming, so you've been warned. That said, the show will likely change some things from the books anyway.
Geralt encounters Nivellen in the short story a Grain of Truth after he follows a trail of bodies to an old mansion. That's when Nivellen first appears, though in their initial meeting Nivellen is snorting and grunting at Geralt to scare him away. It ends up that he's very capable of speech despite his beastly appearance, and so he invites him inside to chat, and the two have a quite intriguing conversation about how Nivellen ended up with a curse that turned him into a beast and how he has tried to break it over the years.
He reveals he's lived with various women in order to try and break the curse, a solution often found in fairy tales, but that hasn't worked. He has enjoyed living with women over the years though, and he treats them well and they leave with plenty of money after they've stayed with him. He won't really talk about his newest companion though despite Geralt's continued questions, and that's why when Geralt leaves he only goes to the nearby forest.
That's when the woman who has been staying with Nivellen most recently, Vereena, shows up, who turns out to be a Bruxa. Bruxa's are extremely deadly, and she manages to turn the tables on Geralt, though Nivellen intervenes, and during that final fight, her love mixed with her blood (thanks to Geralt) cures Nivellen of his curse.
So, that's Nivellen in a nutshell, and we cannot wait to see how this plays out in live-action.
You can find the official description for Netflix's The Witcher below.
"Based on the best-selling fantasy series of books, The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family. Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts," Netflix said. "But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together."
Henry Cavill (Geralt of Rivia), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), Freya Allan (Ciri), Jodhi May (Calanthe), Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Eist), Adam Levy (Mousesack), MyAnna Buring (Tissaia), Mimi Ndiweni (Fringilla), Therica Wilson-Read (Sabrina), Emma Appleton (Renfri), Eamon Farren (Cahir), Joey Batey (Jaskier), Lars Mikkelsen (Stregobor), Royce Pierreson (Istredd), Maciej Musiał (Sir Lazlo), Wilson Radjou-Pujalte (Dara), and Anna Shaffer as Triss.