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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Should you bow to Emhyr in the Witcher 3?

Craig Robinson

At the start of the game, Geralt and Yennefer join up and make their way to the Emperor of Nilfgaard, Emhyr. While paying him a visit after his demands, Geralt gets a crash course on court elegance from his Chaplain, before eventually being granted a decision on whether he should bow to Emhyr when they finally meet. We are here to tell you what happens no matter if you choice to bow or not, and explaining if it even matter at all.

We answer whether you should bow or not in the Witcher 3, and what happens with both choices.

Should you bow in the Witcher 3’s Imperial Audience Quest?

Once you get through the practice bow, wear your fancy clothes and are escorted to the throne room with Emhyr, you then get a choice to bow to Emhyr. The good news is that the decision has absolutely no impact on the storyline. So, you’re largely doing it for your own role-play reasons.

However, depending on which option you take will result in the Chamberlain saying different things once you leave the throne room and return to Yennefer. If you bow, the Chamberlain will escort you back through the palace, saying the business-as-usual lines about what’s going on and to get you out of the palace as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, refusing to bow means the Chamberlain is rather angry at you, and mentions how he is likely to be punished for not correctly addressing you on the manners of court. Whether the Chamberlain is punished, we’ll never quite know for sure. So, bow for the Chamberlain’s sake, or refuse to bow for reasons. On our first playthrough, we didn’t bow just because I thought it would be comical, and it was.

(1 of 2) If you did bow, the Chamberlain will open with a slightly different business-as-usual dialogue.

If you did bow, the Chamberlain will open with a slightly different business-as-usual dialogue. (left), If you don’t bow, the Chamberlain is rather upset with your behaviour. (right)

It’s also worth mentioning that Geralt can get away with not bowing, largely thanks to the great debt Emhyr has over Geralt. In the books, Emhyr is cursed, and the one who saves him from that curse is Geralt. This allowed Emhyr to conquer the Nilfgaardian throne when it was usurped from him while he was cursed. In turn, this allowed him to begin his quest to find Ciri. This is largely where this quest resides, as Emhyr is depicted as en evil ruler through most adaptations and the second Witcher game. However, now we are in the Witcher 3, Emhyr mentions the whole point Geralt is even there is so he can begin looking for Ciri and bringing her back to him. So, with such a demand and trust placed in Geralt, bowing or not really doesn’t make very little difference in the grand scheme of things. So, bow, or don’t bow, it really doesn’t matter at that moment in time, as his daughter’s whereabouts and safety are more pressing than whether or not to be insulted by Geralt or not. Not to mention that Geralt is the entire reason Emhyr is doing what he is doing in thew first place. Letting a bow slide is no big deal.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    CD Projekt
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, Switch, XB One
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    24 June 2015
  • Last Updated
    2 January 2023
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin (Haeravon)

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You are Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster-hunter known as a Witcher. You’ve fully regained your memories since your miraculous revival and escape from the Wild Hunt, and have cleared your name of the false accusations of regicide. In the wake of the assassination of Foltest, king of Temeria, the north have been rent by warfare as Nilfgaard launches its third major invasion, and the northlands have been united under the insane king Radovid. Overshadowing these petty politics is the mysterious return of Ciri - Geralt’s adopted daughter, who is now being pursued by the Wild Hunt.

The guide offers the following:

  • A full walkthrough that’s more than just a listing of quests-it’s an “ideal chronological order” that will get you through the whole game and allow you to see and do everything the game has to offer.

  • Side quests, including monster contracts and treasure hunts for obtaining powerful Witcher sets.

  • Descriptions of decisions, quests, and events that influence the various endings of the game.

  • Crafting and Alchemy information.

  • General strategies on how to take down foes large and small, monstrous and humanoid, boss or mundane.

  • Information on how to complete all the Gwent quests and obtain all the Gwent cards, including detailed Gwent strategies.

  • Trophy/Achievement information.

MASSIVE UPDATE: 7th September 2016 ongoing

  • Added DLC quests “Fool’s Gold” and “Scavenger Hunt: Wolf School Gear”.
  • Organisational changes in the Velen section of the walkthrough to reflect the increased level of Griffin School Gear.
  • Organisational changes throughout the walkthrough to provide a “no skulls” path through the game.
  • Added Death March difficulty tips and commentary throughout the guide.
  • More XP reward numbers included.
  • Walkthrough now includes additional information based on patch changes.
  • Various typo and grammar fixes.
  • Added DLC pages for Blood & Wine, Heart of Stone
  • Lots more quality of life improvements

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