In the world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, if you make it as far as the Blood and Wine expansion, you'll come across a land called Toussaint. There, Anna Henrietta is ruling duchess — but she actually has an older sister who was exiled as a child. Sylvia Anna, known as Syanna, is initially painted as a villain of the game but some digging into her past reveals her as a very understandable character who dealt with some harsh, undeserved circumstances.
Although Anna seems to be overall a good person and Syanna more morally questionable, there are things that make Anna suited to ruling and some that suggest Syanna might have been even better for Toussaint had she been given the chance.
Warning! The Blood and Wine spoilers are a-plenty.
10 Anna: Passionate
Anna is undoubtedly passionate. From the moment we meet Anna, she's extremely fierce: something is threatening Toussaint, and she's not about to stand by and allow it to happen under her watch. She seems to care deeply about the place and its people, almost blindly so, and there's absolutely no thinking of her as a passive character. She takes an active role in her leading, and this makes her pretty suited to being the ruling duchess.
9 Syanna: Charming... When She Wants To Be
Despite this about Anna, Syanna is extremely charming and persuasive, which could be extremely beneficial for a ruler looking to make allies. Take Geralt, who she manages to charm into an intimate relationship — if you choose to take that route, anyway. At the very least, he seems to like her regardless of player choices.
But even more notably is Dettlaff, a higher vampire that Syanna seduces and charms into a killing spree for her. Dettlaff is a powerful being who has never been tricked on this level before Syanna, so obviously she has some sway when she's willing to try.
8 Anna: Knows When To Ask For Help
Anna knows when to ask for help. When the Beast is threatening her kingdom, she puts out a witcher contract that Geralt finds, and so begins the Blood and Wine expansion. It'd be inaccurate to say she's completely free of pride, because she definitely has some, but she knows when she can't get a job done on her own and is willing to bring in the people who can.
7 Syanna: Incredibly Capable Of Doing Things On Her Own
Although Syanna is a little more proud and would definitely be loath to ask for help from anyone if she was ruler, she's also incredibly capable of doing things on her own. She survived being exiled in a forest, eating the bark from trees to survive, and she came back stronger than ever — if a little spiteful too.
Nonetheless, the things she achieved on her own are incredible and if she'd had the power of a kingdom behind her, she might just have been even better.
6 Anna: Loved By Her People
Anna seems to be very loved by her people. Until the Beast (which, as we know, turns out to be Dettlaff and completely Syanna's fault) threatens Beauclair, she seems to have a very peaceful rule over Toussaint and the hold she has on the country seems to be completely approved by her people. The NPCs we run into as Geralt while playing seem to genuinely respect Anna Henrietta, and no one seems unduly afraid of her or resentful.
With the exception of her sister, of course.
5 Syanna: Might Have Turned Out Loving Too If Not For Her Childhood
But is it fair to say that Anna is better simply because she is likeable and Syanna isn't? Syanna isn't trying to be likeable. She was exiled as a child, left to be abused and die at the hands of some corrupt soldiers, had to eat the bark from trees to survive, went from royalty to having nothing — and she survived, despite no one helping her. There are very people in the world that come out of such a situation as a charming, warm person, and perhaps if Syanna had the same upbringing as Anna, she would have turned out exactly the same way.
4 Anna: Willing To Get Her Hands Dirty
Although Anna is a little spoiled, she's definitely willing to get her hands dirty. There comes a time in the game where she abandons her gown for a riding outfit and accompanies Geralt on his investigations, because she can no longer stand by and do nothing. This is admirable from someone who could definitely sit in their castle and let others do the dirty work for them.
3 Syanna: Willing To Be Ruthless When Necessary
Sometimes, being a ruler requires being ruthless, and Syanna is far more capable of that than Anna.
When Geralt inquires as to where she got her sword, she casually suggests she killed the previous own and took it (who is none other than Prince Charming... this game gets pretty wild). Knowing Syanna, this wasn't the first or the last person murdered at her hands and while murder is objectively wrong, sometimes a ruler has to be a little ruthless for the sake of their kingdom.
Syanna would not struggle in that area.
2 Anna: Clearly A Skilled Diplomat
But Anna is definitely more of a diplomat, and even though she lacks ruthlessness, this would come in useful. We see her at a dinner in one scene, talking with Regis and Geralt and being pretty careful to play her cards close to her chest while being friendly and welcoming, showing that she has skills Syanna would clearly lack.
1 Syanna: Clearly A Skilled Warrior
Anna's field experience, however, pales in comparison to Syanna. She fights with Geralt in the Land of Fables, demonstrating herself to be a skilled warrior, and she seems to have little qualms with sword fights or involving herself in magic. She's also very brave, as shown when she's willing to face down Dettlaff even after he finds out what she did.
Anna or Syanna? Each of them have their strengths and faults, but we'll never known, of course — Syanna never got a chance to rule.