The Witcher: Blood Origin Prequel Explained

The Witcher novels spawned the stellar games that put the franchise in the global spotlight. The games, in turn, inspired the Netflix show, which introduced the franchise to non-gamers. And the show’s success is generating other storylines to further expand the lore and universe of The Witcher.

The new storyline in question is the spinoff, The Witcher: Blood Origin. It’s a prequel that takes place 1200 years before the main series and will talk about The Conjunction of Spheres, the defining cataclysm that merged the worlds of the elves with humans and monsters, leading to the creation of the first witchers.

Here’s everything you need to know about Netflix’s The Witcher: Blood Origin, including its story, cast, and potential release date.

What is The Witcher: Blood Origin?

The Witcher: Blood Origin is Netflix’s prequel miniseries to the main Witcher storyline, which follows Geralt of Rivia and Cirilla (Ciri) of Cintra. As the name suggests, it’s an origin story, designed to explain The Conjunction of the Spheres and the creation of the first witchers to deal with the appearance of monsters in the world.

According to Netflix, Blood Origin takes place 1200 before the Geralt storyline on the Continent — the world where most of the Witcher stories take place.

Since the Witcher books don’t discuss the Conjunction or the creation of the witchers in much detail, most of the story will come from the minds of the show’s writers.

Blood Origin forms the foundation for the ever-expanding Witcher cinematic universe, adding on to the Netflix show, the animated “Nightmare of the Wolf” film, and other upcoming shows and films.

Release Date & Reshooting

Netflix confirmed that The Witcher: Blood Origin will release on December 25, 2022.

We also learned that the show was re-shot and cut down from its original 6 episodes to 4. More specifically, the four middle episodes were merged into two.

Another bit of news is that Jaskier, the bard character from the Netflix series, will be included in the show. Presumably, he will serve as the narrator who will appear in a tavern telling the story of Blood Origin as an old tale.

The Witcher: Blood Origin Story & Lore

Although we don’t know precise details, we have a pretty good idea of the general story of Blood Origin. The show’s trailer shows us a group of elves, who will likely be the protagonists of the series. Presumably, we’ll learn more about elven civilization at its height, before its disastrous conflict with humans.

We’ll follow the elven protagonists as they deal with the consequences of The Conjunction of the Spheres: the cataclysmic event that caused different worlds, including the Continent, to collide, sort of like multiple universes merging into one.

Originally, the Continent only contained the Elder races: gnomes, dwarves, and elves. The Conjuction brought magic and other races, including humans and monsters, to the Continent. At one point in the trailer, the elves face soldiers, who may be the humans who arrived in their world after The Conjunction.  

Eventually — about 1000 years after the Conjunction, according to the books — the humans from the northern part of the Continent created the first witchers to deal with the monsters inhabiting their world. Human mages experimented on people to create the well-known monster slayers.

According to the Witcher novel Season of Storms, the mage Cosimo Malaspina and his apprentice, Alzur, were responsible for creating the first witchers, so there’s a good chance we may see them in the show:

‘And I will tell you additionally,’ gasped Ortolan, ‘that you have disgraced the work of your fathers with this imprudent murder. Because it was Cosimo Malaspina, and after him his apprentice Alzur, exactly Alzur that created witchers. It was they that invented mutation, thanks to which you were created. Thanks to which you exist, thanks to which you walk the world, you ingrate. You should esteem Alzur, and his followers, and their work and not destroy them…”

Season of Storms
the creation of the first witchers
Cosimo Malaspina Gwent card showing his experiments.

We can guess that the series will either use different timelines, like the first season of the Netflix show, or condense the timeline to cover events within the same time period, similar to what Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power did.

Some Netflix rumor sites also believe The Witcher: Blood Origin will have a self-contained story for every episode, which would it make more true to the lore. But we’ll have to wait and see.

The Witcher Multiverse

We also expect Blood Origin to touch on the concept of the Multiverse — the collection of infinite parallel universes and dimensions present in the Witcher world.

The multiverse is covered extensively in the last Witcher novel, The Lady of the Lake, as Ciri learns world-hopping with her abilities to bend time and space. She even visits several mythological worlds, such as Camelot from the Arthurian legends, and, most fans believe, due to a world’s description, that she even came to Earth.

Wild Hunt riders like Eredin (who will appear in Blood Origin) also possessed the ability to open portals and travel through the multiverse before the unicorns deprived them and significantly reduced their interdimensional logistics.

The Witcher: Blood Origin Cast and Characters

The cast of the show will include:

  • Michelle Yeoh as Scian, the last elf from a nomadic tribe
  • Laurence O’Fuarain as Fjall Stoneheart, an elf born into a clan of warriors
  • Sophia Brown as Éile, an elven warrior of the Queen’s guard
  • Claire Cooper as Aevenien, the mother of the elven oracle Ithlinne
  • Jacob Collins-Levy as Eredin, the elven commander of the Wild Hunt who appears in the Witcher books as well as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Interestingly, he will be portrayed by a different actor than the one who played him in season 2 of Netflix’s The Witcher. This might just be a scheduling conflict but it could also be an attempt to show the time difference between the two shows, implying that we’re meeting a much younger Eredin
  • Joey Batey as Jaskier, the bard from The Witcher, who will serve as a way to connect the two shows into the same Witcher Cinematic Universe

This elf-heavy cast highlights that elven civilization will be the central focus of the show.

Witcher: Blood Origin main characters

The Witcher: Blood Origin vs. Netflix’s The Witcher

The two shows are set 1200 years apart. So even though The Witcher: Blood Origin should follow the same style and thematic lines as the Netflix show, don’t expect to see many familiar faces (besides Jaskier and Eredin). But we do expect to hear some similar names and concepts.

For example, one interesting tidbit is that Blood Origin will include Xin’trea, an ancient elven city on whose ruins the human kingdom of Cintra (which appears in The Witcher) was built.

The Witcher: Blood Origin vs. Books

There are a few similarities between The Witcher: Blood Origin and the Witcher books. In the novels, although Andrzej Sapkowski has written on The Conjunction of the Spheres at times, especially in Season of Storms, he didn’t elaborate much.

In fact, this is a common complaint among readers of the novel. As such, we can expect the story of The Witcher: Blood Origin to be a mix of the information provided by Andrzej and what the screenwriters felt was faithful to the Witcher universe.

The Witcher: Blood Origin vs. Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 and the Blood Origin series have something fundamental in common. Both are inspired by the same source material, The Witcher novels, but build their own story.

But since The Witcher: Blood Origin takes place long before Witcher 3, which is considered the series’ future in the timeline, we probably won’t see any familiar faces or names.

The only exception to that is Eredin, the elven commander of the Wild Hunt, who will appear in Blood Origin and also happens to be the villain in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

witcher 3 eredin vs eredin actor in blood origin
Eredin in Witcher 3 vs. Jacob Collins-Levy, the actor who will play him in Blood Origin.

A Growing Witcher Cinematic Universe

Although adaptations and spinoffs can create discomfort for fans of the original works, we are of the opinion that the more, the merrier. After all, if we don’t like the new show, we just won’t watch it.

Setting the precedent that the games have done an excellent job in expanding the Witcher cinematic universe and the Netflix series, while making some questionable decisions, is also producing a delightful fantasy world, we’re optimistic.

Should The Witcher: Blood Origin be a success and please the fans, we can expect that there will be more shows and films, and we will be able to enjoy even more of this dark, perilous, magically riveting world.

We’ll leave you with the words of the franchise’s author, Andrzej Sapkowski, who says “It’s great how, according to the original plans, the world of The Witcher is expanding.”

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