Everything We Know About Netflix's Witcher Prequel Series, Blood Origin

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Netflix is working on a live-action prequel to The Witcher. Here’s everything we know about its release date and more.

With HBO’s next Game of Thrones series, House of the Dragon, possibly arriving as soon as next year, Netflix and HBO are now locked in an epic battle to see which company can produce a prequel series for their most popular fantasy show first. At least, that’s how we’re going to view it.

Netflix’s contender is The Witcher: Blood Origin, a prequel series that the streaming service announced in July last year. While we don’t have a release date yet–everything is still in disarray thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic–there’s quite a bit we do know about the show.

The Witcher: Blood Origin release date

As we already noted, there is no set release date yet for The Witcher: Blood Origin. The show was announced in July 2020, and at the time, Netflix gave no hints about a potential release date. However, The Witcher Season 2 is expected to arrive sometime in 2021–a date it might actually stick to, since production resumed during the pandemic last year–so we’d expect a 2022 release at the earliest for the prequel series.

Prequel story

Here’s the official synopsis from Netflix: “In an elven world 1,200 years before Geralt of Rivia, the worlds of monsters, men and elves merge to become one–and the very first Witcher arises.”

Netflix’s version of The Witcher follows three primary characters: the Witcher Geralt of Rivia, the sorceress Yennefer, and the child Ciri. But at the time of the prequel show’s announcement, Netflix let slip that Blood Origin will take place around 1200 years earlier than the main series. Rather than focusing on the characters fans know and love, it will concern an event from Witcher lore: the conjunction of the spheres, a magical event that caused the worlds of elves, monsters, and humans to inextricably merge with one another.

Blood Origin will also tell the story of the first Witcher. The official Witcher wiki notes that Witchers were created by mages to combat magical threats on behalf of humans, but were originally deemed a failure due to their limited potential to use magic themselves. That fits with the lore we know so far from the books and games–Witchers can use limited magical abilities, but nothing like what sorcerers like Yennefer can employ. Anyway, that’s all we know about early Witchers, which leaves the show plenty of room to fill in the gaps.

Cast and characters

As far as that original Witcher’s identity, we currently have no clues. In fact, we have no idea who Blood Origin will follow. According to the Witcher wiki, elves began colonizing the Continent around 2,500 years before the arrival of humans, so we should expect plenty of elven characters living in a firmly established society. And humans, who did what humans do and began violently expanding across the elves’ civilization, probably won’t be the good guys.

That said, Netflix’s Witcher has its share of changes from the books, and with a story set so much earlier than the main events, we should expect plenty of liberties with this lore.

Who’s making it?

According to Netflix’s original announcement, The Witcher: Blood Origin’s showrunner is Declan de Barra, who wrote The Witcher Season 1’s fourth episode and contributed songs to the show’s much-loved soundtrack. Previous to his work on The Witcher, de Barra wrote for series such as Iron Fist and the Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals.

In a statement, de Barra said, “A question has been burning in my mind ever since I first read The Witcher books–what was the Elven world really like before the cataclysmic arrival of the humans? I’ve always been fascinated by the rise and fall of civilizations, how science, discovery, and culture flourish right before that fall. The Witcher: Blood Origin will tell the tale of the Elven civilization before its fall, and most importantly reveal the forgotten history of the very first Witcher.”

In addition, Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich will be executive producer. In her own statement, she said, I am so thrilled to collaborate with Declan and the Netflix team on The Witcher: Blood Origin. It’s an exciting challenge to explore and expand The Witcher universe created by Andrzej Sapkowski, and we can’t wait to introduce fans to new characters and an original story that will enrich our magical, mythical world even more.” Sapkowski, who wrote the original novels, will act as creative consultant.

Is it a full series?

Rather than another full series that could continue indefinitely like the main Witcher show, Blood Origin was planned as a six-part “limited series,” so we should expect its story to be told in full across six episodes without cliffhangers or hooks for future seasons.

However, there’s more Witcher side content on the way, as Netflix also has an animated feature called The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf on the way.

Source: Game Spot Mashup