The Witcher Blood Origin: What is the Witcher prequel about and what’s the release date?

A new series set 1300 years before Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia hunted monsters is coming to Netflix

Henry Cavill in The Witcher (Netflix)

Prepare to toss coins, slay monsters and get creative with yet more bathtubs – because following the success of its The Witcher adaptation, Netflix has commissioned a spin-off series.

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Set 1300 years before Henry Cavill’s mutated monster-hunter quested around The Continent, The Witcher: Blood Origins is set to explore the beginnings of the feud between elves and humans as seen in the main series, while also revealing how the order of Witchers was founded in the first place.

The series is created by Declan de Barra alongside The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, who will executive produce the new prequel alongside her duties on the main show.

“I am so thrilled to collaborate with Declan and the Netflix team on The Witcher: Blood Origin,” Hissrich said.

“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.”

But what is that story? How long will fans have to wait to see it? And why are they making a prequel so soon after the first Witcher season’s release?

Check out everything we know about The Witcher: Blood Origin below.

When is the Witcher: Blood Origin released?

The Witcher
The Witcher
Netflix

The release date for Blood Origin is currently unknown, though we’ll update this page when new information is revealed.

We do know that the series is planned to be six episodes long – two episodes shorter than the first season of The Witcher – and that like the main series it’ll shoot in the UK.

With season two of The Witcher back to shooting in August after a long delay, we wouldn’t be surprised if fans had to wait a while for the prequel, and it could be that winter 2021/2022 would be a realistic release date (if on the earlier side).

What is the Witcher Blood Origin about?

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher (Netflix)
Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher (Netflix)
Netflix

The official synopsis for the prequel reads:

Set in an elven world 1200 years before the world of The Witcher, Blood Origin will tell a story lost to time – the origin of the very first Witcher, and the events that lead to the pivotal “conjunction of the spheres,” when the worlds of monsters, men, and elves merged to become one.

Specifically, this means the show will tell an “original story” only hinted at in the Netflix show and author Andrzej Sapkowski’s series of novels, about how a cataclysmic cosmological event catapaulted the human race into the previously-elven Continent, and the clash that resulted.

“A question has been burning in my mind ever since I first read The Witcher books,” showrunner Declan de Barra said. “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. How vast swathes of knowledge are lost forever in such a short time, often compounded by colonization and a rewriting of history. Leaving only fragments of a civilization’s true story behind.

“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.”

Information on this pivotal figure is even scarcer in The Witcher series of books (or the popular videogames that spun off from them), so it could be that the new series will fill in some interesting gaps for fans.

“It is exciting that the world of Witcher – as planned in the very beginning – is expanding,” author Andrzej Sapkowski said.

“I hope it will bring more fans to the world of my books.”

Is there a trailer for The Witcher: Blood Origin?

Woah, hold your (teleporting) horses – they’re not even cast the series or started shooting yet! It’ll probably be a while before we see an images or footage from the series.

How does Blood Origin connect to The Witcher season 2?

Set to return to filming in August 2020, season two of The Witcher probably won’t directly connect to Blood Origin – they’re set millennia apart, after all – but there may be some minor crossover points.

For example, the book adapted for season two – Blood of Elves – includes extended sequences at the ruined Witcher castle Kaer Morhen, while the series has also cast other Witchers that Geralt is friendly with.

It seems likely that Kaer Morhen and/or Witcher traditions explained in season two will be further explored in Blood Origin, offering a tangential connection between the two series.

And who knows? Given how long-lived some of the characters are, it’s certainly possible one or two figures could appear in both series…

Why are they making a Witcher prequel?

Henry Cavill the Witcher
Henry Cavill in The Witcher (Netflix)

Many fans were surprised that a Witcher prequel was announced so soon into the life of the main Witcher series, but in a lot of ways it’s not that surprising.

After Stranger Things, the Witcher was one of Netflix’s most popular original series, and it makes sense that they’d want to find a way to branch out on that popularity. Plus, as we explain in a different article, it could be a piece of very canny pandemic production.

Also notably, Blood Origin is described as “a limited series,” suggesting that after these six episodes there won’t be any more. Though of course, if something’s popular enough that could all change…

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