The Witcher - Blood Origin release date rumours: Cast, plot, trailer and latest news
A new series set 1,300 years before Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia hunted monsters is coming to Netflix.
Spin-off The Witcher: Blood Origin, which was announced by Netflix all the way back in July 2020, might not be coming to our screens for a while yet, but first look images released by the streaming giant are doing a great job at whetting our appetites for the prequel.
The images show warriors Fjall (Laurence O’Fuarain) and Éile (Sophia Brown) in a tense battle (above) as well as Nathanial Curtis looking wistfully into the distance as Brían (below).
And that's not all there is to get excited about. Fans who’ve already binged The Witcher season 2 will know that the show ramps up the anticipation for the prequel with a first-look trailer for Blood Origin in the finale post-credits.
Set to a cover of Ellie Goulding’s Burn, the full-length teaser trailer shows Star Trek: Discovery star Michelle Yeoh looking fierce in the role of sword-elf Scían as she teams up with O’Fuarain's Fjall and Brown's Éile to tackle oncoming soldiers.
The spin-off will throw audiences into the medieval world of the Continent before the creation of the first Witcher and the Conjunction of the Spheres, the mysterious phenomenon in Andrzej Sapkowski's original Witcher books that threw humans into the world of elves, leading to the elves' subsequent persecution.
In this way, the prequel series will delve further into the elven story – and in Blood Origin, we’ll see a thriving elven empire. "I just was fascinated with the idea of what a pre-colonised world would look like for the elves," prequel series showrunner Declan De Barra told Entertainment Weekly.
Talking about Sapkowski's work, he added: "He reinterprets folktales and history. And when you look at our own history, societies that had been at their height, like the Roman Empire or the Mayan Empire, that'd be right before the fall and then we're in dark ages again. That fascinated me to wonder what that world could have been: what society would have been like and what elves wanted. That's what we're going to explore here."
Lauren S Hissrich, the executive producer of the live-action prequel series, added: “We have obviously heard in the Witcher show that humans brought civilisation to the elves. They're the ones who showed them what it was like to be civilized. And in fact, what we're seeing in Blood Origin is that's exactly opposite of the truth. The world was much more of a Golden Age than what we see in The Witcher years later."
Without further ado, here’s everything we know so far about The Witcher: Blood Origin including release date rumours, and the latest cast and trailer information.
The Witcher: Blood Origin release date rumours
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 only wrapping filming in April 2021 after a shoot full of delays, we wouldn’t be surprised if fans had to wait a while for the prequel, and it could be that 2022 would be a realistic release date, but that's just speculation at this point.
Who's in the cast of The Witcher: Blood Origin
Michelle Yeoh is already a sci-fi icon thanks to her role as Philippa Georgiou on Star Trek: Discovery - and now it looks like she wants to conquer fantasy TV also as part of the Witcher: Blood Origin cast.
The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star has joined the cast list for the prequel, playing what sounds like a very major role indeed as the deadly sword-elf Scían.
Scían is the very last of her nomadic tribe of sword-elves, and a tough one at that - her character's description reads: "No one can come close to her artistry with the blade, and no one carries as much loss within their heart.
"When a chance presents itself to retrieve a stolen sacred sword, taken from her fallen tribe by nefarious means, she launches herself into a deadly quest that will change the outcome of the Continent."
Given that the series is set to explore elven civilisation, it's possible that Yeoh could well be playing the lead character - and that it is her quest that causes the worlds of humans and elves to merge.
She'll join Laurence O'Fuarain, an Irish actor who has previously appeared in Game of Thrones and Vikings who has signed on to play the character of Fjall.
Sophia Brown (2017's Beauty and the Beast and 2019's The Capture) is also set to play another main character, Éile, who is “an elite warrior with the voice of a goddess” according to the show’s Twitter.
Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim) was originally cast in the role of Éile but on 7th April 2021 it was announced she would no longer be appearing due to conflicting commitments.
A Netflix spokesperson said in a statement: "Due to a change in the production schedule for The Witcher: Blood Origin limited series, unfortunately Jodie Turner-Smith will no longer be able to continue on in the role of Éile."
The prequel has also cast Mirren Mack (The Nest) as a character named Merwyn (image below), Nathaniel Curtis (It’s A Sin) as Brían, Lenny Henry (Amazon's Lord of the Rings) as Balor and Dylan Moran (Black Books) in the role of Uthrok One-Nut.
The Witcher: Blood Origin trailer
The Witcher season 2 finale post-credits has unveiled a first-look trailer for The Witcher: Blood Origin.
And there’s plenty to get excited about. The full-length teaser trailer, which is set to a cover of Ellie Goulding’s Burn, gives fans a first look at the main trio, Fjall, Éile and Scían, play-fighting with one another.
However, things quickly get serious as the band of unlikely comrades are shown teaming up to tackle oncoming soldiers. Watch below:
What is The Witcher: Blood Origin about?
The official synopsis for the prequel reads:
Set in an elven world 1,200 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 catapulted 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 civilisations, 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 colonisation and a rewriting of history. Leaving only fragments of a civilisation’s true story behind.
“The Witcher: Blood Origin will tell the tale of the Elven civilisation 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 video games 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.”
How does Blood Origin connect to The Witcher season 2?
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?
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…