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The Witcher: Blood Origin on Netflix: release date, cast rumors, story and what to expect

The Witcher Blood Origin
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher: Blood Origin has been announced by Netflix and is a new installment into the world of The Witcher. This six-part live-action prequel TV show will take place hundreds of years before the main series, and will explore the origins of Witchers and the very first Witcher. 

Given the success of the first season of the Netflix and the fact that The Witcher season 2 was confirmed before the first even released, it's no real surprise that Blood Origin has been announced so early. It also shows how serious Netflix is about The Witcher, and it will hopefully result in more excellent stories set in the universe created by Andrzej Sapkowski.

The Witcher: Blood Origin was announced in July 2020 with a tweet.

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The Witcher's showrunner Lauren Hissrich and Declan de Barra, a writer who worked on season 1, are behind this new series. So whatever Blood Origin ends up being, expect it to be faithful to the rich lore of the books.

Here's a quick round-up of what we know about the prequel show so far.

The Witcher: Blood Origin release date: when we expect to see it

There is currently no release date for The Witcher: Blood Origin. Predicting one is tricky, too, particularly with the Covid-19 delays which have hampered almost all TV recording schedules. As a reference point, what we do know is that The Witcher season 2 only restarted filming and production in mid-August. Season 2 isn't expected until mid-2021 at the earliest – so we'd be surprised to see Blood Origin before 2022. A big wait is in order.

As of September 2020, the writing process had begun, according to de Barra. Nine writers appear to be working on the show. So, the wheels are definitely moving on this thing.

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The Witcher: Blood Origin cast: Jason Momoa rumored for the lead

According to a rumor on the well-connected Witcher news site Redanian Intelligence, Aquaman star Jason Momoa is being lined up as the lead in The Witcher: Blood Origin. It's probably too early for any casting news – but the site has a firm track record. Don't get too excited just yet is our advice.

The Witcher: Blood Origin – when will it be set?

As stated in the announcement, The Witcher: Blood Origin will be set 1200 years before the world of The Witcher during the forever universe-altering Conjunction of the Spheres. Expect an emphasis on the ancient Elven society, tensions between races as they are introduced to each other, and the appearance – and disappearance – of the world due to the Conjunction.

The Witcher: Blood Origin – what's going to happen?

Setting the scene for the content of the show, Hissrich and de Barra tweet a little about what to expect from the show. Hissrich said she "always wanted to dive deeper into the myth and lore of the continent…" And a prequel not bound to existing stories in the Witcher books but still being able to draw on the rich world is a promising starting point and premise.

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De Barra said that he has long wanted to answer the question of "What was the Elven world really like before the cataclysmic arrival of the humans?", and added that the series "will tell the tale of the Elven civilization before its fall, and most importantly reveal the forgotten history of the very first Witcher."

That's plenty to pique interest already. However, we can also glean some information and make educated guesses about the show's story from what we already know. 

Using Netflix's official synopsis as a starting point, we can start to dig into the series' events and stories: "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," says Netflix's synopsis. We think the two most important clues in this are the term 'Blood Origin' and the 'Conjunction of the Spheres' event. 

Blood Origin is surely a nod to the Elder Blood: the bloodline that Ciri is part of and that distinguishes her as special and powerful – dangerously so. The Elder Blood began with elven mages and was originally meant to be kept solely within the Elven race. This did not occur as one prominent carrier strayed from the elven line to begin a relationship with a human. Given this relates to such an important, and now established character in Ciri, it'll be incredibly interesting to see if Blood Origin shows us how the bloodline began.

The Conjunction of the Spheres is arguably the single most important event in the world of The Witcher. It was a great magical cataclysm that linked many worlds, with multiple timelines and dimensions crossing over each other simultaneously. This resulted in the world being full to bursting with diverse races (including the introduction of humans, and the beginning of the gradual fall of the Elven society), and the vast array of terrifying monsters, and the introduction of magic. 

The Conjunction of the Spheres had effects that would last hundreds of years in this universe and is responsible for the rich and diverse makeup of the world – but also the danger, chaos, and uncertainty that prevails throughout it. So important is the Conjunction to the entire world of The Witcher, it harbors enormous potential for storytelling and framing the entire universe.

A last, but important, note: the Elven/human mixing of the Elder Bloodline happened after the Conjunction of the Spheres, and the Witcher order came well after the Conjunction, too, so there's plenty of leaps that will need to be made to compress it all into the six episodes. 

The Witcher: Blood Origin – who might we see?

Given Blood Origin's setting and where it sits on the timeline, we can expect a whole new character and cast list. More generally, what we can expect is a very prominent role to be played by the 'Elder races': those who came before humans. With particular emphasis on Elves – as explored above, due to their importance in the Conjunction and beginning the Elder bloodline.

More Witcher is only a good thing for fans

The Witcher: Blood Origin is going to appeal to all fans of the universe – whether you came into the fiction via the Netflix show, the books or the games. The origin story of the Witchers is a hell of a hook for a prequel.