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The Witcher: Blood Origin — everything we know so far

The Witcher: Blood Origin
(Image credit: Katalin Vermes/Netflix)

Prepare to toss a second coin at The Witcher: Blood Origin on Netflix, a prequel spinoff series of the hit fantasy series The Witcher. The show will focus on entirely new characters, as it tells the tale of how this all began. That said, a familiar face may narrate the series, and a major star has been added to the cast.

Netflix announced they were making The Witcher: Blood Origin in summer of 2020, revealing that the series is set "1200 years before Geralt of Rivia" (Henry Cavill) prowled the Northern Kingdoms. This will show a time when "the worlds of monsters, men and elves merged into one, and the first Witcher came to be." 

The Witcher: Blood Origin will be a six-episode limited series and chronicle the origins of the very first Witcher and depict the events that led to the "conjunction of the spheres," a time when the the worlds of monsters, men, and elves merged to become one.

While the prequel likely won't feature any cast members from The Witcher, it will involve the same people from behind the scenes. The Witcher writer Declan de Barra will serve as showrunner, with The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich on board as an executive producer. And The Witcher universe creator Andrzej Sapkowski will be on hand as a creative consultant.

In a statement, De Barra said, "As a lifelong fan of fantasy, I am beyond excited to tell the story The Witcher: Blood Origin. 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. 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," he continued. "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.”

Here's everything we know so far about The Witcher: Blood Origin.

The Witcher: Blood Origin release date speculation

Netflix has not announced The Witcher: Blood Origin's release date. According to Deadline, the prequel spinoff is set to film in the UK, but does not have a scheduled production start date.

The Witcher itself is still in production on its second season. Filming was halted in March by the coronavirus pandemic, which shut down most movie and television productions. Cast member Kristofer Hivju confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19. The show resumed filming in August.

If Blood Origin follows a similar schedule to The Witcher season 1, it will require around seven months of filming time and five months of post-production. That means, even if Blood Origin begins filming this fall, its earliest possible release date would be fall 2021. But considering Netflix will release The Witcher season 2 on December 17, we're thinking the spinoff will wait until early 2022

The Witcher: Blood Origin cast

The Witcher: Blood Origin just cast Michelle Yeoh, the biggest name attached to the series so far. Yeoh will be playing a blade-specialist named Scían, who joins two other new characters, Fjall (Laurence O'Fuarain) and Éile (Sophia Brown).

Sophia Brown (Giri/Haji, Marcella) joined the series to take over from Jodie Turner-Smith, who had to leave due to schedule conflicts. As Éile, Brown will portray a badass who is also an aspiring musician with a powerful voice. Éile's left her role as the Queen's guardian to pursue this dream, but finds her way back to combat.

Since Blood Origin is set 1,200 years before the current events of The Witcher, none of that show's cast members are likely to be involved in the prequel, including Henry Cavill, Freya Allan and Anya Chalotra. 

However, some fans had the idea for Witcher: Blood Origin to be narrated by the traveling bard Jaskier (Joey Batey), as if it's a legend that he's recounting. That would tie the spinoff more directly to the flagship show. 

The Witcher: Blood Origin trailer speculation

Given the schedule for when we expect production to begin on the series, it may be months before we see the first teaser or trailer for The Witcher: Blood Origin. 

The Witcher season 2's release date does give Netflix an event to tie a new trailer launch to. It could arrive as a post-credits clip for the finale, if we had to guess.

Stay tuned for more details, and we will update this story when we learn more.

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.