Netflix announced a new spinoff of its fantasy hit The Witcher on Monday — The Witcher: Blood Origin. The new series is set in the same fictional world as The Witcher, but more than 1,200 years before the main series. While this means that most of the characters fans know and love will be absent, the talent behind the camera will remain the same.
According to Netflix's announcement on Twitter, The Witcher: Blood Origin is set "1,200 years before Geralt of Rivia," when "the worlds of monsters, men and elves merged into one, and the first Witcher came to be." The show may be a limited series, as Netflix described it as "a 6 part live-action" spinoff. The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich is co-creating Blood Origin, along with one of the staff writers, Declan de Barra.
This has been the toughest secret to keep! I've always wanted to dive deeper into the myth and lore of the Continent, and now fans will have a chance to explore it with @declandebarra in a prequel series, THE WITCHER: BLOOD ORIGIN. Elves, and enemies, and the end, oh my… https://t.co/SGzrf4WbxZ— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) July 27, 2020
Fans went wild for this news, firing off a flurry of questions at Netflix, Hissrich and de Barra about what this new series entails. Hissrich enthusiastically confirmed that the author of The Witcher novels and stories, Andrzej Sapkowski, is involved in the spinoff in some capacity. Naturally, she was less forthcoming on plot details, leaving the mystery for the big premiere.
There are plenty of mysteries to consider here, even for die-hard fans of the source material. While it is rich with detail and fully fleshed out, Sapkowski's fictional world — referred to only as The Continent — does not have the kind of clearly described history that many other fantasy authors include. In fact, Sapkowski's books have never even included an official map.
What fans do know about the history of The Continent is cobbled together from the books, short stories, video games, comic books and other adaptations, and it is as much in-world myth as it is reliable exposition. At some time in the distant past, a magical event called The Conjunction of the Spheres allowed monsters to escape into this world. Sometime after that, magic users created the Witchers through a process of genetic mutation.
The Witcher: Blood Origin will likely clarify these events, as well as the time between them and some of the other bleak questions raised. As for the timeline relating to the main series, it is hard to say how far back this prequel will go, since we do not know for sure how old Geralt of Rivia is at the beginning of the series.
This show is the second spinoff of The Witcher that Netflix has announced, and fans are clearly still eager for all they can get. Back in January, the streaming service announced The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, an animated feature film also created by Hissrich. There is no release date for it yet, but since animated productions have been able to continue work through the coronavirus pandemic, Nightmare of The Wolf might be the next glimpse of The Witcher fans will get.