Well over a year after Netflix announced The Witcher spin-off series The Witcher: Blood Origin, we’ve finally got our first proper glimpse at it. A teaser that appeared at the end of The Witcher season 2 credits reveals Michelle Yeoh, Sophia Brown, and Laurence O’Fuarain swinging swords and throwing fists in a rugged fantasy world.
(You are not misremembering: Jodie Turner-Smith was originally cast as the elite warrior named Éile, but had to withdraw because of a scheduling conflict. She was replaced by Brown.)
Where’sGeralt’s stoic face amidst all of this, you wonder? The Witcher: Blood Origin is set roughly 1,200 years before the events of The Witcher, predating even the Conjunction of the Spheres, the cataclysmic cosmic collision that brought monsters and magic into an otherwise relatively mundane world. Think of it as Witcher: The Old Republic, if you’d like.
Naturally, witchers didn’t exist in that era, but they’re not too far away: The YouTube blurb says Blood Origin will dig into the events leading up to the Conjunction of the Spheres and “the creation of the first prototype Witcher.” There’s nothing about that in the teaser, which consists entirely of panoramic views, meaningful looks, and flashing steel, but to be fair this is just the initial tease and Netflix obviously doesn’t want to spill all the beans right away.
I do wonder, though, if Blood Origin is going to resonate with fans like the original series has. The Witcher benefited from curiosity about the tremendously successful videogame series and deep but largely unknown fantasy world created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, not to mention the pop culture impact of Game of Thrones, which demonstrated that dragons and drama can be extremely lucrative. The Witcher: Blood Origin has none of that: It exists solely to squeeze a little more juice out of the lemon.
Which isn’t to say it won’t be good—I hope it is!—and it’s very possible that I grossly underestimate the interest in the show. After all, my first look at this guy in the guise of Geralt spawned immediate predictions of gloom and doom which, I’m happy to say, were way off base. We’ll find out soon enough: The Witcher: Blood Origin is set to debut in 2022.