If you want a good example of how not to approach a prequel to an established series, then look no further than Netflix’s prequel, The Witcher: Blood Origin. From the very start of this miniseries, everything that unfolds is an ongoing stumble to match up to the quality from the original Witcher series that starred Henry Cavil. But the lack of Geralt of Rivia isn’t the only major problem this series suffers from, and if anything it’s the least of the issues that contribute to why this miniseries just isn’t good. Many viewers, not just Witcher fans, will struggle to enjoy this at the most basic level.
The story of this series takes place around 1200 years before the events of The Witcher and covers the creation of the first Witcher. At the same time, details about the event known as the Conjunction of the Spheres from the lore of The Witcher books and games are covered. However, the major problem is how very little that is shown in Blood Origin is based on any of the source material from The Witcher books. There’s nothing wrong with seeing an original story being set in an established universe, but when so much is so far removed, it can be detrimental. This is made worse when certain key details about Witchers are heavily changed, flat-out contradicting the books and the Witcher series as well. If you’re a big fan of either one, you’re going to be very disappointed at how Blood Origin handles everything.
Witcher lore aside, the characters of this miniseries are incredibly forgettable and shallow in many ways. Much of the plot is focused on the gathering of seven heroes that come together with a common goal to assassinate the rulers of Xin’trea and the Golden Empire. Each of them has individual quirks and motivations as they gather together, mimicking elements of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai in some ways. But none of them have the amount of complexity or depth as any other character from the original Witcher series.
F’jall the Dog Clan Warrior, who we see become the first prototype Witcher and go through the trial of grasses, isn’t as likable or gravitating as Geralt. The rest of the group and the villains we meet are just as bad. Because of how short the miniseries is, lasting only four hour-long episodes in total, you only get a surface-level of look at everyone who appears. Some of them would be a lot more interesting individuality if the writing of the show was in better hands.
Speaking of which, the tone of the show feels way too lighthearted and subdued to take place within The Witcher universe. Blood Origin is much more easily comparable to a low-budget fantasy series on another network than what was seen in Netflix’s The Witcher, both in how it’s presented and how the dialogue between characters plays out. The grim and harsh reality of The Witcher’s fantasy world isn’t felt here. Even the few moments that edge on the gruesome or brutal aspects of this universe never sees any true follow-through. It’s like the show is shy to ever take a step towards being explicit with what is happening on screen, something The Witcher show was never afraid to do tastefully.
By the time you reach the end, The Witcher: Blood Origin feels like a rushed prequel that doesn’t succeed in complimenting The Witcher Netflix show. This miniseries feels lower in quality and could be skipped over without anything of value lost, even if you’re a huge fan of The Witcher. See a story that sets up many aspects of the universe could’ve been great, but how things are executed here are a clear sign that the showrunners would’ve been better off sticking to the source material. No matter how you look at it, The Witcher: Blood Origin is a lackluster miniseries that doesn’t live up to the legacy of its predecessor.
Have you gotten to see The Witcher: Blood Origin? Did you enjoy watching The Witcher series on Netflix before this came out? Post a comment down below and let us know your thoughts!
The Witcher: Blood Origin
This miniseries is not a good watch. The characters are very forgettable and don’t stand out enough to make the story interesting or fun to follow. The tone of everything is very inconsistent with The Witcher series, making this prequel seem lackluster in comparison. Fans of The Witcher won’t be missing much of importance if they decide to skip over this.