Blood Origin, Netflix’s prequel to its Witcher series starring Henry Cavill, takes place 1,200 years before Cavill’s time and will focus on a great elven civilization right before its fall.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, show creator Declan De Barra—who is also a writer on the main Witcher series—shared that the idea for Blood Origin came from The Witcher writers’ room. “We were trying to understand what the world was like for elves right before the Conjunction of the Spheres,” De Barra said. “It’s very vague in the books as to what happened. I got out a whiteboard and sketched out this plan of what I thought.”
When a Netflix executive asked him for prequel ideas, De Barra took this vision and fleshed it out. “I just was fascinated with the idea of what a pre-colonized world would look like for the elves,” he said. De Barra also looked to the books by Andrzej Sapkowski that are the basis for the Witcher series and built on that as well. “[Sapkowski] reinterprets folktales and history … when you look at our own history, societies that had been at their height, like the Roman Empire or the Mayan Empire, that’d be right before the fall and then we’re in dark ages again. That fascinated me to wonder what that world could have been: what society would have been like and what elves wanted. That’s what we’re going to explore here.”
Lauren Hissrich, Witcher showrunner and executive producer on Blood Origin, expanded on the themes the spin-off would explore. “We have obviously heard in the Witcher show that humans brought civilization to the elves. They’re the ones who showed them what it was like to be civilized. And in fact, what we’re seeing in Blood Origin is that’s exactly opposite of the truth,” she explained. “The world was much more of a Golden Age than what we see in The Witcher years later.”
Witcher: Blood Origin stars Michelle Yoeh as a sword-wielding elven warrior, Jodie Turner-Smith as Éile, and Laurence O’Fuarain as Fjall. No news yet on when the six-episode limited series will premiere on Netflix.