Netflix has released the official teaser trailer for The Witcher: Blood Origin (opens in new tab), the four-part prequel mini-series that’s set to debut on December 25.
Some of the bits in this teaser we’ve seen before, and the new stuff unfortunately doesn’t reveal too much about what to expect from the show. There’s Michelle Yeoh with a sword, there’s a verdant vista and a sad elf, there’s a burning city, there’s a meaningful look, there’s Michelle Yeoh talking about prophecy, there’s an elf opening a portal, violence, and there’s another sweeping vista.
It’s all pretty enough, but also very generic. If it didn’t specify “The Witcher” in the video (and the YouTube listing) I would have no idea what it was about: It could just as well be another Game of Thrones thing, or maybe a Wheel of Time spinoff. (Yes, those are HBO and Amazon, I know.)
Blood Origin is set 1,200 years before the time of Geralt, and promises to tell the story of the creation of the first Witcher and the events that led to the Conjunction of the Spheres, when the worlds of the multiverse collided and brought monsters, magic, and other such headaches together in this realm. That magical catastrophe ultimately led to the creation of Witchers: Magic-wielding warriors who could protect humanity from this new scourge of invaders.
The timeline seems a little hinky. The Witcher novels say the Conjunction of the Spheres took place 1,500 years earlier, three centuries prior to the Blood Origin timeline—quite a difference, even allowing for the vagaries of historical revision. Witchers were also solely a human creation, while the series seems focused primarily on the elves. There could certainly be both in the series, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that so far, this Witcher show seems to be awfully short on witchers.
It’s quite possible that Netflix is holding that aspect of the show back for a surprise reveal, kind of like Darth Vader reveal at the end of Revenge of the Sith (but hopefully without the unintentional comedy). But even if that’s the case, it leaves Blood Origin feeling empty-handed to me: I’ve seen absolutely nothing so far—no cool monster hunter, no gang of fun friends, no gross, weird-ass monsters—that make it feel like a Witcher thing.
Maybe it won’t matter: The Witcher did very well for itself as a standalone new series (I pretty strongly suspect that the majority of the Netflix audience were not big fans of Polish fantasy) and Michelle Yeoh is a big draw in her own right, so it’s possible the tenuous connection between the shows won’t matter—especially if Blood Origin is good, which I certainly hope is the case. We’ll find out on Christmas.