Deputy Editor Lisa Ahern shares her honest take on the new fantasy series The Witcher;Blood Origin.
To all Henry Cavill lovers, unfortunately this show is not for you because The Witcher: Blood Origin is a prequel series that takes place in the Witcher Universe 1,200 years prior to the action of the original series. As a major fan of The Witcher series I was over the moon when I got access to an early screening of the limited series. In a world completely run by Elves, seven outcasts joined together by faith to defeat a common foe. Your basic fantasy premise.The cast does not go without recognisable names, such as Michelle Yeoh playing one of the outcasts and Minnie Driver as a narrator of the tale of these seven. Have I caught your attention now fantasy lovers?
This exciting series is jam packed with Irish talents including the creator Declan De Barra, from county Waterford and the charming Laurence O’ Fuarain who plays one of the Elven outcasts, Fjall. It was music to my ears that O’Fuarain kept his Irish accent throughout the series. As an Irish person it always brings me pride to see natives succeed in fields of the movie industry. It is definitely a noteworthy achievement to bring home to Ireland such a high budget series like The Witcher.
Following the original series with Henry Cavill, I entered this prequel series with high expectations. The Witcher had this light hearted humour that stood out throughout the episodes that I hoped to see in The Witcher: Blood Origin. I did however have quite positive hopes that it would excite me just as much as the story that precedes this tale. Yet as I came to the end of the second episode my hopes began to dwindle. This show lacked a certain chemistry between the characters, so I never truly got entrapped by the story. The relationships and bonds created in The Witcher, was the main reason that series stayed with me after I finished the last episode. This show unfortunately did not capture the same essence. Even though the scenery was gorgeous and was reminiscent of the 90s classic Braveheart, the characters were sadly unmemorable. The relationships seemed forced and some plot points did not make sense to me as they came out of nowhere in my opinion. It needed the relationships similar to what Geralt of Rivia had with each individual character, the passionate love with Yennefer, the humorous friendship with Jaskier and the fatherly love shared with Ciri. Long story short it needed the witcher himself to save this show.
Apart from this disappointment I did enjoy how it provided me with a clarity to the years of world building that is discussed within The Witcher which will allow me to step into season three with more backstory and knowledge. However you can watch this prequel series without a notion about The Witcher as it is its own high fantasy story that is condensed into four episodes with its own plot and characters. This show definitely made me more excited for the next season of The Witcher and to see how Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia continues his journey.
To rate this series as its own story without re
lating it to The Witcher I would have to give it credit for creating a full story in four episodes o tying it all up nicely at the end of the fourth episode. I appreciated that they did not try to drag out the story just so they could make a profit from creating a second season. Which ties into my disappointment because I expected that by making it clear it was a limited series that they would do the story justice. Although the show did have great fighting scenes, I mean who does not want to see Michelle Yeoh annihilate her enemies with a sword. I just think they had potential to make this series phenomenal but regrettably they did not succeed.
I would recommend watching it for world building sake and maybe you will form a completely different opinion to me and possibly even prefer it to the original The Witcher series. The Witcher: Blood Origin comes available to stream from 25th of December on Netflix.Happy watching fellow fantasy lovers.