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Netflix took a page out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe playbook with the release of The Witcher's second season. The eighth and final episode (titled "Family") of the sophomore outing surprised fans with a mid-credits teaser trailer for the Blood Origin miniseries set a little over 1,000 years before the events of the main show during the Conjunction of the Spheres (an event in which the worlds of men, elves, and monsters became one).
Viewers got their first look at an epic, Lord of the Rings-style journey featuring the acting talents of Michelle Yeoh, Laurence O’Fuarain, Mirren Mack, Lenny Henry, Jacob Collins, Lizzie Annis, Huw Novelli, Francesca Mills, Amy Murray, Nathaniel Curtis, Zach Wyatt, and Dylan Moran.
Right now, the Blood Origin teaser (set to a haunting rendition of Ellie Goulding's "Burn" and promising a great war between elves and men) is only available to watch for Netflix subscribers, though we do expect the streamer to post the footage on its official social media channels at some point down the road. In any case, the concept of exclusive content for paying audiences is rather smart and encourages others to sign up for the service if they haven't done so already. It's a tactic we also saw quite a bit of during the recent Disney+ Day event.
Update: Netflix has now dropped the teaser on social media:
First announced in July of 2020, Blood Origin hails from showrunner and executive producer Declan de Barra, who was also a member of the writing staff for Season 1 of The Witcher. In a special behind-the-scenes featurette that debuted during Netflix's TUDUM fan event in September, de Barra showed off the sound stages and practical locations used for the project's Europe-based production. "One of the best parts about writing a show like this is creating something on paper and dreaming it up and then these talented people here bring it to life.”
The Witcher creator/novelist Andrzej Sapkowski also serves as an executive producer on the prequel alongside Lauren Schmidt Hissrich (showrunner and EP of the flagship title), Andrzej Sapkowski, Jason Brown, Sean Daniel, Tomek Baginski, and Jarek Sawko. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly in early November, de Barra said he originally jotted down notes for Blood Origin on a restaurant napkin while musing on some of history's greatest empires.
"This whole time in [Sapkowski's] books, he reinterprets folktales and history," he explained. "And when you look at our own history, societies that had been at their height, like the Roman Empire or the Mayan Empire, would be right before the fall and then we're in dark ages again. That fascinated me to wonder what that [elven] world could have been and what society would have been like. That's what we're going to explore here."
Directed by Sarah O’Gorman (Cursed) and Vicky Jewson (Born of War), all six episodes of The Witcher: Blood Origin is expected to premiere on Netflix sometime in 2022.