A lot is going on in Netflix’s Blood Origin despite The Witcher prequel miniseries only being four episodes long. Blood Origin is set more than a thousand years before the main series. It begins at the cusp of the Conjunction of the Spheres, where a group of Elven Warriors (and Dwarf) traverse the Continent to murder the Xin’trean Empress responsible for the extinction of their clans.
Introducing the first ever Witcher, Fjall Stoneheart (Laurence O’ Fuarain) is the sworn protector of then Xin’trean Elven Princess Merwyn (Mirren Mack) in Netflix’s Blood Origin. Embodying the cliché forbidden romance trope between a princess and a soldier, Merwyn and Fjall are tragically separated (with the latter being exiled) after being caught consummating their secret affair. Although that sequence provided an easily dismissible detail in the grand scheme of things, it becomes an essential plot point that serves a surprisingly great twist by making the ambitious love-struck princess the villain that Fjall and his group of Elven Warriors (and Dwarf) want to kill.
Merwyn Becoming A Witcher Villain Is Best For Blood Origins
Merwyn’s downtrend to mad queen villainy in Blood Origin becomes an unexpected twist that favors the prequel’s watchability, especially considering that its characters aren’t its strongest element. Given that The Witcher: Blood Origin has a meager serving of four episodes, it’s evident that it doesn’t have enough time to build characters in a way audiences would become invested. However, Merwyn’s characterization trumped those odds with Mack’s portrayal offering a believably delusional Empress who thinks her Golden Empire colonization plan is for a noble cause.
What’s more, Merwyn’s transformation was quite well-executed despite the show lacking, with its other characters’ development. By opening Blood Origin with Fjall and Merwyn’s unremarkable run-of-the-mill, star-crossed lovers plot line, Merwyn’s murder of Fjall’s clan added a heightened layer of anticipation for their reunion and face-off. Blood Origin effectively makes Merwyn’s villain arc its most exciting feature in The Witcher universe, serving a unique, conniving power player in a patriarchal Elven society.
Merwyn’s Blood Origins Arc Is One Of The Witcher’s Most Interesting
As a standalone series, Blood Origin falls flat alongside its contemporaries but does effectively provide insight into The Witcher’s world, which may be its saving grace. And this is exceptionally contributed by Merwyn’s arc. Her transformation from an idealistic princess into a ruthless conqueror isn’t a new storyline in the fantasy genre, but Blood Origin makes it seem like a novelty paired with her involvement with Fjall. Because despite her misguided spiral into tyranny, Merwyn (as a gray character) still exhibits vulnerability faced with Fjall’s rage. Hence, Merwyn’s villain status proves that Blood Origin had the potential to be great but fell short due to its execution.
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