The Witcher Prequels came at just the right time

The Witcher: Bloodborne was a disappointing addition to the Netflix series, highlighting the fact that the world of The Witcher is indeed in big trouble

This article contains spoilers for The Witcher: Blood Origin.

The release of The Witcher: Blood Origins, Netflix's official prequel series to The Witcher, couldn't have come at a worse time. Starring Henry Cavill and Freya Allen as Geralt of Rivia and his young guardian Ciri, the first season of The Witcher was a hit on Netflix. With third-party analysis showing it's in the top 0.2% of TV shows in terms of demand, it's no surprise that Netflix renewed the show -- and went a step further, announcing their intention to turn the show into a major franchise.

Netflix was smart enough to release tie-ins between The Witcher seasons - and as an important setting. The animated special The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf reveals Geralt's backstory, giving viewers an idea of ​​what to expect at Kaer Morhen's castle ahead of the live-action premiere of Season 2. The prequel series The Witcher: Origins opens up about the Conjunction of the Spheres that Andrej Sapkowski's original novel skipped, and gives The backstories of the elf characters who will have a major impact on Ciri's life as they spread across time and space. Unfortunately, This time around, fate has not been kind to The Witcher and its co-stars, as the prequel hits theaters at the wrong time.

Henry Cavill's Departure Is A Massive Blow To The Witcher Franchise

The Witcher franchise is in serious trouble. Henry Cavill is now leaving The Witcher after season 3, and all the evidence points to it against the show's growing departure from Sapkowski's original novel. The changes were certainly well-intentioned, but were already causing controversy among the fanbase before Cavill's departure. Losing the leading man, an actor who was widely regarded as flawless and synonymous with leading roles, was a huge blow. The Witcher really needed something to change the subject -- and unfortunately, The Witcher: Origins didn't fit the bill.

The Witcher: Blood Origin Simply Isn't Good Enough To Change The Narrative

The sad truth is that Netflix's prequel series simply wasn't enough to secure the franchise's future. Reviews for The Witcher: Origins have been poor, criticizing the formulaic fantasy script and undeveloped characters. Netflix initially commissioned six episodes, but that was pared down to four during the editing process, with showrunner Declan Debarra telling Digital Spy that the production team wanted to keep it "succinct." this way Unfortunately, there seems to be an emphasis on the formulaic script, while eliminating any chance to enjoy character interactions. The love story between Fjal and Éile feels particularly rushed and painfully compressed.

The problem is made worse by the fact that this is the first time Netflix has told a story set in the wizarding world without Geralt in some way. As a result, The Witcher: Origins made Cavill's departure worse, reinforcing the sense that this is a franchise without star appeal that is losing steam. Netflix may have announced Cavill's successor, Liam Hemsworth, but it does feel like interest in this fantastical world is fading by the day. Had "The Witcher: Blood Origins" been released before Cavill's announcement of his departure, Netflix might have found a way to turn things around and deliver a strong third season -- but that's going to be very difficult right now.

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