Blood Origin Missed A Big Opportunity With Éile
Of the characters introduced in The Witcher: Blood Origin, Éile had the greatest opportunity to break new ground in the show’s narrative universe.
Warning! SPOILERS for The Witcher: Blood Origin!
While The Witcher: Blood Origin included many revelations, Netflix’s prequel missed a prime opportunity with Éile (Sophia Brown). One of the most crucial selling points of the mini-series was its ability to expand the lore in The Witcher to create an engaging, original story. Of these, the show promised to deliver on the founding of the order of monster hunters and had the chance to do so with new characters working in an entirely different world order, but it wasn’t able to go far enough.
Set 1,200 years before the events of the original show, The Witcher: Blood Origin filmed the story of seven warriors resisting the rise of the elven Golden Empire after a coup that kills the elite warrior clans protecting three elven kingdoms. Among them are Éile of the Raven Clan and Fjall of the Dog Clan (Laurence O’Fuarain), and as they have the most personal stake in avenging the deaths of their peers, they are offered the chance to combine their essences with a monster’s to become the first Witcher. However, while Éile intended to be the one to undergo the dangerous process, Fjall does not abide by her wishes and takes the concoction instead.
Éile Should Have Been The First Witcher
While the show depicts Fjall’s sacrifice to undergo the experimental process to become the first Witcher as noble, there’s no strong reason that Éile shouldn’t have been allowed to do so instead. Both Éile and Fjall were warriors in The Witcher: Blood Origin with powerful combat training and conditioning, so there’s no reason that she should not have been able to survive the process as well as Fjall. As such, Fjall’s refusal to let Éile do so is belittling and lays the narrative groundwork in the series timeline for there being no female Witchers later on, even though both warriors are physically qualified to attempt the trial.
Even beyond their physical capabilities, Éile would have made the better narrative choice for the first Witcher instead of Fjall. She was the first hero introduced in The Witcher: Blood Origin, establishing her as the focus character who pulls the rest of the cast together. Structurally, this alone should have led her to become the first Witcher as the archetypal leader who would not risk her followers for anything she wouldn’t attempt, with Fjall’s intervention only diminishing Éile’s role with his intervention. Additionally, Éile has the strongest motivation to try the risky procedure, as she would not only be avenging her clan but the death of her sister by assassins.
The Witcher: Blood Origin Should Diverge From Canon
Some might argue that Éile could not be the first successful Witcher in The Witcher: Blood Origin because doing so would go against the source material and the original show’s canon, where there are no female or Black monster hunters. However, The Witcher has already shown its intention to diverge from the original novels in season 2. Because of this, the prequel series had the opportunity to continue these changes and further improve the source material by including more diverse Witchers. If it had, The Witcher: Blood Origin would have given season 3 of The Witcher more leeway to do the same, and, unfortunately, the show squandered this chance.
Prequels can be risky and intriguing for the opportunity to expand the narrative of a series retroactively. Making Éile, the original Witcher could have updated the show’s universe to better fit the times, improving the show as a whole. The Witcher: Blood Origin had a chance to build on this strategy with Éile but wasted her competency and intriguing character in favor of the traditional strength-based, white male monster hunter seen in Geralt (Henry Cavill) and Fjall.
The Witcher: Blood Origin is streaming now on Netflix.