There are several untold stories lingering in the background of The Witcher, both for fans of the Netflix series and for those who have read the Andrzej Sapkowski novels. One is the history of the once great elven race, fallen into second class citizenry in the modern age. Another is the tale of the conjunction of the spheres which brought monsters and humans to this world, and then, on a related note, there are the mysterious origins of witcher kind. The Witcher: Blood Origin seeks to address all of these storylines.
And who better to tell these epic tales than a bard? Jaskier was always such a popular character in the original series; why not introduce him as a crossover character for The Witcher: Blood Origin? The latest trailer does just that: revealing the troubadour’s participation in the prequel during its climactic conclusion. There’s only one problem: the conjunction of the spheres happened 1200 years ago, so… did Jaskier time travel or something?
There is, of course, a simpler explanation. At the start of the trailer we hear the voiceover of Minnie Driver, who plays the elven character Seanchai. “It all began 1200 years ago in the elven Golden Era, before the arrival of humans and monsters in the world,” she says. “Seven warriors, outcasts, strangers to each other, bound together to fight an unstoppable empire.” This sounds like the voice of someone from Jaskier’s own time who knows the tale that will unfold in The Witcher: Blood Origin as part of her own history.
She explains at the end of the trailer that she’s a storyteller looking for a bard. “I need you to sing a story back to life,” she implores Jaskier, who seems as confused as the viewers likely are. Will Seanchai and Jaskier frame the story as it’s told and tie its tale of a scrappy group of rebels to the current downtrodden state of the elven race in the modern era? It seems likely, and frankly it’s the perfect way to add to the already incredible worldbuilding of The Witcher universe.
Jaskier will no doubt enjoy hearing about the seven travelers, a group which includes a formidable leader Scian (Michelle Yeoh), warriors from rival clans Éile (Sophia Brown) and Fjall (Laurence O’Fuarain), and a feisty dwarf Meldof (Francesca Mills). The story even has a proper villain in the authoritarian druid chief Balor (Lenny Henry) who announces menacingly in The Witcher: Blood Origin trailer, “I have taken control of the entire continent. Faced with chaos the people will always choose order… no matter the cost.”
When Éile implores others to “rise up” against the empire, it’s hard not to picture a Star Wars-like scenario in which a ragtag group of heroes takes on an impossibly powerful enemy. We hear about the monoliths that “are causing tears between worlds,” the same monoliths that lay broken in The Witcher season 2 as remnants of the conjunction of the spheres when the worlds of humans, elves, and monsters collided, only now the towers are whole and imposing, foreshadowing the disaster that’s about to occur.
As a terrible creature appears inside a portal, it’s easy to wish that Jaskier could transcend time and bring Geralt with him to defeat the monster. But witchers don’t exist yet in The Witcher: Blood Origin, and we can only assume that when Syndril (Zach Wyatt) says, “We need to use a beast against him, merge the creature’s power with one of you,” he means to create a new race of monster-person hybrid to battle the new threat. Sounds like a witcher is about to be born!
So no, Jaskier will not be a participant in The Witcher: Blood Origin, but a mere audience member like the rest of us. However, a surprise may be in store for how the centuries old tale will be relevant in the bard’s own time. Can he “sing a story back to life” to inspire a new generation of elves suffering under a different form of oppression? Or do his musical skills serve an even higher purpose only known to Seanchai?
We’ll have to tune in to the four-part miniseries on December 25, 2022 to find out for ourselves, but one thing is almost certain. Jaskier will eventually sing another The Witcher banger.