Editor’s note: The below contains spoilers for The Witcher: Blood Origin.While The Witcher: Blood Origin focuses on the journey of the Seven and their war against the Golden Empire, the spinoff series also lays the foundation to give the Wild Hunt a new origin story in The Witcher. That wouldn’t be an unprecedented move since CD Projekt Red developed their beloved trilogy of The Witcher games by making the Wild Hunt the main enemies of the franchise, even though they play a minor role in Andrzej Sapkowski’s original books. As an amalgamation of both the books and the games, Netflix’s adaptation needs to bridge the gaps somehow, and by giving Wild Hunt a new purpose, the streaming channel ensures it draws from both sources.
What Is the Wild Hunt?
In The Witcher lore, the Wild Hunt refers to a group of ghost-like riders who steal people from the Continent. While most people think these riders are an omen of sudden war and a sign to be avoided at all costs, they are actually flesh and blood. The Wild Hunt is formed by Elves coming from a different world where humans did not subdue Elfkind. In fact, the Wild Hunt often kidnaps humans to force them to become slaves in another dimension.
In Sapkowski’s books, the Wild Hunt never becomes a major villain. They are mentioned a few times, and Ciri has to deal with them occasionally. Still, they are a minor threat to the Continent. However, CD Projekt Red’s games gave some major upgrades to the Wild Hunt, turning them into a looming shadow in the first two chapters of the trilogy before they rise as the big baddies of The Witcher 3. As such, the games help to expand the Wild Hunt mythology, explaining how their native world is dying, which leads them to attack and conquer other dimensions. In The Witcher 3, they also begin to hunt for people with Elder Blood, which makes Ciri an obvious target.
While Netflix’s TV show sticks closer to the books than the games, in Season 2, Ciri (Freya Allan) has a glimpse of the Wild Hunt, with the warriors clad in metal and bones, riding toward the young girl. The scene promises the riders will become a significant threat in subsequent seasons ofThe Witcher a suspicion that’s confirmed by Blood Origin.
How Does ‘Blood Origin’ Deal with the Wild Hunt?
One of the main villains of The Witcher: Blood Origin is Eredin (Jacob Collins-Levy), the High Commander of the Golden Empire. Eredin is a conqueror who allies himself with Balor (Lenny Henry) after being promised new worlds to ravage with his soldiers. While the name might go unnoticed by fans of the TV show, both in books and in the game, Eredin is the commander of the Wild Hunt, leading the warriors in interdimensional raids. And by the last episode of Blood Origin, we figure out how everything is connected.
In the middle of the spinoff series, Eredin betrays Balor and allies himself with Empress Merwyn (Mirren Mack) as a way to gain more power and control over the gateways to different dimensions. In the last episode, Balor pretends to forgive Eredin and joins him in a search party in another world. But instead of presenting Eredin with a new world he could conquer, Balor actually takes everyone to the barren lands where he can sacrifice his apprentice Fenrick (Amy Murray) and obtain the power of Chaos Magic.
Balor uses Chaos Magic to banish Eredin and his soldiers into a dying dimension, dooming them to a life of suffering. In one of the last scenes of the series finale, we see Eredin walking through the desolate world, looking famished and desperate. Suddenly, Eredin finds a bone helmet buried in the red sands, which happens to be the helmet of the leader of the Wild Hunt. So, Blood Origin serves as the origin story of the group of raiders, teasing the villains’ return.
In the books and games, the Wild Hunt is composed of Elves native to a different dimension. Nevertheless, as Blood Origin shows us, Netflix’s adaptation will take a new direction in making the villains exiled Elves from the Continent. Maybe Eredin will contact the Elves who live in the red wasteland, pledging his service. Perhaps he’ll find the remains of an ancient civilization and use its technology to return to the Continent. Be it as it may, Season 3 of The Witcher will likely use the loose threads of Blood Origin to take Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) and Ciri into new and exciting adventures.
The Witcher: Blood Origin is available now on Netflix.