Of Dreams, Defiance, and Desperate Deeds
Episode 2 of The Witcher: Blood Origin starts with us introduced to Meldof, who has her own gripes with the Golden Empire. She wants to find an elf called Talyysen of the One Eye. and it seems her warhammer has a mind of its own. No, it’s not Mjolnir from Love and Thunder, but Geldof heads in all the same and begins smacking heads and injuring elves, desperate to find Talyysen. Coming out covered in blood, the dwarf easily dispatches all the elves and continues on her quest.
Meanwhile, Scian, Eile and Fjall find themselves heading south, staying off the roads and trying their best to avoid the growing empire. They arrive at Daedwode, a little village well known for its sellswords.
They arrive at the bank but unfortunately their pictures are up on the wall and they’ve been spotted. The trio are forced to work against the Empire, fighting through a number of warriors as they come at them through the front doors.
With a massacre at their feet, the trio are eventually smoked out when a fire rages inside. Thankfully, they manage to break into a vault heading below, one the dwarven banker used just prior to the attack.
When we cut back to the trio, they’re out in the woods and far away from that location so we’re led to believe this passage heads outside. It’s poorly edited either way but Scian has been injured and the pair are forced to try and find ingredients to heal her. However, they find Brother Death, Callan, who agrees to take them to his healer.
Meanwhile, Merwyn the Massacre (that has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) is well aware that Balor is going to get rid of her as soon as he’s done. She’s approached by a kitchen hand speaking of famine, where Merwyn admits she knows nothing of the outside world and wants to look for herself.
She recruits an elf mage to be her spy and to steal a book called The Book of Monoliths and wants him to learn how to open gateways. Merwyn breaks out the castle after wearing his lowborn cloak and with no soldiers batting an eyelid, she sees the famine and issues for herself. Issues that Merwyn the Massacre caused herself by betraying the kingdoms, I may add.
The four make it to the healer who inexplicably is joined by Syndril who’s now out of his cell. Anyway, there’s still the situation involving Meldof, who decides to paint with blood up on the wall after finding and killing Talyysen. Off-screen I may add. We unfortunately didn’t get to see this play out.
Merwyn the Massacre eventually finds herself stumbling upon her brother in bed with another man. She agrees to keep their secret and with official positions on the line, in exchange she wants to show Balor that the military and the crown are one, and to show that he answers to them, not the other way round. She wants to expand the empire but of course, they’re forgetting that there’s a demonic monster that can kill anyone.
So remember when a marriage was the main cause of her rebelling and killing all those people in cold blood? Well, Merwyn decides that the best course of action going forward is a marriage, but one that she chooses. Brilliant. She wants Fjall brought back to her alive and forced into giving her an heir. “Those at odds can become allies,” She says, sending the pair into thinking over their options.
Meanwhile, Zacare and Syndril work together to heal Scian of her wound. It works too and she thanks them. As for Syndril, he points out the horrific beast and how Merwyn slit Fjall’s brother’s throat. He tells them that they haven’t got long before the obligatory apocalyptic end arrives and they need to destroy the master monolith in order to prevent this occurring.
Syndril points out that he used a gateway himself to arrive before them, although how he did that from a prison cell is unknown. Unless I’m missing something, in which case do let me know in the comments below!
He decides to stay together and they enact a plan to destroy the monolith and also fell the great beast too. As Syndril open up a portal, he takes them to a strange world where a creature rises up out a lake and begins attacking them.
The Episode Review
The Witcher: Blood Origin’s issues continue, with this cookie cutter story about stopping the end of the world hitting the usual fantasy tropes. However, it does so without much characterisation or depth for anyone.
I’m struggling to work out whether the show is intentionally making Merwyn the antagonist or somehow trying to spin this that she’s a misunderstood savior of the realm. Given how skewed the morality has been for some characters this year in TV shows, I wouldn’t like to say!
The quest to save the world now has 6 of our 7 joined together but as I said before, there’s very little characterisation given to any of them. The fact that so much is happening off-screen points to trouble in the editing studio and the filming process. We don’t see Meldof killing Talyysen, even though that’s pretty much her whole arc, and we don’t see our characters escaping the bank, they just arrive in the middle of the forest. And that’s before mentioning Syndril and how he got out of his cell.
This is another poor episode and it’s fair to say this has absolutely nothing to do with the books or the world of the Witcher so far. Hopefully things can improve in the second half but it doesn’t look great thus far.