Why The Witcher: Blood Origin Will Have Four Episodes Instead of Six

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The long-awaited The Witcher prequel, The Witcher: Blood Origin premieres on Christmas Day 2022 and stars acclaimed actors Michelle Yeoh, Minnie Driver, and Lenny Henry among others. While the fans are still awaiting a full-length trailer of the Laurence O’Fuarain, Sophia Brown-starring series, showrunner Declan de Barra spoke to Ariana Romero about the decision to reduce the number of episodes to four.

As we remember, The Witcher: Blood Origin was initially announced as a limited series with six episodes. Later, after the reshoots earlier this year, our sources revealed to us that the episode number would be reduced from six to four.

Declan de Barra comments on the decision to re-edit Blood Origin into four episodes

Lenny Henry in The Witcher: Blood Origin

“This felt like a two-part movie,” de Barra said. “You never want to be watching a movie going, “I love this movie.” And then you start to look at your watch going, “Oh, please end soon,” I never wanted there to be any moment where we’re just stringing the audience along to have an episode. It always had to feel logical and right from a natural storytelling point of view and we of course had the advantage of not being a network show with no set rules for times or episode count.

So, when we were in the edit room, that [four-episode structure] is what happened organically, the shaping into four episodes from all the footage we shot. Optimum story flow. I wanted it to be a punch in the face, so that you can’t take your eyes off it.”

Will the episodes of The Witcher: Blood Origin be longer?

Huw Novelli in The Witcher: Blood Origin

Declan de Barra did not elaborate on how they split the story to fit four episodes and how long each episodes will be. Entertainment Weekly described them as “meaty”, which could be interpreted as longer than usual, but one shouldn’t expect Stranger Things-level length.

De Barra’s words on shaping the series to be more engaging and snappier in the editing room do seem to imply that some cuts were made. After all, as we reported some time ago, the writing credits for the premiere and the finale didn’t change, while credits for episodes 2, 3, 4 and 5 seemingly got merged, resulting in the following:

  • Episode 1: Declan de Barra
  • Episode 2: Alex Meenehan/Aaron Stewart-Ahn
  • Episode 3: Tania Lotia/Kiersten Van Horne
  • Episode 4: Declan de Barra/Tasha Huo

The premiere and the finale are inevitably changed as well, but it seems not enough to alter the writing credits, while the middle episodes seem to be the more central focus of the re-editing.

The crediting of directors in The Witcher: Blood Origin is a little less clear. Currently, there are three directors involved in the series:

  • Sarah O’Gorman (The Witcher S2, The Last Kingdom) directed episodes 1, 4 and 6
  • Vicky Jewson (Close, Born of War) directed episodes 2, 3 and 5
  • Alex Garcia Lopez (The Witcher S1, Daredevil) directed the reshoots

Season 3 of The Witcher is in post-production for a Summer 2023 release. The live-action prequel The Witcher: Blood Origin has been set a Christmas 2022 release. Stay tuned to Redanian Intelligence and do pop into our Discord server to join in on The Witcher conversation.

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