Jodie Turner Smith to star in The Witcher prequel, ‘Blood Origin’

AFI FEST 2019 - Opening Night Gala - Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Queen And Slim'
The Witcher, based off the book series by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, is one of Netflix’s most popular shows. The Witcher was the Bridgerton of 2019 as it dropped a few days before Christmas and ended up being the most streamed Netflix Original series in Netflix’s history. It reached 76 million households. Now, Netflix is in production for a Witcher prequel limited series called The Witcher: Blood Origin. It’s based off of the The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny short stories that precede The Witcher saga. It would seem that Netflix is about the business of casting Black actors in the fantasy genre which tends to mostly exclude Black and Brown people.

Bridgerton will not be the only hit show to boast a diverse cast because Jodie Turner-Smith has been cast as a lead in The Witcher: Blood Origin. Jodie will be playing the role of Eile, an elven elite warrior and musician who must return to her warrior ways. Below are more details from Deadline:

Set in an elven world 1,200 years before the world of The Witcher, Blood Origin will tell a story lost to time – the creation of the first prototype Witcher, and the events that lead to the pivotal “conjunction of the spheres,” when the worlds of monsters, men, and elves merged to become one.

Turner-Smith will play Éile, an elite warrior blessed with the voice of a goddess, who has left her clan and position as Queen’s guardian to follow her heart as a nomadic musician. A grand reckoning on the continent forces her to return to the way of the blade in her quest for vengeance and redemption.

[From Deadline]

First of all, a dark skinned Black woman playing an elf in a fantasy series that is extremely popular? My mind is blown. I definitely did not see that coming at all. The last time we had a Black woman in a lead role in a fantasy series this huge was Danai Gurira’s character in The Walking Dead. Even though I fell in love with several of the characters on the show, Danai was one of the main draws of the Walking Dead for me. I am also in love with Jodie Turner-Smith so I will definitely be watching this series. I mean, Jodie is a frigging goddess of the highest order. I am hoping that Jodie brings some Dora Milaje energy to the role of Elie. I want Jodie to be a fierce elven warrior in the vein of 1980s Grace Jones but with some um grace and heart.I am over the Black woman trope of being hardened without the ability to be vulnerable. I am sure however Jodie embodies Elie, she will be without a doubt kick ass.

The Witcher is one of my other obsessions. Henry Cavill as Geralt and Anya Chalotra as Yennefer kept me satisfied going into 2020. I have been waiting not so patiently for season two ever since. I know there won’t be any crossover between the two shows but I don’t care. Despite not ever reading any of The Witcher source materials, I am riveted by the world that Andrzej has created. I also think what Netflix is doing with its content is extremely bold. Their original content with diverse voices and casting will continue to get me to toss my coins their way. It is not hard to create films and series that reflect the world we live in. Representation matters and Netflix is definitely off to a good start. I will continue to watch out for the casting for both Bridgerton season two and The Witcher: Bloodline Origin. 2021 and 2022 are going to be lit as far as representation in film is concerned. Now I would like to see more South Asians and Indigenous women being cast. We do not have to sacrifice one for the other or only have tokens sprinkled throughout. There can be social cohesion between ethnicities in entertainment. Now I’m waiting for Children of Blood and Bone to finally be made into a movie or series.

AFI FEST 2019 - Opening Night Gala - Premiere Of Universal Pictures' 'Queen And Slim'

Jodie Turner-Smith at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK - 02 Feb 2...

photos credit:, Katalin Vermes for Netflix and via Instagram

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20 Responses to “Jodie Turner Smith to star in The Witcher prequel, ‘Blood Origin’”

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  1. Eleonor says:

    I have never seen The Witcher, but I am totally going to watch this.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      Same. Completely and deeply desinterested in the genre, and in The Witcher, but I’m gonna watch this because she is so darn beautiful and the thought of her as an elf is just too delightful. Must see!

    • lucy2 says:

      Same here!

  2. duchess of hazard says:

    Good on her. I love seeing dark skinned women get on in acting, because it’s a hard road.

    The premise sounds interesting too.

  3. Jo73c says:

    100% on board for this. Can’t wait!

  4. Becks1 says:

    I had forgotten they were talking about making this, so I’m excited to see the casting and what they do with the prequel. I think i’ll rewatch the first season before it comes out just so my mind is in that world, more or less. The first season was such a nice surprise for my husband and me – we watched an episode last January, thought, huh, what is this, watched another episode, werent sure if we liked it, and within two days we had finished the season and thought it was fantastic.

  5. MarcelMarcel says:

    Excited for this. And also I *love* Children of Blood and Bone would be amazing to see it as a film or tv show! Oddly enough the EarthSeed books by Octavia Butler got me through lockdown. There’s so much incredible speculative by womxn, queers and BiPoc writers. I loved to see 1,000 doors of January as a stand alone film.

  6. MMC says:

    I love this. She is just so badass, she’ll be perfect for the role of an elf warrior.

    Having said that, I would like of they would cast more Eastern European actors, and generally lean into the easterneuropeaness of the Witcher saga

    • Marysia says:

      The thing is that Witcher was never written as easterneuropean fantasy, its easterneuropeanness is just on of the elements.
      Sapkowski makes fun of it in the saga (for example in the story of golden dragon, someone wants to kill him with stuffed sheep and it doesn’t end up well, unlikely like in one of polish legends. Sapkowski is pretty ironic when writing this story).
      In interviews he also makes fun of authors who write “Slav fantasy” and says directly that he never mentioned skin colour of various people.
      This said, I also want more actors from central Europe in the series 🙂

  7. Red Dog says:

    This is awesome and I can’t wait to watch it. The Witcher was an unexpectedly rewatch-able, go-to gem for getting through 2020 (especially Melbourne’s hard lockdown).

  8. Jillian says:

    “Jodie is a frigging goddess of the highest order” – no lies here! I loved The Witcher, can’t wait for this prequel series. Also, I enjoy that its a warrier/artist character, I expect some depth there for Jodie to work with

  9. Myra says:

    She is gorgeous. She’ll be perfect as an elf

  10. Pulplove says:

    I gave up on The Witcher after 4 episodes or so, it just couldn’t hold my interest even though the production value is top-notch and Henry Cavill is hot as hell in that role.
    But I love Jodie and I’m so down for seeing her in anything really, I’d give this a try.

    Kudos to Netflix by all means for showing viewers a colourful world in all genres. They’ve been a trailblazer already, also by producing various shows from many countries, so I hope they’ll continue and expand (more Asians, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ as leads) that path.

    • lucy2 says:

      I never watched it and generally find Henry Cavill pretty dull (after the Tudors anyway) but I think I’ll check it out at some point, because I do want to see Jodie’s show.

      • Pulplove says:

        I felt the same way about Henry Cavill, but his turn as Geralt was intense and convincing and kept me hanging in there for a while. At least, for the first time I actually saw his appeal.

    • Becks1 says:

      I would give it another try, we found that something clicked around episode 4 and then we couldnt stop. And its the kind of show where, at the end, we looked at each other and went, “ohhhh, I get it now” and then had to rewatch the whole thing.

  11. herhighness says:

    I am very happy for her!

  12. Liquorice says:

    Never seen her in anything but she’s really pretty and good for her for landing this.

  13. CoffeChamp says:


  14. CoffeChamp says:

    I just saw Queen & Slim and Jodie is good in it. Not to mention, she’s absolutely gorgeous.