“The Witcher: Blood Origin” Has Obvious Queer Rep But It Is Meh!

The Witcher Blood Origin queer representation Eredin
Eredin being comforted by his secret boyfriend in The Witcher: Blood Origin (Screengrab: Episode 2)

The 4-episode long The Witcher: Blood Origin finally brought obvious queer representation to the live-action adaptation of the popular IP on Netflix. But, in my opinion, the quality of the queer representation being offered ended up being ‘Meh!’

This article about The Witcher: Blood Origin contains spoilers. Consider yourself warned!

Trigger Warning: This article mentions sexual assault.

Even though The Witcher IP has queer characters in it, the most major one being the lead Ciri herself, the (as of now) Henry Cavill-starring live-action The Witcher series on Netflix is yet to showcase that. As of writing this post, not a single queer person, not even in a minor role, exists in the flagship The Witcher series. However, you will find Jaskier making a bunch of homo/sassy jokes. Sigh!

Anyway, the 2021 animated film The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf introduced a queer character named Luka. But as far as my opinion goes, I don’t count the ambiguity around Luka’s sexuality as actual queer representation.

Fortunately, The Witcher: Blood Origin decided to tell a story that included three obviously queer characters. Unfortunately, the quality of the queer representation being shown on the screen was poor.

Let’s talk about it!

Eredin the Army Elf

In episode 2, we get to find out that Eredin (Jacob Collins-Levy), the leader of the Elven army, was having a secret affair with a low-rank merchant who is so inconsequential to the actual plot that I forgot his name and I don’t feel like looking it up. All I know is that the actor playing said role is Nathaniel Curtis because I recognized him from 2021’s well-written queer show about the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United Kingdom called It’s a Sin. Go watch it!

Anyway, we get to see Eredin share some romantic moments with his boyfriend before Queen Merwyn (Mirren Mack) barges in and uses Eredin’s affair and wanting to be with someone from a lower class like his boyfriend to her advantage to strengthen her position against the mage Balor (Lenny Henry).

Unless I’m remembering wrong (watching the four episodes was a struggle!), I don’t think we got to see Eredin and his boyfriend even talk to each other after that particular scene with Merwyn. And when we do get to see the boyfriend again during episode 4, the finale, he’s basically crying over Eredin’s presumed death.

As for Eredin’s role in future The Witcher installments, it’s revealed that after Balor teleported him into another dimension, Eredin found and wore a giant skull as a mask, planting the seeds for the narrative to make Eredin the leader of the Wild Hunt.

So, yeah, The Witcher writers decided to make the gay guy a major villain.

the witcher blood origin eredin wild hunt
Eredin wearing the skull (Screengrab: Episode 4)

I mean, I’m here for a queer villain going after a queer heroine Ciri. But then again, I highly doubt The Witcher writers will ever make Ciri’s sexuality obvious enough for casual viewers to notice.

Meldof the Lovestruck Dwarf

With Eredin being the villain, the “good” team’s queer character was Meldof, the warrior dwarf played by Francesca Mills (you need to watch her in Harlots). And of course, she came with a tragic backstory of her own.

Meldof’s seen walking around with a hammer named Gwen in search of a particular person. It’s revealed that she created said hammer and named it after Gwen, a dwarven woman she loved. But where’s the actual Gwen?

Well, Meldof’s village was attacked by elves while she was out hunting and she found Gwen naked and dead upon her return. Ever since then, Meldof’s been traveling with her hammer Gwen (it contains Gwen’s ashes) in her quest for revenge.

The Witcher Blood Origin queer character Meldof
Meldof talks to Callan (Huw Novelli) about her past with Gwen (Screengrab: Episode 3)

And yes, during the scene in episode 2 where Meldof’s able to kill the person she’s been looking for, it’s revealed via the message she wrote on the wall (with that person’s blood) that Gwen was sexually assaulted by him.

Sigh!

Only Straight Sex Is Allowed!

For a franchise known for nudity and overall horniness, another gripe I had with The Witcher: Blood Origin was how all of that seemed to disappear wherever queer characters were concerned. In the 4-episode miniseries, with each episode being approximately 45 minutes long, you will get to see three sex scenes, featuring quite a lot of naked skin. However, there’s not a single sex scene involving queer characters. 

Now, I’m not saying that I want shows to have endless sex scenes and nudity. Frankly, I could do without any nudity being present in shows, especially when it comes to shows that rely more on sexual content instead of delivering a well-written plot. All I’m saying is that if a show does have intimate nude scenes, I would like things to be spread out evenly.

Seeing Fjall (Laurence O’Fuarain) doing the deed with Merwyn (in real life as well as during an illusion) and then once with Eile (Sophia Brown) really stood out when compared to how Eredin only got a scene where he got to kiss his boyfriend for a second or two while fully clothed.

When Merwyn decides to pay the two gay men a visit, it’s obvious that Eredin and his boyfriend had slept together. But the intimate moment between them took place offscreen.

So, yeah, while I have to give points to The Witcher: Blood Origin for finally featuring obviously queer characters in the live-action adaptation of the IP, I also have to take away points for failing to deliver well-written queer representation.

And, in a sense, the show didn’t only fall short in the queer representation department. The overall narrative itself had a lot of issues. The pacing was off and the lead characters were… well, they were something.

No wonder the miniseries is currently being dragged by critics and (from what I have seen) the fandom.

With Henry Cavill leaving the role of Geralt after the upcoming The Witcher season 3 and the poor reception of The Witcher: Blood Origin, I have no idea how Netflix will decide to keep the franchise going while trying to recapture the success it received in the past.

The Witcher: Blood Origin debuted on Netflix on December 25, 2022.

Have you watched it yet? What did you think of the onscreen queer representation?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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9 thoughts on ““The Witcher: Blood Origin” Has Obvious Queer Rep But It Is Meh!

  1. I’ve previously read all your articles following the queer representation in the Witcher. After watching Blood Origin I specifically sought out you’re perspective. I totally agree! I really appreciate your thoughtful discussion on this issue. I personally don’t think any of the Netflix Witcher content has been amazing but honestly I laughed out loud ( when laughing was obviously not the intended audience response) several times while watching Blood Origin. It was soo bad. But it’s like… Thanks fo painting a big ol’ rainbow flag on your dumpster fire, Netflix. ️‍❤️‍

    1. It was so weird. Like “Yay” for finally introducing clearly queer characters to The Witcher live-action franchise, Netflix. But the way they decided to do that when telling a poorly-written story along with some poorly-written queer rep was disappointing. No amount of queer characters can hide the fact that The Witcher series on Netflix has numerous narrative issues.

  2. All this queer/woke sh*t will be the end of Netflix. I cherish the day this bulls*** is over. (Comment edited by Farid due to website policy)

        1. “goWokeGoBroke says:
          December 28, 2022 at 8:17 pm
          All this queer/woke shit will be the end of Netflix.”

          Meaning: if Netflix goes broke, it is due to trying to please people who have a temporary fascination with “queer/woke” content.

          I extrapolated, satirically, due to the reviews of the series (see: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2022/12/27/the-witcher-blood-origin-has-netflixs-worst-audience-scores-of-all-time/) that, since this season actually did have “queer/woke” shit, it obviously got bad reviews BECAUSE of that.

          1. There are a million arguments against the idea that goWokeGoBroke suggests: that queer (or other) representation is just a fad. Just because goWokeGoBroke has been ignorant of a cause doesn’t mean it did not previously exist. I guarantee there is a point of representation or concern in media that goWokeGoBroke WOULD stand up for (ie. What if all actors/characters in film and tv were hot British millionaires with chiseled abs?). If queer people are actually such a minority, why do they have the power to bankrupt a multinational corporation? None of these arguments matter, though. I really didn’t care to argue with an ignorant dumbass. So I made a joke.

  3. I really hope they go that direction with Ciri! I loved Meldof & Gwen (can you tell I’m a biased lesbian? Lol) I do think the queer representation was a bit lacking & I agree with the off-pace but overall I enjoyed the series if only to help people understand what’s next to come in the Witcher series.

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