“Of Dreams, Defiance, and Desperate Deeds” introduces the rest of the team, but we’re already halfway to the finish and the show’s pace continues to hamper its character development and worldbuilding.
This recap of The Witcher: Blood Origin season 1, episode 2, “Of Dreams, Defiance, and Desperate Deeds”, contains spoilers.
The second episode of The Witcher: Blood Origin begins by introducing another member of “The Seven” — though technically two. You might have recalled, in the flurry of names provided by the narration in Episode 1, that we were due to meet a dwarf named Meldof and her hammer, Gwen. That’s what this opening sequence is for. Meldof is looking for a Golden Empire sergeant, Tallysen of the One Eye, and she’s willing to smash her way through an entire building to find him. It’s worth noting that in most stories in this universe, elves and dwarves are both persecuted underclasses toiling under the heel of human oppression, but here, even though the elves are in charge, dwarves still ironically get the short end of the stick.
The Witcher: Blood Origin Season 1 Episode 2 recap
Things aren’t going well for Balor and Eredin in Xin’trea. The people are starving and are on the cusp of open revolt, Merwyn is wise to their scheming, and Eile and Fjall managed to evade capture. Unless they’re caught or killed soon, stories of their exploits — reiterating the show’s underlying theme of the power of storytelling — will reach the lowborn, and they’ll become folk heroes, figureheads of a fomenting rebellion.
In the palace we even see a humble kitchen hand try to assassin Merwyn. She’s saved by an apprentice named Avallac’h whom she immediately takes on as her bodyguard despite his inexperience in matters of personal protection and spying. Despite this lack of relevant qualifications, she wants him to keep an eye on Eredin and Balor and steal a book from the latter about monoliths and use it to learn how to open portals between worlds. Thanks to the main series, we know that monoliths are portals to other realms.
In the meanwhile, Merwyn disguises herself and heads out among the lowborn people, where she quite literally bumps into Eredin. She follows him to the home of a merchant who it turns out he’s having a secret relationship with. Sensing an opportunity, she presents herself to the pair of them and proposes an alliance. She wants to cut Balor out and produce an heir with Fjall, and she’s willing to offer the merchant a place on her council in exchange for his allegiance.
Anyway, we also catch up with Eile, Fjall, and Scian in “Of Dreams, Defiance, and Desperate Deeds”, who’re on the hunt for sellswords. In a brief action sequence, we see how their lack of teamwork will spite them, and Scian gets slashed with a poisoned blade. As her condition worsens, another of the Seven, Callan, aka Brother Death, finds them and offers his services since he has a bone to pick with the Golden Empire. He offers to take Scian to a healer, but it means venturing through some magical mist that exposes the characters to their worst fears, biggest regrets, and most pressing anxieties. When they stay the path, enduring some light horror elements along the way, they emerge on the other side to meet celestial twins Zacare and Syndril, the final two members of the Seven.
Through Syndril — who knows Balor; it was his book on monoliths Merwyn tasked Avellac’h with stealing — we learn some more about what’s going on. The use of the monoliths is tearing the worlds apart. We’ve seen elsewhere in the episode that Balor is trying to use human sacrifices to harness chaos magic and transform himself, but he hasn’t yet figured out that the monoliths can be used for transportation. The plan is to use one to warp right into the palace courtyard and destroy the master monolith, thwarting Balor’s — and, though they don’t know it, Merwyn’s — plans.
It seems like a decent enough plan, and since Syndril is the only person who has one, everyone agrees. When they step through the portal created by the monolith, though, they’re confronted by a giant albino centipede-type creature. In a world without monsters, that’s quite the sight.
You can stream The Witcher: Blood Origin season 1, episode 2, “Of Dreams, Defiance, and Desperate Deeds” exclusively on Netflix.