‘The Witcher: Blood Origin’: Who Is Solryth? – the Historical Elf That Merwyn Admires
The Witcher prequel does not take place in the original books but is meant to explore the many questions fans have about specific events, characters, and more from the books and Netflix series. While The Witcher: Blood Origin fleshed out the Conjunction of the Spheres and elven history 1200 years ago, it introduces a character in passing, Solryth. Merwyn is enamored with the history of her people, especially Solryth’s story.
[WARNING: This article contains spoilers for The Witcher: Blood Origin.]
Merwyn is determined to repeat Solryth’s story in ‘The Witcher: Blood Origin’
One of the key characters in the prequel series is Merwyn, the princess of Xin’trea. Her brother had become the new king and hoped to end the Thousand Year war and unite the kingdoms to save the elven race. But his sister Merwyn has another ideology that stems from Solryth’s story.
In the first episode of The Witcher: Blood Origin, her brother enters her chambers to find her reading an old book. He is quick to deduce she is reading the Solryth Sagas. While her brother jokes about the smell of the books, she explains that all of the history books in her room tell the history that will repeat itself. She begins to tell the story of Solryth based on scripture carved into the very walls of Xin’trea.
“Dwarven script, fifteen hundred years old, telling of Solryth’s arrival. The siege of their city before she drove them out and built Xin’trea on its ruins,” explained Merwyn of Solryth in The Witcher: Blood Origin. Solryth’s story has Merwyn entranced into believing she can restore elven power to its former glory.
Later in the first episode, Merwyn is fixing a planet alignment contraption. She exclaims that two blazing comets in the sky are known as Solryth’s eye. They lead her ship to the continent. They return in the prequel series. After Merwyn becomes empress, she reveals Solryth’s death led elves to turn on each other. But the question remains of who Solryth is beyond The Witcher: Blood Origin.
Solryth was a warrior but does not appear in ‘The Witcher’ universe
Regarding The Witcher universe, details have been taken from the original books by Andrzej Sapkowski and the video games. But when it comes to The Witcher: Blood Origin, some of its stories and characters do not exist in the original work. The same is true of Solryth when trying to find information about who she was.
In The Witcher: Blood Origin, Merwyn briefly describes who Solryth was and her place in elven history. Creator Decal de Barra explains to Netflix Tudum that Solryth works more as an inspiration for Merwyn instead of being a character that needs to be fully explored.
In explaining Merwyn’s story, De Barra says, “Because she was locked away in this palace, devoid of real friends, she found solace in books. Merwyn just adored the stories of the elves arriving on the Continent with this famous conqueror, Solryth. She was a female warrior who conquered the dwarfs and took over the Continent and brought high elven art and culture to the place. Merwyn would love to do that, but she’s hamstrung.”
Fans will learn nothing else about Solryth in The Witcher: Blood Origin. The character’s inclusion is meant more to push Merwyn’s grand story of wanting to break free and become a marker for the elven race. Ultimately, Merwyn’s greatest desire is to conquer new worlds and civilize them with elven history.
Is Merwyn successful in becoming her era’s Solryth?
Merwyn conspired with Balor, Eredin, and the mages and war generals of the other monarchs to betray their leaders and clans. In response, Merwyn is empress but knows she is a pawn in Balor’s plan. At some point, she convinces Eredin on her side and imprisons Balor. But needing him to open the monoliths to new worlds, she appeals to what he wants most.
Balor, Eredin, and a group of soldiers go through the gateway, hoping to find a viable new world. But Balor betrays his Fenrik, gets Chaos magic, and sends Eredin and the soldiers to another plane. Eredin would become the start of the Wild Hunt in The Witcher universe.
Meanwhile, the seven warriors have infiltrated Xin’trea, and Eile goes after Merwyn for revenge. Instead of a battle, Eile uses Merwyn’s hand holding her own blade to stab her. If Merwyn wants to die a coward, she will remove the blade and bleed to death.
She ventures to her throne room, grabs her broken crown, and sits on her throne. As the elven uprising enters, she says, “Remember me,” removes the blade and dies. In The Witcher: Blood Origin, Merwyn does not become her era’s Solryth.
The Witcher: Blood Origin is available on Netflix.