Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ follows the story of Geralt of Rivia and his journey across the Continent as he battles monsters and dangerous forces that want to harm Ciri. Based on the book series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski, the show weaves a complicated web of mythology, immersing the audience in a unique world. While Geralt is trained to be a killer and has never lost a fight with a monster or a human, those around him haven’t been so lucky.
Death surrounds the Witcher at every turn, and while he survives it, his loved ones often suffer. In the second season, his beloved horse, Roach, meets an untimely end. It is one of the most heartbreaking deaths in the series, which is why it is surprising when we see Geralt with a new horse, whom he calls Roach, in the third season. Did he bring his horse back to life? Let’s find out.
How is Roach Alive in The Witcher Season 3?
One of the things that make witchers so formidable is their life span, which is longer than normal humans. For this, they undergo a procedure that mutates their body, allowing them strength, agility, and long life. While the exact life span of a Witcher is unknown because they usually die before reaching old age, it is estimated that they can live for centuries. Horses, however, can only live for only 25-30 years. This lifespan can be shorter for a Witcher’s horse, considering the dangers that the owner faces in his line of work.
Geralt of Rivia has been a Witcher for a while and has dealt with his fair share of monsters. It makes sense then that he cannot have one horse for too long. His horses die, and he replaces them. However, he names all of them Roach as a term of endearment, which originates from the Polish word for mare— “Płotka.” The show carries this tradition from the books and bestows the name Roach on all of Geralt’s horses. The horse we see in the third season is not the one who died in the second. It’s a new horse, but Geralt has also named her Roach.
The events in ‘The Witcher’ take place over an extended period which means that the show had to show that Geralt’s horses die and are replaced. Creator Lauren Hissrich said, “We had already kind of pressed the boundaries of reality there. We knew that at some point, Geralt was going to have to get a new Roach.” However, knowing that the relationship between Geralt and Roach is important, they couldn’t let the horse die in vain, which led to the animal’s heroic death.
In the sixth episode of Season 2, Geralt and Ciri come across a chernobog that comes out of the monolith activated by Ciri’s powers. A brutal fight ensues as Geralt tries to kill the creature. Ultimately, he succeeds, but Roach sustains fatal injuries and, later dies. The show delivers a moving scene in which Geralt bids his friend and companion goodbye. Initially, the scene was intended to unfold in a completely different tone. The moment was to take a comedic turn, but Henry Cavill didn’t like it and proposed that the scene be made more heartfelt.
Hissrich allowed Cavill to unfold the scene as he wished and choose his own lines. He jumped at the opportunity and used Geralt’s lines in ‘Sword of Destiny’ to give the moment the gravity it deserved. It displayed the Witcher’s connection with his horse, giving more weight to his reasoning behind calling all his horses Roach.