The Witcher is a Netflix fantasy drama that is based on The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, which are collections of short stories that precede the main Witcher saga, written by Andrzej Sapkowski. After Season 2 of the series was released on Netflix on December 17, the viewers were left wondering why Roach, Geralt's mount had to die.
Season 2 of The Witcher was released on Netflix on December 17, 2021. Season 2 uncovered a lot of plot twists like who was The White Flame and served a lot of heartbreaking moments like when Ciri, possessed by Voleth Meir, went around killing the asleep and unguarded witchers at Kaer Morhen.
But the viewers seem to have fixated on one heart-wrenching moment, which was when Roach, Geralt's mare died. I mean, we can understand that the humans had to die but why did they have to kill off that magnificent mount?
Even if Roach had died in the books, isn't that what the plot armors are for? Also, did Roach actually die in the books or this plot was a really unsavory deviation from the books? If so, then what purpose does this plotline serve?
Meanwhile, we previously addressed Yennefer's age and whether or not she regains her magic. In addition, we touched on Deathless Mother, the White Flame, and Ciri's Hen Ikeir. Plus, check out the complete recap of Season 1 timeline.
Does Roach Die in the Witcher Books?
If you have read The Witcher books, then you are not unaware of the fact that Roach is what Geralt names whatever current mount he's using, so Roach of the books is not necessarily the only one as you do know about the expiration dates of Geralt's mares.
When current mounts get killed in the battle or die of other causes, he gets another mare whom he anoints Roach.
The lore of it all gives a heavyweight and a truly melancholic and despairing symbolism to the gruesome death scene in The Witcher season 2 as it feels layered: Killing off Roach is both an inside joke to fans who understand the circle of life, and a truly gutting moment.
The books are so much better in that they don't go about by getting in our face about the numbered days and the lives of those animals.
Did Roach Have to Die?
When The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich was asked about Roach, she answered that she was inclined to end Roach's life because 'the show’s leaps in logic (and time) could only take it so far'.
She pointed out that the witchers lived a very long time and season 1 already had gone through a lot of time and space and that they were already pushing the boundaries of how long horses lived. So, Roach had to be killed off.
The fans would have been more than happy to turn a blind eye to that but The Witcher is not something you watch to be happy after all.
How did Roach Die in The Witcher Season 2?
So, all Hissrich could do besides not kill Roach, was to give it a memorable ending. Not only she was intent on giving Roach the sendoff she deserved, but she also wanted to progress to the point in Andrzej Sapkowski's books where Geralt has "a lot" of Roaches.
The tale of how Roach goes down is that in episode 6"Dear Friend..." of Season 2, Geralt, Ciri, and their equine companion Roach encounter a dragonlike beast, the chernobog on their journey to the Temple of Melitele.
The chernobog, while no match for a little Witcher magic, got the mare mortally wounded after which she had to be put down. And this is the heroic end of Roach in the series.