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The Geralt Scene In The Witcher Season 2 That Went Too Far

Contains spoilers for "The Witcher" Season 2

The enduring popularity of "The Witcher" books and games means that longtime fans of the franchise have strong opinions. Many feel protective over these characters since they have lived with them longer than the Netflix show has existed. Geralt (Henry Cavill) himself is one of the things that fans are most protective of. For Season 2, Cavill requested one change in regards to how Geralt should be portrayed, specifically that he be a bit more vocal. And this is for the best, as far as diehard fans are concerned, as it makes him closer to how he's portrayed in the books.

By and large, though, "The Witcher's" casting game is excellent, and everyone pulls their weight, even though fans think some of the characters' relationships are a letdown. Still, people are watching, and since Season 2 of "The Witcher" has received a better reception than the first — which was somewhat critiqued by many over its confusing use of multiple timelines (via IGN) — it's clear that the creators of the show are listening. Still, even though the show is clearly improving as it goes along, that doesn't mean fans don't have their gripes with how Season 2 adapts the beloved source material it's based on. There is one Season 2 scene, in particular, that fans have not exactly appreciated.

Why did Roach have to die?

One of the running threads in "The Witcher" is Geralt's horse, Roach. Roach is a constant companion to Geralt, but it is not always the same horse. Geralt has had many Roaches during his long life but has loved every one of them. That is what makes it so devastating when the audience is forced to watch Roach be killed. While on the road, Geralt and Ciri (Freya Allan) encounter the deadly Monolith beast that was briefly glimpsed earlier. Being a witcher, Geralt is able to successfully battle the monster. Unfortunately Roach is just an elderly horse, and gets caught in the crossfire. This doesn't end well for the poor animal, who dies a bloody death in the aftermath of the battle.   

The scene of Geralt being forced to say goodbye to his faithful friend caused a bit of an uproar on Reddit. "Obviously we all know, given Geralt's age, that he's had multiple Roaches. We also know he'll have more in the future," said u/lokilivewire. "Knowing and seeing Roach lying on the ground ripped to shreds; two entirely different things." This user clearly did not think that watching Roach die onscreen served any story purpose.

Some fans were just heartbroken. "I haven't felled this gutwrenched since Hedwig died," admitted u/SkidMcmarxxxx, referring to the death of Harry's (Daniel Radcliffe) snowy owl familiar in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1."

Redditors aren't the only ones who have a hard time with Roach's unsightly passing, since Twitter isn't any less aggravated about the scene. "They didn't HAVE to show us Roach's entire death scene but I guess they decided it was worth it," @PoisoonB tweeted. "Cried over Roach's death it's true," @blaiseswife revealed. 

Henry Cavill took Roach's death seriously

In all fairness, "The Witcher" treats Roach's death as a pretty massive story beat, and the horse's demise receives the same attention as most human deaths in the show do, if not more. However, this doesn't remove the salt from the wound. The brutal death of Roach is not something that occurs in the source material, and even worse, Geralt ends up being the one who ultimately has to put Roach out of her misery. Though such events may well have occurred during the Witcher's long life before, even he's somewhat shaken by the incident. As such, it's easy to understand that this is a moment that many fans simply could not get behind.

Nevertheless, the people behind the show already knew that the show's Roach was getting older than a horse can believably be, and must die at some point in any case. As such, they were adamant that Geralt's poor steed gets the sending-off it receives. "In terms of how we killed off Roach -– I thought, if we're going to do this, I want to make it part of the story," showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich told GamesRadar. "I don't want Roach to die off-screen and no one ever mentions it."

Being  "The Witcher" aficionado that he is, Henry Cavill personally wrote the touching mantra Geralt speaks to say goodbye to Roach. "When we kill Roach on-screen, Henry actually wrote what he says to the horse," Hissrich revealed. "It was wildly emotional ... it really felt like saying goodbye to a character. We wanted to make sure that we honored it in the right way and that we made his death heroic."

"The Witcher" Season 2 is available for streaming on Netflix.