Bernadette Werner, the horse handler on season one of Netflix’s The Witcher, announced on Instagram this week that the horse behind Geralt of Rivia’s trusty steed Roach has made his departure from season two’s production. “The ROACH COACH is headed HOME!” the handler informed fans in an Instagram post that documented the hard work required by her team on a particularly trying production year for The Witcher.
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The horse who brought season one’s Roach to life is named Zeusz and, according to Werner’s Instagram, the animal handling team in charge of the steed has endured “291 days without even 1 day completely off.” Werner assures fans that the hard work was worth it and that “I don’t regret any of it, I’d do it all over again without a blink of an eye” (Instagram).
According to ComicBook, Werner’s message seems to confirm a theory fans have had about Roach since “set photos teased that Roach might have been killed during a battle.” The Witcher draws inspiration from the world’s of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels and the video game series of the same name, and in both sources there’s a precedent for multiple horses to carry the mantel of Roach. “Geralt names all of his horses Roach,” ComicBook reports on the protagonist’s repeated use of the name for his steeds throughout the franchise.
Though the mantel rotates between horses, there’s still a chance that Zeusz’s role in the series could continue. While We Got This Covered seems to agree with the theory that Werner’s news indicates an ill-fate for The Witcher’s first on-screen Roach, the outlet still holds on to a shred of “hope that the stallion makes it out of all the fights alive.” Void of specific narrative details, it’s still a possibility that Werner’s post simply indicates that Zeusz had completed all of the scenes that he was needed for in season two.
The Witcher’s star Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) confirmed a rumored hamstring injury on Instagram yesterday, meaning it’s possible he wouldn’t be able to ride the horse during his recovery. “For those not familiar with hamstring injuries,” ComicBook reported “the major concern is re-aggravation.” Cavill told fans on Instagram that taking a walk was a “major step”, which would mean the possibility of the actor being able to ride a horse anytime soon seems improbable.
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Fans will have to wait till season two to see whether Zeusz’s original Roach will survive or whether Geralt will have to find a new Roach to replace him. In the meantime, The Witcher audience can enjoy Zuesz in all his glory in his hard-hitting behind-the-scenes interview released as a part of The 6 Days of Witchmas event.
Roach has something to say. Please drop an 🍎 in the comments. pic.twitter.com/MzLDamUcn8
— NX (@NXOnNetflix) December 20, 2020