The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals are not happy because the Netflix Witcher production didn’t use CGI for Roach, but a live animal.
The Witcher Series on Netflix is based on Andrzej Sapkowski books and the witcher video games. The Witcher Season 1 was released in the year 2019, introducing all the characters on the Continent. The series includes three main characters, shown in a different timeline, Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher who hunts monsters for money; Yennefer of Vengerberg, a powerful sorcerer on the Continent; and Princess Cirilla of Cintra, Ciri, the child with elder blood.
The Witcher Series is Henry Cavill-led, as he plays the main role of Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf. The Witcher Series takes place between 1240 and 1268 years, and obviously, no transport was present, but horses. The Witcher travels throughout the Continent on his horse which he named Roach.
Roach Witcher’s horse was never seen without him, and there was some kind of special bond between Geralt and Roach. Whenever Roach gets frightened, as a result of animal instincts fearing from monsters, Geralt the Witcher calms Roach down, and Roach listens to the Witcher.
Roach was never just a mode of transport to Geralt, but someone he prefers to travel with and talks about his life with him. At the end of season 1, when Geralt meets Ciri as written in their destiny, Roach gets another person to travel on their journey.
The Witcher Season 2 was released in 2021, a long wait because of the unforeseen global pandemic. The Witcher Season 2 started with Roach, The Witcher, Geralt, and Ciri on their journey to Kaer Morhen, Geralt’s hometown.
The three of them, The Witcher, Roach, and the child surprise, Ciri, on the way, faced a lot of challenges. One night, when the cold was getting really terrible, Geralt sought refuge under his old friend, Nivellen. Geralt first tucked Roach in a safe place and then looked for himself and Ciri comfortable.
However, a tragic end of The Witcher’s Roach met. The Witcher Season 2 consisted of various more horrifying and strong monsters, and one of them killed Roach. A kind of monster, Chernobog, who can fly, attacked Roach. Geralt later did kill the monster, but when he saw Roach suffering, Geralt put his life to an end, so his travel partner didn’t have to suffer. Geralt was devastated by Roach’s death, and that was the time when Ciri realized Geralt, being a Witcher, still cares for others.
PETA Upset For Using Live Animal as The Witcher’s Roach
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is one of the largest animal rights organizations in the world and looks over the ways animals are being treated. The organization released a statement about their feelings on using a live animal instead of a CGI character in the Witcher Series.
“Netflix’s The Witcher has a monster problem, in that producers apparently monstrously chose to exploit a live lemur and squirrel monkeys, among other animals, instead of using modern and humane computer-generated imagery. The entertainment industry typically prematurely separates these animals from their mothers and thwarts their instinctual needs to explore, choose mates, raise young, and forage, which is why kind audiences should skip The Witcher and instead toss a coin to the many films and shows that feature only willing human performers.”
PETA’s motto does say that the animals are not for our entertainment or abuse, so these types of acts are unacceptable to them. This organization regularly gets annoyed with popular TV series or movies, and recently it called out Clifford, a family-friendly movie. The movie had a Big Red Dog, and PETA said instead of using live animals, they should use CGI characters. PETA believes that using animals for entertainment is wrong, and there are no exceptions to it.
Although, an interesting fact about the Witcher Series is that Roach’s death was a touching scene, which was rewritten by Henry Cavill. The scene given to Geralt was supposed to be a little more humorous, and Geralt didn’t like it and requested the showrunner, Lauren S. Hissrich, to change the line.
Lauren, in return, said, “You know what, you come up with something. I trust you; you know this material so well, you know the book so well, you don’t even have to pitch it to me”. The next day, Henry Cavill came up with beautiful lines for the Witcher’s Roach scene, and the scene is loved by all.