Let's talk about Rosa Var Attre, the impossible romance of The Witcher 3 - Kill Screen - Previously (2022)

Despite its complex lore and extensive source material, the premise of The Witcher 3 is strikingly simple: Find Ciri. Give the game a few hours, though, and it quickly buries its “save the girl” throughline under a heaping mess of other plot points, branching off into a thousand different directions like the tendrils of a lightning bolt. What begins as a simple rescue mission trickles down into pulpy sub-stories that flesh out everything from family dramas, to political intrigue, to military strife, and even some high romance.

In one particularly divergent quest tree, the monster-hunter protagonist Geralt comes across the path of an old friend, Dandelion, who was apparently the last to encounter Ciri. But Dandelion has also gone missing—just our luck—and Geralt discovers that the only way to find him will be to rendezvous with and interrogate his most recent romantic interests. This leads us to Rosa Var Attre, a young bourgeois woman who agrees to share details about Dandelion if Geralt will indulge her in a quick fencing match. One swordfight later, and Geralt finally has the information he needs to help find Dandelion. But instead of simply sending him on his way, Var Attre has another request: She’d like Geralt to come meet with her again so he can teach her more about handling a sword.

the quest concludes with a big middle finger to convention

Having moved substantially far enough from the main plot for an inconsequential fencing lesson to sound worthwhile, The Witcher 3 also makes the implication that a relationship with Var Attre will yield something important, like a nice new weapon, a batch of juicy experience points, or maybe even a new set of romance quests—which, while cheesy, are often goofily, entertainingly so.

Lo and behold, the quest concludes with a big middle finger to convention, and refuses to reward the player with any of those things. Instead, after a quick fencing lesson, Var Attre says something that apparently offends Geralt, who cuts off their acquaintance right then and there. Rosa Var Attre is never again featured in The Witcher 3.

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After finishing this sequence, I immediately took to the forums to determine whether I’d chosen an incorrect dialogue option to end the questline this way. But after a few minutes of clicking through the many threads on this particular sidequest (apparently a significant number of other players had had a similar reaction), I discovered that this is indeed the only way that the Var Attre relationship can conclude.

Let's talk about Rosa Var Attre, the impossible romance of The Witcher 3 - Kill Screen - Previously (1)

“Seems unsatisfying to end things like this with a semi-interesting character,” said one user over at the GameFAQs forums, and there were similar reactions pretty much everywhere I looked. Why set up such a compelling character and questline, only to throw her out as the result of one unfavorable interaction?

The Witcher 3 isn’t the first work to throw its audience into dead-end sideroads for reasons that initially seem suspect: In Narrative and Freedom, the literary critic and Slavist Gary Morson describes a literary technique he calls “sideshadowing,” where an author fills their work with moments of seeming insignificance in order to conjure a literary world of “possibilities that could have happened even if they did not.” To Morson, the masters of sideshadowing were Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky, who were known for granting lavish descriptions to characters with seemingly no influence on the plot, and who would dedicate entire chapters to recreational wolf hunts and descriptive mowing scenes.

nobody inAnna Kareninais destined to do anything

The inclusion of these “purposeless” side-sequences in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky’s work can certainly read as pretentious fluff, but narrative sideshadowing works because in real life, as in their literature, there’s no actual structure:

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In Great Expectations, Pip gives a pie to a convict, and the reader assumes that this apparently inconsequential event will in fact be consequential… We do not expect our daily donations to be Dickensian pies. In novels, when bread is cast upon the waters, it comes back manifold, but in life it often just drifts away. (613)

By building a sense of structurelessness into their books, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky create realms where all contingent possibilities are theoretically open. Since everything in Great Expectations is bound by traditional literary structure, Pip is always destined to come into wealth. But nobody in Anna Karenina is destined to do anything. This allows us—indeed, it encourages us—to interpret and question the events that actually do come to pass.

Let's talk about Rosa Var Attre, the impossible romance of The Witcher 3 - Kill Screen - Previously (2)

On paper, videogames’ biggest strength is that they come standard with a narrative openness that Tolstoy and Dostoevsky had to delicately piece together themselves. But in practice, videogames have struggled to develop narratives where it feels like anything can happen.

The “open-world” genre, for instance, with its massive Skyrims and Dragon Ages, has long prided itself on providing players with something resembling authentic choice. But even though we can pluck our way through the dialogue trees of Mass Effect or align ourselves with the many factions of the Elder Scrolls series, the narrative crux of these games always feels Dickensian: when “Clementine will remember that”, we are told so explicitly. This might be why the eventual conclusion of the Mass Effect series felt constraining to so many who played it: because players believed their branching storylines would culminate in a truly unique final outcome, they were shocked—even offended—to reach a climax that funneled them into a definitive, conveniently color-coded set of endpoints.

But look closer, and the truth of the matter is that even prior to its conclusion, Mass Effect never behaved like an open narrative structure to begin with. The fact that the universe would only ever end in a flash of red or blue (or green) light was never inconsistent with a story whose binary structure could only cast its characters as either Paragons or Renegades. Whatever nuance the series may have flirted with in its finest moments was always tied to moral pontification, and always tightly secured to larger statements about the (one or two) possible outcomes of ethical quandaries.

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it’s moreGame of ThronesthanGormenghast

There’s a big difference between offering players the ability to choose between a few dialogue options, and creating a world in which the realm of possibilities feels genuinely open. The former can still take place within a closed narrative structure, while an open-ended world can only be achieved with techniques like sideshadowing.

The Witcher 3 is certainly not without its own narrative flaws—it’s more Game of Thrones than Gormenghast—but it achieves a sense of openness that’s absent in so many other self-proclaimed open worlds. Dandelion’s quest line, like many others in the game, is a hydra: finish off one portion of the mission, and five more sidequests pop up. Some, like the Var Attre branch, seem to go places, but are abruptly decapitated as a matter of circumstance. Sometimes a fencing lesson is just a fencing lesson.

Let's talk about Rosa Var Attre, the impossible romance of The Witcher 3 - Kill Screen - Previously (3)

After a while, the proceedings in The Witcher 3 become so varied and so impossibly oblique that the entire game starts to take on an overwhelming, insurmountable quality. With the main quest so hopelessly lost in the dense forest of possibilities, I found myself asking—on multiple occasions—what the hell I was doing; what steps I had taken to get where I’d ended up; what kind of ungodly hours CD Projekt RED must have worked to create such a fleshed-out universe. Geralt is a protagonist, yes, but within the staggering scope of The Witcher 3 he never feels like more than one minuscule node in an astronomical narrative grid.

It’s worth noting that narrative sideshadowing is always just an illusion; War and Peace, after all, only has one ending. The more important idea is that the works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky can make us feel like anything can happen, so that when Anna Karenina suddenly brings about her own demise, we’re left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath. Maybe her death was an act of vengeance or anger or confusion, or maybe it holds no further meaning at all. It’s not as inviting or reassuring as Dickens’ cathartic resolutions, but as they say: that’s life.

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life makes no sense except in the presence of a central illuminator


There’s a well-known passage in George Eliot’s Middlemarch that gives context to the idea of life as an open construct, portraying the realm of possibilities as a large and scratched-up mirror. But place a candle at the center of that surface, and some order emerges: “It is demonstrable that the scratches are going everywhere impartially and it is only your candle which produces the flattering illusion of a concentric arrangement, its light falling with an exclusive optical selection.”

With all of its orderlessness and scattered possibilities, life makes no sense except in the presence of a central illuminator. In the case of Anna Karenina or War and Peace, that figure is the reader, who interprets and contextualizes the plot in terms of his or her own life experience. In The Witcher 3, it’s the player, who is also left to ponder the implications of every dangling plot thread and every micro-story’s spontaneous end. The fact that Rosa Var Attre can come across as either a missed opportunity for intimacy or an independently acting agent with opinions that differ from our character’s speaks volumes to the The Witcher 3‘s storytelling chops. That it might also mean nothing says more about us and our relationship with its world than most other role-playing games can muster over the course of an entire series.


Can you romance Rosa var attre Witcher 3? ›

No, she's not a romance candidate, it really seems like it at first but in the end it won't happen.

How do I talk to Rosa var attre? ›

Talk to Rosa var Attre

Approach the building where Rosa resides and knock on the door to begin a conversation with guards outside. If you tell the captain that you're here to see Rosa, he'll send you on his way, forcing you to find another route into the house.

Where is var attre Witcher 3? ›

Henry var Attre was a noble who served as a diplomat to Novigrad for thirteen years, first as consul and later as ambassador. He lived there in his Var Attre Villa in the rich Gildorf district.

Who is the best romance option in the Witcher 3? ›

The ultimate, best romances in The Witcher 3, however, are the following.
The Witcher 3: Every Possible Romance, Ranked
  1. 1 Yennefer.
  2. 2 Triss. ...
  3. 3 Syanna. ...
  4. 4 Shani. ...
  5. 5 Keira. ...
  6. 6 Jutta an Dimun. ...
  7. 7 Madame Sasha. ...
  8. 8 The Brothels. ...
Jan 29, 2022

Which is better Triss or Yennefer? ›

One of the best things about choosing Yennefer over Triss in The Witcher 3 could also perhaps be one of the worst: Her and Geralt's complicated past. This makes Yennefer an integral part of the story and gives her more substantial in-game interaction and romance content.

Which horse should I choose Witcher 3? ›

Pick Any of the Horses

You may pick any of them as they all have the same stamina and speed. The only difference being their color.

Does Dandelion have a sister Witcher 3? ›

When the race is over or doesn't happen, go talk to Molly to learn about Dandelions “sister.” With all your new information about Dandelion, go back to the Rosemary & Thyme to compare your notes with Zoltan.

How do you give Rosa fencing lessons? ›

Go to the var Attre residence tomorrow to give Rosa fencing lessons. Tell the guard captain about the fencing lessons. Meet with Rosa. Follow Rosa.

Who voices Priscilla in The Witcher 3? ›

Priscilla's English voice actress is Emma Hiddleston, sister of Tom Hiddleston. I don't think I need to tell you who he is.

Can you romance Edna Witcher 3? ›

Geralt encounters her in the arena, and she remains a main character for the rest of the quest. Some players have asked why Anna Henrietta is not romanced in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. You can, after all, romance her sister Syana! There are many things that make her compatible with Geralt.

Who can you romance in Witcher 3? ›

The Witcher 3 romance options
  • Yennefer (primary)
  • Triss (primary)
  • Yennefer and Triss (doesn't end well)
  • Keira Metz (secondary)
  • Sasha/Cantarella (secondary)
  • Jutta an Dimun (secondary)
  • Shani (secondary)
  • Sylvia/Syanna (secondary)
Jan 5, 2022

How do you Parry in Witcher 3? ›

Holding down LT makes Geralt block; tapping LT just before an enemy attacks results in a parry.

Does sleeping with Keira affect Yennefer? ›

No, sleeping with Keira doesn't ruin your other romances in the game. For the record, if you romance Triss and then sleep with Yen during the feast in Skellige (but don't tell her you still love her in The Last Wish sidequest), you don't get the "Lone Wolf" ending either.

Does romancing Keira affect Yennefer? ›

Romancing Keira has no impact on the rest of the game and the other romance options that Geralt can pursue.

Did Triss cheat on Geralt? ›

Book wise... ehhh... the whole Triss and Geralt romance was a sort of cheating by Triss(and it closely resembles game version of the event). By her own admition, she was fully aware that it was very likely neither Geralt or Yennefer would ever forgive her for that.

Who's hotter Yen or Triss? ›

Yes Triss is hotter which is why most people will opt for her.

What happens if you sleep with both Triss and Yen? ›

Seems like romancing Triss in the lighthouse allows you to sill sleep with yen, but committing to Yen after sleeping with Triss gets you the Three sum scene. Basically, if you want to end up with Yen then no lighthouse scene with Triss, Period.

Why does Geralt call his horses Roach? ›

"Płotka" is the Polish term for a female horse, and it's also an informal version of the word "płoć," which literally translates to “roach” or “roachy.” Geralt is known for favoring mares over stallions, therefore, the monster hunter's preference ties his steed's name to Polish terminology.

What is the best saddle in Witcher 3? ›

The Witcher 3 Best Horse Saddles

The single best saddle in the game is the Caparison of Lament. The only trouble is, to acquire it, you need to make a specific endgame story decision for the Hearts of Stone DLC.

Should I race Morvran? ›

Once at the races Morvran will babble about horses before challenging Geralt to a race. Might as well, as you'll score a prize if you win and the race is easy, just stay on course and mind your stamina. Once you win, Morvran will make good on his offer, and Molly will finally be pointed out to you.

Is Jaskier immortal? ›

'Cause that's just a very bard thing to do." This sort of wraps up the mystery, although it becomes strange that Netflix decided to cut the "Jaskier Accidentally Becomes Immortal" episode from the show's first season.

Is Dandelion in love with Geralt? ›

He's not really enticed by the fame aspect. However, Dandelion is fascinated with Geralt's life and loves to use his tales to get his own fame. While he does do songs and poems, in the books and games, Dandelion is also obsessed with writing his biography.

Who is Geralt's best friend? ›

While adventuring, he meets Dandelion, a bard and poet, who eventually became his best friend. Some years into his life as a witcher he also meets Yennefer, the love of his life, with whom he pursues a tumultuous relationship throughout the books. Geralt is sometimes described as being cold and threatening.

Can you fail the fencing lessons quest in Witcher 3? ›

Is Fencing Lessons Missable or Failable? This quest will not start if you did not agree to another fencing lesson with Rosa. This quest can also fail after the player starts the main quest The Isle of Mists.

Where is Van attre residence? ›


How do I start the fence lesson in Witcher 3? ›

Walkthrough. Fencing Lessons Is a Side Quest in Novigrad with suggested level 12. This quest becomes available after "Broken Flowers", if you agree to give Rosa more "lessons".

Is it possible to save Priscilla? ›

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

She fortunately escapes the fate of the killer's other victims, and remains alive in the care of Joachim von Gratz at the Novigrad hospital. Eventually Priscilla recovers and regains her voice and ability to sing.

Should I let Priscilla stay Witcher 3? ›

Priscilla will show up to deliver a message. You may decide to let her stay or go. It doesn't matter either way.

Can you save Patricia Vegelbud? ›

Return to the Coroner

Then you can look over the body and Hubert will find a note indicating the next victim - Patricia Vegelbud. Head over to the Vegelbud Residence as fast as you can to save her.

Can Anna Henrietta live? ›

Syanna Dies, Anna Henrietta Lives

This may be either the neutral or the bad Blood and Wine ending (in which case the next ending is downright tragic), depending on how dear Syanna is to you. In 'The Night of the Long Fangs,' find Syanna, but do not get the ribbon in 'Beyond Hill and Dale.

Is Ciri related to Anna Henrietta? ›

This means that by extension, she's also related to Ciri. It's a connection that not a lot of players make, but it is interesting to consider both she and her sister Anna Henrietta as being related to the emperor and Ciri herself.

Did dandelion sleep with Henrietta? ›

10 She Once Had An Affair With Dandelion

In the past, he and Anna Henrietta fell in love and struck up an affair while Anna was still married to Raymund. Unfortunately for Anna, when Raymund found out he not only murdered the messenger but he also imprisoned Anna.

Does Ciri have a love interest? ›

Season three of The Witcher is set to introduce Mistle, a love interest for Ciri from the original series of novels. Mistle will be portrayed by Christelle Elwin, a relative newcomer best known for her roles in Bloods and the upcoming Netflix drama Half Bad, based on the young-adult novels by Sally Green.

Who has Yennefer slept with? ›


It even got to a point in the books where Yennefer slept with Geralt and Istredd on the same day, with each only finding out after the fact. You don't have to be a witcher or a sorceress to know that that's an unethical way to have an agreed-upon monogamous relationship.

Can you have a threesome in The Witcher? ›

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Threesome is a Bad Idea - YouTube

How old is Geralt? ›

By the time Geralt appears in the first episode of the Netflix series The Witcher, he is already 71, though he is played by 36-year-old Henry Cavill. Aside from his catlike eyes, white hair and world-weary attitude, Geralt doesn't really show his age. By the start of the second season, Geralt is 104 and Vesemir is 169.

What's the best steel sword in Witcher 3? ›

The Toussaint Knight's steel sword is, without a doubt, the best steel sword in witcher 3. It is easily the best of the best, having +300 armor-piercing, absolutely decimating foes it encounters in its way. This sword deals 745-911 damage, which is insane.


1. Witcher 3: All the Monsters Spared by Geralt - Skellige's Most Wanted DLC
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