The Witcher series draws on many real-life inspirations for its factions, making the political dynamics as complex or violent as their historical counterparts. One such faction in mind is the Order of the Flaming Rose which has always been a thorn in Geralt’s side (pun intended). While not all their members are enraged bigots, most are, making the general impression for them too negative.
In fact, there was one point in the game’s canon that the Order of the Flaming Rose got so notorious that kings and kingdoms, such as Temeria, essentially drove them out. Still, that didn’t affect their popularity one bit, and they even managed to become more powerful come The Witcher 3. As Geralt, knowing thy enemy is key to dealing with them, so here’s what to know about this problematic order.
10 Armed Wing Of The Church Of The Eternal Fire
The Order of the Flaming Rose wouldn’t have gotten so many recruits and supporters were it not for their beliefs. It just so happens that their belief centers around the Eternal Flame, which is a human-exclusive faith in The Witcher universe.
The Church of the Eternal Flame offers a rallying cry for any humans in kingdoms that feel threatened by elven or dwarven populations, even refugees. Acting as the Church’s enforcers are the knights of the Order of the Flaming Rose. Initially, they had some admirable beginnings but more often than not, that was just a front for oppressive acts against non-humans.
9 Seemingly Inspired By The Knights Templar
Since the Order of the Flaming Rose is a religious militant organization that also functions as a private army for a church, one fitting real-life counterpart it would have are the Knights Templar. The similarities are striking, and even the motif or coat of arms of the Order of the Flaming Rose looks familiar.
Another possible inspiration for the Order of the Flaming Rose would be the Teutonic Knights, which also served as a militant religious army whose purpose was to protect the Holy Land from enemies of Christianity. Even the names of the officers are comparable.
8 Racist Tendencies
Despite the mission and goal of the Order of the Flaming Rose looking as if it’s rooted in decency, their primary tenet revolves around hatred for magic and non-humans. They believe that only humans are pure in their world, which is partly true since the monsters and non-humans were a result of a trans-dimensional event called the Conjunction of Spheres.
However, the Church of the Eternal Fire and the Order of the Flaming Rose tend to go out of their way to spread unreasonable hate towards non-humans. The Order, in particular, is tasked with stomping out heretics which, in the Church’s eyes, are dwarven and elven refugees, sometimes magic-users.
7 They Had A Predecessor
Before they were called the Order of the Flaming Rose, they were once the Order of the White Rose. The Order of the White Rose is more of a local knightly organization based in Temeria or other parts of the Northern Kingdoms.
They were also not as deplorable as the members of their succeeding organizations. The Order of the White Rose existed relatively peacefully and was not that extreme, at least in the books. Most of their members were noblemen and sons of merchants, tailors, and other businessmen.
6 Their Grandmaster Was A Villain
Everything changed in the Order when it was reformed by a Grandmaster named Jacques de Aldersberg in the first Witcher game. Jacques renamed it to the Order of the Flaming Rose and promoted the Church of the Eternal Fire’s beliefs.
Additionally, he changed the recruitment and made the organization larger, like an army. Turns out he was a villain looking to wrestle control of the world in order to avoid the White Frost apocalypse. To do this, he stole the witcher mutagens and created some abominations of his own to bolster his army. He was then promptly defeated by Geralt.
5 They Also Kill Monsters
After Jacques’ death, the Order of the Flaming Rose fell on the hands of a more decent Grandmaster. Due to former Grandmaster Jacques’ scandalous transgressions, King Foltest of Temeria disbanded the Order of the Flaming Rose but King Radovid took a liking to them, so they relocated to Redania.
After that, the Order became more powerful, and their members grew brave or knowledgeable enough to face monsters and kill them. As a result, they also took some witchering into their own hands, but since they were mere mortals, the casualty rate was high.
4 They Have Their Own Land
After they relocated to Redania, the Order of the Flaming Rose was granted some additional power in the form of their own plot of land to govern. There, they also have the main stronghold, courtesy of King Radovid.
As part of their deal, the Order of the Flaming Rose became subservient to King Radovid where they even accompanied him to Loc Muinne during a crucial convene. Needless to say, Redania made them too powerful, even stronger than some small kingdoms or duchies.
3 They Eventually Became Witch Hunters
By the events of The Witcher 3, Radovid became too paranoid to trust any magic users in his sovereign, so he formed the Witch Hunters. They were cherry-picked from the best of the best in the Order of the Flaming Rose.
If the Order of the Flaming Rose were the grunts of the Church of the Eternal Fire, then the Witch Hunters were the inquisition. They were more brutal, cruel, and fanatical. The Witch Hunters also had higher jurisdiction than the Order of the Flaming Rose.
2 Radovid Disbanded Them
Seeing as the situation in Redania was turning more and more chaotic in The Witcher 3, Radovid opted to disband the Order of the Flaming Rose eventually. The Witch Hunters served a better purpose for his paranoia and carried out their tasks and beliefs more effectively.
Still, that didn’t mean the Order of the Flaming Rose just fizzled out. The former members of the militant order were recruited in legions to become Witcher Hunters, thus multiplying their power.
1 They’re Not In The Books
As interesting as their organization might be for the fictional world’s dynamics, the Order of the Flaming Rose isn’t exactly canon for the books. The only thing that existed in the books resembling them was the rather tame Order of the White Rose.
The Order of the Flaming Rose, and what became of them, was merely the addition of the Witcher game trilogy, which is still fitting enough in the game world and complements book author Andrej Sapkowski’s vision, albeit more hauntingly familiar.