The latest developer video from CD Projekt Red features an interview with Charles Dance, the British actor of stage and screen who is best known these days for his commanding performance as Tywin Lannister, the current royal family’s brutally pragmatic patriarch in HBO’s Game of Thrones. The Witcher 3 will be Dance’s first time performing in a video game as Emhyr var Emreis, emperor of the Witcher’s world’s superpower, Nilfgaard.
Much like his Westerosian counterpart, Emreis is a no-nonsense kind of guy. “This is my first video game, that I’ve performed in. It’s a whole new world for me. It’s quite exciting, actually,” Dance explains in the video. “My character is, he’s a very, very powerful man, probably the most powerful man, and as such he doesn’t need to throw his weight around. He’s a man of few words, the words he speaks, speak volumes. And he’s ruthless — he’s ruthless because he has to be.”
Dance also offers some choice insight into how fantasy is “no longer the realm of children’s entertainment — it is real.” The quality of the storytelling and cinematic techniques means that fantasy games are now also for “quite discerning adults.” Dance understands this well, coming from Game of Thrones, which has cemented the position of fantasy in popular culture that Peter Jackson established with The Lord of the Rings.
From gameplay clips in the video, it appears that Emreis is the one who hires Geralt for the quest of chasing down the “living weapon” Ciri, quarry of the game’s eponymous Wild Hunt. From what little we’ve seen, Dance seems fantastically cast, giving the imposing emperor the gravitas that such a character deserves.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt comes out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows on May 19.