Tywinning Streak: Charles Dance In The Witcher 3

'the mecha-cock was this long'

Oh sure, Charles Dance is a Highly Respected Act-Or again thanks to his icily charismatic role as Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones, but I remember when he was making ends meet with roles in bottom-of-the-barrel drek such as 1996’s Space Truckers. He played a man with a cybernetic schlong, whose utterances included the deathless line “If I had an anus I’d probably soil myself.” It’s a far cry from “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.”

Let’s see if his role as Emperor Emhyr var Emreis in The Witcher 3 [official site] continues his latter-day Tywinning streak, or if he’s being dragged back to the mecha-willy Z-list all over again.

“This is my first videogame that I have performed in”, he explains in surprisingly grandfatherly tones. I’ll just bet he said “computer game” initially and they had to correct him. He then talks about how fantasy appeals to “quite discerning adults” these days, as the video shows a lascivious montage of clips including naked women licking blood off each other’s fingers and a guy making out with a ghoul with a tongue like a cybernetic schlong. Whatever you say, Charles.

“What I saw of…” – and just for a second, just for a word, the avuncular tone slips and his voice drips with scorn – “videogames ten years ago… it’s like a whole other world [now].”

Still, whatever Charles might or might not be really feeling about this new frontier, there’s no denying that he’s got particularly fine actorly chops, and it’ll be a pleasure to hear them here. His stern, ruthless character, the emperor of Nilfgaard, seems not a million miles away from Tywin, but we’ll find out in… oh, just a couple of weeks now whether he’s anything like as memorable.


  1. Fathom says:

    I’ll listen to him in anything, even if he probably just did this for the paycheck.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      He probably did, initially, but that’s how you start in a “world” you don’t know much about. As a random example, the italian voice actor for Geoffrey Rush who did a stellar job in Pirates of the Caribbean can be pretty much be found in most videogames by now, he probably had no clue before he started how much effort is being put into them.

      Afterall, we’re still not past complete “outsiders” thinking that games are about either sports stuff, violent stuff for psychos and deranged children and some Angry Birds in between. Oh, and if you like them you totally should grow up.

      • Darth Grabass says:

        “…the italian voice actor for Geoffrey Rush who did a stellar job in Pirates of the Caribbean can be pretty much be found in most videogames by now…”

        Lolwut? He’s Australian, not Italian. And he’s been in exactly one video game.

        • Archangel says:

          He is of course referring to the Italian voice actor who overdubs Italian words for the part of Barbossa for the Italian-language version of the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

    • Emeraude says:

      Nothing shameful about it either. As long as he does the job well. It *is* how he makes a living after all.

      Also, as a non native speaker, do you really feel that much scorn there ? I don’t know seems to me like an overly defensive reaction. Might just be me being tonal deaf though.

  2. slerbal says:

    He is awesome, but if I do play the Witcher 3 it will definitely be in Polish with English subtitles. The original voice acting in Witcher 1 and 2 was really, really good and it made the whole thing more fantastical. Plus when I did try Witcher 2 in English by accident I was put off by the casual mixing of English and American accents.

    Don’t hold his 90s career against him. Actors have to eat too :)

    • Ansob says:

      At least the accents mostly map out to where those characters come from, i.e. Redanians are Northerners, Kaedwenians are vaguely Irish, Temerians run the gamut from Queen’s English to cockney which mostly places them in London/the Southwest in general, dwarves are generically Scottish and Aedirnians are Welsh. Geralt supposedly deliberately puts on a Rivian accent (presumably Rivians sound like generic Yanks). Triss and Dandelion stick out like sore thumbs, though.

      • iniudan says:

        If Dandelion didn’t stick out like a sore thumb, he wouldn’t be Dandelion.

      • slerbal says:

        Good to know, but all I can say is I loved my play throughs of the Witcher in Polish and I even learned a few Polish words… though given this is the Witcher I don’t think I should ever use them unless I want to kick off a bar fight :D

        The regional accents might also have been all over the place in Polish, but here my ignorance to Polish regional dialects meant I never noticed.

        • GameCat says:

          We don’t really have much different accents in Poland, but we have a few regional dialects. I don’t remember there’s any of them in Witcher thought. They’re almost all little too much different from normal Polish language (like Silesian dialect that derives words from German) so I doubt CDP used them in game.

      • Cropduster says:

        Well it’s basically the classic ‘regional British accents for everyone except the main characters’ thing that RPGs seem to do. If a character doesn’t sound american I don’t see how I can be expected to relate to them.

        • Llewyn says:

          From what I remember of the first game it at least did regional British accents by people with regional British accents. Most RPGs seem to go for regional British accents done by North Americans who’ve only ever heard them done by other North Americans who’ve only… ad infinitum.

    • Tritagonist says:

      An excellent suggestion! The option to play earlier games in Polish with subtitles was great, and an experience I greatly enjoyed.

      • slerbal says:

        The voice actor for Geralt was particularly good. Really gravelly and full of menace. Dandelion was suitably annoying :)

  3. PancakeWizard says:

    Brother Numsy!

  4. barelyhomosapien says:

    Hey now! I liked space truckers…. When I was 15.

  5. Xocrates says:

    He’ll always be Vetinari to me.

    • povu says:

      Going Postal was one of my favourite Discworld novels and the movie was nice. Charles Dance did a good Vetinari.

      Shame they turned Adora Belle into this hotheaded woman falling all over Moist, that was very unlike the novel.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Hmmm, I read the book like a week ago and i’m not seeing that at all, also your definition of “falling all over him” is a bit odd, she’s pretty much hostile throughout the film. Only thing I could see is an overuse of “romantic” music in the film which could flavor the acting there.

        • gunny1993 says:

          Although tbh, I have read 3 other Pratchett books since then, so its not the freshest in my memory.

    • Emeraude says:

      That was brilliant casting s far as I4m concerned. I would never have thought of him for the role, but he works perfect.

  6. kael13 says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who was mildly rubbed up the wrong way by that video.

    I guess after Game of Thrones, ol’ Dancey has awoken to the reality of changing tastes. It’s not the year 2000 anymore.

  7. Gryz says:

    I want to see a movie with Charles Dance, Terence Stamp, and Christopher Walken.

    Where they play three brothers who, after a long time, meet up again. E.g. at a funeral. And then …. Actually I don’t care about the story. I just want to see the three of them bickering amongst themselves for two hours on a big screen. :)

    • Skeletor68 says:

      Add Jeremy Irons and Alan Rickman and I’m there!

      • Harlander says:

        While we’re racking stuff up I’d add Simon Pegg, Bill Bailey, and Brian Blessed to the roster as minor characters.

        • Gryz says:

          What connects those 3, imho, is their voices. And the devastating way they can look at people. You get scared when they look at you. You get scared when they look at someone else !

          Simon Pegg and Bill Bailey don’t have that at all. Neither does Irons. Brian Blessed might have the voice. But he’s not scary. He’s a jolly old guy, always friendly, even when yelling. The only one that could be mixed in would be Alan Rickman. But he’s not in his seventies yet. Also, I would like to keep all my movies free of Harry Potter crap. :)

          • Skeletor68 says:

            I think you’ll find that Irons and Rickman are both Die Hard crap!

          • gunny1993 says:

            By your metric you’ve missed the most important person of all: Christopher Lee

            Also Brian Blessed doesn’t always act Jolly, that’s who he is, he’s a fantastic actor.

          • Solidstate89 says:

            Really? You don’t think Jeremy Irons makes the cut? What are you smoking?

          • Harlander says:

            You’re right, but I was proposing them as a bit of leaven to the primary tone of the proceedings, to heighten by juxtaposition.

  8. boundless08 says:

    Nothing will ever surpass his beautiful reading of 50 shades of gray

    • Horg says:

      I didn’t think anyone would top John st. Johns reading in the voice of Duke Nukem, but here we are. 50 shades readings really are the gift that keeps on giving.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Wow, the writing on that thing is even worse than I imagined.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      Oh man I laughed so hard. Thanks for that.

  9. Necron99 says:

    He will always be “Sardo Numspa” from Eddie Murphy’s “The Golden Child” to me. Although, he was quite good in Alien 3 as well =)

    • LionsPhil says:

      He made an excellent Lord Vetenari in the TV-movie version of Going Postal.

    • celticdr says:

      Let’s not forget his turn as Benedict, Vivaldi’s right-hand man in Last Action Hero – he was one of the only characters in that film that made it even vaguely watchable and funny.

  10. Distec says:

    Don’t forget Ali G Indahouse!

  11. Wowbagger says:

    I call them computer games and not video games, because ‘video games’ sounds hideous and is (to me at least) a misnomer.

  12. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    Hear me roar! link to i.imgur.com
    Meow link to i.imgur.com

  13. Michael Fogg says:

    Dance stole the show as Tywin, pity his role ended as for current season.

  14. Phantom_Renegade says:

    He was excellent in Ali G as well.

  15. Xzi says:

    The Witcher series is definitely in the A-list of games, even if it’s not among my favorite series. The Z-list is anything by EA.

  16. Vanderdecken says:

    Low-amp electrical wang pulse.