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A Night to Remember

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A Night to Remember

"A Night to Remember" is a short story pre-launch trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt animated by Digic Pictures. It was released by CD Projekt RED on May 14, 2015.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Full cast and crew is available on IMDb.

Plot[edit | edit source]

In the story, Geralt meets an unnamed woman on the riverbank, who is singing a haunting lullaby. When Geralt approaches and notes that town folk paid him for her, she remarks that in the times past, no amount of coin would convince a witcher to take such contract[1]. She then throws off her clothes transforming into something invisible and disappears in the nearby barn with unnatural speed. Geralt takes the potion in preparation, and enters it.

A fight ensues where she is revealed as some kind of higher vampire. During the fight she manages to bite Geralt, but the potion which happens to be Black Blood affects her, slowing her down. Geralt seriously wounds her and she flees the barn, falling right outside it transforming back into her human form. Geralt follows preparing a trophy hook, but collapses alongside her seeing her agony and her last tear.

When Geralt awakes, it is revealed that the lullaby was about witchers who are paid for killing. He leaves her melting body without taking the trophy and rides away in a hurry towards the city of Beauclair[2].

Lullaby (in the trailer)[edit | edit source]

The lullaby and trailer partially use the music from A Hole in the Sun by Two Steps from Hell. Lyrics are original and together with the music arrangement were composed by Marcin Przybyłowicz. Vocal is performed by Laura Doddington.

One of the reconstructed lyrics variants:

Wolves asleep amidst the trees,
Bats all a-swaying in the breeze,
But one soul lies anxious wide awake,
Fearing all manner of ghouls, hags and wraiths.

Birds are silent for the night,
Cows turned in as daylight dies,
But one soul lies anxious wide awake.
For the witcher, brave and bold,
Paid in coin of gold,
He’ll chop and slice you,
Cut and dice you.
Eat. You. Up. Whole.
Eat. You. Whole.

Lullaby (full version)[edit | edit source]

Full version of the lullaby was released on August 26, 2015 under the name "Lullaby of Woe".

One of the lyrics reconstructions:

Wolves asleep amidst the trees,
Bats all aswayin' in the breeze,
But one soul lies anxious, wide awake,
Fearin' all manner of ghouls, hags and wraiths

For your dolly, polly sleep has flown,
Don't dare let her tremble alone.

For the witcher
Heartless cold,
Paid in coin of gold,
He comes, he'll go,
Leave naught behind,
But heartache and woe,
Deep deep woe.

Birds are silent for the night,
Cows turned in as daylight dies,
But one soul lies anxious wide awake,
Fearin' all manner of ghouls, hags and wraiths.

My dear dolly, polly shut your eyes,
Lie still, lie silent, utter no cries.

As the witcher
Brave and bold,
Paid in coin of gold.
He'll chop and slice you,
Gut and dice you,
Eat you up whole.
Eat you whole.

Story interpretation[edit | edit source]

The trailer story is presented masterfully, with a lot of elements only hinted, leaving the viewer to guess and deduce the deeper context. Here is one interpretation based on the Witcher stories approach to ambiguity and moral struggle. But it can be understood in a number of ways, and that shows how well the trailer is done. (Note this is an interpretation and it doesn't claim to match the unexpressed intent of authors).

Geralt didn't really know her, and came because town people accused her (presumably for murder). He wasn't fully convinced that she was guilty, that's why he approached her first calmly. She was singing a vampire lullaby (a song which vampires would sing to their children[3]), describing witchers as monsters from her childhood, those who hunt her kind for coin. It's hinted by the scene when she finds a doll. When Geralt confronted her, she provoked him out of spite, and he took that as an admission of guilt. They fought each other perceiving the other as a monster.

In the end Geralt wanted to take the trophy as a proof in order to get paid by the town people, but collapsed seeing her transforming back to human form and suffering in agony because of Black Blood poison. When Geralt awoke, he realized that he didn't have enough evidence of her guilt and was horrified by what he did. That's why he didn't take the trophy and rode away in a rush[4]. The song in the end stresses that point by saying that "witcher will eat you whole", hinting to Geralt's own darker side taking him over, again asking the question "who is the real monster"?

Interpretation regarding the vampire lullaby and ambiguity of the story were also confirmed by the project director:

It was also important to show in the trailer, that the Witcher universe was “not about your stereotypical good versus evil characters - everyone has their own side of the story. The lullaby sung by the girl/vampire in the trailer is a great example of this: it is in fact a song that a ‘monster’ would sing to her offspring, about the terrible Witchers, who come and hunt them for money. It is an ambiguous world in this sense, where Geralt is not clearly a positive ‘hero’, and thus the film works deliberately to arouse some sympathy towards the girl/vampire.”
― Peter Sved, project director (Digic Pictures) Behind the scenes of Digic's Witcher 3 cinematic


The trailer[edit | edit source]

High resolution video is also available here.

Notes[edit | edit source]

The trailer teaser released earlier has a hidden message at 00:22s:

After 3 long years The Witcher: Wild Hunt is finally ready to go.
The reviews are already out and the reception is amazing.
We can't wait to hand our baby over to you.

It is a very important milestone for all of us here.
We went from 50 people in the first Witcher
to over 200 creating a massive world of Wild Hunt.

It's a grand scale now, but the nuance and soul of the series is intact.
We won't have it any other way.

This is one for the fans who supported us all this time
Those who cheered for a different kind of fantasy.

One that's dark unsettling and personal.
Here's something to sweeten these last days of waiting
Here's "A Night to Remember,"
A short, spoiler free cinematic.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References and footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. She seems to paraphrase what Geralt said to Regis, which can imply that she is a similar kind of higher vampire:
    'I wish you luck.' Regis tied his bag and unrolled his cloak. 'Goodbye. Ah, one more thing. How high would the reward be on my head for you to trouble yourself with me? How much am I worth?'

    'Bloody high.'
    'Indulge my vanity. How much exactly?'
    'Fuck off, Regis.'
    'Of course. But before that, my valuation, please.'
    'An ordinary vampire I would look at the equivalent of a good horse and saddle. But you are no ordinary vampire.'
    'How much?'
    'I doubt,' The witcher’s voice was cold as ice. 'I doubt anyone could afford it.'

    ― Baptism of Fire


  2. Witcher forums: "City in A night to Remember trailer?"
  3. According to Sapkowski's lore, vampires are species like any other. They are born from parents and aren't "turned" from humans.
  4. If she is a higher vampire, she even could survive it in the end.