The Irishness of The Witcher 3’s Skellige

January 11, 2019
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Earlier today, I drove to a place in North Dublin called Tower Bay, which is about five minutes from my house in Donabate – a small seaside town in Ireland.

Breathtaking cliffs leave you mesmerised as you walk down the path that has been carved into the cliff-face. It terminates at a gorgeous sandy beach. Along the way, you can view thundering waves lapping and locking, crashing together and falling apart, over and over again. Rocks jut upwards from unseeable depths, around which white foam shimmers. This is the landscape the archipelago of The Witcher 3’s Skellige was based upon.

Skellige, named after real-life Irish islands Sceilg Mhicíl and Sceilg Bheag – collectively known as the Skellig Islands – depicts a wild beauty that is truly Irish. From the familial clans to the rain-soaked hills painted a striking green, the rugged and treacherous landscape recalls the otherworldly presence of places like Connemara, the Cliffs of Moher and of course, the Skellig Islands themselves. In fact, Skellige has its own pair of Skellig Islands in The Witcher 3: Ard Skellig and An Skellig. The former means High Skellig in Irish, whereas the latter simply means The Skellig, resembling the Greater and Lesser Skelligs in reality.

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