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August 27th, 2013, 14:54
So, now, "The Witcher 3" is called "Wild Hunt".

This sub-title sounds somewhat odd to most of you I guess, but it has a deep background : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_hunt

If you have taken a look at it, please look at the "see also" part of that entry ! You'd be surprised where it leads to !

One thing, however, isn't really there, and that is the Harlequin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlequin

For others the origins of the name remain uncertain. One of the origins postulated for the modern Harlequin is Hellequin, a stock character in French passion plays. Hellequin, a black-faced emissary of the devil, is said to have roamed the countryside with a group of demons chasing the damned souls of evil people to Hell. The physical appearance of Hellequin offers an explanation for the traditional colours of Harlequin's mask (red and black).[3][4]
The German-language article has an even more fascinating entry, however :

Die Herkunft dieser Figur ist nicht vollständig zu klären. Ende des 11. Jahrhunderts berichtet der Chronist Ordericus Vitale, dass er als später Wanderer an der normannischen Küste von einer „Dämonenschar“ verfolgt worden sei. Diese sei von einem wild aussehenden, vermummten, mit einer Keule bewaffneten Riesen angeführt worden. Diese Legende ist bekannt als „wilde Jagd der Herlekin-Leute“ oder „familia herlequin“, welche einsame Menschen nachts erschreckten. Diese weit verbreitete Vorstellung reicht vom germanischen Odinsgefolge bis zum stillen Nebelstreif in Goethes Ballade vom Erlkönig. Diese verschiedenen Vorstellungen haben gemeinsam, dass ihre Attribute zumeist Tiermaskeraden, Gebell, Tosen und Kreischen etc. sind. Diese dämonischen, teuflischen Züge vererbten sich an den derben Spaßmacher und Possenreißer Harlekin, in Form der Hörnerkappe und der schwarzen Halbmaske oder fratzenhaften Mimik.
This tale isn't in the English-language article about Ordericus Vitalis.

This German-language quote from de.wikipedia.org says that Ordericus Vitalis told/reported that during an lonesome wandering he was being chased by a group of demons, which had been led by a wild looking giant, who had a club and was masked or in disguise.
The German-language entry says that this tale is known as the "wild hunt of the Herlekin-people" or "familia herlequin", who would frighten lonely people at night.
The entry also says that this goes from the followers of Odin to an "silent mist lining" the Erlkönig of Goethe. Their attributes are loudness, animal masks, barking, roaring, crying and others.
And finally, this entry says that all of this was inherited by the figure of the Harlequin, which also has a mask, and is acting like a rather bad being.

I found this out once during the researching for the origins of the song "Harlequin" by Genesis.
Because this song contains (indirect) images of an "wild hunt" as well.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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