WoW and Women

WoW and Women - Effy

I may be late to the party, but I am ready to rock!  As usual, I am inspired to comment by the profound and honest, Navimie.

Defining Fantasy

WoW and Women - Dragons

Let me start with an honest question: At what point did we ever get led to believe that WoW has ANY basis in reality?  Fantasy is the big word here.

Fantasy (noun) – The faculty or activity of imagining things that are impossible or improbable.

Fantasy equals:

  • Magic – Arcane, Divine, Fel
  • Magical creatures – Dragons, living oozes, Qiraji/Nerubians/Mantids, Demons, Elementals
  • Aliens – Draenei and Orcs
  • Other Non-Humans – Tauren, Goblins, Elves. Pandaren, Trolls, Gnolls
  • Gods – Titans and Old Gods
  • Unrealistic world events – Exploding planets, Cataclysm, space travel, time travel, the dead coming back to life

So, with a stark reminder that WoW =/= reality, why should the machinations and relationships and even outfits of the characters in this fantasy world be any more realistic?  Unrealistic worlds lead to unrealistic interactions and reactions we can only guess at.

I mean, to even try and truly empathize with a fantasy character is a delusion.

To empathize requires sharing the feelings of another.  Because I can never put myself into the situation of watching the Burning Legion enslave my race and destroy my planet and chase my renegade family through the cosmos for thousands of years, I can only make guesses at what this would feel like.  Therefore, I can sympathize, I can imagine, I can create fiction, but I cannot empathize.

Avatars

WoW and Women - Iree

Video game avatars are the face we present to others when we are in a gaming world.  They can signify ourselves or they can signify an ideal we strive toward (a role model) or they can be complete fiction of a character that grows with us.

Avatar (noun) – An incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea.

My favorite race is the Draenei.  Not because they are sex-on-hooves, but because they are completely different from myself in real life.  (And they are blue and have tails.)  Effraeti, and her adopted daughter Ireenia, have become my projection of my fantasy-self, my avatars.  Fantasy is a step away from ourselves, delving deeper not into what COULD be (that’s Sci Fi, ie. the possible future), but into what COULD NEVER be (Fantasy, ie. worlds and characters bore completely of imagination).

Heck, that is why Ireenia is a dragon – because I could never be a dragon (or even meet one – sigh) IRL.  🙂

So though I may project my own personality upon my characters, they are in no way 100% me.  They are fantastical representations of myself.  Not even an ideal, because I believe they still have flaws.  Therefore, their outfits and actions are also fantastical.

Because even though I am a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers girl – Draenei don’t have feet, they cannot wear sneakers.  😉  Draenei “shoes” are more appropriately categorized as leg-warmers.

Female Role Models

WoW and Women - Alexstrasza Humanoid

Role Model (noun) – A person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.

The other night, Navi asked me if I consider any WoW female story characters role models.  Well, personally, even in real life I don’t really have any role models.  Being that a role model is someone ideal to look up to and imitate – I have my own standards and ideals that I strive for, some even I cannot live up to.  heh  I could say my mom, because she is selfless and loving and has always been there for me, but there are things I would do differently and I have different goals than her.  But my mom is probably the closest I would go to naming a role model.

So trying to name a role model in WoW is even more difficult for me, personally.  But I will say there are some women in WoW I find fascinating and inspiring.

Like people in real life, or the personas I create in my WoW characters, WoW storyline characters have pros and cons, ideal characteristics and flaws.

Alexstrasza

WoW and Women - Alexstrasza

Alexstrasza is a very powerful female character.  She is the leader of a matriarchal society, being the both the leader of the red dragonflight and the Dragon Queen of all the dragonflights on Azeroth.  She has faced many trials, certainly not limited to the defection of her friend and ally, Neltharion, the death of her mate, Korialstrasz, and the loss of her immortality and Titan-given powers.  Despite all this, she is still a strong character with morals and actions that can be commended.

Ysera

WoW and Women - Ysera

Ysera is another dragon and leader of the green dragonflight.  She has long been the keeper and protector of the Emerald Dream, and led a powerful defense that drove out the corrupting forces tainting the Emerald Dream.  She has also been through many trials, similar to her sister, Alexstrasza, and thought she is not as prominent a figure as her sister, she has stayed strong and true to herself.

Lorna Crowley

WoW and Women - Lorna Crowley

Lorna Crowley is an important story character in the Worgen start zone.  She is a Gilnean and daughter to Lord Darius Crowley.  Your first encounter with her is her saving your life when you are bitten by a Worgen and infected.  Throughout the rest of the storyline, she proves to be a strong and valuable ally to you, leading many attacks fearlessly in the defense of Gilneas.

Lady Liadrin

WoW and Women - Lady Liadrin

Lady Liadrin is a Blood Elf and the leader of the Blood Knights.  Originally, she was a character seeming to be driven by the same addictions that threatened to destroy her people.  After the perversion and destruction of the Sunwell by Arthas and the Scourge, the Blood Elves were desperate to find an alternate source for feeding their magical addictions.  Lady Liadrin was one of the driving forces in binding and leeching away the very life force of M’uru, a Naaru, to pervert the powers of the Light and create a group of Blood Knights, similar to the Paladins.  It was after the betrayal of Kael’thas that she threw herself at the mercy of A’dal in Shattrath City, swore allegiance to the Shattered Sun Offensive, and became, with her Blood Knights, an integral player in the rekindling of the Sunwell.

Moira Bronzebeard-Thaurissan

WoW and Women - Moria Thaurissan

Princess Moira was to be the heir of Ironforge and the Bronzebeard legacy.  She defied her father and left Ironforge to marry Emperor Dagran Thaurissan of the Dark Iron, another powerful but rival dwarven clan.  At first, Moira seems a fairly flat character, seeming more like a hapless prisoner of Emperor Dagran than anything else.  But after his death and the unintentional petrification of her father Magni, Moira returns to Ironforge with Dagran’s son, seeking to claim the leadership of the Bronzbeard clan in addition to that of the Dark Irons.  A period of civil unrest followed, and Moira settled for a joint leadership in the Council of Three Hammers.   Most recently, Moira has proved she is more than just a tyrant and is most interested in gaining the approval of her people and the Alliance.

~ Effy

Who are your role models in WoW (female or male)?

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10 thoughts on “WoW and Women

  1. Thrall is my biggest role-model. He’s come through so much tragedy and pain, hardship and loss, and has learned so much along the way. I feel like I can connect with him in personal ways (that I won’t bore you with), and is an inspiration to rise above and learn from our pasts.

    Jaina Proudmoore. Again, a character who has lost, so much, especially of late… but was able to see the wisdom in working with those she considers enemies.

    Vol’jin. Just because he’s so damn badass. But he has also tempered himself as of late, toned down the wild streak that sent him from Orgrimmar, taking his people from what he once considered a home to him. Where he was once impulsive, he has learned to plan. Where once he was rash, he has become tempered and cunning.

  2. Lunk is my role model! Yes a fat ogre with a pacifist outlook is my hero! 🙂

    And thanks for all those examples of female heroes 🙂 I don’t know all of them so I will have to look them up.

    • Thanks, Navi! And thanks for inspiring this post! ❤

      I know Lunk is your hero, and I think he is a pretty great character too. 🙂 I imagine it is Lorna Crowley you are not familiar with? Being she is A) Alliance and B) from a starter zone. Since I know you don't make very many wee toons.

      ~ Effy

  3. Thanks for a look at the female “heros” of Azeroth – some of them I had actually forgotten about because they haven’t been see that much of late. Really did enjoy your post and thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting! Yah, Moira was a new addition to the list, as she has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I could never tell if she was a good guy or a bad guy, but with her recent part in the Blood in the Snow scenario, I think she is trying to redeem herself and regain the trust of her fellow dwarves and the Alliance. It is a short list that could probably be longer.

      And dragons. I had to mention my dragon heroines. 🙂

      ~ Effy

      • Great post, Eff! This is excellent. Your choices of strong (female) characters covers such a grand spectrum, and all of them are singularly defined –meaning, not in the shadow of any one else (male or female). I think many players just don’t want to have to think about it anymore, and the writers at Blizz could consider this. As I said in my post, it’s up to us writers (of fan-fic, etc.) to blur the lines, and not wait for some writer-hero to do it for us. Excellent work, my dear friend!

        Sex on hooves….yup.

      • Thanks, Matty! Yah, I tried to stay away from some of the female characters that seem to get dragged through the dirt so often. WoW is full of so many rich stories and characters, you do really just have to look to create a list like this.

        I agree! It is up to us to write our own heroes (and heroines), cross lines, cause a ruckus, tell a riveting story! But there is certainly no lack of great characters and stories already available to us. 🙂

        Yah… I could not resists sex on hooves. ❤ my Draenei girls.

        ~ Effy

  4. What about Jaina Proudmoore? She’s had so many terrible things happen to her – the betrayal by Arthas, the death of her father and its moral ambiguity, the destruction of Theramore and she has persevered and is now the leader of the Kirin Tor. I know she has been a little crazy lately but wouldn’t you be too if your city got nuked? I think she’s handling it very well.

    Tyrande is a great character beloved by her people who has led the night elves for thousands of years. She is the longest-serving female leader of playable races (only Velen has led his people longer). She previously led the Sentinels and fought against demons during the War of the Ancients as well as the more recent Battle of Mount Hyjal. She showed compassion to Broxigar when all the other night elves had him in a cage, healing his injuries. She’s probably the most religious character in the game as well. Plus, she’s beautiful.

    Sylvanas is another very interesting female character. After dying at the hands of Arthas she was raised into undead as a banshee then retained her free will when Arthas weakened, pretending still be his thrall until she could strike and free herself and her fellow banshees. Now she leads the Forsaken. I’d love to see her encounter her sister Vereesa and I’m hoping to see more of the Windrunners in Warlords of Draenor. There has been the loading screen tip about no one seeing Alleria and Turalyon for years and we’re going back to Draenor as well as Varian’s suggestion that the alliance must contain Sylvanas after defeating Garrosh so I’m hoping to see more in the Windrunner storyline.

    I play a number of female characters and I find them more engaging, especially for roleplay because while the male characters all are largely static muscle-heads the females can have so many personalities. I have a human paladin who is innocent to the point of absurdity, a solicitous and flirty gnome priest, and a worldly night elf rogue who, despite being beautiful, finds a great deal of social rejection which is either due to her class or the cause for her choosing to be a rogue (probably a little of both). I have trouble getting the same depth out of the male characters. Plus, if you’re going to stare at a character for hours every day, they might as well be pleasing to look at 😉

    • Jaina, Tyrande, and Sylvanas are all great examples. I did not purposely slight them, nor did I forget them. I just felt there were other female role models that do not get enough attention – especially dragons. I have a thing for dragons. 🙂

      And I agree, male or female, you should choose an avatar that is going to be interesting to you long term. Female Draenei are not only my favorite models, but my favorite race from a story standpoint. Draenei, Worgen, and Death Knights – all have a tortured past which lends to good stories, I feel.

      ~ Effy

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