The way females are portrayed in video games is a long standing hot-topic that never fails to get the attention whores a-yappin’ while the majority of the gaming community just rolls their eyes in exasperation. That being said, it’s always a fun conversation to have among peers; you’ll have five people arguing and six different opinions on the matter.
The Warcraft franchise is one with a long history and its lore is backed by several games, novels, comics, and the like giving us an entourage of characters that we’ve grown to love and hate. As with most high fantasy settings, the story is extremely male oriented, as the majority of the most memorable characters (for good or bad reasons) are guys. I’d definitely argue that Warcraft can brag a decent arsenal of Female leads as well, but I’m going to be pretty honest. For the most part, each one can be pretty neatly packed into an annoying stereotype of female roles that you find all across literature and entertainment.
Shall the victims line up for me, please?
Formerly “Yeah, I’d hit that.”
Up until Lich King, Jaina’s major fail point was erring on the side of Typical Fantasy Female Lead. Born into royalty, past lover of the big bad, one of the few female wizards who is ‘Oh So Super’ at magic, a soldier of peace, justice, and the American way, etc. Ah yeah, and the object of more than a handful of desires. When she wasn’t rejecting the passes of 150 year old elves, she was busy being an UbAr MaGe and tearing shit up.
Then 3.3 happened and suddenly Jaina’s a hot, sobbing mess. She breaks down into tears when Varian lets down his guard and allows his true Orc-Love show through to Saurfang Sr. Then her relationship demons with Arthas start to take over, out of nowhere, and she’s chasing him down the halls of the Icecrown Citadel like a bat out of hell.
You’d think after dumping her twice, killing scores of innocent people, banning the Jonas Brothers from Stormwind, and eventually becoming the fucking Lich King was red-flag enough, but not for Jaina. No way. All that Cool Mage shatters at the second she thinks the real Arthas is somewhere in there, just maybe she could reach him with the power of love and justice and bunnies, rainbows, sugar plum fairies, oh god make it stop.
How Uther didn’t break free of Frostmourne with the intense desire to slap her into sense is beyond me.
Sylvanas: YOU RUINED MY LIFE!!!
Jaina: ARTHAS, MY LOVE! ARE YOU IN THERE?
You think dumping your girlfriend is bad?
Getting caught cheating with her best friend?
How about ripping her soul out and damning her to an eternal life of sentient zombism?
If Jaina’s relationship with Arthas is akin to the wife who keeps taking the beatings because “deep down inside he’s a good man”, then Sylvanas’ relationship with Arthas is a spot-on representation of “I will stop at nothing until I see the man who ruined my life in shambles.”
She is hands down my favorite chick in Warcraft history, and is the source of one of the most badass quotes from a game, ever: “Give my regards to hell, you son of a bitch.”
But this doesn’t change the fact that Sylvannas is your typical hell bent vengeance-seeking burned woman out for justice, except that she has an army of undead and the backing of an entire planet on her side.
For future reference, try not to be “that guy”.
Vareesa. Oh Vareesa, Vareesa. What can we say about you?
Uh…well absolutely nothing.
Vereesa is ultimately so perfect that one would rather watch the grass grow than read more about how amazing she is. It doesn’t help that so much of her personality in the novels is expressed through Rhonin’s broken personality, either. A perfect lady, badass ranger-hunter-swordswoman, beautiful, smart, charming, and Oh Em Gee, mother of Super twins.
Give me a break.
The fact that she easily beats her MIA older sister Alleria on the LAME meter is no small feat. The eldest of a tribe of broken Elves, Alleria wasn’t much more than a deadbeat mom & orc hunter extraordinare, like so many other Alliance women. But at least she allegedly flung herself in to the Twisting Nether for no real reason whatsoever, and we have to admit that’s pretty badass.
..I’m stuck here leading a nation. Thanks.”
Tyrande is one of those good girls gone sour when she realizes the world is not as dandy as she thought.
As a youth and childhood friend of infamous twins Malfurion and Illidan, Tyrande was kind of a cool chick (for a night elf, anyway). A priestess of Elune, she resigned to treat every living thing with respect and care without question. As a warrior, she could crack skulls and take names. This made her pretty damn perfect (but not in the boring Vareesa way) and a good role model for other females.
Unfortunately, she also had an unrealistic view of the world and the people in it. When the shit hit the fan, it was all over. Her precious queen was responsible for allowing the Burning Legion into Azeroth and then eventually blowing up the fucking world. Losing her immortality, best friend Illidan to the Dark Side, and eventually her husband to the Emerald dream only further drove her into a fit of emotional shock until eventually, akin to seasoned New Yorkers, she reached point where she stopped giving a shit. Now she’s cynical, resentful , and kicking Taxis. This doesn’t go unnoticed by her Hubby who, on one of his rare visits home basically said, “Bitch, why you so angry?”
Not helping, Mal. Not helping at all.
Valeera: VARIAN, GO TO PROM WITH ME!??!
Varian: ?? But I <3 Orcs…
While Valeera is more of a comic book personality and hasn’t played too big a role in the game, she’s significant to the Re-Education of Varian Wrynn storyline. More importantly, she’s also one of the lamest, pathetic female characters to ‘grace’ the Warcraft universe.
A typical backstory.
Valeera watched her home and family get destroyed one of the 3 billion times Silvermoon got nuked by whoever the Blood Elves happened to piss off that century. As a result, her now hardened, snarky soul went Rogue and she found herself arrested and in the company of Varian and Co. at the Crimson Ring. Despite Varian’s constant PMS, she ended up developing some sort of mental one-sided romance with him, not too unlike those of Twilight fangirls.
So instead of running around shanking people and breaking shit like all other respectable Rogues, she decided to follow her high-school crush around the world, using the excuse that her own “people” arrested her as a reason to resent the Horde (and we all know it was her fault for getting caught). When the Gaurds of Stormwind said “Nay, ye Horde Scum She-Devil, thou shall not pass,” she found a rock to hide under to stay close to him. Creepy? I think so.
The best part is Varian doesn’t seem to notice, or if he does, he certainly doesn’t give a shit (and what can you expect, if you’re not a Dragon or Orc, you get no attention from that guy anyway).
Speaking of dragons…
Katrana, better known as Onyxia the Mother Fuckin Broodmama, is not unlike that one woman at the job who sleeps her way to the top. Manipulative and self-serving, Katrana was able to cleave-age her away through the ranks in Stormwind, eventually taking up a position next to Bolvar as a top advisor to the King, then 10-year-old Anduin Wrynn. She was also bedding Varian upon his return at some point, furthering her influence over Alliance affairs.
She was able to get away with complete and utter bullshit, things that normal people would question outright, because at any given point in time her tits were hanging out, and we all know how awesome that is. The only one who seemed to be immune was Anduin who was questionably too young to care about boobs just yet. We’ll ignore the fact that she probably used Dragon VooDoo, too.
Things got kinda complicated when Varian’s split personality became a little too literal, and any self-respecting whore knows that’s the time to peace out. She kidnaps Anduin and flees to her hovel, only to be later slain by the Heroes Of Azeroth.
Which, by the way, was recently retconned in the comic when Blizz decided to ignore the fact that WoW players have been killing Onyxia since before anybody gave 2 shits about Varian and his hideous original human model. All of a sudden he’s the reason she’s dead, and everything else for that matter. Figures.
PS: Thanks to Marc for inspiration and lore info <3.