Episode #20 – “A Question of Motherhood”

Episode #20 – “A Question of Motherhood”

Nov 26

Our twentieth episode features Tzufit and Apple Cider as well as our special guest Casual Folami discussing how motherhood is expressed in World of Warcraft. We go over tropes surrounding motherhood, why the new expansion should feature Aggra, and the reasons why mothers might be scarce in Azeroth.

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Below the cut is a full transcript of Episode 20, “A Question of Motherhood.” Many thanks to @IviaRelle for transcribing this episode.

Apple Cider:  Hey everybody, welcome back to Justice Points. We are here this week to talk about a very special subject in World of Warcraft. This week we’re gonna be talking about motherhood, mothers, their kids, their relationship with their kids, and- you know, all of the mothers. The many, MANY mothers that are in World of Warcraft and we have a special guest to talk about this topic with us, and- do you want to introduce yourself?

Folami:  Sure! I’m Folami, or @casualfolami on Twitter. I have been playing World of Warcraft since February of 2011, so I’m a Cata baby. I started out mostly into it for the role-play, then I got roped into raiding, and I haven’t really looked back.

Tzufit:  (Chuckling) That’s kind of what happened to me when I first started too.

Apple Cider:  Very auspicious start to your WoW career.

Folami:  Yes.

Apple Cider:  So we decided to basically have an episode- we’ve been planning to have an episode about motherhood for quite a long time, actually. But, it’s interesting because Blizzcon kind of pushed that timetable up a little faster than we had really been anticipating, because we had wanted to do this, but, you know, there was just no real significant hook to kind of get into, and then- and then Blizzcon happened, and then suddenly Aggra came to the forefront and it kinda became something that we really wanted to dig into pretty quickly.

Folami:  Yeah, I remember you mentioning something on Twitter and then Blizzcon happened, and I just kind of said, “Oh boy. I bet I’m gonna hear soon. I’m gonna hear from them and either be asked or they’re gonna ask someone else cause this is just something that needs to be talked about.”

Tzufit:  It really is, and it’s interesting. I know I started our show notes for today like I usually do, and Folami was great, thank you very much, because you blew up our show notes like I don’t think anybody ever has before. I mean, Dee came close, but I think you have surpassed Dee in terms of blowing up the show notes. So thank you for all the research and everything that you did on this topic, but I have to say that when I first started to do the outline, I was running into a brick wall just repeatedly. Like, I had a few names and I just could not think of any more. We ended up with a decent list of women who are mothers in World of Warcraft, but it- it was a long process to get there.

Folami:  Yeah, and I think it’s kind of like the whole “new car” thing. If you get a new sports car, suddenly you start seeing this sports car everywhere, and seeing how many people have that car, and I think with me being a mom, I look for that maybe subconsciously in the media I consume, you know, who’s a mother, how do they portray this? And I think it’s just kind of why off the top of my head, I was able to think of all these different mothers that I’ve seen while playing the game or reading the lore.

Apple Cider:  You actually- and this is one of the reasons that we wanted to have you on the show, is you actually wrote a blog post about women, and mothers in particular, I believe? Including Aggra?

Folami:  Yeah, Aggra was kind of there- this is before, I think, obviously Warlords of Draenor was announced. It was mostly about women in WoW in general, but part of talking about that was, I had to touch upon all these mothers that just either aren’t there or they die or something tragic happens to them.

Tzufit:  Yeah, and I think- I wanna say, I might be wrong about this, cause it’s been a while, but I think you wrote it not too long after the end of Cataclysm, when we saw that closing cinematic?

Folami:  Yeah, exactly, it wasn’t too long after that. It might have been- see, my blog is kind of dead right now, but- yeah, it wasn’t very long after the end of Cataclysm that I wrote that, and it was before we knew- I didn’t even know Aggra had children at that point, I didn’t think that we were gonna go into Mists of Pandaria with her already having her baby.

Tzufit:  Yeah, the timetable is a little confusing and particularly since Apple Cider and I primarily play Alliance, and I know you have some Horde characters as well, so maybe just for people who don’t know what happened to Aggra after that cinematic, like, that’s really the last thing they saw of her. Can you bring us up to date on what she’s done since then?

Folami:  She really hasn’t done a whole lot. I think in 5.2 where you have landfall and you have the Dominance Offensive Horde side and you have Lion’s Landing Alliance side, and during the Dominance Offensive arc, if you don’t know what happens to Vol’jin at the end of Dagger in the Dark, he is poisoned, preventing him from regenerating, and he’s taken by Chen Stormstout to be healed and he sends you on a quest to find Thrall, to let him know, “Hey, Garrosh just tried to have me killed!” And you go and you find Thrall, and he’s in the Valley of Trials which is the Orc starting area, not far from Echo Isles, and when you get there you see Aggra but she’s just kind of in the background kneeling over a cradle, and you talk to Thrall about what’s happened and he decides, let’s go to Echo Isles, it’s under martial law, let’s go free everybody, and Aggra’s just kind of like, “OK, I’m gonna stay here with the kids, bye!”

Apple Cider:  (Chuckling)

Tzufit:  Yeah, I didn’t know any of THAT! (Laughing)

Folami:  Yeah, she doesn’t- you see her and you kind of see the baby but she doesn’t really talk, you’re there for Thrall, like you are for most of Warcraft, but- yeah, she doesn’t really do a whole lot, and I could be wrong on this, I’m fully willing to accept that, but I believe that is the only appearance of Aggra so far in Mists of Pandaria that I recall with any kind of significance.

Tzufit:  I can’t imagine when she would have come in after that point, so, I would imagine that’s probably correct. So, circling back around, obviously Aggra was kind of the catalyst for us deciding that we REALLY needed to finally do the motherhood episode, but I guess let’s talk for a moment about why motherhood is both an important thing to look at in WoW and why it also seems to be so difficult to represent accurately.

Folami:  I think for me, it’s just- I wanna see parents out there, I wanna see parents in-game, and I want to in entertainment too, mostly because there’s a lot of social constructs around motherhood and- you know, when I became a mother, there were just so many things I thought were going to have to change, and then really you learn it doesn’t change you that much, and the things that I loved before I became a mother, I still love, and some of them now I want to share with my child. And obviously, in World of Warcraft I don’t wanna take my child to the frontlines of a war-

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Folami:  But, um… yeah, I just- to me, I think it’s important for even people who aren’t parents or who might be parents one day to see mothers and fathers working together, that they’re able to still do their job and be a good parent, or do their job and maybe not be the best parent ever but that’s OK.

Tzufit:  Yeah, I think it’s- one of the things that has gotten a little bit lost, I think, in the conversation surrounding Aggra is that a lot of people I think are assuming that when people say, “Aggra needs to be a part of the story, her story needs to continue,” I think a lot of people interpret that as, “Aggra needs to carry her kid on her back into battle like Dezco did,” you know? (Chuckling) Or like anybody else has done, and while that’s certainly a possibility, and one that wouldn’t be out of the realm of believability for the Orcs, cause Thrall’s mom wasn’t happy about being left behind, I think what’s important to stress is that we want to see Aggra’s story regardless of what she decides to do next. If she decides to stay at home to help raise the child, then we wanna see that. If she decides to go through the Dark Portal by herself and Thrall stays at home, we wanna know THAT. If both parents decide to go through the Portal with the kid, we wanna know that too. The idea is her story is not over because she’s a mother now.

Folami:  Yeah, exactly, and it’s like you have this idea that when a woman becomes a mother, she’s supposed to give up everything, and everything’s supposed to be about that child, and with Aggra especially, when I was talking to people, one person tweeted at me with, “I don’t wanna see this idea that parenthood is not an important task, that it’s just another thing” but that’s not the thing that I wanna say. I’m not saying it’s not important, a mother’s job is not important or a parent’s job is not important, but that we just kind of seem to lose her entirely.

Tzufit:  Yeah, and it strikes me as- I would not think that YOU are saying a parent’s job is not important so much as World of Warcraft is telling us that a parent’s job is not important, if as soon as someone becomes a parent they can no longer be a part of the story.

Folami:  Exactly.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, it felt very- the thing with showing motherhood and Aggra in particular is that it didn’t make sense for her not to be there, and it didn’t make sense to delineate this one option for her as a convenient way of leaving her out of the story. Like, I know some of the criticism has been very confusing, because I think a lot of people feel that some of the more quote-unquote “feminism-oriented” criticism is that we’re saying that it’s not OK to be a stay-at-home mom, or something like that? Which is very reductive, it’s that Blizzard automatically thinks that because Aggra had a kid and survived childbirth, unlike a lot of mothers in Warcraft, that her being at home is a bad thing, but no, it’s that we don’t want her to be left out of the story particularly when it seems like a pretty intuitive place for her to be, story-wise, because if Thrall is there, she should also be there in some capacity, if not- I would expect her to be the thrust of the story because, hello, it’s Outlands, or you know, Draenor, rather, and she would know that WAY better than Thrall, but the idea that somehow the only people that are allowed to go on this trip are men, or fathers, or you know, this that and the other thing, I don’t like this assumption that because she has a kid now, that she would not be interested in going in some capacity, or wouldn’t be by Thrall’s side.

Folami:  Yeah, there’s the idea that just because she’s the mother, she’s the caretaker. And that’s just- that’s not just from World of Warcraft, that’s in every part of life, I think, at this point. it’s just assumed that it’s going to be the mother who’s going to stay behind and take care of the kids and everything, and it’s just- the times I’ve interacted with Aggra in-game and read about her, this just does not sound like the Aggra that I know.

Tzufit:  No, it really doesn’t, and- you know, we first meet Aggra in the Shattering novel, and she really just cuts Thrall down to size, she really gives him a sense of what it’s like to be an Orc and really gives him a hard time about the fact that he is not in tune with his history, he’s not in tune with his own people, and it’s shocking to me that she wouldn’t insist on being included, and again, that doesn’t mean that Aggra’s like, you know, running through Ogre camps with a sword and a baby on her back, like, obviously there are going to be safe havens for us in Draenor because otherwise, are we never going to be able to log out? Are we constantly in combat from the moment that we set foot on the continent? There are safe places, and there are other people who can help them raise the kid, or there are safe places where she can be to raise the child, but the idea that she’s not going back to her home to help defend it at this crucial point in history is- is not especially believable, and having played Warcraft for several years now, I think we all know that what’s at stake here is that when we end an expansion and begin a new one, when characters don’t come with us to wherever we’re going next, it kind of means they’re done for a while, it’s why I’m gonna be sad about leaving Pandaria because I love a lot of the Pandaren and we’re gonna leave them there and we’re not gonna hear from them again, maybe at all. So, if we’re leaving Aggra at home when we go to Draenor, chances are we’re not gonna hear from her for a while.

Folami:  Yeah, and the thing is, you know, Thrall grew up, he was in the internment camps and everything. It seems like Aggra would be kind of like the bridge between his cultural understanding and what he knows and what she knows of the Orcs and how their culture works and how they could best work with them in terms of honor, the ideas of honor and convincing them, “Hey, you’ve gotta help us stop this guy.”

Tzufit:  Yeah, absolutely, and Radez from Orcish Army Knife has made a lot of good points to this on Twitter and in his blog as well to kind of point out that Thrall as he is now is not really somebody who the Orcs that lived on Draenor originally would be super thrilled about. He doesn’t really embody their ideal sense of what it means to be a good Orc, and Aggra is much closer to that, so it does make sense, like you said, that she would kind of be the diplomat and be the bridge between those two generations.

Apple Cider:  This is why Aggra is so important and why I think a lot of people want to talk about her is because I feel like Aggra is in a position for the first time in Warcraft to represent a mother in a potentially positive way, like, motherhood and being a mother in a potentially positive way, potentially at the forefront of the story, and that’s so important because Warcraft really hasn’t done a good job of that and that’s what our episode’s gonna actually be talking about is how motherhood is represented. The reason that it’s so important for Warcraft to show motherhood like fatherhood, and like some of the other different kinds of relationships and roles that we’ve talked about in other episodes, is because it’s a part of life, it’s a part of the game that should be there because we have mothers, we have fathers, we have relationships, we have families of all different kinds, you know? So having motherhood and having mothers be suspiciously absent from the story and here’s an opportunity to have a character who is a mother who represents a kind of motherhood that could be useful and pertinent to the story. To not represent that seems like a really- it seems really problematic, and I think- I think the representations we’ve seen in-game so far have been pretty problematic as well.

Folami:  Exactly. And with Aggra, like, I know that the baby is still kind of an infant- WoW’s timeline, there’s no telling how far we’ve come since she’s had the baby, but to me this would be a GREAT chance for her to show her child what the Orcs were, to go and involve herself and involve her child in traditions maybe even she didn’t get to experience because after she comes around, you’ve already had Ner’zhul and you’ve had Gul’dan and they’ve been through the Portal. So, this is just a great opportunity to get her child started off right and to share what she loves with her child.

Tzufit:  Yeah, that’s a really great point, and it seems like it’s something that would be a very high priority to her because she does have such a sense of pride about her culture and her history and I think- you know, one of the things that struck me about when Chris Metzen said that Aggra wouldn’t be coming through the Portal and one of the other reasons that it kind of ticked me off was I got the impression that maybe one of the reasons why he said that was because he has had the impression that that’s kind of what the fan base wanted? Because to be completely honest, until this happened, a lot of people weren’t huge fans of Aggra because there was sort of this understanding that she was really just a foil for Thrall in a lot of ways, she just was there to help progress his story in the Shattering and to explain to us how he got from point A to point B, and then, you know, at the end of Dragon Soul we get this pregnancy that I guess is supposed to be indicative of the notion that we’re heading into the age of mortals or exactly what the point of THAT was. So she’s very much served a function as a plot device up until this point, and I think- I kind of wonder whether part of why Metzen said what he did was thinking that that would actually elicit a positive response from people who are like, “Stop telling us that Aggra’s having three more babies,” or something like that. But what everybody kind of failed to grasp was that it’s not that we don’t wanna see Aggra, it’s that we don’t want to see you USING Aggra to further Thrall’s story.

Apple Cider:  Yeah.

Folami:  Or to completely forget about her like we’ve done everybody else.

Tzufit:  Yeah.

Apple Cider:  I think this brings up a really good place to talk about, well, why do we think Blizzard has such trouble writing mothers in a healthy, non-problematic sort of way, or including them at all? Why do they think that those stories are not as important? Cause we do see a lot of fatherhood stories. You know, I have this feeling that there are a lot of people at Blizzard that are dads, but they don’t seem to include moms quite as much.

Folami:  I think some of it is that there are women, obviously, on the writing staff, you’ve interviewed one, but there’s not maybe a lot of mothers or at least not enough that they would make an impact against all these dads, and dads know how they view their father, how they view their mother, and I think they just kind of have a hard time thinking of a mother beyond the role of the caretaker and nurturer. Obviously, we don’t want to go on quests where we’re changing baby Thrall’s diapers.

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Tzufit:  (Laughing)

Folami:  You know? Yeah.

Tzufit:  Yeah, please no. There are enough poop quests already, we don’t need one of those.

Apple Cider:  Oh god, NO MORE POOP QUESTS!

Folami:  (Laughing) But, you know, there’s more to motherhood than that, and there’s- and I’ve said in the notes, like, sometimes it seems like writers get stuck on talking about the mother as what kind of parent she is versus what kind of person she is.

Tzufit:  Yeah, that actually- it reminded me a little bit- back a few months ago we did a show about role-play in WoW, and one of the great points that our guest made was that we were talking about, if you wanna role-play somebody who’s significantly different from yourself. So, if you are someone who’s heterosexual and you want to role-play a gay character, and the idea is, don’t base that character around the notion that they’re gay first. Find out what their personality is, figure out who they are, and I think similarly, when it comes to writing a mom in WoW, figure out who she is first. Yes, she’s a mother, and yes that’s going to be a very big part of her life and maybe a part of her personality, but she had a personality before she became a mother, too.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, it’s- it’s very interesting to see or not see representation of women so low already and then to have motherhood be kind of way down the totem pole, as it were, that way too. It does seem like a lot of people, a lot of the people in the creative development and who control the narrative, just- it seems to just kind of be an afterthought where they’re really focusing on- like they’re just cresting the whole “women are people” thing, so it feels like the motherhood thing is just gonna kind of elude them for a while, which is very unfortunate, which is terrible because a lot of women are mothers (chuckling) you know? They’re not just all childless warriors, but you still have to kind of represent them as people, and this is again why I think Aggra is such a pivotal person in the narrative is because, again, it’s a mother that has survived childbirth who’s actually still alive who could very potentially be in her child’s life, but also started out as somebody we saw as a person first. Obviously, she was a foil for Thrall, but we saw her from beginnings and now this is the midpoint of her story, so it feels like an evolution of her character without really super drastically changing her.

Folami:  Yeah, and it’s just- it feels to me like they’ve got to a point and, like I said, as far as gameplay is concerned, it’s not very interesting to go through the day to day care of an infant, so it just seems like it kinda got dumped off on her so they could have Thrall back in time to go be Thrall into this new world and lead the Horde side of things. And as a Horde player, it’s just kind of like, “Well, I’ve seen Thrall quite a lot lately, uhmmm…”

Tzufit:  (Laughing)

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Tzufit:  I’ll tell you, as an Alliance player, I feel like I’ve seen Thrall quite a lot lately too!

Folami:  (Chuckling) Exactly. It’s just kind of- it’d have been nice to either see Aggra or- I mean we have a new war chief, and it’s still Orcs, and it’s still Thrall leading the charge, basically.

Tzufit:  Yeah, that’s a very good point, too. You gotta wonder how Vol’jin feels about all that.

Folami:  Yeah, but it’s not just that it’s just Aggra, you know, everybody says- like, I was on Twitter, and someone says, Why are you so hung up on Aggra, you know? There are these other Orc women like Draka and, who was that’s taking care of- is it Gayah?

Apple Cider:  Geyah?

Tzufit:  Geyah, yeah.

Folami:  Geyah that takes care of- kind of raises Garrosh? And you have all these other Orc women, and I said, yeah, but the thing about kind of clinging to Aggra is this one kind of stung the most.

Tzufit:  Oh yeah, absolutely.

Folami:  Right now, it’s the freshest wound, as it were.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, well she’s somebody that players really did get to see quite a few times in the game. Like, you basically had to do Deepholm, so that was, you know, that was one of the player’s first real introductions to her, so yeah, it’s like, we have a couple of mothers in-game, but due to the fact that a lot of them DIED and a lot of them were not characters that we knew prior to them being mothers, that- yeah, this is a character that many players, especially a lot of the players that started playing in Wrath or in Cataclysm, had really gotten to know on the same level as Thrall, perhaps. So, yeah, seeing her evolution into a mother and then just getting left behind where we still have to deal with Thrall is very depressing.

Folami:  Yeah, and this is also the same Aggra who, when Thrall gets split into four different aspects of his personality, she’s the one that charges the player with, “Let’s go and get him back.” She’s not one to really sit on her laurels while everything else kind of happens, she’s just the kind of Orc you would imagine or the kind of woman you would imagine just needing to be in the front line, making sure that everything is getting done and getting done well.

Apple Cider:  Yeah. It does seem really clear to me that one of the reasons that World of Warcraft does not present motherhood in a prolific or even accurate sense is because they really just don’t think that motherhood is the kind of story arc or story progression or character progression that they think is germane or important to who they’ve assigned as main characters and that a lot of the main characters are men and that they really don’t feel or they- even if they- OK so let’s not even try to go back and suss out their motivations, but let’s look at it- they do represent fatherhood stories in a lot of ways, so there’s an indication there that fatherhood stories are cool or interesting or important, but the fact that the motherhood aspect kind of gets left out feels a lot like the creative development team- it just, it doesn’t- they really want to tell a lot of stories about fathers and sons, and not so much about mothers and sons or, dare I say it, mothers and daughters because I think they’re still really focused on this game’s world and this game’s story as largely male-dominated and that’s what’s seen as cool or interesting or unique, and I think that’s one of the reasons motherhood just doesn’t have a huge place in World of Warcraft.

Tzufit:  Yeah, I think it’s a good point, and I think that it sort of makes it feel even more like it’s an active choice to exclude mothers specifically because we’re not excluding everyone who’s a parent ever. Like you said, we are certainly given the message that father stories, and particularly father and son stories, are interesting and there’s something about that type of story that seems to lend itself to the universe that Warcraft strives to create, whereas there’s something about mother stories that, the belief seems to be, does not fit into that universe whatsoever. So, I think we should probably- I imagine we are very likely to return to Aggra at some point (chuckling) during the episode today, but I think we should talk a little bit about the mothers that we do know about in-game, even if we don’t’ know a whole lot about them and this first set of mothers is going to be very speculative or kind of more just, well, we know this happened, and that’s pretty much all we know. So, one of the things, and Apple Cider has alluded to this too, a few times, one of the things that we tend to see a lot in WoW are mothers who are dead. Either mothers who have passed away in childbirth or mothers who must have passed away a long time ago because we don’t see their children interacting with them or talking about them or, in some cases, know anything about them at all.

Apple Cider:  I would like to point out that this is not a Warcraft exclusive trope. (Laughing)

Tzufit:  Oh, absolutely not.

Apple Cider:  There are many comic book characters, TV characters, who have dead moms. It’s-

Folami:  Disney. Disney is the biggest one that you- you know, Bambi, for starters.

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Tzufit:  (Laughing)

Apple Cider:  There are a lot of orphans in the fantasy world.

Tzufit:  So let’s dive into maybe one of the better known ones which I think is Tiffin. Tiffin of course was Varian’s wife and was Anduin’s mother, and Tiffin dies during a gathering, a riot I guess, that got out of hand when the stonemasons were protesting the fact that they had not been paid for repairs they had done to Stormwind, and somebody lobs a rock up towards the stage and it hits Tiffin and ends up killing her.

Folami:  It’s just a very- it’s kind of, to me, a weird story in like, how is it that she’s the only one?

Apple Cider:  (Chuckling)

Tzufit:  Yeah!

Folami:  And I was always- I remember getting the- in the fishing bags, rewards for the fishing dailies in either Stormwind or Orgrimmar, one of the things you can get is a very unlucky rock.

Apple Cider:  Ohhhh my god! I didn’t even think about that!

Tzufit:  I forgot about that! That’s…

Apple Cider:  That’s really terrible. Also, how does somebody- like, let’s think about it from like a Warcraft perspective, how does somebody get breathed on by a Dragon and not die, but getting hit in the head with a rock? That’ll kill you.

Tzufit:  Yeah, it definitely doesn’t speak to Tiffin being a particularly physically strong or even maybe healthy individual. I don’t know what we’re supposed to gather from that.

Folami:  And it’s her death that sends Varian spiralling into a depression and that just seems to be what the purpose of that was, and then you have Onyxia kind of stepping in after that.

Apple Cider:  Mm-hmm.

Tzufit:  Yeah, absolutely, it’s a plot device, again. It’s the thing that really is the last straw in terms of Stormwind’s ongoing tensions with the stonemasons, that then starts to lead to the Defias Conflict, it’s the thing that really sets Varian off initially, and I think it’s also interesting that after Tiffin dies and Varian is taken away, we have Anduin who’s left behind and he has this very strong father figure in Bolvar, but there’s really no women hanging around with him at that point. Not that Onyxia would have been a great substitute mom in that case, but there’s nobody else, either. It’s really just Anduin and Bolvar, that’s all we hear about.

Folami:  And then Jaina comes in later into Anduin’s life but, you know, we don’t really know how much of not having his mother around or having the death of his mother and then his father’s disappearance affects Anduin, we don’t see that in him which, actually I kind of like Anduin as a character and what he’s done in Mists of Pandaria, but I would like to know how he views his mother’s death and how it kind of- you can’t go through that and not have it affect your childhood in some way, even if you’re too young to remember the death itself.

Tzufit:  Yeah, I have to say that- not that I want to see Anduin as this crushed individual because of everything he’s gone through, but he does seem remarkably OK and unaffected by the fact that his mom died when he was very young and his dad was not there at all, you know? He was away in kind of a really terrible position, and Anduin is- really, we don’t see a lot of how that’s affected Anduin, if it has at all.

Folami:  And he doesn’t talk about her. You know, obviously he talks about Varian because Varian’s very much in his life now and being a little bit protective, but he- you know, you don’t hear about Tiffin. If you go to Stormwind, of course, there’s the big monument to her and everything, but nobody really talks about her.

Apple Cider:  I didn’t know there was a monument to her, even.

Tzufit:  Oh yeah!

Folami:  I think, yeah, in the cemetery.

Tzufit:  It got added, I think, in Cata.

Apple Cider:  Ohhhh yeah, I thought you meant, like, a statue. I was like, I don’t remember a statue…

Tzufit:  (Laughing)

Apple Cider:  I know Varian has a statue.

Tzufit:  He does! He has one hell of a statue.

Apple Cider:  (Laughing) He has many statues. So, yeah, it feels like Tiffin’s death was just big enough, just dramatic enough to happen to start the plot event off, but not anything else.

Tzufit:  So we have plenty of other moms who unfortunately fall into this trope as well. Probably the most commonly talked about one, at least in this expansion, was the wife of Sunwalker Dezco.

Folami:  Yeah, Leza, and you meet her in Krasarang- I hope I’m pronouncing that right- in Krasarang Wilds in the Horde side of things. Actually, you don’t really ever meet her, she’s just kind of in the tent the whole time.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, and you find out that she’s actually one of the reasons that that particular outpost of the Horde goes to Krasarang, was because of her visions.

Folami:  Yeah, they’re looking for the Veil, and she- in the short story it says that they all kind of had the visions, but she had the strongest of the visions and she had the strongest sense of direction on where they needed to go and- I don’t know, in the game- it’s been a while since I’ve played through Krasarang, but it seems like she went into labor and then got a fever but in the short story it says she got a fever first and then went into labor.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, something’s not right.

Folami:  Yeah, and when you arrive, she’s in labor and it’s been going on- you kinda get the impression it’s not an easy labor and it’s- the signifiers that you see in other media is, yeah, oh it’s been going on a long time and this looks kinda bad. I think that was the quest line where playing through it even though I was in a rush to get to 90 on my main, I stepped back from the computer for a second because- even though my son’s nine years old now, when you’re pregnant that’s a very scary real possibility, that something can go wrong, and you spend that entire quest line, you’re gathering herbs and you’re trying to save her and then there’s that cut scene with Sunwalker Dezco and it’s just one of those things that destroy you emotionally.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, I just did it the other day, actually, because I just got my first Horde to 90, and I made a real point of going Krasarang because I really did want to see that storyline because I read the short story and I really kind of wanted to see where that story ended up and it was like- you know, they- it- again, it felt like the death was just big enough and just important enough to push Dezco into a state of depression, now he has two kids but she’s dead- you know, it felt like she was just there long enough to serve her purpose and then she’s gone, cause she isn’t needed anymore. Which is upsetting, cause it’s a sad, sad story.

Folami:  Yeah, and you don’t get to interact with her at all. I mean, you can go into the tent and see her, obviously, in labor but you don’t get to talk to her, you don’t get to find out what her dreams are for her children. This is all later told through Dezco.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, and that’s- whenever I call back to the idea that you don’t make it past childbirth, that’s- Leza is basically the most stringent reminder of that and because it just felt very- yeah, it just felt like it was just there to further propel Dezco to his ultimate destiny. Which again was also depressing, but when his child dies, or gets hurt and dies, it feels like that- at that point, it’s already Dezco’s story, it’s not really about their family, and his wife is referred to in tones of, “Well, this is even SADDER because his wife isn’t around anymore,” but it’s still really- it all feels like it’s kind of Dezco’s story, which is unfortunate.

Tzufit:  Yeah, it sounds like they really- I feel like Dezco is a bit of a missed opportunity because we don’t GET stories about families who aren’t big powerful royal families all that often in WoW, and especially don’t see stories of kids being born or women going through pregnancy or something like that, and for obvious reasons, that’s not really the central narrative of what WoW’s about, but quests have a lot more freedom to explore different things than the overarching narrative does, and I think it’s unfortunate that in this one example that we have of seeing a pregnant NPC and going through that process with her, that we don’t actually get to experience her side of it at all, and that unfortunately it ends the way that it does.

Folami:  Yeah, all that we know about Leza comes from the other Sunwalkers and from Dezco himself talking about how she was their leader and her visions led them there and it just- it really rankled me in a lot of ways because mothers dying in childbirth is just one of those things you see over and over again and not just in World of Warcraft, but also, because she’s this- I think she would just have been an AMAZING character to have and to have around Dezco and have her helping us get to the Vale and then once we’re there, I mean, how would she be reacting right now to what Garrosh has done to the Vale? And these are things we won’t ever get to see, and it’s just- like I said, it’s just one of those things, it’s just yet another woman that I see that is gone and could have been an awesome story.

Tzufit:  So we have a long list of other women who we don’t even necessarily know their names, we know they must have existed because they have children who we interact with on a pretty regular basis, and I’ll just run down through some of these now. We’ve got- and this is an example, too, of all of these ones, these are mothers who are unnamed but we do know of their fathers, so we’ve got Kael’thas, Varian, Garrosh, Vanessa Vancleef, Lorna Crowley, Moira Bronzebeard or now [Thaurissan], Vol’jin, and one of the most fascinating ones to me, personally, is Jaina because Jaina has quite a lot to say, particularly about her dad, but also about her brother, but we NEVER hear her say one word about her mom, and at least to my knowledge, we don’t have the slightest clue who her mom was.

Folami:  Yeah, that’s- we don’t have a name for her mother, and when I was reading Tides of War, there’s a whole paragraph where she reminisces about the past with her dad and her brother, but never once does she mention a mother, and- I thought it would be kind of awesome if we’d seen her mother and her mother’s a woman who’s in power in World of Warcraft and how did she handle dealing with the men who look down their noses at her, and what knowledge would she pass on to Jaina in that way of how to handle carrying herself around all these men who are gonna look down and sneer at her and say, well, you’re just a woman. But, that’s kind of- sorry, that’s all I was gonna say there.

Apple Cider:  It’s what ties back into what we were talking about with- there just really doesn’t seem to be any mother-daughters, and it’s either all these women that are raised by men, or just people you don’t hear about in general having parents, and it feels like a missed opportunity. Like, OK, cause we don’t really- and in looking at Jaina specifically, we don’t really KNOW how people in Warcraft figure out their ultimate destiny and their calling or whatever, and particularly somebody like Jaina who is one of the very few, very prominent story characters that’s a woman, you know, how did she come into- we kind of get this idea of, well, we sort of understand her ambition towards becoming a mage, but was her mom a mage? What was her mom like? How did- because yes, she talks about her father all day long, and we ultimately understand what happened to her father (laughing) but you know, like, never anything about her mother, and you just- it’s like, how are all these people just absent from the stories of all these really important characters, because they had to have had SOME impact. Not- you know, like, just some detail, some nuance, something like that.

Tzufit:  I mean, even if Jaina’s mother died either in childbirth or when she was extremely young, I don’t actually know whether Jaina’s brother is older or younger than her, I think he’s older, I’m pretty sure she’s the youngest. So her mother could have died in childbirth, we don’t know, but it just strikes me as so odd and such an oversight when we go to this great length to not only hear something about her father, which, you know, that makes sense cause he was kind of a big lore figure for a while there, but we even know some things about her brother and to not have one mention of her mother anywhere to the point, like you said, that we don’t even have a name just strikes me as such a bizarre oversight.

Folami:  Yeah, and getting back to names like Kael’thas, these people- they’re royalty to some extent, or nobility to some extent. Those are the kinds of families that generally have the best cataloguing of their bloodlines, and why don’t we have- just a name would be something.

Apple Cider:  Or the fact that in particular with the Elves, the Elves are very long-lived, and especially in the case of something like Night Elves, as well, they’re very long-lived. There is no reason why everybody’s elf-mom is dead.

Folami:  (Chuckling) Definitely, and it just kind of struck me as odd that we know so much about their fathers, but there’s nothing to be said of the mothers and the impact that they had on their children’s lives.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, absolutely. There’s so many gaping holes where moms should be.

Tzufit:  Now, I think this was Folami who added this note to our show notes, too, about Draka and Durotan in Twilight of the Aspects? Do you want to tell us a little bit about that? Because I found this fascinating.

Folami:  In Twilight of the Aspects, Thrall has to go back into the timeline cause Nozdormu, who is the aspect of time, somehow gets lost in the timeline, and he has to go back and find him and during this he actually gets to go back to the day where Draka and Durotan are killed, and he is part of the guards in this, and he actually sees himself as a baby, and Draka actually comments on the fact that he’s kind of paying a lot of attention to their infant. And of course, as it’s the timeline, Thrall knows that he can’t alter it, so he’s kind of forced to stand by and watch when his parents are attacked and they’re killed, and what happens is the baby is left- baby Thrall is kind of left behind to die, and Thrall knows that he has to survive, obviously, and somehow Durotan, despite being heavily wounded, is still alive enough to interact with Thrall and he’s asking him, why didn’t you try to help us? and Thrall’s like, I can’t explain that, and he’s trying to reassure his father that this infant of his is going to grow up and is going to bring honor back to the Orcs and bring back their ancestors and bring them back to Shamanism, and all Draka is, by this point, is apparently a mangled corpse. I reread the passage. So she’s not alive to interact and hear these great things instead it’s this touching moment where Thrall lays the baby version of himself onto his father’s chest and his father can’t even hug him but he can lay him on his chest and say, “You can’t touch him, I understand you can’t hug him, but at least he can be on your chest now and you can know that all these things are gonna work out in the end.” But, you know, and he doesn’t get to interact with his mother at all in that regard. She dies not knowing this.

Tzufit:  I guess I can’t understand writing a scene like that and not thinking it would have more emotional impact or more depth to have both parents there to see that.

Folami:  Yeah, I don’t understand why Durotan is the one that is alive at least to hear these last words and be reassured before death, and he and Draka do interact, like I said, she notices him staring at the baby a little bit and also she comments on Thrall’s blue eyes, which- cause they’re blue like her baby’s, but just that scene, it’s Durotan and Thrall that share that great father-son experience and that little bond before he passes away.

Apple Cider:  Again, it makes me think that there really is just a large narrative blind spot that mother stories and interactions with people’s mothers can be just as emotional, just as poignant or cool- and I hate to use the word cool while we’re talking about really depressing stuff, but like.

Tzufit:  But I wonder if that’s the point, though, is that it’s not cool to have that emotional moment with your mother, whereas yeah, so, Thrall can have this emotional moment with Durotan and it IS very emotional but it’s fundamentally about saying to Durotan, I’m going to be honorable and I’m going to restore the glory of the Horde, and- it’s just weird because he would have had a similar moment with Draka, knowing how she is and knowing her personality, but for some reason, I don’t know if the default assumption is that that moment would be- it would show too much weakness or it would be too feminine or exactly what the objection is to having that moment with a mother as opposed to or in addition to with a father.

Folami:  Yeah, kind of the whole “mama’s boy” thing, unfortunately. That just- you know, I didn’t recall this until a friend was pointing it out to me when I mentioned I was gonna be on the show, but to go back and see that again and it’s just kind of- you know, why couldn’t they both be alive? Just for that last little bit of hope to be given to them because, you know, when they’re killed everything is really bleak for the Orcs.

Tzufit:  Yeah, it’s like all the mothers in Warcraft mysteriously have what’s sometimes referred to as “eggshell skull”, I don’t know if you’re familiar with that term-

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Tzufit:  -but basically it’s the idea that if somebody’s in a car accident and they happen to be hurt worse than any other person usually would be, it’s still problematic if you’re the one who caused the car accident because they still got hurt really badly, and it just seems like every mother in Warcraft must be one of those people who would be hurt terribly no matter what happened to them because people standing right next to them always make it through alright.

Folami:  Yes, exactly! (Laughing) That just seems to happen more to women, but I did note also in my notes that there is a twist on this. Mia Greymane is still alive, but it’s Liam Greymane who we see die in the Worgen opening.

Apple Cider:  Hmm! Interesting.

Folami:  Yeah, but we don’t see Mia- again, this could be something someone corrects me on, but when you go toward the end of the- before you go find the Elves and stuff, you actually clear out an area and lay Liam to rest and of course, Greymane, King Greymane is there, and it’s a very emotional moment. He’s lost his son, his only heir, and Lorna Crowley is there, and I just don’t recall Mia Greymane being there, or at least she doesn’t say much of anything after her son is killed. And it’s Sylvanas who kills him.

Tzufit:  I don’t think she is there. No, I mean, she’s evacuated from Gilneas with everybody else but I really don’t recall seeing her there.

Folami:  Yeah. So, you know, you have either the mothers dying or their children dying but with Mia’s case, it’s just kind of weird that she’s not there to have a reaction to her child dying, but we see Genn Greymane’s reaction, and it’s obviously very sad.

Tzufit:  Well, and also, interesting that even though in her case she’s not the one who dies, once her child dies her story is over anyway.

Folami:  Yeah.

Apple Cider:  If you could count her having a story to begin with.

Tzufit:  Well, yeah.

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Folami:  Yeah, true.

Apple Cider:  I had forgotten that she existed, so.

Tzufit:  Yeah, she’s really only there very briefly in the Worgen starting area.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, that’s- like- (laughing) I knew that this episode was going to be REALLY depressing and really shining a light on a lot of things because whenever we just generally look at how women are being portrayed in the story, there are AT LEAST women who are round, but when we start talking about a very specific type of woman character, that’s where we start to get into a lot of problems and where people start to forget about them, so- I didn’t remember Mia at all. Was she even in the game? Was she actually in the game?

Tzufit:  Yeah, she was in the game. She was a quest giver, I think.

Folami:  Yes, yeah, when you go to the mansion, she’s a quest giver. You go to the mansion and she tells you to go upstairs to find her husband.

Apple Cider:  Ohhh, yes yes yes. This is terrible cause I have done the Gilneas starting zone in beta, in live, and that completely just- well, I just ran right by her to go do the quest, so- (Laughing)

Tzufit:  I’ll tell you, I remember doing this quest, she only has two quests, I just pulled it up to confirm. You walk in and you find her in the manor and there’s a bunch of people around who I think are supposed to be refugees, essentially, and then she sends you up to talk in the observatory, and I do very distinctly remember these quests, not because I saw Mia Greymane, but because it was the first time I noticed sun shafts (laughing)

Apple Cider:  YES! (Laughing)

Folami:  (Laughing)

Apple Cider:  So it’s like, well, that’s really good I guess. (Laughing)

Tzufit:  Yeah! (Laughing) So memorable.

Apple Cider:  So yeah, so it’s like, so Genn Greymane obviously is the character that gets to lead the starting experience, because we don’t see Mia after that, do we?

Tzufit:  Not to my knowledge, and definitely not in-game. I might be forgetting reading about her in a novel later on, but I don’t think we know anything else about her.

Folami:  Yeah, I don’t even think I see her at the tree in Darnassus. I don’t think I’ve seen her there.

Apple Cider:  Oh, no. So she doesn’t get to leave the confines of the starting experience.

Folami:  I mean, not to even be at your own child’s funeral…

Tzufit:  Yeah that is pretty shocking.

Folami:  I mean that’s kind of horrible.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, I mean, it’s like, man, no-one at Blizzard wants somebody to have a relationship with their mom.

Tzufit:  Alright, so we have covered several- SEVERAL very depressing mothers who are dead or mothers who just don’t seem to have ever existed as far as we can tell, so let’s try and figure out a couple of living mothers that we are aware of-

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Tzufit:  -in World of Warcraft. Obviously we know about Aggra, we talked about her at the top of the show, do we have anything else to add (laughing) when it comes to Aggra?

Folami:  No, I can’t really think of anything else to add to her other than just, I hate seeing her being relegated to the caretaker role.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, especially because- I mean, in all honesty, I believe that the caretaker role would be Thrall just because Thrall did see his parents die.

Tzufit:  Yeah, you can certainly see how Thrall wouldn’t want to miss that experience of being a parent, and I guess I’m kind of surprised that Thrall is going to be taking such a central role again in this expansion when it really seemed like at the end of Cataclysm- that was supposed to be Thrall’s retirement, you know? He was supposed to be heading out to build this house and be a dad and do all those things that were specifically the reason why he left being war chief in the first place.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, it’s- that was the weird part to me about the whole, “Oh, this is a boys’ trip” because to me, I would imagine Thrall being the ultimate helicopter parent because Thrall was the one that wanted to be a dad in the first place. When you do that Cataclysm quest chain, it’s all Aggra being all surprised like, “He wants to be a FATHER? OH!” you know? Like, her desires to be a parent are not ever discussed, at any point, so it’s like, so Thrall getting to go and be the cool dad that goes and takes care of Draenor and she gets to be the caretaker, that made absolutely no sense to me.

Tzufit:  So we have Aggra. Another mom to many many MANY children in Azeroth who we hear about occasionally is Alexstrasza. For better or for worse.

Apple Cider:  (Chuckling)

Tzufit:  Alexstrasza is interesting in that obviously we know that Alexstrasza is a mom to lots and lots and LOTS of Dragon babies, but we don’t actually see that relationship too often, with the one exception of Calen, who is the- he shows up as a male Night Elf here and there throughout Twilight Highlands and then also in Bastion of Twilight when you fight Sinestra and he ends up dying, as far as we can tell, during that fight. That is one relationship with a mother and a son that we see at least some emotion or any interaction at all between the two of them.

Folami:  Yeah, and he puts himself in the quest line in Twilight Highlands. I actually thought he was dead at first-

Tzufit:  I did too.

Apple Cider:  Yeah.

Folami:  -because he stays behind to distract Deathwing while you take a wounded Alexstrasza to safety.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, and- so it’s- so, OK, I’m gonna be super cynical here for a moment. (Chuckles)

Folami:  NOooooo.

Apple Cider:  You know, cause I’m ever not super cynical. I wanna say that Alexstrasza is in the very unique position of being the sexy mom, and the reason that she is the sexy mom is that her being a mother is an afterthought because it would be incompatible with how she is presented the rest of the time in-game, which is pretty sexy. I mean, let’s just be real here, she is supposed to look very draconic and- she’s supposed to evoke more of the image of being into the baby-making part of the whole motherhood aspect, and not so much the actual being a mom part.

Folami:  Yeah, I remember in Dragon Soul, her and Ysera just- I remember commenting to my raid members, like, they look like they have the most uncomfortable wedgies.

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Tzufit:  (Laughing) Yeah, she was- her in particular, I don’t know why specifically her more so that Ysera, but she was the person that all the guys on my raid team wanted to make sure they got a picture with after we killed Deathwing, so.

Apple Cider:  (Laughing) And it feels like that’s a really interesting- I feel she kind of inhabits a really interesting position because of the fact that I don’t think Blizzard understands that there are moms who are sexy. You know, that is a thing, moms don’t suddenly-

Tzufit:  Yeah, exactly, here’s a shocking thing: moms can still have sex after they become moms.

Apple Cider:  WHAAAT?

Folami:  Exactly!

Tzufit:  Mic drop!

Apple Cider:  (Laughing) And it’s so- so obviously her motherhood role is not played up in the slightest. So she is the anti-mom. She is the mom who’s the anti-mom and she is a mother by all intents and purposes, but it’s a faceless brood of Dragons and no-one really thinks about it because she’s not typically shown as a Dragon other than a couple of times because it would devalue that absolutely wonderful model they spent sooo much time working on. You know? So… (Laughing)

Folami:  And how ironic is it, because she is the Aspect of Life, and you know, you would think she’d be more in tune with being a mother, being that she is all about life and bringing life back to Azeroth and it- and like you said, it’s just- she’s either sexy or she’s a mom, there’s no kind of blurring the lines there, you know? It’s an either or kind of thing.

Apple Cider:  Well it’s cause if they had made her more of a mom, they would’ve had to put mom jeans on the model or something like that? To just kind of put that point right there in front of your face instead of the see-through cloak that shows her butt.

Tzufit:  I think that’s part of the problem with Alexstrasza is they can’t quite figure out- like you said, she is the Aspect of Life, but rather than taking that to mean what it really does mean, which is that she’s the mom to lots and lots and lots of Dragon babies, it seems to be played up more as she’s sort of a fertility goddess and-

Apple Cider:  Yeah…

Tzufit:  -and all the stuff that goes along with that, which, yeah, is more about her see-through cloak so you can see her thong.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, all of- the life binder and the life protection comes to us in a way that suggests the fertility rather than the after-effects of what that would really mean, the fecundity and that sort of thing, and the fact that she’s like a mother to everybody so the fact that she’s also presented very sexually is also very weird and confusing, but again, it also shows an incompatibility with how women in general are presented. They can only inhabit a sexy position if you’re not reminded of the fact that she has kids, or consorts, even, actually, which is interesting.

Tzufit:  And of course, first and foremost is ensuring that the women characters and especially their models in-game stay sexy. That is a priority, so.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, it’s-

Folami:  Yeah, she doesn’t lay a bunch of eggs and then start wearing one-piece dresses or things like that.

Tzufit:  (Laughing)

Apple Cider:  Yeah, they- so, she’s this mother that you really- they’ve done a really good job divorcing her from being a mother and just sort of is- oh, she just, she brings things back to life occasionally and she is a life guardian-protector but that’s about it, and it’s so- it’s, again, this really sort of bizarre position, and THEN if you wanna kind of even go further with that, we’ve also discussed the fact that Alexstrasza is part of the storyline that they like to focus on, which is that Dragons occupy this very problematic space in the Warcraft universe where they’re typically abused, killed, maimed, and in Alexstrasza’s case, she was coerced and raped and part of a breeding program. So, there’s really a lot of weird things surrounding her motherhood-ness that have very little to actually do with being a mother.

Tzufit:  Yeah, and to point out something that I think Folami, you brought up when we were getting ready for the show today, one of the even more problematic things with Alexstrasza is that when we do hear about her discussed as being a mother, a lot of times, it’s specifically so that that emotion or that relationship that she feels to her eggs, to her clutch, whatever stage of life they may be in, it’s when someone needs to exploit her feelings as a mother to get her to do something she doesn’t want to do.

Folami:  Yeah, and that was one of the things that happened in Twilight of the Aspects where, at the beginning- I can’t remember his name, her consort is in the Ruby Sanctum with the eggs, and he kind of- something happens and he notices that all the eggs are becoming corrupt and that he himself is becoming corrupted. It’s something the Twilight’s Hammer did, or the Twilight Cult, I guess, and as a last resort, he kills not only himself but wipes out much of the eggs, of the Ruby Sanctum, and of the other Sanctums, killing a whole lot of Dragon eggs from all the Flights to basically save everyone else from this Twilight corruption that’s coming into them. And Alexstrasza, in reaction to that, she becomes- I joke about it and say Emostrasza because she flies over to Desolace, of all places, and this is like, hammered home in the book, and she goes to Desolace, sits down, and just basically waits to die, and that’s where Thrall comes to find her and tries to bring her out of her mood, and it’s not until later in the book where he has a vision showing him the Twilight corruption and why her consort killed everybody and killed all the eggs, that he goes back to her and explains to her that, oh no, he didn’t betray everybody, cause up until that point everybody thought he was a traitor, that she kind of comes out of it and says, OK, now it’s time to go and kick some [edited].

Tzufit:  My god, is Thrall, like, the biggest mansplainer in the entire universe?

Apple Cider:  Yeah! (Laughing)

Tzufit:  First he tells Jaina that she has to go get hitched, and now he’s telling Alexstrasza to snap out of it?

Folami:  Oh no, this is before he tells Jaina to go get hitched, this is the previous book.

Tzufit:  Awesome.

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Tzufit:  Well, switch that around then, but still, GEEZ, Thrall, why don’t you get off your high horse, there?

Folami:  Yeah, actually, and in the raid, before the Ultraxion fight, the trash that made every raid leader probably say a streak of four-letter words-

Tzufit:  The Skyrim trash.

Folami:  Yeah, the Skyrim trash, all the Twilight Dragons that breathe purple fire. Someone, I think Ysera makes a comment that, and those are, actually, you learn, Alexstrasza’s clutch that survived her consort trying to destroy everything, and she actually says, “They are my clutch no longer,” and then, “bring them down.” She kind of has the- the way that voice actress says that line, it’s just, “They are my clutch… no longer,” and it’s just really full of emotion, and then that, “Bring them down,” is just a really determined sort of, let’s get this done and save the world.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, I mean, and this reminded me of that, the Dragon Soul stuff, is- a mother that doesn’t get really get discussed very often is Sinestra. Sinestra is Deathwing’s consort. Sinestra is also a mother in her own right, and I don’t think that ever actually gets brought up.

Tzufit:  Yeah, Sinestra is treated much more like a mad scientist than she is like a mother, because it’s always about what she’s going to do to further the Twilight than it is- you know, she still talks about the eggs in a possessive way, the way Alexstrasza does, but it’s definitely more detached in the sense that she’s willing to do whatever she needs to to those eggs to get them to be what she wants them to be.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, and on that note, Wrathion’s mother, who we don’t even really get to find out who she really is other than just beating her up, which we did talk about in a previous episode.

Tzufit:  Yeah, and- I guess this is the thing, and certainly we touched on this before when we’ve talked about Dragons, but- I guess that’s really one of the sad things for me with Alexstrasza in particular, who is, I think, inarguably a mom to the most, you know, individuals on Azeroth, than anybody else. She has had the most children, and to see her motherhood represented in such a negative way, repeatedly, and a thing that people use against her, a thing that is essentially her Achilles’ heel, it’s her constant weakness, is being a mom, and I think that SUCKS.

Folami:  Yeah, it’s kind of like how the women are used to get to the men via their lovers or their wives, it’s just another aspect of that trope.

Apple Cider:  Yeah. You know, my wife is dead, have to go rescue my daughter, son, or whatever, and then when it comes to Dragons, it’s just- your ability to be a mother or a broodmother. They’re not even mothers in the same way that many of the humanoid races are, they’re egg machines, in a lot of ways. It’s just- it’s a weakness, it’s just a way of getting to them or just undermining them or hurting them in some way.

Tzufit:  So, now that we’re past that especially depressing example-

Apple Cider:  Let’s talk about something that’s not as depressing.

Tzufit:  Well, let’s talk about Moira for a minute, because Moira is certainly a very interesting character. We don’t know a ton about her, or her motivations at this point, but we’re slowly learning a little bit more and I hope we keep learning more, because everything that we hear is interesting. So, Moira returns triumphantly to Ironforge and reveals that she’s a mom, she has a son with her who, if- when you go into Ironforge, she’s up there, one of the three people on the throne, and her son is actually on the throne, too, in a cradle at her feet.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, she’s a single mother who now is in a place of power who is now arguably a faction leader, to some degree. She- I mean, Moira is probably on the top of the heap as far as mothers are concerned (laughing) in Azeroth at this point.

Tzufit:  Yeah, and it’s interesting that she’s- while we don’t know anything about her child really except that he exists and that he’s her son from her and [Dagran Thaurissan], who at least- see, there’s something to me that matters about the fact that that kid is with her there in Ironforge while she is going about the business of helping to rule the Dwarven kingdoms.

Folami:  Yeah, and he’s there and I actually just rerolled a Dwarf so I got to go through the quest where you find the Dark Iron spy, or the person who’s sabotaging everything, and she’s the one who’s ordering you to go bring him to her, and deciding what to do with him, and she’s very much in charge, and she owns that crown. I mean, she really does, and you know, you see her and she’s doing this while she’s got a baby she’s gotta take care of, so she’s able to kind of be a mom and be this queen.

Apple Cider:  She feels very politically savvy, to me, which I feel like a lot of the other quote-unquote “royal women” have not had in spades. Like we said, there are a lot of women that should’ve been in positions of power that really weren’t, and it feels like Moira is bucking that trend because if feels like in a lot of ways that her marriage or her relationship with Thaurissan- what’s the name of the emperor of the Dark Irons? Thaurissan. It felt like that was a very politically motivated relationship, perhaps, so the fact that she has a kid now and she’s risen to power in Ironforge, it feels like she made a really interesting choice that her child is arguably the marriage and the product of two different kingdoms of Dwarves that really were kind of at each other’s throats. I feel like she’s one of the few politically savvy mothers that we see in World of Warcraft.

Folami:  Yeah, and to read her Wowpedia page, it talks about that her father was very misogynistic and very sexist and he was very upset that all he had was a daughter, and didn’t think that she was going to make a very good leader, and she gets kidnapped by the Dark Irons and it’s Thaurissan who says- who actually listens to her and talks to her and supposedly she falls in love, and I don’t know if it’s Stockholm Syndrome or something, but he’s actually listening to her and believes that she could be a good ruler, and it’s her father who ends up sending the party out to kill her now-husband and father to her child. So, she’s learned that she can be in charge and- you talk about, she’s politically savvy, and I think that also makes her rather suspicious. What are her motives if she’s keeping her child and she keeps the- she’s no longer Bronzebeard, she’s keeping her Dark Iron married name to remind everybody, hey, I married the enemy.

Tzufit:  Yeah, I think it’s definitely gonna be interesting to see- and I really hope they don’t drop that story thread, because, I mean, she’s got a LOT of power at this point, we’re talking about someone who’s essentially a ruler over two different clans of Dwarves, and that’s a pretty big deal.

Folami:  And she’s kind of won over Varian recently, when Varian came to the Blood in the Snow scenario, which you guys have talked about before, and she’s there through that and is able to unite them, and she’s kind of won Varian to her side. So what does this mean for the Council of Three Hammers?

Apple Cider:  We also know that she’s actually going to have a part of the story in Warlords of Draenor, we don’t know how yet, I think. I really hope it’s a positive story, I really hope, because-

Folami:  I hope so too!

Apple Cider:  Because if it turns over that she fucks over the Council or fucks over the alliance in some way I’d be very upset because she is one of the few positive representations of mothers in the story.

Tzufit:  It’s an interesting choice that they did that with her, too, because historically- and from a literary standpoint, a lot of the times that you see really strong women who get to do what they want and nobody gets to tell them no, it’s very often the case that they’re widows because historically it was just sort of true that if a woman who was from a well-to-do household, if her husband dies, as long as she doesn’t remarry, she’s really pretty much in charge of her own life at that point, her household and everything. So Moira is very much filling that sort of typical middle-ages medieval fantasy trope of the empowered widow who is able to do what she wants because there isn’t a husband on the scene.

Folami:  And she has that leverage with her son being both Bronzebeard and Dark Iron, she’s got the leverage against two clans right there. Their future.

Tzufit:  OK, so another cool Alliance mom who we’ve heard a lot about recently is Vereesa Windrunner, who also, interestingly enough, happens to be a widow.

Folami:  Yes, in Tides of War, Rhonin of course dies during Theramore when it’s bombed, and she’s actually there in Theramore, but she’s away from the blast site when he is killed, and I find her very interesting. She has twins, but you don’t really see them in the picture or hear her mention them much, she’s grieving for Rhonin.

Tzufit:  Do her- I don’t know if her children have names? I’m not sure if that’s something we’ve heard yet.

Folami:  I believe they do, but I cannot remember them.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, me either.

Tzufit:  But yeah, we certainly haven’t really heard much about them aside from the fact that they exist. We really don’t know where they are at this point, when she’s been away because, like you said, she’s a single parent now, so we don’t really know- are the children old enough that they’ve been coming along on the campaign too? Or, are they staying with relatives? Again, we get- we know that she’s a mother, but it’s very- it’s kind of divorced from the role that she’s playing in-game.

Folami:  Yeah, and she’s- obviously she’s grieving and then you see her in the Purge of Dalaran, which is the Lion’s Landing 5.2 arc, and she’s not really participating so much as she’s there kind of cheering Jaina on and telling you the player that this is necessary and this is revenge for Theramore, pretty much.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, she’s also one of those characters where I feel like they can do a lot more with her because I think right now, yeah, her motherhood isn’t very emphasized due to the fact that it was brought up in books only, you do not see her children in-game at all, you’re not really aware of them.

Folami:  Yeah, she’s very heavily pregnant in Well of Eternity.

Apple Cider:  And so, like, I think she’s got a good start, because she’s obviously been put more in the storyline in Pandaria. Whether or not we’ll see her at all in Draenor, considering that she’s not a faction leader in some way will be anybody’s guess. But, I really wish they had talked a little bit more in-game about her kids because as far as most people know who haven’t read the books, they don’t know that she’s a mom at all, so it kind of defeats the purpose.

Tzufit:  I mean, you have to wonder how many people even knew that she was married to Rhonin. There are some people that don’t even know that Rhonin died, because if you walk into Dalaran he’s still there.

Folami:  And he still sends you mail when you hit level 80!

Tzufit:  Yeah, exactly! (Laughing)

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Tzufit:  So I think one of the great points, Folami, that you brought up in your notes for today was that a lot of the mothers that we do see in Azeroth, the very limited number of mothers who are still alive, we don’t tend to see a whole lot of interaction with them and their children, and some of that is because their children are still extremely young, so it’s not like we can necessarily see them having a conversation.

Folami:  Yeah, and again, that ties back into- that wouldn’t necessarily be a fun part to play in the game, you know, the diapers and the baby talk and stuff, they’re not talking like Anduin Wrynn, who is obviously now almost an adult, and someone who  you can interact with and who has definite personality traits. But, you know, you have Anduin Wrynn who is almost fully grown, and there’s not really many other children that I can think of apart from Wrathion if you can really count him as being a normal child.

Apple Cider:  (Chuckling)

Tzufit:  Yeah. (Chuckling)

Apple Cider:  I think it’s because for a lot of characters, their mothers die once they get older.

Folami:  Yeah, or if they’re not already dead right at birth.

Apple Cider:  It’s- and that’s one of the reasons why we don’t see a lot of mother-son or mother-daughter relationships is because just a lot of them don’t survive that long. Like, interestingly enough, Aegwynn (laughing) who was a pretty notable character in her own right, and the whole pregnancy, obviously, really grows kind of weird, and then you know- I don’t remember when she ends up dying, I don’t think it’s childbirth though.

Folami:  I don’t think so, either. I’m not as familiar with her story, but I believe Medivh was a bit older when she does finally- if she is dead.

Tzufit:  Yeah, but I think it’s probably not a relationship that we’re ever going to hear about. I would love if we saw Aegwynn in-game, I would just die.

Folami:  Though it’s kind of curious that Medivh does kind of make an appearance in Twilight of the Aspects, though I don’t know if it’s a past version of himself, he’s in raven form and sees Thrall and knows that Thrall is not part of that timeline. So, Medivh maybe we could see again? I don’t know.

Apple Cider:  They keep talking about Karazhan revamps, so.

Apple Cider:  They’re cleaning it up.

Tzufit:  Technically, she is- she’s buried in Karazhan right next to where Medivh is buried, so.

Apple Cider:  Again, you see more of Medivh’s relationship with his quote-unquote “father” than you do with his mother, who arguably was a little bit more well-known. I think just being a mom is just a really dangerous proposition in Azeroth. Which is weird, because everybody- no, I wouldn’t say everybody, but most people in Azeroth should by all means have had mothers in some form or another.

Folami:  And you know they have to exist because otherwise, well, we at least know there’s Tiffin and that Anduin did not spring from Varian’s chin-

Tzufit:  (Laughing)

Apple Cider:  (Laughing)

Folami:  -so you know they have to be there somewhere, and we just never get to see that relationship in later years. Like, right now we can see Moira with her child on the throne, or Aggra in the Valley of Trials interacting with her child, but we don’t see it as the children age or if the children actually grow up at all.

Apple Cider:  It does kind of bring us to our last part of the topic, which is- OK, so we have some mothers in the game, but what about mother figures? What about motherhood as a slightly more broad concept. Like, not biological motherhood, but motherhood as a relationship, as an overarching goal versus just the people that gave birth to various characters. What about that? Let’s talk about that.

Tzufit:  Yeah, we have a couple of examples of- more like mentor relationships throughout the game. So we have people like Jaina and Anduin, where Jaina particularly in the Shattering novel is kind of watching over Anduin cause he has something of a volatile relationship with his dad at that point, but it’s difficult to ever really see Jaina as being a mother figure there. She just- it’s- if anything I could go with older sister, kind of? But she just doesn’t seem like she ever gets particularly maternal with him.

Apple Cider:  Which is good because I don’t think she is maternal.

Folami:  Yeah, and we see that kind of in Tides of War. I kind of got more of the big sister-little brother kind of vibe, and he’s kind of ribbing her a little bit because she’s on her way to visit with Thrall, where he tells her she needs to get hitched-

Apple Cider:  (Giggling)

Folami:  So, yeah, I don’t think Jaina ever struck me as motherly, even when her charge Kinndy- is it Kinnidy, Kinndy?

Apple Cider:  Kinndy.

Tzufit:  Kinndy, I think.

Folami:  Yeah. You don’t really see her take a motherly position, and that’s OK, some women out there just don’t want to be mothers or just don’t have that desire.

Apple Cider:  Yeah.

Tzufit:  Right, and then we have a few figures who are kind of mothers to their people in some ways. We obviously have the Empress of the Mantid, who we’ve also discussed on the show before, where she, like Alexstrasza, is a literal mother to, I dunno, I guess every single Mantid ever? At least in her generation. And we’ve already, before, covered some of the problematic aspects there, where the Mantid have this very sort of worshiping relationship of her, but at the same time a very fundamental distrust of her as well.

Apple Cider:  Yeah.

Folami:  Can’t imagine WHY…

Apple Cider:  (Chuckling)

Tzufit:  Yeah… and along those lines, although certainly not in a biological way, we kind of- and this is a stretch, I will give you that, but Sylvanas and the Forsaken? Again, we very much have that worship situation and she IS in some ways their creator in the fact that her existence is what allows them to exist as beings who are undead but not under the Lich King’s control.

Folami:  Yeah, and now she can also raise new soldiers, so she’s very much giving them life in a sense.

Tzufit:  Yeah, definitely a more literal sense than before, but Sylvanas is- I don’t think anybody’s going to accuse her of being especially maternal.

Folami:  No (chuckling) definitely not.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, if she is technically a mother to her people, it’s in a very creepy weird symbolic sort of way and not in any sort of way that anybody would consider loving or charitable or kind.

Folami:  Yeah, and in her short story you get the idea that she also kind of resents them to an extent, I think either because they remind her of what she’s lost or they’re gross, maybe? I don’t know. (Laughing)

Tzufit:  (Laughing) I think that is something, a factor for Sylvanas because while she’s well aware that she’s undead as well, being constantly surrounded by the Forsaken is such a visceral reminder of that ALL THE TIME, that yeah, I think she probably is a little resentful. On top of all the other stuff she feels for the Forsaken in terms of, you know, trying to guide them and take care of them to an extent, she absolutely does have some difficulty accepting that that’s what she has to do.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, it just makes me wonder if- and we talked about this a little bit when we talked about the empress, and this also kind of fits into the Sylvanas thing, is that- I wonder if there are just a lot of people at Blizzard that have really huge mom issues? Like, it really just doesn’t seem like a lot of the positions of motherhood or matronly wisdom or love or maternal instinct stuff is really present in the story ‘cause someone doesn’t like it.

Tzufit:  Or also, it’s possible that the understanding and the assumption is that the only interesting mother stories to tell are like Norman Bates’ mom, where it’s something very sinister and very concerning, and that examples of loving relationships between a son or daughter and their mother, that that’s not an interesting story, that it doesn’t have a place in Warcraft’s universe, but motherhood relationships that are full of conflict or really problematic or deeply creepy, those ones are OK. They get the stamp of approval.

Apple Cider:  Yeah.

Folami:  And I think we talked about earlier that this isn’t just Warcraft, this is Disney, this is in other fantasy tropes, and I think it’s just kind of rehashing stories that have already been told and putting a different spin on them, but also that maybe they don’t have mother issues, and they just don’t think about it because they get inspired by these other sources and not really realize what it is that they’re ignoring, and what they’re missing out on.

Apple Cider:  That’s a good point.

Tzufit:  So, that kind of brings us nicely into our last portion which is discussing what types of mothers we do see, because I think it is a good point that in the few examples where we get to see living mothers, and particularly when we broaden the definition to include people who are in mother type roles, we don’t see a lot of loving relationships there.

Folami:  No, because mostly- like you would imagine Leza Sunwalker would have been a great mother, would have been very caring and nurturing, but she’s gone, and most of the mothers are gone or out of their children’s lives for one reason or another.

Tzufit:  Yeah, and certainly the ones that we think probably would have been very loving and nurturing, like Leza, like Tiffin possibly, they’re just- they’re not there. (Chuckles) They gave everything that they had in childbirth and that was it.

Folami:  Yeah, or in Alexstrasza’s case, the children are dead so she can’t- not only are there a lot of children, but a lot of them that we know of are either dead or putting themselves in danger when we meet them, so you don’t really get to see them interact and see how their relationship was.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, I think it’s hard to define a lot of the archetypes of mothers in-game, because a lot of them just aren’t included because there just aren’t a lot of mothers in-game, so it’s like- I wonder if a lot of these aren’t just- like, I have a feeling that a lot of these would be more consistent in-game if we just had more mothers in general. Like the mother bear trope, you know, the protective, aggressive mom that would flip over a car for their kids. I have a feeling that there would be a lot more moms like that, especially in Warcraft, in Azeroth, where it’s a world at war. Mothers should be able to- you know, or some mothers should be able to fight for their kids, because guess what, a lot of people who are moms are probably warriors first, like somebody like Aggra, like a lot of mother characters in the stories that are watchers or scouts or warriors or shaman or this that and the other thing. I would definitely see a lot more of the mother bear trope sort of stuff if we had more mothers.

Tzufit:  Yeah.

Folami:  And that doesn’t preclude that mother who is the badass fighter also being a very nurturing mother and a very loving mother. You know, these aren’t just kind of either-or things, they’re people. They’re still people, so they can be more than one thing.

Apple Cider:  WHAT? Complex, nuanced characterization? I- what is that? What is that doing in Warcraft? That doesn’t happen!

Folami:  Women have more than one layer? WHAT?

Apple Cider:  WHAT?! I DON’T GET IT!

Tzufit:  I’m sorry, Varian’s allowed to have two completely different and nuanced personalities over the span of three years, and we can’t even have Aggra doing the same thing?

Folami:  Yeah, but he was manipulated by Onyxia or something. Maybe you need a black Dragon, I don’t know. It’s just really hard to talk about mothers in-game and then types of mothers, because there’s just not that many.

Tzufit:  Yeah, well I think too, you know, we have kind of a list of different typical mother tropes, so like Apple Cider brought up the mother bears, there’s also the nagging mom trope that you see, the overprotective mom, and like these are the kind of moms that maybe you see in sitcom TV or something like that, and to Apple Cider’s point again, I think that because we have so little representation, even the tropes about moms that maybe we don’t love but we see in other media, even some of those are missing from WoW, just because the numbers are SO so small.

Apple Cider:  Yeah. It’s really hard to have some of even the more negative stereotypes of moms when even a lot of people in World of Warcraft aren’t even married because that seems to be where a lot of those mom tropes are generated in sitcoms where it’s like the bumbling dad and the naggy mom, or the overbearing mom, so- you know there aren’t even married people in World of Warcraft

Folami:  Yeah, there’s a lot of tragedy in the game, too, like Vereesa and Rhonin who were married, and Rhonin is dead. It’s one of those depressing things, like, if they even get to be married, someone’s gonna possibly die before too long.

Apple Cider:  Yeah. It just seems like family is, in general, just not highly represented, and the one type of family relationship that actually gets ANY amount of time is fathers and kids.

Folami:  Yeah, like Anduin and Varian, and Darius Crowley and Lorna Crowley. That’s what we see, we don’t see- because they’re just not there, we don’t see the mothers.

Apple Cider:  Yeah. In my heart of hearts, I would love to see Aggra- and, I don’t know, do we know what Thrall and Aggra’s kid is? Is that a boy, is it a girl?

Folami:  I believe the first one’s a boy.

Apple Cider:  Oh, god damn it.

Tzufit:  I KNOW!

Folami:  Of course!

Apple Cider:  I wanted it to be a daughter!

Tzufit:  I would give just about anything for a mother-daughter story in WoW, and I know maybe that’s sentimental and sappy and whatever but it just- I would LOVE to see an interesting mom and an interesting daughter, like, I don’t know, do ANYTHING with them, have them be a pair of mages, have them be a pair of warriors, whatever, but just to see that interaction reflected in-game would make me so, so happy, and Aggra would have been a GREAT opportunity for that.

Apple Cider:  Seriously!

Folami:  And I just double-checked on Wowpedia, it is Durak, and it is Thrall’s son, so their first child is a son. (Chuckles)

Apple Cider:  Watch out, Aggra. You’re probably next.

Folami:  (chuckling)

Tzufit:  Yeah.

Apple Cider:  Seriously, cause like- I bet you money, I bet you good money we’re gonna have another scenario where it’s gonna be like Varian and Anduin because Varian and Thrall have always existed as story parallels, they have always been the inverse of each other. When Thrall started out, he was an Orc that was socialized like a Human, and when Varian started out, he was a Human socialized like an Orc, and now that they’ve chilled out and become cool dad crew, like- I don’t think Aggra’s gonna stick around for much longer, because of that. Now that Thrall has a son, the parity between Varian and Anduin and Thrall and his son is almost complete, so Aggra’s probably gonna die at some point.

Tzufit:  I think that, while that may have been the direction it was heading, I think that if anybody at Blizzard in this particular climate pitched the idea of having Aggra die, surely someone at that table would be like, “You know what guys, this might not be a good idea.”

Folami:  With as many of them that are on Twitter now, especially, I would think they would get the impression at this point that that would be a bad road to go down.

Tzufit:  Yeah, I think- I don’t know what they’re gonna do with Aggra’s story, and I do wonder after the uproar if they will end up doing something because it seems like there’s certainly a demand for it, but I think that if anything particularly positive has come out of this, it’s that with Aggra in particular, I think they know that they need to tread lightly (chuckles) with these next decisions, and while, like I said, while that may have been the direction it was headed, I wonder if they would be so foolish as to do that now.

Folami:  Yeah, I don’t think so. I think that Twitter has been, and social media in general, have been a great thing. Blizzard’s got a pretty OK history of interacting with their fans and hearing us out, and I know some people out there who are saying, “Well, Warlords of Draenor hasn’t launched yet, why are you complaining now?” and it’s because right now these stories are just being written, they haven’t really necessarily been programmed into a game that we can play, and it’s a lot easier to change one story where either replacing a male with a female or having a character that was going to die not die, whereas, like we saw with Ji Firepaw, I think our only option at that point was to change the dialog that he said, or in the quest text.

Tzufit:  Yeah, exactly. It’s not like you could re-do the entire story at that point, and it’s different for something like Aggra’s omission because if we’re talking about actually getting a character into the story somewhere, that’s very different from having to go into and change a couple of lines of quest text.

Apple Cider:  On the other hand, we really don’t know how much of that is set in stone, and I honestly believe that there is always room for additions or- sort of, additions to the story, if it’s somebody that’s big enough that you can make a space for them over the course of an expansion, I mean- honestly, I have no idea how this involved the trajectory of Ji and Aysa considering the fact that they are essentially faction leaders for the Pandaren on both factions, but I don’t think it would be as difficult to include Aggra or even reinclude Aggra into the story at this juncture- but again, this is all speculation, I don’t know because I’m not Blizzard, but I don’t think it would be terrible and I don’t think it would be impossible to do, given the feedback, which I think has been invaluable. I love the fact that we’re having this discussion, particularly about Aggra because it does open up that larger discussion about moms and motherhood and what does that mean and what kinds of characters have there been and what glaring omissions have there been up until this point. I think it puts a huge spotlight on the fact that they’re the kinds of characters that Blizzard has done very little with.

Folami:  yeah, and it’s just yet another expansion where we have the trailer, we see there’s an awesome Orc woman in the trailer, and then the Draenei, and then all we really have as far as characters, we have Yrel and we don’t know if that other Orc was Draka or some other unnamed Orc, and you go to the website and all you see are men.

Apple Cider:  Yeah.

Folami:  So, this is the first impression that we’re supposed to draw from this, and a lot of us are raising concern.

Apple Cider:  I really hope that Blizzard does the right thing and does take that concern and does take that criticism in stride and maybe does something with it, because I do feel like we are at this point now where Blizzard has really invested in the community and its influencers and social media, and then maybe we will have an impact, maybe we will see more female-driven storylines and female relationships, not just mothers but sisters and aunts and grandmothers, especially with like Draka. Just to see more of that in general, so I’m really hoping that Blizzard does listen and maybe takes- takes it back to the table and maybe does something with it, so.

Folami:  yeah, that’s what I hope too, I hope they don’t think this is all, “Oh my god, you guys SUCK, horrible people!” That’s not what this is, this is like we’re coming to you thinking that you’re maybe going to hear us out a little bit, you don’t necessarily have to agree but at least listen to what we have to say.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, especially because I do think a lot of World of Warcraft’s audience, especially now, are moms. There are a lot of mothers that I know that play World of Warcraft, and it would be really cool to maybe see that represented a LOT better in the game’s story.

Folami:  Oh, definitely.

Tzufit:  Alright, well thank you, Folami, SO much for coming on to talk to us today. We really appreciate it, and again, like I said at the start of the show, thank you for ALL of the research that you did about so many different mothers in WoW.

Folami:  Thank you for having me! This has been a blast, and I believe I have used up my quiet kid time for the day, so-

Tzufit:  (Laughing)

Folami:  -I’m going to have to get out of here.

Tzufit:  Well, can you tell us real quick before you go, where we can find you on the internet if people are looking to talk to you a little bit more or see what you have to say.

Folami:  It’s @casualfolami on Twitter, and there’s also casualraiding.blogspot.com, it’s kind of dead right now but that’s where I post a bit about my World of Warcraft stuff and some of my musings and maybe a little bit of ranting.

Tzufit:  (Chuckling) Alright, well thanks very much, and thanks to everybody for listening.

Apple Cider:  Before we close off the show, we did have an iTunes review from one of our listeners, and this is from someone who I know from Twitter and they are always commenting and being really cool, so this is a FIVE STAR review. It says, “For everyone, while this podcast may focus on feminism and social aspect of gaming and even real life, don’t let that turn you away from listening to this great show. I recommend this podcast to everyone as I have been listening to this podcast since the beginning. Tzufit and Apple are two wonderful ladies who work hard for this, and it shows in every episode. Keep up the excellent work. From, @ligerwolf”

Tzufit:  Thank you @ligerwolf, we appreciate it, and if you also enjoy the show, please go on iTunes and leave us a review or rate the show, we appreciate all the comments that we get.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, same with Stitcher Radio, as well, so if you wanna leave a thumbs up or a comment it would be super appreciated.

Tzufit:  And one other bit of news, before we leave you for today. We’re gonna discuss this in greater depth next week, however there is a very interesting article over at RockPaperShotgun that you might wanna check out, actually kind of two articles. Nathan Grayson, one of the authors over there, had an interview with Dustin Browder regarding the Heroes of the Storm announcement at Blizzcon, and interestingly, towards the end of the interview, there were some questions regarding women’s representation in Heroes of the Storm and the way that women are portrayed, and the interview ended on kiiind of a pretty awkward note, so you might wanna read through the interview over there at RockPaperShotgun, and then Nathan Grayson also did an opinion piece after the fact with the interview, so two really interesting articles that we probably will be discussing more in the future, as well.

Apple Cider:  Yeah, it’s definitely worth a read, so go check it out, but we’ll be talking about it more next week, and we will see you next time.

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