Episode #28 – “The Gripes of Wrath”

Episode #28 – “The Gripes of Wrath”

Jan 21

Our twenty-eighth features Tzufit and Apple Cider talking about some oddities about Wrath of the Lich King as it is related to women. We go over NPC race models, women in the overall Wrath narrative and some problems with the Titans.

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Below the cut is a full transcript of Episode 28, “The Gripes of Wrath.” Many thanks to @IviaRelle for transcribing this episode.

Apple Cider: Hey, everybody! Welcome back to the show. We have a great show for you this week. We’re just gonna go all-in on Wrath of the Lich King expansion. We’re gonna be talking about some of the really interesting anomalies and quirks of this expansion, from a gender perspective. So, we’re gonna be looking at women and how they function in this expansion, NPCs, questing, narrative, just a whole bunch of stuff. It is gonna be a wild ride.

Tzufit: Yeah, definitely. I think Wrath of the Lich King definitely holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts, certainly it’s when a lot of people who are playing the game now first started playing the game and even more so than that, it’s definitely when a lot of people first started raiding or maybe really getting into the story of the game and kind of wondering, “OK, what is this Warcraft lore all about? What’s going on here? Who’s this Arthas guy and why is he such a jerk?”

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Yeah. I- like- I know that a lot of people give people crap for starting to play in Wrath, but Wrath was one of the highest periods of subscribers, I believe, for World of Warcraft.

Tzufit: The best, absolutely. The end of Wrath was the highest we’ve ever been.

Apple Cider: Yeah, so, I mean, guess what? A significant portion of the extended Warcraft population started playing in Wrath, or played through Wrath at the very least. So we feel that it’s kind of a significant expansion in quite a lot of ways. So, you obviously had a lot of people playing. It was an expansion that had a very specific narrative drive to it. I mean, it was Lich King, the cinematic was about Lich King, he was the big bad in the expansion, his influence could be felt everywhere, there wasn’t really a part of the game that wasn’t somehow touched by Arthas, and we were specifically going to a new continent for that reason, as well. So, I mean, you know, this was a big landmark in the history of World of Warcraft, so us looking at it from a gender-feminist perspective was pretty high on our list of things to do.

Tzufit: Yeah, and I think from a narrative perspective- I think Wrath of the Lich King really did succeed pretty well in telling a cohesive story from start to finish with a couple of minor anomalies along the way. Crusaders’ Coliseum…

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard) We’re gonna pretend that that didn’t exist.

Tzufit: (Laughing) I mean, I actually find the fights pretty fun, just in terms of, like, how it made sense in the story or what the heck was going on there, that’s the part that’s a little shaky for me.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Yeah, it never really quite made a lot of sense, but you- it is a good point that you bring up with the fact that Wrath did tell a really cohesive story, and it was really well liked by a lot of people, because it was a continuation of the lore that got started in Warcraft 3.

Tzufit: Right. Of course, we see most of Arthas’s story that starts off in Warcraft 3 in the Frozen Throne expansion for that game, and this is sort of where it left off, ’cause you know, at the end of that game Arthas has gone off, he’s become the Lich King, but that’s really it. You don’t see any of the repercussions that happen because of that, so we hop right into Wrath of the Lich King and finally get to see just what Arthas has been planning in Northrend this whole time as- and of course, the pre-expansion event, as I’m sure you remember, was the Scourge basically invading Stormwind and Orgrimmar. Like, Arthas brought the fight to us.

Apple Cider: Yeah, we’ve been letting him marinate there for quite many years (laughing) and, uh- so now it was- we were bringing the fight to his doorstep after he had basically made his presence be known again. So, I- you know, I felt it was really compelling, even as somebody who only played World of Warcraft, getting introduced to the Warcraft 3 lore in such an intimate way was really cool and- but, you know, on the other hand, I didn’t have the nostalgia factor that I think a lot of other people did, that they kind of brought to Wrath? And I also think- I think what we’re kind of getting at, too, is- (sigh) one of the reasons why Wrath, to us, is considered such an anomaly lore-wise is because when Blizzard really and historically goes off of the rails regarding Warcraft the RTS lore, I feel like they do a better job being more diverse, and we can see that with Mists of Pandaria, we can even see that with Cataclysm. Both were two expansions that didn’t necessarily have pre-existing stuff from Warcraft 3 or 2 or whatever hanging over their heads and I felt like they did a better job telling different stories, whereas Wrath of the Lich King completely just- just an extension of Warcraft 3, Frozen Throne, so I feel like they really didn’t break away as much in- you know, including more women in the story and things like that, and I think that’s one of the problems that we’re looking to outline a lot.

Tzufit: Yeah, I think any time that Blizzard goes back and decides to use pre-existing lore, it’s really a double-edged sword for them because on the one hand, you know, you absolutely do get that nostalgia factor, you have that potential to bring back former WoW players or even people who have never played WoW but loved the RTSs back in the day, there’s a lot of draw for that, but on the other hand, it also means that you are very much saddled to all that baggage of, “Well, this is how the story was when we wrote it ten or fifteen years ago, and these are the characters that we included, and these are the sorts of characters we didn’t include at that time for one reason or another,” and so, you know, we get asked a lot about the idea of shoehorning diverse characters, right, into Warcraft lore, and this is exactly where you can make a case for that because when you are taking pre-existing lore that already has specific characters who do specific things, like you did in Wrath of the Lich King and like we’re about to have in Warlords of Draenor, what you end up with is, yeah, somebody’s gonna fuss at you if all the sweat and all of the Warlords have always been male and if you decide to retcon that and make one female, all of a sudden now you’ve got a bunch of angry nerds beating down your door about it.

Apple Cider: Which I think is terrible in its own right, and I think that they should just make one of the Warlords a woman anyway and retconning be [edited] (chuckling) but that’s me. I feel like they do their best storytelling work when they’re not shackled to Warcraft 3 and while Wrath of the Lich King was a really good story (sigh) it was- it was all centered on Arthas. Let’s just be real. It was all centered on Arthas and it was all about him and how people relate to him, so the very few instances that you had of women really moving and shaking the story were still tied to Arthas.

Tzufit: Yeah, and this is something that we saw especially in that final patch where we got the three Icecrown dungeons and most especially in Halls of Reflection where the Horde are taken through by Sylvanas and the Alliance are taken through by Jaina. So we have Jaina and Sylvanas who are the most powerful women in Warcraft in terms of the women who we see regularly. I mean, obviously, we’ve got some other movers and shakers who probably have a little bit more power than they do, but in terms of our factions they’re the two major players, and what we see throughout Wrath of the Lich King and most especially in Halls of Reflection and then on into the Icecrown Citadel raid is Sylvanas and Jaina living their lives being motivated exclusively by things that are tied up to Arthas.

Apple Cider: It made me really angry because you have such really depressing endings for both women, Sylvanas in particular if you’ve read the mini-story- like, faction leader story that was up on the website. We can include a link to that in the show description. She ends up throwing herself off the top of Icecrown, because I guess that was an appropriate response and I guess they had to Maiev her out of existence or try to, at least.

Tzufit: (Laughing) Oh, god, no, don’t make that a verb! That’s so wrong!

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard)

Tzufit: Like, if we’re gonna make Maiev a verb it has to be- it has to be something way more badass than that.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) (Tries to speak) (Can’t speak, continues laughing) But, it’s the same thing that this- that Sylvanas’s ultimate destiny prior to what we now know to be Cataclysm- it felt like her ultimate destiny was to just follow Arthas now that her revenge was over, that- that meant her story was over, which is complete [edited] but then on the other hand you have Jaina who a lot of players gave her flack for it because she basically spent the entire expansion kind of-

Tzufit: Crying.

Apple Cider: Crying, because her goal with relation to the major Wrath story- I mean obviously her secondary story was to try and maintain peace between the Alliance and the Horde- but her main story was attempting vainly to see if there was some shred of humanity left in Arthas before she went all-in on the guy.

Tzufit: Yeah, and we definitely dissected that in the episodes where we talked about Jaina and in our episode about relationships-

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: -but I mean, I just want to reiterate- again-

Apple Cider: (Chuckling)

Tzufit: -because I’m still having those memories of, like, every time I raided in ICC and Jaina saying whatever dialog she says when you get off the gunship and everybody just being like, “God, shut up, Jaina, geez.”

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: Like, and that was my reaction at the time, too, you know? Like, it just- it makes so much sense that yes, she needs to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is nothing left to save in Arthas before they do something to him that’s, like, going to destroy every part of him. There’s no coming back from this.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: You know, in the final cinematic he talks about how there’s- he doesn’t see a light, he only sees darkness. Arthas is up [edited] creek without a paddle.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: And if she’s gonna leave him there, she needs to know that this is not Arthas anymore. This is not the guy she fell in love with.

Apple Cider: And to be fair, I think players forget that Jaina does not have the benefit of knowledge from the bigger story. The last time Jaina saw Arthas to some degree (chuckling) he was still a human being. She hasn’t seen him in, like, what? Ten years, at this point?

Tzufit: Umm… I think it’s a little less than that in game time, but the last time that she sees him is Stratholme which is like, “Hey, could we have a more emotionally charged moment, you know, to leave it on?” That’s huge. It’s devastating, and so, yeah, she needs to know because, like, she never got a chance to forgive him for that. She probably doesn’t really forgive herself completely from walking away from him, and not knowing whether she could have made the situation end up any differently.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: So, yeah, she needs to know without any doubt what’s left of him and what’s not left of him.

Apple Cider: Yeah, because she’s probably- I mean, we could probably guess that she’s heard reports that he came back, killed his father, things like that, like-

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider: You know-

Tzufit: I think it’s safe to say that’s common knowledge at that point.

Apple Cider: Yeah, maybe, but then he goes off to Northrend and then there’s probably nothing. She does not hear from him, there’s- there’s just nothing, and it- you know, like, so- any reasonable person would try and suss out if there’s still an Arthas left in there before utterly demolishing him, so the two biggest players in Wrath of the Lich King that are women, you know, to that story, are tied to Arthas and it’s all about him and those stories are central- you know, like, they’re satellites to the giant gaping vortex that is Arthas’s story.

Tzufit: (Laughing) And just to touch on Sylvanas once more, before we move on, there’s no- there’s no doubt, there’s no question, when you read that short story. Sylvanas is jumping off the frozen throne intending to kill herself. There is no- there’s nothing else that’s supposed to happen there, and it would’ve worked had it not been for the Val’kyr coming in and saving her, which is, you know, where that whole pact or whatever is going on with them, that’s where that contract starts, but Sylvanas was only holding on long enough to see Arthas dead and the second that happened she has nothing left to live for. She has no desire to keep on going, so she tries to commit suicide. That’s what happens.

Apple Cider: And given what we talked about in our earlier episodes about the Lich King’s story as it- or, Arthas, as it relates to Sylvanas being a potential rape allegory, the idea of her getting her revenge and then throwing herself to kill herself is very very creepy.

Tzufit: Yeah!

Apple Cider: Let’s not make a mistake about it.

Tzufit: Hugely, hugely problematic. So the other thing that we really noticed when we were trying to go back through and look at Wrath and think about who are the big movers and shakers, who are the NPCs that we really remember, and, you know, that really inspired us, who we thought really were cool along the way, and the thing that I know I started to realize as I’m going through zone by zone in my head, thinking, “OK, so, like, who are the major questgivers there, who are the NPCs you really interact with,” and I realized that a VAST majority, MUCH more than I would have expected, or much more than I think we see later on, especially in some place like Pandaria, SO MANY of the big deal NPCs in Wrath are men.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Absolutely, I mean, Bolvar Fordragon? Absolutely.

Tzufit: And not even just major lore NPCs like Bolvar, so many questgivers along the way who are, you know, of varying levels of importance- they’re just a lot of guys, and, you know, I wonder whether some of this was because- Northrend is very much a military operation, right? Like, we’re going there in force, we’re basically declaring war on the Scourge and invading their homeland to try and protect ourselves, whatever, and at that point in time, certainly it’s swayed a little since then, I wonder if part of what was going on there is that the people designing the quests were like, “Yeah, this is a military operation, so that should probably be a dude NPC.”

Apple Cider: Mmhmm, yeah. It’s- [glitch sound] which is hilarious because you do have military women like Lynore Windstryke, who’s part of the Seventh Legion, she’s the Grand Commander. You have- but, like- and you have a couple of other women, especially Horde-side, like we talked about last week, Gorgonna and- I mean, there are women there, they’re just not a large majority of the people that are really doing a lot of things, with the exception of maybe the Kirin Tor. There’s a lot of high ranking women in the Kirin Tor.

Tzufit: Yeah, but you’ve still got Rhonin to make sure those ladies don’t-

Apple Cider: YEAH!

Tzufit: -get out of control, so.

Apple Cider: Poor Modera. She’s gotta deal with all those icky men in the Kirin Tor.

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Apple Cider: Same with Jaina. (Laughing) But yeah, it really feels like many many many many of the faces in Wrath were all men. We’re dealing with high level characters like Bolvar and Tirion Fordring, who makes a comeback because of his, you know, the sword. That sword, whatever, you know, Ashbringer-

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Whatever the [edited] that is. (Laughing hard) You know? And then you have- um, you know, like, the leader of the death knights is a guy, the leader of the Alliance- like, the leaders of the Alliance are mostly all men in this story. The Horde, it’s now Saurfang- well, you know, until he dies, and- who else? I mean, Thrall is still in the picture, Garrosh is in the picture now.

Tzufit: Garrosh is just starting to be in the picture, yeah.

Apple Cider: So it’s, like, yeah.

Tzufit: And then you have, like, [glitch noise] who’s doing all the stuff up in Ulduar.

Apple Cider: Yeah. So- [glitch noise]

Tzufit: Yeah, it’s just- it’s just very very male-dominated.

Apple Cider: In an already male-dominated story, mind you.

Tzufit: Right.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) So it’s like- (Laughing)

Tzufit: Yeah, and that’s a great point, too, because, like- so if we’re getting on them about the fact that part of the problem is that you’re using pre-existing lore and that’s gonna mean that you’re locked into a couple of decisions. Like, you know, obviously the major impact in this story is gonna be Arthas, and he’s a guy, and you’re gonna keep him a guy. OK, fine, but when you’re doing that kind of stuff, I would argue that it’s even more important for those roles of the questgivers who are such a big part of what we as players interact with and remember, when we’re going through an expansion? They should absolutely be filled in with women, at that point, or with any kind of diverse characters because if you’re already frontloading the story with a bunch of guys, which is certainly the case in Warlords as well, then it’s even more essential that you pack those NPCs, where you actually do have an option, with something other than white dudes.

Apple Cider: Yeah, and I mean- they’re- I mean, counterpoint, there are some women. Like we said, there are some women in Wrath. One of the questgivers that I always try to do her quest when I’m actually doing Wrath content is Sasha. She is part of the- like, she’s part of that whole Silverbrook Worgen storyline that you do in Grizzly Hills, and she- I thought she was really really cool because it is a very rare story that you have a woman who is very capable and is leading you through a story, especially in Wrath, and she’s doing it for a sister, like, a little girl. Daughters are not big in (laughing) the World of Warcraft universe.

Tzufit: Well-

Apple Cider: So I thought that that was a really- I thought that that was actually a really sweet sort of antithesis to some of the stories in Wrath overall.

Tzufit: I also was always a fan of Stars’ Rest obviously, because that’s a camp almost entirely made up of ladies, and I think it’s not unrelated to the fact that most of them are Night Elves, but…

Apple Cider: Yeah, you could also say that about Camp Oneqwah which is in Grizzly Hills as well, and it’s mostly women Tauren, I believe? There’s also, um, another woman that was a considerable part of at least a bunch of quests in Dragonblight and the Death Knight starting zone, that is High Lord- or, uh, Grand General at this point, she got a promotion, Abbendis. She got bumped up to create the new Scarlet Onslaught in Dragonblight.

Tzufit: Yeah, and it’s definitely not unique to Abbendis but I think the thing that’s always an issue for me when it comes to the Scarlet Crusade or the Scarlet Onslaught higher-ups is that, you know, fundamentally, the whole thing is a giant ruse, right? Because they’re actually being controlled by demons.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: So it’s like, alright, well, here are these people in very high positions of power, but they actually don’t have a [edited] clue what their organization is actually doing under wraps, so.

Apple Cider: Yeah, that’s- that was kind of the whole prize aspect to that particular story, because yeah, it is completely them being controlled YET AGAIN by a demon, except this time it’s actually a big well-known guy, so, um… (Chuckling) And you’re definitely not- you’re not- like, High Lord Abbendis, she is not presented in a particularly flattering, positive light, even for a villain. She is pretty much labeled [edited] for having these quote-unquote “visions” which is basically her being controlled by the demons to come to Northrend, so, yeah. Not exactly a positive representation, but at least, you know, some representation. Plus, we also have the Dragons, which we’ll be talking about a little bit later in the show. We have Ysera, we have Alexstrasza, we have Chromie, we have, um, you know, that lady that’s representing the Black Dragonflight-

Tzufit: Yeah, what is her name? I just thought about that!

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: I’m like- I’m mentally going around the top of Wyrmrest Temple, there, going, “Yeah, there’s that one lady.”

Apple Cider: She had a name but it wasn’t a Dragon name, which is why I can’t remember it.

Tzufit: Oh, well that’s funny.

Apple Cider: Yeah, so- (Laughing) but she- she really wasn’t- she really wasn’t a- she was just a- she was just basically a FedEx questgiver, though, she basically just told you to go to the Dragon cave.

Tzufit: Yeah, and then once you got into where the Black Dragonflight cave was, that was all a guy who was in charge of that area.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Apple Cider: So we do- we do have some women, but they’re really not considered (chuckling) very, uh-

Tzufit: They’re not big parts of the story, you know? Not in the way that Tirion or Bolvar or Arthas is a big part of the story.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Although, side note: Scarlet Onslaught makes a really hilarious slang term for your period.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: So we got one good thing (laughing) out of the Scarlet Crusade.

Tzufit: So, another thing that we couldn’t help but notice as we were going through is that in terms of NPC representation, in terms of actual models- so, we have Vrykul that have fully animated and modeled women, we have Tanuka who have the female Tauren models which were pre-existing, and other than that-

Apple Cider: Nothing.

Tzufit: Yeah. (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing) We have one NPC race- one, ONE- one NPC race that has fully fleshed out animated models and that is it. You know?

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider: You know, kind of- aside from the races where it’s not immediately apparent that they have gender, like the Nerubians.

Tzufit: Yeah, the Nerubians are interesting because there are definitely different models there, there are certainly different workers and casters and warriors, but it’s very unclear whether any of that is supposed to show a gender differentiation or not.

Apple Cider: Yeah. So, it’s kind of not relevant because we really can’t tell. It’s kind of like the Mantid, basically.

Tzufit: Mmhmm, yeah, and see, for me, this is especially aggravating in Wrath because of a lot of- a lot of the lore that we’re dealing with. So, Wrath is where we first- we get a little h- we get a couple hints of this along the way in prior  expansions, but Wrath is the first place where we get a fully- excuse the pun- fleshed out idea- (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: -of what the Curse of the Flesh is, and we get a full explanation of that, right? So it’s basically the Titans created these- all these different races to do specific things in Azeroth, so, like, the Dwarves were there to carve out areas under the stone, and so on and so forth. So the Titans create all these different races, and then because the Old Gods were already there on Azeroth and already kind of working their tentacles into things or whatever, they have started corrupting these races that the Titans create, and the way that they do that is through something called the Curse of the Flesh, which all the races that the Titans had created were kind of very stone and, you know, they didn’t have- they didn’t have flesh and blood. So what the Old Gods do is that they curse them, and that turns them into the races that they are today, the Humans descended from the Vrykul, the Dwarves descended from the Iron Dwarves, the Gnomes descended from Mechagnomes, and so on and so forth, and- here’s my thing about that.

Apple Cider: (Chuckling)

Tzufit: With the exception of the Vrykul, who do have men and women, and who are kind of an anomaly anyway because they’re the only race that we see in what is supposedly their original form and they are not stone, there’s kind of lore speculation out there as to whether there were stone Vrykul before the ones that we eventually see in-game, nobody seems to know the answer to this though. But anyway, with the exception of the Vrykul, who have both men and women, every single other race, when they were created by the Titans, only has a male model, meaning that women only come into this through the Curse of the Flesh.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Ohh, yeah. And we- I mean, we talked about that when we talked about the Mogu, too, cause we believe that’s what happened with the Mogu is they didn’t get women until they were not stone anymore.

Tzufit: Right, and that does seem to be the case from what I was looking at for today’s episode. So the Mogu were created by the Titans to defend the Vale of Eternity, and they looked the way they do now, more or less, where they’re stone Mogu, and it’s only during that time period where they have the Curse of the Flesh and there are women running around, apparently, that that whole thing happens.

Apple Cider: Mmhmm. Yeah, it’s- (Sigh) it’s really disappointing that that’s a thing, and it really felt that, like- Wrath had so much cool stuff, and they couldn’t model any other NPC race besides the Vrykul- and the Vrykul feel like they’re trying to make, like, the First Race sort of analogue-

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider: -in the game? Like, they’re, you know, giants and it feels very much like- I mean, let’s be honest, Northrend is basically Blizzard’s love letter to Norse mythology.

Tzufit: Oh, yeah.

Apple Cider: Everybody knows that. So, Vrykul feel like, you know, Viking-ish and very, like, First Race of Anything and that the other Titan creations were to be workers or to be helpers and things like that, whereas the Vrykul got the ability to be, like, real people. So, OK- it makes sense that they would have a male and a female because for, you know, the reasons of procreation, things like that, OK, I get that, but yeah, none of the other Titan helpers could be default female models? That wasn’t a thing? And the idea that a corruption of the Titans’ perfect plan is when you get the female model, and it’s ONLY because that’s how races keep on going because of procreation? It’s really gross, and I don’t like it.

Tzufit: Right, and I think that- I mean, I definitely don’t think somebody at Blizzard sat down- and I hope somebody at Blizzard-

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard)

Tzufit: -didn’t sit down and say, “Man, you know how evil and imperfection got introduced into the world of Azeroth? It was through the Curse of the Flesh and the fact that women can exist now.”

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: Which, I mean, obviously that’s gonna be tied into LOTS of other mythology that’s gonna get lumped into that, so you can see the progression of where that comes from, but I don’t think any of that necessarily factored into what’s going on here. I think it simply was one of those things where a decision was made or the alternative wasn’t even thought of or discussed. Like, hey, maybe there should be male and female Iron Dwarves. Maybe there should be male and female Troggs or Mechagnomes, you know, whatever. And because they did that, because of that omission, all of a sudden you have this setup where it’s like, “So, what are you guys saying here?”

Apple Cider: Yeah, and I- I understand to some degree that two models, two entirely independent models, is development time, but-

Tzufit: I tell you what, I’m not gonna give you- I’m not gonna give that to them on this one, and here’s why.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Because the Iron Dwarves are just [edited] re-colored Dwarves.

Apple Cider: Yeah, that’s true.

Tzufit: You know? Like-

Apple Cider: Like, they’re slightly souped-up Dwarves.

Tzufit: Exactly. There’s really nothing different about the model, the same is true for the Gnomes, like- this is not creating an NPC from scratch or even, you know, building an NPC on top of an existing race’s skeleton. This is literally just re-coloring a model, so…

Apple Cider: But-

Tzufit: Sorry!

Apple Cider: -As I was gonna continue!

Tzufit: Oh. Sorry… (Laughing)

Apple Cider: (Laughing) As I was going to continue, the fact that a- that male bodies, male models, are the persistent and continuous default is the bigger problem. At no point have we really seen an entirely female NPC race, have we? I wanna say that we haven’t.

Tzufit: Hmm… Aside from, like, the Val’kyr, but, you know, who are really just Vrykul and there’s other stuff going on there… Um… I don’t think so.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: I’m sure if there is, someone will tell us. (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: But-

Apple Cider: Every NPC race that has female models- particularly that aren’t ones that are just reskins of player models, like, so, you know, High Elves and things like that- they all have male models, too, so look at Naga, things like that.

Tzufit: Harpies. (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Harpies! Yes! OK, there’s one. There is one NPC race that has only female models. AND-

Tzufit: And it’s Harpies.

Apple Cider: And it’s Harpies, and they have a very sexual design, so… gotta say it, Blizzard, not doing a great job. (Laughing)

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard) And- so- (Sigh) we talked about the fact that it was- it’s very much Norse mythology, they really tried very hard to tie the Titans to Norse mythology. I mean, the Titans themselves are very heavily cribbed from, like, Greek and Norse mythology themselves, so the idea that the Titans just create a bunch of helper dudes to run around, that- and then that the corruption is women- is problematic, but let’s look at the Titans themselves, because Titans got really heavily featured in this expansion in particular, because we get to go to one of their [edited] dungeons.

Tzufit: Yeah. Really heavily- it’s funny to say that, because the Titans are extremely heavily featured in Wrath, but we still never see any of them. (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Yeah. (Laughing)

Tzufit: So…

Apple Cider: Yeah, we don’t actually see any of them, but their influence and lore gets heavily featured in Wrath, up until this point because prior to this, you didn’t really hear about the Titans other than a couple of Titan watchers, you know, in Uldaman we have Ironaya, you have Maiden of Virtue in Karazhan, and then the questline at the end of Uldaman which is, you know, the one where you actually learn what the Curse of the Flesh actually is.

Tzufit: Right, and of course Uldaman is also a very big titanic structure of some kind. I don’t think we necessarily know what was going on down there in the way that we know exactly what Ulduar’s function was, but still, there was some pre-existing stuff, but we never get it as directly and as clearly, I think, as we do in Wrath.

Apple Cider: Yeah, you not only have the storyline that involves Algalon and Loken and things like that, with Ulduar, but you also have Sholazar Basin being kind of like the fertile ground of the Titans as well, which is why it is a jungle in an entirely icy continent. (Laughing)

Tzufit: Oh, oh, and I’m sorry, did you say fertile ground?

Apple Cider: Yes!

Tzufit: Because here is an interesting thing-

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Because there happens to be an avatar of one of the Titans who’s hanging out over there in Sholazar Basin, which, yes, as you’ve said, is very fertile ground, very nature-y, very things-are-growing, life is happening here, etcetera etcetera. Well, interestingly enough-

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: -there is only one female Titan, and her name is Eonar, you will hear Freya invoke Eonar’s name a couple of different times in-game, and for example I think the trees that you have to kill in the Freya encounter in Ulduar are called Gifts of Eonar so.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: So Freya is obviously the Titanic Watcher who corresponds to Eonar and interestingly enough she’s the one who’s hanging out there in fertility central.

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard) Yeah.

Tzufit: Also! Also going along with that whole thing- as you guys probably know, each one of the Titans gifted a member of the Dragonflight with their specific power and their ability. That’s how the Dragon aspects got so powerful in the first place, prior to whatever the [edited] happens at the end of Dragon Soul. Who knows. But, each Dragon aspect is given a gift from a specific Titan, and, you know, I bet- I bet you guys can guess, I bet you can, who Eonar gave her gift to.

Apple Cider: Umm… is it… Alexstrasza?

Tzufit: (Gasp) DING DING DING!

Apple Cider: That is so shocking and surprising!

Tzufit: Exactly!

Apple Cider: I never would have guessed that one.

Tzufit: (Laughing hard)

Apple Cider: Yeah, I- the Titan are the creator gods of the entire worlds- we know that there are multiple worlds in the universe. They’re the creators, and yet there’s only one woman and she seems to be the domain of the life and fertility just like Freya and- it really feels that among the Titans, there really aren’t a lot of instances of women and it seems to follow suit with all of the races that they created, hence why the Curse of the Flesh thing is so [edited] bizarre.

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider: Like, you have a life creator Titan, and yet everything that you create are basically golem-like races that don’t actually procreate? But you somehow have a Titan for it, and yet that stuff only comes around when they are cursed by the Old Gods.

Tzufit: Yeah, that’s such a good point.

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard)

Tzufit: Like, how does Eonar feel about all this. I wanna know.

Apple Cider: Yeah, like, where is Eonar in all of this stuff? So, that- number one, that doesn’t make any sense. Number two (chuckling) you know, so it’s like, yeah, where are they going with this? They didn’t seem to really do any sort of due diligence with making it logically consistent in the slightest, PLUS might I add that a lot of stuff regarding Titan creation and Titan watchers is still really problematic. Like, the only time the female models are used seems to be very specific things, like we said fertility, but then we also have these Maidens. The Maidens are like Titan protectors.

Tzufit: Constructs, I think you could probably call them.

Apple Cider: The Maiden of Virtue is assigned to Karazhan to basically be like a giant brothel mother? I don’t know how to actually describe her real job, but-

Tzufit: Maybe she’s balancing out all the sexy things that are happening in Karazhan, I don’t know.

Apple Cider: Yeah, so she’s kind of like a Titan nun, so OK.

Tzufit: (Laughing hard)

Apple Cider: Um, so yeah, OK, whatever, that’s weird. (Laughing) Number two, we have Maiden of Grief who is one of the right-hands of Loken, but Loken forces her against her will to protect the Halls of Stone from being taken over or reclaimed because Loken has gone cuckoo for coconuts, and so he basically forces her against her will to beat up anybody that comes in, including her friends. So, that is why she’s called the Maiden of Grief, because she actually takes her sorrow of having to fight her friends and allies violently against her will, and-

Tzufit: Yeah. I wanna- if it’s OK, I wanna hop back to Eonar for just a moment.

Apple Cider: Yeah, let’s do that.

Tzufit: Cause there’s two other things I wanna point out. So, first of all, again, Eonar the only female Titan. In addition to that, she is the consort of Aman’Thul, who is the- I think he’s kind of the head Titan, he’s the brother of Sargeras, he is the person who bestows his power on Nozdormu, so he’s got sort of time-y stuff under his jurisdiction. So, she’s the consort of Aman’Thul, so the only lady in the pantheon has to be tied to one of the dudes in the pantheon, AND on top of that- again, so I said that she blesses Alexstrasza. She also- so there’s only one other female Dragon aspect, Ysera. Eonar also blesses Ysera.

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard)

Tzufit: (Laughing hard)

Apple Cider: OK.

Tzufit: Uh-huh, yeah.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Cause you gotta- you gotta have the ladies-

Tzufit: They gotta stick together, I guess.

Apple Cider: Yeah, exactly. (Laughing)

Tzufit: There’s no commingling of the blessings from the Titans.

Apple Cider: But that doesn’t- OK, so- (Sigh) so she’s the Titan patron of all life, Alexstrasza, OK, she’s the Lifebinder, I get that- How does she bless Ysera?

Tzufit: This is my guess, OK- from my druid-y past. (Chuckling) I would think that because the Emerald Dream- so Ysera’s power essentially is that she guards the Emerald Dream, and the Emerald Dream is sort of the Titans’ perfect vision of Azeroth, basically, so I would think that because that’s tied into life, also, that’s how you could explain why Eonar gifts both Alexstrasza and Ysera.

Apple Cider: OK.

Tzufit: I mean, I’m not saying it’s a good argument, I’m just telling you what I think it is.

Apple Cider: (Chuckling) Now, here- here’s the interesting thing from the RPG- again, the RPG has been considered pretty non-canon for quite a while, but it’s said that- OK, Aman’Thul’s consort had had a long, bitter feud with Sargeras before the latter’s fall from grace because her presence and personal strength exacerbated the conflict between Aman’Thul and his brother.

Tzufit: Oh my god, it’s like Malfurion and Illidan, like, all over again.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: DO SOMETHING ELSE! WHYY?!

Apple Cider: (Gasping laugh) I love it. It’s so terrible. (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Wailing then laughing)

Apple Cider: So yeah. (Laughing) Good times, good times. (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Ohh, so yeah, I mean, even the Titans, despite the fact that they are Norse mythology lite, they’re not even that respectful to Norse mythology considering the fact that Norse mythology has many many many women goddesses and they’re on the same level as somebody like Loki or Thor or Odin.

Tzufit: Right! Well, and then- here’s the thing, like, obviously you’re not gonna steal directly from Norse mythology.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: But if you’re gonna do kind of a riff on that theme, then just put a couple more [edited] ladies in there and don’t make them consorts to a bunch of the dude Titans!

Apple Cider: Yeah. There’s only real two women bosses in Ulduar and that is Freya, so, you know, fertility thing, and then Auriaya who is pretty much a [edited] cat lady librarian joke. That’s great. I love that.

Tzufit: Mmhmm. Well, and let’s talk about the one other sort of lady raid boss in Ulduar.

Apple Cider: OK.

Tzufit: OK, so as you all probably know if you’ve done Ulduar, when you get down to the final room and you’re like, “Yeah, we’re gonna fight Yogg-Saron, before you fight Yogg-Saron or before you see Yogg-Saron in his weird maw form (chuckling) you see a lady in the middle of the room who’s a Vrykul lady and her name is Sara, and the speculation on this is that, so Yogg-Saron is a Lovecraft reference, and Sara was the name of Lovecraft’s mother and so the whole sort of backstory on that is that supposedly Lovecraft avoided relationships with women because he was super dependent on his mother and that there was just weird Norman Bates type stuff or whatever going on there. So, this is potentially the reason why Sara is named Sara, and- I mean, I have to say it’s a little interesting that, you know, the big scary giant evil Old God who’s been whispering to us throughout the entire continent and making us think terrible things about ourselves and our companions takes on a female avatar.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Although, my speculation for why he did that in particular is because of the notion that in order to drive us to the heart of Ulduar to break him out of his prison, he uses the idea of a woman being tortured as suitable motivation for people to come and find him.

Tzufit: Right. That’s true. I think there’s also perhaps- and this might be giving a bit too much credit or a bit of a stretch, but- so Yogg-Saron is the god of death, and certainly there have been a lot of male categorized gods of death throughout mythology, but you also have the idea of the Elder Crone, you know, in a lot of different mythologies, so you can kind of see why you could have a death god who identifies more with a female avatar than a male. That’s all.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: There’s a lot of- (Laughing)

Apple Cider: It’s weird, and- but interestingly enough, that- Sara turns into a- doesn’t she turn into a Val’kyr? Once you actually start the fight?

Tzufit: I don’t think so.

Apple Cider: Hmm. I thought she turned into something.

Tzufit: It’s been a while, but I don’t think so. I think she just turns into Yogg.

Apple Cider: It’s been a very long time. (Laughing)

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Cause it’s- no, OK! Sara is the Vrykul avatar of Yogg-Saron who assists player during phase one of his encounter. After revealing her true form, she transforms into a Val’kyr!

Tzufit: OK, alright!

Apple Cider: Becoming hostile and attacking players for the remainder of the fight.

Tzufit: Wow.

Apple Cider: That’s interesting.

Tzufit: Guess it’s been a while since I did Yoggy then.

Apple Cider: No-one ever looks up above Yogg during that fight.

Tzufit: Point.

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: You gotta keep an eye on your sanity. Eyeroll.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) But that would- that’s- I mean, that’s also- that would be kind of an interesting point is why a Val’kyr that’s sort of the province of Arthas- why is that there? You know, during the Yogg-Saron fight.

Tzufit: Yeah it’s- it’s interesting how all that kind of gets warped together, and there are other Vrykul in Ulduar. There are a bunch of them right before you go into Hodir, for example, so- and, really, actually kind of throughout. (Chuckling)

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: So, yeah. Yeah, it’s interesting how that all gets tied together and- you know, but also Vrykul show up in really bizarro places. Like, they show up on the warship fight in Dragon Soul for literally no apparent reason.

Apple Cider: Hmm. Yeah, that is kind of weird.

Tzufit: It’s basically like we want these to be humans but we want them to look more badass than that human, I think.

Apple Cider: Yeah. It’s- well, if Yogg is the god of death, and the Val’kyr have very obvious necromantic powers, you could speculate that the Val’kyr helping out Arthas is the result of Arthas’s proximity to Yogg-Saron, not the other way around.

Tzufit: Yeah, I mean, that’s certainly possible. And I think- I dunno, it’s always kind of hard to sort out the allegiances. So, like, you know that the Scourge and the Burning Legion hate each other, OK, fine, but where do the Old Gods fall into that whole issue?

Apple Cider: Yeah.

Tzufit: And I think that part’s not especially clear or maybe that- you know, maybe it’s kind of the enemy of my enemy is my friend at that point.

Apple Cider: I always knew that there was speculation that Arthas’s descent and coming to Northrend was really the machinations of the Old Gods, if that’s not outright stated somewhere, and somebody can correct us on that.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: I know that somebody will! Um, but there has been speculation that one of the reasons that Arthas kind of falls into his spiral of madness once he does get to Northrend is because of the Old Gods, so it would make sense.

Tzufit: Hmm.

Apple Cider: Anyways, tangent.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: So yeah, went off on a little bit of a tangent, but the Titans have done a lot for Wrath and still fall into this problem of a very large noticeable lack of representation. However, since we did talk about the NPC races and how the Vrykul were so unique by having fully animated modeled women, I think there is a reason why they have fully animated model women.

Tzufit: (Laughing hard)

Apple Cider: It’s a very specific reasons why they have all of those things, and that is because Wrath has- due to the fact that they are trying to ape Viking and Norse mythology, Norse society to some degree, Wrath has an entire quest area that is entirely dominated by women and you’re like, “Oh my god, Tzufit and Apple Cider Mage, how could you possibly forget an entire questing area in Wrath that’s dominated by women? You know, after you just spent most of the episode saying that Wrath was completely not full of women!”

Tzufit: Oh, listeners, it’s like you don’t know us at all.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: So no, we definitely did not forget about the Hyldnir, and we were just saving them because they are certainly worthy of their own bullet point, as it were.

Apple Cider: (Laughing) Yeah. Now, it’s- I really feel that it’s- it is interesting. It is very much cribbing from Viking stuff. They’re- you know, shieldmaidens, women who were capable warriors, that is something that we know were factually actually- they actually existed, and in Norse mythology women- you know, Norse gods and things were considered fighters in their own right. That, you know, women were expected to be just as capable as men and things like that. So, this is- this is not really that surprising. But…

Tzufit: But… it- and this is one of those things that I don’t think I even realized on my first playthrough. Like, the first time I can remember questing through that area in Brunnhildar Village in Storm Peaks, so, you get sent up there by a Goblin lady down in the K3 town on a quest that is called They Took Our Men.

Apple Cider: (Laughing)

Tzufit: Which I always remember. So basically all of these Goblin men have been abducted and taken up to Brunnhildar village and you get up there and- you know, kind of- (Sigh) long story short, you end up disguising yourself as one of these lady Vrykul and joining in this competition that they have going on which is basically like they’re gonna find out who the biggest baddest lady Vrykul in their village is, and the first time I played through that I was like, “Well that’s kinda interesting!” and then I played through it again, or maybe a third or fourth time, and it finally dawned on me because I don’t know if I was just oblivious or not reading before, but there’s a reason why they’re doing this.

Apple Cider: Yeah, and that’s because they’re all competing to be at the side of Thorim and to marry him because as you remember if you did any of the quests in Storm Peaks, Thorim’s wife Sif is dead and Loken killed her.

Tzufit: Yeah.

Apple Cider: Again, another, like, weird brother-wife rivalry thing? Again?

Tzufit: Again. Well, and the thing is that- so, Loken is the one who kills Sif, but the sons of Hodir, who I’m sure you all must remember doing their dailies at some point along the way (chuckling) they get framed for Sif’s death, and Thorim doesn’t find out until Halls of Lightning, I think, is when you go in and you kill Loken and there’s a whole long quest chain in Storm Peaks that culminates in you having to go in and kill Loken and that’s finally when Thorim finds out the truth, but prior to that the sons of Hodir have taken the blame, so now the whole thing is, “Well, somebody killed Sif, and Thorim needs a new wife.”

Apple Cider: Yeah, and here’s the thing, is it’s very possible that Sif also was a Hyldnir Vrykul that won the Hyldsmeet in order to marry Thorim before, because the territory’s called Sifreldar Village. So, was it made after her or whatever? Very possible.

Tzufit: Yeah, I don’t believe that we find that out anywhere. The only thing is that when we see her- cause, so Yogg-Saron conjures up this illusion of Sif when you fight Thorim in Ulduar, and part of what you have to do is kind of free him from that illusion, that’s part of the process of the fight, but when you see Sif’s model, she is a female Vrykul model, so it’s entirely possible that that’s exactly what happened.

Apple Cider: Which is kind of terrible, because the Sif of Norse mythology I believe did not come into marrying Thor in quite that manner.

Tzufit: (Chuckling)

Apple Cider: She was a god- like, the actual Sif was a goddess in her own right, and actually would sort of be the analog to Eonar herself because Sif was the earth goddess, she was the wife of Thor but she was also kind of an earth goddess in her own right, and so the fact that her placement in the Wrath mythology was potentially a woman that fought her way to marry Thor is kind of terrible. (Laughing)

Tzufit: There’s a lot of problematic [edited] that’s going on with the Hyldsmeet and with the Hyldnir village or with the Hyldnir in particular. So, yes, first of all, the whole thing is for the very great honor of marrying Thorim. But, on top of that, the idea that- kind of like somebody’s worst nightmare of what an all-woman kind of Amazonian society-

Apple Cider: Like matriarchy.

Tzufit: -would be. Yeah, exactly, because- so they’re abducting all these men from nearby villages, they fight with each other constantly, they’re very sort of, you know, sort of big, burly women, that’s what the model looks like, it’s just so- (bursts out laughing) so goofy. It’s really so goofy.

Apple Cider: Well, yeah, because it’s- it’s ba- whenever there is crowing about a matriarchy, it’s basically not a real matriarchy, it’s what men think women would do if they acted exactly like men. Matriarchies are never actually any different than patriarchies in terms of suppression, control, violence being used, whereas Blizzard puts that directly into the game with the Hyldsmeet except now they make the end goal of all of that to marry a dude. So, somehow they made the worst of both worlds and then sandwiched them together so that it was just a complete submarine of crap.

Tzufit: (Laughing) It really is! You’re right, it’s the worst of both aspects of it, so not only are we gonna take every possible horrible thing we can think of that would be true in a matriarchal society but on top of that they’re not doing this for themselves at the end of the day, they just want some sweet Thorim lovin’.

Apple Cider: Yeah. So- (Sigh) it’s really- I mean, it sucks because I feel like that particular string of quests was really fun because it does culminate in the Drakkensryd, which is the trial by Dragon riding and- come on, who doesn’t [edited] think that a [edited] trial by Dragon riding where you hop from one Dragon to the next with a spear in your hand is super super great? But the fact that it’s basically meant to serve you up to Thorim as a bride is really weird.

Tzufit: Well, one other- one positive thing that I can say about that questline is- so, you know, as I kind of alluded to, part of what you do is you disguise yourself and you become one of these Vrykul women who’s competing in the Hyldsmeet, and what’s really cool about that is obviously both male and female characters have to become female Vrykul.

Apple Cider: Yes!

Tzufit: Because, like, clearly it’s gonna be a little bit obvious that you’re not supposed to be there if you’re disguised as a dude Vrykul. Like, I’m- I’m pretty sure that would be a bit of a problem. So, what’s really interesting about that is that it turns something that women gamers experience all the time on its head, which is a lot of times depending on the type of game that we’re playing, we don’t have a choice to play as anything except a male avatar, and what’s really cool with the whole Hyldsmeet questline is that if you are a male player, playing as a male character, your avatar while you’re doing quests in this village is going to be a female Vrykul the whole time, and it really sort of spins that issue on its head, which I like a lot.

Apple Cider: Yeah, it’s basically how I felt when a bunch of dudes had to turn into a blue female Dragon when they got the legendary Dragonwrath. It was great. I could hear the tears, like, they’re just delicious, you know. (Laughing) But it’s like- so, yeah, when you do that whole quest chain, you turn into women, and it’s funny cause you persistently turn into a woman every single time that you go there.

Tzufit: Oh yeah. Even after the fact, even if you fly yourself through there right now, you will- like, as long as you’ve done that part of the questline, actually maybe even if you haven’t, so that those NPCs can’t attack you, you are going to turn into a female Vrykul if you’re in that village.

Apple Cider: Yeah. Um- it’s- and here’s an interesting note about that quest chain, is you getting entered into the Hyldsmeet in order to ascend to the top and go to see Thorim, is that’s all a machination from Loken who’s disguised as a woman as part of this quest chain.

Tzufit: Yeah. (Laughing)

Apple Cider: So it’s like- it’s like super subterfuge all around, it’s- I alwa- I found that really interesting. Obviously it’s a little bit of a dead giveaway who Lok’lira actually is, but-

Tzufit: (Laughing hard) Come on, Loki, you couldn’t think up another name?

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard)

Tzufit: Or Loken, I’m sorry. Obviously not the same thing.

Apple Cider: (Chuckling) But, uh- but yeah, and it’s kind of- again, it does turn a lot of things on its head, and it’s really interesting to see open aggressive female competition, but the fact that it’s basically skewed towards competing for a man plays a lot of really problematic tropes about women characters or women in general. It’s a very big thing that women are always expected- they’re competing over men’s affection, this is a really big thing that feminism tries to address is the fact that we have something cool like an entire village of female warriors just trying to kill each other in order to marry Thorim after his previous Hyldnir wife was killed or whatever between two brothers fighting over each other, um, is- it’s like- it’s problematic on top of problematic and it made me sad because it was a kind of really cool part of Storm Peaks, like I said, it culminated in a really amazing quest called the Drakkensryd and, you know, but if you really look at the story it’s just kind of more of the same.

Tzufit: I feel like I just listened to a really good song about this.

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard)

Tzufit: (Laughing hard)

Apple Cider: So… aanyway. We’ve hammered on that point. Um… So, we talked about the story, we talked about the Titans, last little bit that we wanted to kind of tackle- and I know that we’ve talked about this in previous episodes, but there’s a lot of Dragon presence in Wrath of the Lich King and a lot of them are women, this is true, like we said there’s Alexstrasza, there’s Ysera, there’s Chromie, there’s the unnamed Black Dragon woman that we cannot remember.

Tzufit: (Laughing)

Apple Cider: Um- (laughing) but the stories that involve Dragons in the background seem to be really…terrible and awful and it seems to be this Thing with the women Dragons in this game is there’s rape, there’s death, there’s people stealing their eggs or beating them into submission, I mean, you saw this everywhere from Borean Tundra to Alexstrasza to all of the Dragon shrines around the Dragon wastes. everything like that, all up until even, like, the fact that you had to fight Twilight Dragons and things like that, and then the Halion fight, like- every step of the way that you go, somebody is doing [edited] things to female Dragons.

Tzufit: Yeah, and I know the ones that particularly get to me in Wrath of the Lich King are all the Blue Dragons that have been raised from the dead by Arthas who- you know, who even knows how long these dragons have been dead? For a lot of them, they’ve been buried up in Icecrown or down in the Dragon wastes for how long, and Arthas comes along and is like, “Well, sorry about that nice peaceful slumber you’ve had for the last ten thousand years, I’m gonna go ahead and bend you to my will, raise you out of this grave, and make you fight a whole bunch of people.” So, you know, Sindragosa, obviously, the first one that comes to mind for me. Sapphiron, who’s a male dragon but again, still, same idea.

Apple Cider: Yeah. It’s- like, there’s really just not an end. And then if we look at the story from Borean Tundra, it’s basically you helping the Red Dragonflights to enrage Malygos by killing his consort and then Malygos taking the Red Dragon Keristrasza as his consort and breaking her, basically, as well. And then her dying.

Tzufit: Yeah, and in terms of Malygos’s gross history, I don’t know- I’m not sure if people generally know this or not, but  Sindragosa was actually one of Malygos’s consorts- in fact, his main consort, and what happens is that when everybody is betrayed by Deathwing, essentially, during the Dragon Soul- you know, that’s the point when a lot of Blue Dragons get wiped out. Sindragosa is mortally wounded by Deathwing at that point, and flies up to Northrend near Icecrown and she’s in an incredible amount of pain because- and the reason she flies up there is Dragons know that they’re supposed to go to Northrend when it’s time for them to die, that’s why there’s all these Dragon skeletons all over the Dragon wastes, they come home to their shrine, basically, to die there. So, Sindragosa instinctively flies toward Northrend, becomes too weak to fly anymore, and collapses somewhere near Icecrown. So she calls out for Malygos to help her and he never finds her in time, which is part of what supposedly has driven Malygos mad is losing so much of his family and so much of his flight when Deathwing did all this.

Apple Cider: Mmhmm, yeah. That’s interesting, I didn’t know that, but it does make a lot of sense, so- yeah, it’s like, it was kind of a capper to all of this Wrath discussion, is that, you know, even the women Dragons really do not have a good time of it at all. It just seems to be more torture and pain and suffering, you know, especially under the auspices of so many men in the story. (Chuckling)

Tzufit: Yup.

Apple Cider: So yeah, that was- I think we are pretty much done with our discussion of Wrath, and uh- I know there was- you know, there’s a couple things, like- I mean- it doesn’t seem like women just did- women just did not get to do the things that men got to do in the story, or suffered quite a different fate overall, and- you know, why Wrath? Why Wrath in particular? There are so many expansions we could have done the same thing, but it seemed like, for us, Wrath had kind of this interesting vortex of lack of women in the major story focused on a man, had these sort of weird anomalies, had a lot of intersecting lore that really makes it apparent that women are not always a good story consideration, and I wanna say that they’ve gotten a little bit better as the expansions have gone on, but now that we’re heading into Warlords of Draenor and revisiting Warcraft 3 lore, is it gonna be the same? Is it gonna be another Wrath?

Tzufit: Yeah. That’s really the concern at this point is- I agree that mostly they have gotten better, I think we did have more representation in Cataclysm, I think we definitely had more representation in Pandaria, but, you know, we’ve all said it, I’m gonna say it again, Warlords looks like a sausage fest, and-

Apple Cider: (Laughing hard)

Tzufit: -and, you know, it’s billed that way, it is called WarLORDS of Draenor, there are lots of dudes who are gonna be part of it, so if that’s what you’re running with because that’s what was pre-existing, OK but there’s lots of places to fill it in with really interesting diverse women NPCs, so do that.

Apple Cider: Absolutely.

Tzufit: Kay, so we have one iTunes reviewer who we wanted to thank this week, we got a five-star review from Bellatrixie who says, “Thoughtful, funny, incisive. Hosts balance coverage of serious issues with lighthearted banter and respect for their guests and listeners. Top notch.” Thank you very much, Bellatrixie, and we appreciate any and all reviews that people can put up on iTunes for us, and also on Stitcher.

Apple Cider: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for your awesome support and keeping the one-stars low. (Chuckling)

Tzufit: (Chuckling) As low as possible.

Apple Cider: Absolutely. Thank you for listening this week, and we will be back next week, we’re gonna have another great show. We’re going to have a pretty young guest on our show, probably the youngest we’ve ever had on our show, we’re gonna be talking to LornaCrowleys from Tumblr. She is an awesome fandom and lore guru and she’s also gonna talk to us a little bit about her experiences playing World of Warcraft since she was, like, nine, so should be-

Tzufit: Oh, wow!

Apple Cider: Should be really cool! And we will see you next time!

4 comments

  1. All female NPC race — Harpies?

  2. ligerwolf

    Wow! I had no idea about the whole Malygos, Sindragosa, and deathwing incident. Wish there was a storyline you could do for it…

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