Saturday, 26 July 2014

What is Aggra doing on Draenor?

It all started back at the Blizzcon 2013, when someone asked if we are going to see Aggra in the next expansion, and Metzen saying we will not because it's more of a boy's trip, as he described it. I admit that was a poor choice of words on his part, but truth remains that whatever he said would not be good enough. That is not true, in fact had he said, we will be seeing Aggra on Draenor, nobody would press the matter further. At the time, I thought not seeing Aggra on Draenor is not such a huge loss. When Metzen said "boys trip" I was hoping that would mean we would see the old band back together wreaking havoc one more time: Samuro, Thrall, Nazgrel, Rexxar, Rokhan, and Chen Stormstout. I have my personal favourites after all.

But then we got War Crimes, and as it was revealed in the book, Aggra is once again pregnant. When I read that, I thought this was a perfectly good reason why she would not appear on the next battlefront we open. I thought that Metzen's response back at the Blizzcon was perfectly fine as he probably wanted to avoid spoiling any details that would be revealed in the novel. And now, we see a screenshot showing her prancing around on Draenor. Aside from the fickle nature Blizzard is in these days, I am really curious in what state is Aggra present. I will be frank, Aggra should sit this one out back in Orgrimmar, not being present in the war zone. First, because she is pregnant, second, because she might have already given birth. Even if Thrall might be called greatest shaman in the known universe, I doubt he can lactate.

To begin with, let us examine the current situation of the Horde leadership. The current Warchief is the troll Vol'jin, blood-brother of Thrall. And I am certain that even though Vol'jin is cunning he would not send both Thrall and Aggra on the suicide mission in order to cement his position. Thrall probably volunteered as it is, still thinking Garrosh is his responsibility. But Vol'jin does not betray his friends, but is vicious toward his enemies, and quite open about it. With that said, we can exclude Vol'jin as the reason why both Thrall and Aggra are present on the suicide mission that could leave their children parentless.

You can say whatever you want about the endurance and bearings of orcish females, but I am certain that one thing is for sure. When orcs go to war, at least one parent stays back home with the children. Simply because having parentless children is a burden to the orcish society. While they had clans in the past, it was the individual family that raised their children into future warriors and hunters, not the clan. They have an orphanage now in Orgrimmar, but I doubt they ever had it in the past.

Another thing to consider is Thrall's own history, and how he lost his parents. His parents took him with them to Doomhammer when they decided to warn the Warchief about Gul'dan. Even though their warning was timely, they were still ambushed on their way back by the Gul'dan's spies and killed. The only reason why Thrall survived was because the assassin's decided to leave him for the wolves, and other wildlife. After that, Blackmoore found him, and decided to raise him as a gladiator.

Knowing that, I cannot imagine Thrall would just calmly accept Aggra to accompany him on this journey. Even though he might have volunteered, he would not allow the same to Aggra. Simply because she is the mother of his children, and he would hate it if his children had to suffer the same fate he had, losing both parents. The argument could be made that nothing could ever happen to Thrall, he is after all Metzen's favourite. But if we take that route, then there is no reason why to even play the game any more, because good guys will win at the end in any case. This nihilistic approach only devalues the story of Warcraft.

Aggra could be using the time we spend on Draenor restoring Orgrimmar, supporting Vol'jin in his new role as the Horde Warchief. She could lead the orcs, she could actually try and reform her people into what Thrall tried to reform them into so long ago. All while keeping her children safe and secure in the heart of Kalimdor, away from any immediate threat that could endanger the future of their children. There is no win situation for Aggra and Thrall if you ask me. If they left their children behind, they are selfish and bad parents. If they took their two children with them, they are irresponsible, and thoughtless. And this is why one of them should have stayed back with the children.

Because Aggra was pregnant, maybe still is, she was a perfect candidate for staying back. While Thrall would be trying to save the world, she would be safe with their children. Allowing the former Warchief to focus solely on the mission at hand without worrying if his family is in any kind of immediate danger. A factor that could truly endanger this mission on Draenor, simply because everybody care more about their loved ones at the end of the day, than they do about their soldiers.

I understand what Blizzard is trying to do, showing that Aggra is strong, independent, female character. But the way they set to do it is plain wrong. It shows her more as capricious than strong, more irresponsible than decisive. They had a chance to do things differently, to play the long game, by not bringing Aggra to Draenor, and instead slowly showing through the patches what is going back home, what changes are taking place and who is responsible for them. They had a chance to make Aggra in the reformer of the orcish society, to show how orcs are changing, and that the Horde does not mean only orcs any longer. Instead she is probably once more there only for the ride, as a support cast of Thrall.

I might be wrong, but as long as she and Thrall are always together, one of them will be pictured as the supporting character instead of the main cast. And you can bet that Thrall will never be a support. This was the chance to make Aggra into something more, sadly it probably will not happen because Blizzard tried to calm the angry dragons on the Internet shouting how we lack female characters in World of Warcraft.

If you ask me, I would rather have quality over quantity. And if that is not achievable I would rather have ten different female characters prancing around on Draenor than have Aggra with us. She is pregnant, and we already saw in Mists of Pandaria with Dezco and Leza Dawnchaser, if we ever needed a proof, why you do not take a pregnant woman on the battle campaign, or an exploration mission.

#FemaleCharacters #Aggra #WarlordsOfDraenor

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