Thursday, May 24, 2012

WoW Love in all its forms is no less intoxicating


Mataoka wrote a beautiful piece on Star-Crossed Lovers.  How it fired my imagination, and stirred the heart!  I know I'm a hopeless romantic and reading about the tragedy of unrequited and fateful love, I started thinking about what I REALLY thought about love in this game, and in particular, the love between characters in this game.


Take Illidan and Tyrande.  We all know he still loved her, after all he was carrying Memento of Tyrande on him when he died.  But it wasn't a jealous love - he wouldn't kill Malfurion for her love, which at least was a good thing.  It was a quiet, unrequited love, and perhaps this art best represents a dream of his, rather than Tyrande holding a torch for both brothers and having to choose one over the other.


However, the love between Tyrande and Malfurion is more a sweet eternal love.  Though Malfurion slept many years in the Emerald Dream, Tyrande was always true to him, held the torch for him.
"My heart sleeps in the Emerald Dream."
She would do anything to protect him.  Originally daunted by her task to protect the Kaldorei, with the support of Malfurion, she found the strength to uphold her task.  She even acknowledges that strength in a conversation with Illidan:
"Raw power is no substitute for true strength, Illidan.  That is why I chose your brother over you."

Image courtesy of Tzufit of Tree Heals go Whoosh


Thrall and Aggra, the typical conflict turned romantic love like a romance novel.  What started off as a bit of disappointment and disgust from Aggra towards Thrall in Throne of the Elements in Nagrand:
Aggra: I have heard you before. You are here to save your world; to learn from ours. Greatmother Geyah has charged me with instructing you, and as such, you will listen to me, Go'el.
Thrall: I have told you to call me Thrall.
Aggra: Yes I know, Go'el. Thrall is the leader of the Horde, but you are not here in that capacity. Look at you: At what you are wearing...  You say you have come to seek knowledge and understanding, but you are dressed for battle. That is why I question you and your willingness to do what must be done.
Thrall: My clothing?! Is that what this has come to now? We debate the merits of my clothing?
It turned into love and the absolute belief that your love can do anything, and be the great saviour of the world.  When all would have abandoned hope when Thrall was struck down with dark magic, Agra held hope that he could be saved, his spirit repieced from the 4 domains of the Elemental Plane.  And she was there, the whole time, urging us adventurers to save Thrall, calling his spirit back to her.  In Elemental Bonds - Doubt:
Thrall:I know your face...Aggra! Oh, my heart - can't you see? I am...nothing. Selfish...
all I've done... accomplished...all for the sake of pride alone. I am... unworthy of you...
Aggra:You are Go'el, Son of Durotan and Draka! Rightful Warchief of the Horde!  You are the orc who won my heart. Remember WHO YOU ARE!
And then in Elemental Bonds - Desire:
(2nd vision) Aggra:Another vision! I see Go'el, but...it...it's me. Was I his deepest desire? A mate with which to share his life... his burdens and his joys? Hear me, Go'el! You ARE NOT alone! I'm here with you - I will NOT let you go!
(3rd vision) Aggra:A final vision! Ancestors...could those be... our children? This was his deepest desire...to be a father? ...to have a family of his own...with me? Go'el never knew his parents... It was only a few years ago that he even found his people...I should have known this was what he wanted most. Oh, Go'el, hold on! I WILL free you! And you'll HAVE this life, I swear it!
And then in Elemental Bonds - Patience:
Aggra:GO'EL! Pull it together or we're all going to DIE!
Thrall:We are patient.
 Aggra:He did NOT just say that! Damn you, Go'el - WAKE UP! Don't let it end like this! We've come too far to fail now!
Thrall:We are patient.
Aggra:Oh, don't you tell ME to be patient, you green-skinned...
Thrall:Aggra...I heard your voice...calling me back... Where are we?
Aggra:You're almost home, my love. Our time is so brief. You will change again, Go'el - but I will find you! I'll NEVER give up on you!
Ah, gotta love their conversation, it did make me giggle.  But her love, commitment, determination are all there, a beacon for him to latch onto.  Sigh, I LOVE love stories.  So now we head to Elemental Bonds - Fury:
Thrall: Aggra... Navimie... I am... alive...
Aggra: Go'el, I thought I'd lost you...
Thrall: Aggra, my heart... you never gave up on me. I owe you my life... everything that I am.
Aggra: Well, you're certainly more talkative... But we must hurry back to the World Tree! The Dragon Aspects are waiting... and you, my love, have a world to save.
Thrall: Thank you, my friend. I can never repay your service or your friendship. Meet us back at the World Tree. There's something... I want you to witness. 
So then we are onto the wedding... so romantic!  So in Elemental bonds - The Vow:

Thrall: In the face of this cataclysm, I've seen how truly fleeting our lives can be. And I, for one, will not waste another second of mine. 
Aggra: What are you saying, Go'el? What is in your heart? 
Thrall: Aggra... though I was not born on Draenor, I have always tried to honor the traditions of our ancestors... I stand before you - Go'el, Son of Durotan, Son of Garad... and if you would have me, I would be your life-mate. For so long as I live, I will stand at your side... as you stood at mine. 
Aggra: I stand before you - Aggralan, daughter of Ryal, daughter of Sarrak... and I will proudly be your mate, Go'el... in this world or any other.
Awww, so sweet!!  Romance of the soppy kind is the best kind :)

Jaina by Dan Scott
OK, now we come to Jaina Proudmoore.  Most people know about her relationship with Arthas.  She was engaged to him at one stage.  However, Arthas questioned whether they were ready to be together, and he ended their relationship so Jaina could focus on her magic studies and he on his Lordaeron duties.  Poor Jaina, she was hurt by this but accepted it and when they were going to get back together again... the Scourge invaded.

On her Gold Coin, it says "Arthas, my love, please come back to me." And when you kill the Lich King when you're doing the Shadowmourne legendary chain, one of the items, Jaina's Locket, has written on the tooltip "Once it held her image. He always wore it close to his heart."  And there's that little dialogue at the end of Warcraft III between Arthas and Kael'thalas:

Arthas: Are you still upset about me stealing Jaina from you that one time, Kael?
Kael'thas: You've taken everything I've ever cared for, Arthas. Vengeance is all I have left.
So there was something between her and Kael'thas?  Kael fell in love with her while she was studying with Antonidas but their age differences were a concern for him (she was a teenager and he was a century or two old).  On Kael'thas' Gold Coin it says "That young apprentice Jaina is quite attractive for a human. I hope she recognizes my elegance and power."  The feelings were not returned though.

People ask what was between her and Thrall?  I thought it was a mutual respect, a deep abiding friendship, not a lover's love, but a friendship love.  But I could be wrong, after all, if you read the White Punch Card, it has 
01010100 01101000 01110010 01100001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01001010 01100001 01101001 01101110 01100001 00100000 01110011 01101001 01110100 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01100001 00100000 01110100 01110010 01100101 01100101 00101100 00100000 01001011 00101101 01001001 00101101 01010011 00101101 01010011 00101101 01001001  00101101   01001110   00101101   01000111
written on it which translates to "Thrall and Jaina sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G".  Cute :)

One thing that Matty was pondering was relationships that blossom within the world of Azeroth, and mentioned an article in The New York Times and transcribed by Matty - Love at first Kill.  These stories are not unique.  All around Azeroth there are great stories of people falling in love.  There's a blog dedicated to MMO Couples and their stories, written by Gabigirl.  Souglyy and Roshii are a recent example of friends/guildies who have known each other for a long time and suddenly being struck by Cupid's arrow - their story inspired poetry and movies from me!  Balinar and Pelemorra, another pair of guildies who met because they had World of Warcraft in common, inspired my How to Host a Wedding in WoW post.  Cymre and Coolidge also met online and are still going strong.  And featured in WowInsider's 15 minutes of Fame was another love story of a couple in their 40s who met in the game - their first meeting after months of talking to each other in game sounds typical of so many lovers in WoW:
Tell us what it was like to meet in person.
Ghrelsognn: ...We had been talking everyday for three to four months... exchanged pictures... talked about what we wanted out of life, short term and long term...We had total trust with each other. I wasn't scared – nervous, but I was anxious, excited and very happy that we finally were going to get to spend some time together.
Aleiriella: ...I could not wait to meet Ghrel in person... to hold him and tell him how much I loved him... I was not nervous at all... more anxious than anything... he was standing there waiting for me with flowers with a bit of a trembling smile..I ran into his arms and we kissed... and held each other for the longest time, not wanting to let go! It was a feeling that's hard to describe.
It sounds crazy to people who don't play a game, to understand how you can fall in love in a game.  But if you're both passionate about the same thing (the game) then it's easy to use that as your starting point.  You will always have that in common.  And the glitter and stars of online relationships mask the small imperfections (like the toilet seat, dirty dishes, and who left their coffee cup out here again!) that plague a more conventional, close proximity relationship.  And sometimes, I think that makes them better relationships.  Think about it, when you are in love in the game, you only have talking, behaviour within the game, and you can spend hours talking and getting to know the person.  When you meet in person, sometimes the looks can get in the way, you talk a little bit, then before long you're wondering when it's appropriate to kiss and then move onto those other... intimate things.  And the getting to know you can get swept under the carpet of hot passion at that point.  But the online way, the getting to know you slow way, gives you more time to build that anticipation, and human nature loves a thrill, the excitement, the longing and yearning.  Humans always yearn for something.  We always wish and dream.  Online relationships allow you to have those wishes, dreams and then every once in a while, they become reality.  Awwwwwww :)

But just as romantic attachments can be formed across cyberspace, so can deep friendships.  I count my friends that I've met in the game as good friends, close friends, and meeting them in person has always been exciting, and I am never disappointed.  Hell, meeting them in GAME is also highly exciting (or chatting online).  However, I find that friendships in WoW seem to end when the WoW relationship is gone (ie they stopped playing) so the friendship seemed to be all based around the fact that you had the game in common to hold your friendship together.  I suppose that's not always true, I do have friends who no longer play, but I admit, that the friendship is not the same as it was when we did have the game.  I still love them though, in that friendly way!  (Ewwww love, I hear all you friends cringing!!!)

OK, I've tortured you all enough with my love rantings!  Thanks for reading :)  And you can blame Matty for making me write this :)

3 comments:

  1. Navi, you are such a romantic! I didn't know that's what the White Punch Card said. Their friendship has always been one of my favorites in the game. Yay! I can comment as me again!

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  2. @TotA - YAY! you're back! I know, I'm a HOPELESS romantic :D

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  3. Me too, Navi! Brilliant post! But I cannot take any credit for inspiring it - it's all LOVE baby!

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