One of the things Blizzard has done with this expansion is brought in some stronger female characters, or made more of the ones who already existed in the game background. To those who wonder why it’s such a big deal, all I can say is that as a female player it makes me happy to see them, love/ hate them, and fight alongside them in game.
Here are some of my favourites:
Zaela, Warleader of the Dragonmaw Orcs, at least after the PCs have gotten involved. She’s badass but inexperienced and needs PCs to help her out. She likes the simpler things in life, evidenced in that she shows some interest in Garrosh. He may like her too, but it’s hard to tell.
Far more female characters seem to have love interests or romantic sides than male ones, I think. I assume Blizzard is going with the meme that it’s unmanly to be romantic, a particular heinous thing that society tends to tell young men.
The dragon queens, Ysera of the Green and Alexstrasza of the Red (we don’t know what happened to Alexstrasza’s consort in Cataclysm, he was with her during Wrath.)
I’m intrigued that dragons seem to like see through cloaks and string bikinis, who knew? If it was just Alexstrasza then you could accept it as a personal fashion fad but when it’s both of them it starts to look like a uniform.
Despite taking such a central place in Blizzard lore, none of the heads of the dragon flights tend to come over as remotely interesting. That doesn’t really change here, but it’s nice to see Ysera up and about.
Sylvanas, leader of the Forsaken, has been the poster girl for tough women in WoW since the game was released and continues to be pretty much front and centre.
If it’s unmanly for male characters to have love interests, it’s pretty much unwomanly for a female character not to. But then, she never really did conform to expectations. Although I do wonder if Koltira will emerge as a consort/ deputy of some description when she’s done with him.
I’ve seen other posters argue that she’s going insane in this expansion but frankly she and Garrosh actually do seem to have their shit together at the moment. She knows that with no way to reproduce, the forsaken will surely die out through attrition. And she’s found a way to replenish their numbers and is leading their armies to take back their old lands of Andorhal and Hillsbrad.
She also meets with an unfortunate (and fairly dumb) accident along the way, but hey, it was only a flesh wound.
The forsaken always raised an interesting issue for me as to who has the better claim on a piece of land – the guys who lived there before they were turned into undead, or the living guys who claim to be their heirs. Sadly WoW is not a great backdrop to explore this kind of legal hairsplitting.
And not only is she a strong leader, she’s controversial (does she mind control the new forsaken?) and she’s also ready to challenge her warleader by ignoring his commands whenever convenient. Will she make it to the end of the expansion? We can only hope. I’ll be gutted if she dies (again).
Therazane, the Stonemother is a friendly demigoddess whose favour you win via reputation quests. Given that PCs may have killed her daughter in Maraudon, she’s remarkably forgiving. And possibly even more.
I love what Blizzard have done with the character model here, she looks to be modelled on ancient earth goddess figurines, with the big boobs and big belly symbolising fertility. I’m not so sure that boobs really work on an earth elemental but hey, whatever works.
I also like that she’s one of the few examples in gaming of a friendly, powerful female figure who doesn’t have a supermodel/ porn star figure.
Also (screenshot added) I rather liked Lorna Crowley, who leads you in an commando assault on an airship in the worgen starting area. Did you know that the name Lorna was invented by R D Blackmoore when he wrote Lorna Doone? (edited to add: Or not, thanks Dragon for pointing this out.)