Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Crones

Right now I'm writing a text concerning Planescape Torment and forgiveness, and so I've come to be reacquainted with Ravel Puzzlewell, Night Hag of the Grey Wastes, puzzlesolver of puzzles that shouldn't be solved. It reminded me of the comparison that might be drawn between Ravel and Kreia, another one of Avellones creations, and realized that a third character might be added to that list.

Next time I play through Planescape Torment, Knights of the Old Republic 2 and Dragon Age, I should really take notes concerning three female characters - Ravel Puzzlewell, Kreia and Flemeth. These three might be referred to as "The Crones", and Chris Avellone himself refers to Ravel and Kreia (whom he created) as Crones. I find these three characters incredibly fascinating, and although I'm sure I'll replay PT and KOTOR2, I'm actually not as sure about Dragon Age, seeing as I'd rather replay Baldur's Gate 2 or perhaps play a new RPG instead. But yeah somebody should write something about these three liminal, incredibly powerful, individualistic witches of the wilds, whether the wilds be the outskirts of the planes, the dualistic understanding of the force, or... hell, I don't remember Flemeths backstory well enough, but it probably had something to do with working the larger picture of history from behind the curtain of ordinary affairs. Something about perspective which comes from a life lived not among ordinary men, and a long life at that. I love how one never is quite certain which "side" these Crones are on, whether asking oneself which side they're on just shows how ignorant you are compared to their vast sea of experience, or perhaps just reveals how duped you are to take selfish posturing seriously. I love how they all might serve as mentors, yet perhaps not willingly, and certainly not only for your sake. How they are powerful female characters but not easy to pinpoint as good or bad representations of females and would probably laugh their heads off if they knew you were trying to reduce them to something as simple-minded as "good" or "bad".

But yeah I won't be doing a comparison anytime soon, so go right ahead and pick their minds. :) Perhaps there are similar characters in other video games which are just as interesting?

Addendum: The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3 is a crone of sorts! A crone flaunting hir cesarean scar instead of hir boobs (like Eva does) and is both mentor and enemy, archetypical and magical, larger than life and a grounding force for Jack/Naked Snake. Great female character, even if zie ultimately is fridged.

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