Anyone watch Game of Thrones? Of course you do. Apart from HBO’s obnoxious overuse of gratuitous sex scenes and nudity (I thought SNL did a great sendup of this), I’ve been loving how wonderful this adaptation of Martin’s books has been progressing. Last night my wife and I caught up with the episode where one of my favorite characters, Brienne of Tarth, was introduced. She’s such a fascinating character to me — not the smartest person, fairly ugly to look at, and generally more masculine than all the guys around her, yet she’s also loyal to a fault, full of integrity, and a kick-butt warrior.
Kick-butt female warriors are a staple in geek fiction — almost a cliche, really — but one thing that I’ve noticed is that all of these tend to be tiny, lithe girls (with abnormally large bosoms). Brienne strikes my fancy in that she’s the exact opposite: Tall, imposing, muscular, and the very definition of a battle-hardened warrior rather than a runway model playacting at fighting.
Why do I bring this up? Because I’m finding myself much more interested in making Briennes than Buffys in MMOs. As you all well know, I generally play female characters in MMOs as well as the smallest, tiniest race I can find. And while my SWTOR toon is a stick-thin goth girl, I’m losing my taste for that sort of thing. Rather, I want a woman who looks like she really could take care of herself in a fight.
It’s why I’m quite partial to my LOTRO Captain. She looks most at home in heavy suits of armor and wielding a giant two-handed blade, and I enjoy feeling like she’s brute-forcing her way through mobs instead of doing a cute little dance o’ death while wearing stilettos. It’s also why I’ll definitely be rolling a hulking Norn fighter in Guild Wars 2 in the beta this weekend (I’m less than pleased with how ArenaNet isn’t allowing us to make ugly characters or even adult-looking human females).
I’m past wanting cutsie, cuddly lingerie models who don’t have a scratch on them wading through the fray — I want the believability of a character who looks as though they’ve been around the block and picked their teeth with manicured mall-walkers. Brienne, you can fight for me any day of the week.