A popular theory right now is that Haggar is Allura’s mother/aunt/etc since we now know she’s Altean. And it is a good theory; there’s lots of potential fun and awesome angst to be had with it. But I’ve decided I prefer my Haggar to be an independent Altean… i.e, one with no real tie to Allura except for their shared Altean-ness.
Here’s my reasoning:
Haggar is a character who hasn’t lived, or been used, to her full potential. We’ve only ever seen her exist as an extension of other characters. Like yeah, she has her own agenda and sub-plotlines and moments in episodes, but she’s ultimately very tied to Zarkon due to her loyalty. But now that Zarkon is out of the picture, Haggar finally gets to go loose. Yeah, she’ll probably spend season 3 ‘acting in her Lord’s image’ or whatever, but she’ll have a lot more freedom/independence, which I’m excited for.
So I feel like making her Allura’s mom/relative sort of… delegates Haggar as a character to a back role. Haggar’s Altean heritage no longer is her own; instead, she becomes an extension of Allura. ‘How will Allura react to her own blood betraying her? What does Allura feel about this situation? How will Allura react to Haggar?’ See? The focus is suddenly all on Allura, not Haggar. And maybe that’s what the writers have planned, but I feel like it really narrows the possibilities.
Having two unconnected characters from the same planet really allows us to explore the culture. If they’re related, they probably lived similar lives, or experienced similar things. If they’re not related… then you can have things like class differences, or differences in jobs, things like that. We’ve only ever seen positive portrayals of Altea, because Alfor/Allura/Coran all loved their planet. They’re proud to be Altean, and are open about their culture. Haggar is the complete opposite; she wears a hood to hide her past and the features that damn her to it. What I want to know is: What made Haggar hate Altea? What happened to her on that planet? What made her decide to betray her own people?
I just feel like making Haggar part of the royal family would limit the scope of her potential character and backstory.
“Careful, Neris! I just finished that one, we don’t want to smudge it right away,” Vallera said, pushing the freshly painted mask to the side as she shifted to accommodate her daughter on her lap.
“Mamae, hahren said that I could be at the dance!”
“Did he, now? Then you need a mask, da’len.” She planted a quick kiss on the top of Neris’s head. “Do you remember hahren’s lessons about the gods?”
“Why?” Neris asked tentatively.
“Well, because for the wolf dance in the new year, the children wear masks of vallaslin. Which of the gods do you favor, hmm?” Vallera waited as Neris pouted and looked away from her eyes for a moment. “I’ll give you a hint. Do you favor like me, the flames of S…?”
“Yes! Good girl,” she said with a smile, “Or maybe the wings of D…?”
“Dirthamen, yes, like your…” Vallera looked over to the edge of the camp, where Neris’s father conversed with one of the lead hunters. “Your papae?”
“No.” Neris shook her head to the sides and Vallera laughed.
“So… what do we do?”
“I want to be a hunter!”
“Yes, I want to track down the Dread Wolf and defeat him like Sulanin!”
“Oh, to find Fen’Harel you’ll need the guidance of Ghilan’nain, but to defeat him you’ll need the blessing of Andruil,” Vallera paused, “So whose will it be, da’len?”
“Yes.” Neris smiled.
Vallera laughed at her child. “Alright, my love. Do you want to paint yourself?”
Neris nodded, amber eyes fixed on her own.
“Very well, let’s see what you come up with,” Vallera said, kissing her daughter’s cheek three times in quick succession, and handed Neris her painting brush.
My piece for @thedosianlny, featuring toddler Neris and her mamae, Vallera, Lavellan’s clan artisan, painting masks for the Dance of Fen’Harel, where the children don vallaslin masks and help the dream warrior Sulanin defeat the Dread Wolf.