TMI Tuesday for Raina: what is the gosh-darned fluffiest head canon you have about her that even she might be embarrassed to admit to. (She may not be embarrassed, but perhaps there's only a certain MAJOR that knows about it too?) And secondly, for you, what are your favorite types of scenes to write for her?
I’ve been pondering this all day! (First, let me preface this by saying I don’t know if it counts as fluffy exactly since it’s got a healthy dose of angst to go with it.)
Raina falls in love with Kaidan long before she realizes it. It’s this slow, gradual thing that sneaks up on her until one day it just hits her like a battalion of krogan at full force. Unfortunately, said acknowledgement of her feelings doesn’t come until after Alchera but with it comes the sudden realization that, somewhere along the way, she stopped just being Commander Shepard, the Spectre or the N7 operative or the Akuze sole survivor. She was more than that, other than that, with Kaidan. Suddenly, she has dreams of the future. Not anything too substantial or drastic like white picket fences but she has a reason to come back from a suicide mission other than because the galaxy needs her to. She has a personal reason and it’s terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.
Raina still has a hard time putting words to all this though. Not that she has to; the people that matter to her and knew her on the SR1 (Joker, Garrus, Tali) already know and knew before she did. Kaidan is probably the only one that is as unaware of it as Raina is. lol
Which probably answers the next question quite easily. I really love writing angst. I love the drama and the pull of it. I want to tug at heartstrings. Maybe that’s not the right thing to say, especially today after the “tragedy is a cliche to create drama for uninspired writers” comments I’ve been seeing, but for me it’s true. Raina, as much as I love her, is not always a likeable character. She’s brash and can be hurtful and spiteful. I was a psychology major in college and I spend a LOT of time questioning all my characters’ motives for their behaviors - how their past might have them react to a certain event, how their desires shape their interactions with the world around them, I want to share those motivations and reactions in a way that is not only moving and well written, but that can make you sympathize with even problematic characters.
So I DM a futuristic game based off of D&D 5e, which includes elements from any sci-fi I know enough about to convert to D&D. Our party includes a Turian pirate, a Krogan mercenary, a pair of Jedis, a Sith, a Siren con artist (from Borderlands), an Asari commando, and a Trandoshan slaver. The group was following a Salarian mercenary and his bodyguards into a hotel.
DM: You see him entering an elevator with his guards before the door shuts.
Jedi #1, a frequent troublemaker: We should follow them when the elevator comes back down.
Siren, the voice of reason: No, we should follow up the stairs.
Jedi #2: But then we might lose them.
Siren: But if we take the same elevator, then they might realize we’re following them.
Asari: Why don’t we just take another elevator?
Jedi #1: There isn’t another elevator.
DM: I never said that…
Jedi #1: Is there another elevator?
Jedi #1: Why didn’t you tell us there was another one?
Is it too much to ask that I want a big brother Krogan character that is one of our companions in ME: Andromeda?
Like literally picking up Ryder and standing them on their feet again after a tough battle where they get knocked to the ground telling them “It’s okay small friend, you can’t win every fight” and patting them on the head.
Or literally threatening Ryder’s love interest because they don’t want to see their adopted sibling hurt?
Or even like, teaching them how to act Krogan because that would be adorable?
In actuality, Shepard and Thane spent a good 4 minutes 37 seconds softening up the thresher with their sniper rifles. Only then did they unleash Grunt to finish it off, like a small, angry bowling ball.
Can we talk about Wrex? In mass effect one, he was just this apathetic soldier character who almost had an existential depression about the plight of the Krogan. But in ME2, he gets a purpose in trying to unify Tuchanka. In ME3, he finds out about the genophage cure, and he becomes so excited about becoming a dad. He does a complete 180 from the beginning of the series, and it’s so adorable to see him so geeked about being a dad, it melted my heart.
You love tragic dwarf king too?! He's one of my quieter faves, just because there was a lot of drama when I got into the fandom. I'm glad that I'm not alone in my love for this jerk.
Yeah. I’m fond of Thorin!
I feel like one of the things that the films actually did much better than the book was capture that the dwarves are trying to reclaim their home. In the book there’s much talk and bluster about treasure and wealth and it’s sort of only quietly alluded to that this isn’t just the dwarves being ‘greedy’. Smaug completely displaced them. The Lonely Mountain isn’t just a treasure vault, it’s one of their ancestral goddamn kingdoms, and I was pleased and surprised to actually see that put front and centre in the movies.
They also did a neat job of implying that the Arkenstone was a Silmaril, and that the Silmarils, like the One Ring, have a sort of hypnotic and corrupting effect on people exposed to them. Bilbo’s struggle with the ring is paralleled to Thorin’s struggle with the Arkenstone, which permits him to see what is going wrong with Thorin, and in the end, I think it makes for a much richer tale to have them both ultimately fight off temptation.
Plus, I’m a sucker for characters who have the ‘fatal flaw’ of pride. Especially when its quality as a flaw is debatable. Pride is one thing when it’s coming from someone who’s already got their butt in a throne. It’s another when it’s coming from someone whose people have spent decades as refugees, and who probably lived through a lot of days where pride was the only thing getting them up in the morning.