My thoughts on some of the larger story beats in "Jormag Rising"(spoilers obviously) — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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My thoughts on some of the larger story beats in "Jormag Rising"(spoilers obviously)

Just some early thoughts
1. I really liked how Bangar, an incredibly charismatic(at least for a Charr) leader got his own voices taken away, just to become the voice on an even more manipulative being. Its a fitting irony for him.
2. Similarly, Smodur getting unceremoniously killed in a sniper attack by Ryland was equally fitting for his character. He is defiantly one who didn't deserve to have a heroic death after what he did.
3. I liked the expansion of the lore of the Drizzlewood area, the settlement there originally being tied to Olafson from GW1, and some details on early Human/Norn diplomatic relations was good.
4. The revelation that Owl is still alive, and that it has been brought back, opens up some interesting possibilities in future episodes that I am interested to see.Nice to see Anet didn't just go with the rather boring "its dead Jim" answer that the game has suggested was true.
5. In some ways I am glad that Ryland wasn't just a tool for Bangar. There had been some hints he wasn't really committed to Bangar for awhile now, and NPC conversation in the first half of Drizzlewood suggested he had larger plans. Him becoming the champion of Jormag over Bangar is an unexpected, but more interesting, turn.

Comments

  • Perihen the Thawk.9527Perihen the Thawk.9527 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 29, 2020

    @zombyturtle.5980 said:
    Agree except for smodur. I dont think he did anything wrong last chapter, his actions were fitting for a charr, and the choices I would have made, if given the option. Humanizing all the charrs was a horrible choice.

    However those actions were unfitting for smodur himself. Anet ruined him with story bias meant to make him into the impuslive baddie, and retconned his whole character who was suppost to be level headed and diplomatic. At least they cant make it worse anymore.

    Honestly I think Smodur's character makes perfect sense. He's a "visionary" as far as Charr go, but he's still one of the older Imperators, and has that more old-school way of actually operating in war. He may be level-headed when it comes to diplomacy, but when the kitten hits the fan, he is the imperator of the "big-guns-go-boom" legion.

    I like the way they handled Smodur, both in this episode and the last. I am slightly disappointed in the direction Ryland has taken. It seems like he should be smarter than this. He's just been transformed into a cartoon-villain dragon minion. Bangar I could get, because Bangar is smart in some ways but dumb in others, and he would absolutely let his ego ruin him in pursuit of being Khan-Ur and, in his mind, "saving" the Charr and securing their future. But I don't... really see what Ryland gets out of this? He's never had much of an ideology, so becoming Jomag's champion doesn't seem to serve a higher purpose for him as far as I can tell.

  • Eekasqueak.7850Eekasqueak.7850 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The thing with Ryland seems out of nowhere but I think we're missing some backstory. Like it seems pretty obvious that this is all part of what Jormag wanted not Ryland, there's probably been a ton of behind the scenes manipulation going on with Jormag.

  • Matt H.6142Matt H.6142 Member ✭✭✭

    The Owl Spirit piece was not well written. I wasn't sure if it died again immediately because of Jormag, or if it's just at risk again. Did it immediately feed Jormag?
    In this game, a fan favorite character staying dead isn't all that boring.
    The whole corrupted spirits thing doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Are they corrupted because their energy is feeding Jormag? There's some talk that they are a bit erratic, but they're otherwise helping us. The meaning of Fallen and Aberrant remains largely unexplained.
    I needed the story journal to explain the trapping of the Spirits thing. And where does Ryland get that power?
    I write this having thoroughly enjoying this patch, and I'll say as much in a relevant post.

  • Sajuuk Khar.1509Sajuuk Khar.1509 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Matt H.6142 said:
    The Owl Spirit piece was not well written. I wasn't sure if it died again immediately because of Jormag, or if it's just at risk again. Did it immediately feed Jormag?

    It was hiding in The Mists, and Brahamn's actions brought it out of the Mists, making it vulnerable to Jormag. But it wasn't immediately killed or anything.

  • Manasa Devi.7958Manasa Devi.7958 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Eekasqueak.7850 said:
    The thing with Ryland seems out of nowhere but I think we're missing some backstory. Like it seems pretty obvious that this is all part of what Jormag wanted not Ryland, there's probably been a ton of behind the scenes manipulation going on with Jormag.

    Ryland was never one of the good guys. He should've been killed on sight just for stealing Braham's bow. Anyone who believes differently has fallen victim to the very obvious emotional manipulation all through the story so far.

  • Hannelore.8153Hannelore.8153 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 30, 2020

    @Perihen the Thawk.9527 said:

    @zombyturtle.5980 said:
    Agree except for smodur. I dont think he did anything wrong last chapter, his actions were fitting for a charr, and the choices I would have made, if given the option. Humanizing all the charrs was a horrible choice.

    However those actions were unfitting for smodur himself. Anet ruined him with story bias meant to make him into the impuslive baddie, and retconned his whole character who was suppost to be level headed and diplomatic. At least they cant make it worse anymore.

    Honestly I think Smodur's character makes perfect sense. He's a "visionary" as far as Charr go, but he's still one of the older Imperators, and has that more old-school way of actually operating in war. He may be level-headed when it comes to diplomacy, but when the kitten hits the fan, he is the imperator of the "big-guns-go-boom" legion.

    I like the way they handled Smodur, both in this episode and the last. I am slightly disappointed in the direction Ryland has taken. It seems like he should be smarter than this. He's just been transformed into a cartoon-villain dragon minion. Bangar I could get, because Bangar is smart in some ways but dumb in others, and he would absolutely let his ego ruin him in pursuit of being Khan-Ur and, in his mind, "saving" the Charr and securing their future. But I don't... really see what Ryland gets out of this? He's never had much of an ideology, so becoming Jomag's champion doesn't seem to serve a higher purpose for him as far as I can tell.

    Ryland's been manipulated by Jormag, and as shown during the cutscene where he's converted, rather than feeling detached from his parents he sees being born to them as his greatest power, in other words he sees himself as equal or better to them, because he's their son, not the opposite. Jormag very clearly uses this as the reason why Ryland is deserving of being his Champion.

    This episode revealed that Ryland was always the "look at me, I'm the kitten" type, and never cared for Bangar, who thought Ryland would be loyal because of being raised as his step-cub and Blood bound. But as Rytlock says at the end, Ryland was always selfish, it was always about him from the beginning, he never needed anyone's love only their reputations to leverage, match and exceed.

    Its even suggested he didn't really care about his warband aside from Cinder, that their belief in him was misplaced.

    This is alot of conjecture, but there's been subtle hints to it all along, with his only redeeming trait that he didn't immediately kill Almorra. Ryland was the charismatic sociopath who rallied thousands, not Bangar, that's the tricky part.

    All things considered, Bangar seemed to genuinely care for the Charr.

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  • Eekasqueak.7850Eekasqueak.7850 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Manasa Devi.7958 said:

    @Eekasqueak.7850 said:
    The thing with Ryland seems out of nowhere but I think we're missing some backstory. Like it seems pretty obvious that this is all part of what Jormag wanted not Ryland, there's probably been a ton of behind the scenes manipulation going on with Jormag.

    Ryland was never one of the good guys. He should've been killed on sight just for stealing Braham's bow. Anyone who believes differently has fallen victim to the very obvious emotional manipulation all through the story so far.

    I never said he was? There just wasn't build enough up to him seizing power like he did because he came off more as a follows orders type before that. I'm just wondering if it was Jormag influencing him and grooming him to be their Champion over Bangar.

  • Sajuuk Khar.1509Sajuuk Khar.1509 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 30, 2020

    @Eekasqueak.7850 said:
    I never said he was? There just wasn't build enough up to him seizing power like he did because he came off more as a follows orders type before that. I'm just wondering if it was Jormag influencing him and grooming him to be their Champion over Bangar.

    Ehh. We saw back in Visions of the Past that Ryland was willing to question Bangar when he felt Bangar was doing something stupid like asking to kill Almorra. There's also a few conversations in Drizzlewood's southern part that suggested something not quite right with Ryland.

    Blood Legion Duelist: Sounds like Steelcatcher's really taking the reins on Dominion's side.
    Blood Legion Soldier: That doesn't surprise me. I always got the impression he was hungry for power. Even more than Bangar.
    Blood Legion Duelist: More than Bangar? Really?
    Blood Legion Soldier: Yep. He was just waiting for the right moment. And this war is his moment.
    Blood Legion Duelist: Hmm. You might be right about that.

    Iron Legion Sentinel : What do you think Bangars next move is?
    Iron Legion Marksman: Don't know, don't care. But I'll die before I let that maniac win this.
    Iron Legion Sentinel : You think hes strong enough?
    Iron Legion Marksman: No, but Ryland sure as hell is.
    Iron Legion Sentinel : I hope Steelcatcher snaps Bangar's neck
    Iron Legion Marksman: No, that kid knows exactly what hes doing.

    Ash Legion Shadow: All right, I'm just gonna say it—I get bad vibes from Ryland.
    Blood Legion Soldier: Well, he's our enemy, so...yeah.
    Ash Legion Shadow: No, no. I mean, it's more than that. Something just seems off about that guy.
    Blood Legion Soldier: Sure you're not jealous of his chiseled physique and bold confidence? His luxurious mane? His hot new scars? His tight—
    Ash Legion Shadow: No! And why are you complimenting him? He's our enemy, remember?
    Blood Legion Soldier: (amused snickering)

    Also, if it was obvious he was going to do it, that would make him bad at doing it, and make Bangar look stupid for not noticing it.

  • Ashantara.8731Ashantara.8731 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 30, 2020

    @Manasa Devi.7958 said:
    Ryland was never one of the good guys. He should've been killed on sight just for stealing Braham's bow. Anyone who believes differently has fallen victim to the very obvious emotional manipulation all through the story so far.

    What manipulation? The cheesy "caring mother/father" bit? Pah, that was pathetic, because no one in their right mind could related to it due to Ryland being such an incredibly unlikeable character ("Look at me, I'm a such a cool rebellious teen!") - an annoying brat just like his sire. Glad Ryland won't be turning into Rytlock 2.0 now to replace him in Dragon's Watch. I just want to see both characters gone, they annoy the heck out of me, they are both emotionally immature and they need anger management therapy ;) (I am not talking about typical Charr aggression but rather the childish anti-everything mentality they share).

  • Rauderi.8706Rauderi.8706 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I really have to disagree with Smodur. He was supposed to be far more calculating and level-headed. I might suspect some of the Ice Dragon's influence in his actions, but it was never revealed as such. So all we really get yet-another cheap character death, the second of IBS.

    Re: Owl - I do like that the stakes of the threat aren't as absolutely absurd as Kralkatorrik. It's an existential threat to the Norn, which hopefully means once this Civil War bit is done, we might finally see the Norn do something, anything relevant.

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  • Sajuuk Khar.1509Sajuuk Khar.1509 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2020

    @Rauderi.8706 said:
    I really have to disagree with Smodur. He was supposed to be far more calculating and level-headed. I might suspect some of the Ice Dragon's influence in his actions, but it was never revealed as such. So all we really get yet-another cheap character death, the second of IBS.

    Smodur was calculating and level headed when he believed he needed to build allies to have a chance at claiming the title of Khan-Ur, and to combat the numerious problems facing Ascalon. At the time, Malice didn't want the job(still doesn't), the Flame Legion were simple baddies(not that Efram would get it either), making Bangar Smodur's only real rival. With the Flame Legion and Branded dealt with, the Renegades and ghosts diminished, and Bangar going rogue, Smodur had no real competition for the spot, no really serious issues at home, and had all the allies he was ever going to get. To him, it was in the bag, so he started acting like he was already there.

    I also wouldn't agree either his of Almorra's deaths were cheap. Almorra went out like a boss trying to stop Bangar, and almost succeeded too. It also served as a good reminder that, yes, while we have taken down three dragons, and built a lot of allies in the process, that doesn't mean even important characters are safe from the other three. Smodur's death was, along with Bangar's fate, an apt reminder of just how fundamentally broken Charr society is, and how it just ends up getting everyone killed in the process.

    Re: Owl - I do like that the stakes of the threat aren't as absolutely absurd as Kralkatorrik. It's an existential threat to the Norn, which hopefully means once this Civil War bit is done, we might finally see the Norn do something, anything relevant.

    Well, I mean, they have set up "Braham has to kill Jormag" plot. So hes obviously going to have to do something.