Warning: this post contains spoilers up to and including Season 4, Episode 5, All or Nothing. Read at your own peril.
In my last post, I talked about Tyrian relationships for the NPCs, and applied the same principle to the Commander. In this one, I talk specifically about how I feel about Aurene.
Aurene. Everybody likes Aurene. No argument – everybody likes Aurene. She’s Aurene, I mean seriously.
…Except me. Not that I dislike her, but I find myself not really caring about her beyond ‘she’s useful to kill the Elder Dragon… and now she’s dead oh, no, what are we gonna dooooo!’
But she never really had character. She was just a dragon that flew around that my character seemed to like a lot. I mean, I never phrased it as that – ooh, the Commander likes Aurene – but I could tell that she was obsessed with Aurene, even before she hatched. I just never understood that.
I mean, I get that the Commander has some sort of connection to Aurene, but I never really ‘got’ it.
A vivid memory that may or may not have anything to do with it is one of the first instances with Aurene after she hatched – teaching her how to be a good little dragon and help people. See, I’m a ranger, and I like my pet bear. So these Risen were messing with the Pact soldiers (at least, I think it was Risen and Pact soldiers, I don’t remember too clearly), and they kept downing me and Aurene. Because I’m lousy at stuff (and I didn’t get a single achivement related with that bit). But my bear was running around and beating up the Risen and reviving me and being real helpful, and Aurene was running around and hiding when she was hurt to bad and I made the comment that Beorn (my bear) was stealing her spotlight and doing everything for her.
And I doubt that had much of a thing to do with how I feel about her now – I mean, I am absolutely sure that now, at the end of all things, and blah blah blah, Aurene could’ve done it in two heartbeats. Cuz, y’know, super-awesome dragon.
That whole instance was about forging a connection to Aurene, but I never got it. I just didn’t like her that much. She wasn’t a person to me, despite the fact that she oh-so-seriously was a person.
I don’t know why. Aurene died, and I’m sitting here going ‘okay, so how do we kill Kralkatorrik now?’ and Caithe, and Taimi, and everybody else were going ‘no, she’s dead, I can’t believe she’s dead, noo’ and I just don’t get it.
And yeah, I totally get that I’m being a terrible person and saying exactly why I don’t like her right around the time she died, but that was just happenstance. And I really do not get why everybody freaks out over Aurene.
I get that she’s an inspiration to a lot of people (mostly nameless NPCs I’ve never heard of, but that doesn’t matter because I’m good at seeing the big picture). I get that Caithe cares about her, that most of Dragon’s Watch and the Pact and especially the Commander cares.
But I don’t care about her. She’s like a weapon, I guess. I don’t think about the fact that she’s dead, I think about the fact that we can’t kill Kralkatorrik without blowing up the world.
Yeah. I’m nuts.
But then I realized – this disproves a niggling doubt that’s been in the back of my head, that I only like the NPCs because the Commander likes them.
I mean, seriously, I like all the ‘good’ NPCs out there. All of them. Crazy, no? Except Countess Anise. She’s the only one I don’t like. (Maybe Zojja a little bit, too.) So I had this feeling that maybe I was just friends with everybody that my character was friends with.
I realized the other day that, if that were true, I would totally love Aurene. So I got assurance of the fact that I like my friends for who they are, not for who they know (the Commander). Which was… really reassuring to me.
In the next post I’ll explain why I wondered if I liked the NPCs for the Commander and not for themselves, and give a more elaborate explanation about Aurene at the end. Because that all calls for a post of its own.
Also, if you want to have fun debates with me on this topic (or any others related to Guild Wars 2 or writing!), join me on my Discord server!