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  1. #21
    Let's break that down, then, shall we?

    Similar to the above, this posits that a Mary Sue is someone who gets too much attention from the other characters, especially if their personality and actions don't seem to fully justify such strong reactions. It's important to note that this isn't confined to positive attention; if every single villain the Sue encounters develops an intense, personal, obsessive hatred of them, that qualifies too.
    I wasn't aware Fandral had an intense, personal, obsessive hatred of Thrall. Seemed to me it was simply him doing his job, not out of any personal spite. The guy's a powerful shaman, Fandral works for an elemental lord aligned against the Earthen Ring. Why wouldn't he be a target?

    Plus, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Thrall has been Warcraft's poster boy since Warcraft III was released.

    In fact, most Sues by this definition combine both types of attention: they're loved by every sympathetic character they meet and hated by every unsympathetic character.
    Untrue in Thrall's case. His critics (the unsympathetic) don't inherently have a hate for him. They bring up valid complaints and we as readers and Thrall as a character do not outright hate on them for that.

    Nor do all of the sympathetic characters inherently love him. They have different levels of care for him, the majority of which are simply respect.

    It's true that most fictional characters are designed to be charismatic, striking individuals who inspire strong reactions in the audience, but it's also true that in the real world, no matter how charismatic you are, most people you know just don't spend all their time thinking about you. It's been said that the best writers remember that every character, no matter how minor, is the hero of his or her own story — think of the anecdote about the actor who played the gravedigger in Hamlet and described the play as "a story about a gravedigger who meets a prince." Conversely, if every supporting character in a story seems to spend more time obsessing over the main character than they do worrying about their own lives, that main character is probably a Mary Sue by this theory.
    You'd have to point out where minor characters obsess over Thrall when they don't need to, to the point where it's distracting them from vital parts of their life. I've never remembered such.

    How much more annoying is it when the character doesn't have any obvious virtues, and yet the universe still seems to revolve around them?
    Thrall has some very significant virtues, nor does the universe really revolve around him. Being center stage for a portion of one expansion's content does not make one the center of the universe and we can see that especially in Mists of Pandaria. He's been a shaman since Cataclysm... which had the primary focus of elements and elementals... which are things shaman deal with. In Mists, that's not really the core of the story and shaman Thrall doesn't need to show up for it... he's in the parts that are relevant to him and the parts where he is appropriate... i.e. the parts concerning Garrosh's increasing tyranny.
    Last edited by The Mister Madgod; 2013-07-04 at 05:38 PM.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    I wasn't aware Fandral had an intense, personal, obsessive hatred of Thrall. Seemed to me it was simply him doing his job, not out of any personal spite. The guy's a powerful shaman, Fandral works for an elemental lord aligned against the Earthen Ring. Why wouldn't he be a target?

    Plus, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Thrall has been Warcraft's poster boy since Warcraft III was released.
    He didn't previously have an intense, personal, obsessive hatred of Thrall. That's the thing. He does have an intense, personal, obsessive hatred of Malfurion, though, and Malfurion is both just as vital a target, if not more, than Thrall. He has a very strong motive for hating the dragons, too, them having allowed his son to do with their inaction. Why is one of his defining motivations, his regret for his son's death, being ignored in favor of targeting a character he's never met, who's probably even a tactical inadvisable target considering his shamanhood?

    Untrue in Thrall's case. His critics (the unsympathetic) don't inherently have a hate for him. They bring up valid complaints and we as readers and Thrall as a character do not outright hate on them for that.
    We could start with Garrosh; where's it covered as to why he's got such a beef with Thrall, where previously he was pretty reverent of him? To me, it smacks exactly of this paragraph.

    Why do the Kor'kron have a beef with Thrall, other than Garrosh telling them so? It's never actually explained why they decide to try to murdernate him on several occasions, despite being basically a messianic figure to them. Krenna's there, but her motivation is what, two and a half expansions old? A recap would be nice, or something more substantial than "he has reminded us that we are STRONG!"

    Why does Vol'jin never give Thrall so much as a "told you so"? It's entirely possible I missed this if it happened, mind, but from what I've seen it doesn't happen.

    You'd have to point out where minor characters obsess over Thrall when they don't need to, to the point where it's distracting them from vital parts of their life. I've never remembered such.

    Thrall has some very significant virtues, nor does the universe really revolve around him. Being center stage for a portion of one expansion's content does not make one the center of the universe and we can see that especially in Mists of Pandaria. He's been a shaman since Cataclysm... which had the primary focus of elements and elementals... which are things shaman deal with. In Mists, that's not really the core of the story and shaman Thrall doesn't need to show up for it... he's in the parts that are relevant to him and the parts where he is appropriate... i.e. the parts concerning Garrosh's increasing tyranny.
    Granted, these two don't quite apply. Using that particular block of text as the entire definition of Mary Sue wasn't my intention, though; you can pick apart things from the other blocks, or from the mary sue traits article.

    Even if he's not subjectively or objectively a Mary Sue, fixing the plotholes that seem to form around him would still be a boon to the quality of the story.
    Last edited by LilSaihah; 2013-07-04 at 06:08 PM.
    If you are particularly bold, you could use a Shiny Ditto. Do keep in mind though, this will infuriate your opponents due to Ditto's beauty. Please do not use Shiny Ditto. You have been warned.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by LilSaihah View Post
    He didn't previously have an intense, personal, obsessive hatred of Thrall. That's the thing. He does have an intense, personal, obsessive hatred of Malfurion, though, and Malfurion is both just as vital a target, if not more, than Thrall. He has a very strong motive for hating the dragons, too, them having allowed his son to do with their inaction. Why is one of his defining motivations, his regret for his son's death, being ignored in favor of targeting a character he's never met, who's probably even a tactical inadvisable target considering his shamanhood?
    I would say that more than than just his physical form was changed when he became a Druid of the Flame. His new allegiance made him give up personal desires in favor of his master's plans. Looking at the quest text reinforces this idea. He didn't come there purely of his own volition. He was sent there. He leaves after that because he's got other stuff to do... and because the story that the devs wanted to tell demanded it. Again I do think that quest was poorly written but I would not say that Fandral was breaking character to the degree that Thrall is Sueish.

    We could start with Garrosh; where's it covered as to why he's got such a beef with Thrall, where previously he was pretty reverent of him? To me, it smacks exactly of this paragraph.
    Almost every story in the history of the world has someone who is unsympathetic and hates the main character. Having one isn't proof of Suedom... it being a consistent pattern is a strong hint to such, though.

    Garrosh has a beef with Thrall because he is fanatically pro-orc and pro-glory-on-the-battlefield. Thrall is decidedly not so much the latter. He is a proponent of peace, or avoiding the battlefield if possible. Garrosh, being how he is, dislikes that, and makes a point of it.

    Why do the Kor'kron have a beef with Thrall, other than Garrosh telling them so? It's never actually explained why they decide to try to murdernate him on several occasions, despite being basically a messianic figure to them. Krenna's there, but her motivation is what, two and a half expansions old? A recap would be nice, or something more substantial than "he has reminded us that we are STRONG!"
    It's not, but a lack of direct explanation does not mean that there isn't one to be found.

    It could be that Thrall is not their warchief, so they no longer need to respect him as such, reinforced by their "You are no longer Warchief" line. It's possible that they've felt that way for a while... shifting politics and all that.

    It's obvious that because of how popular Garrosh was with the orcs that the political winds have shifted out of Thrall's favor, regardless of what he has done for them. People get complacent during times of prosperity (and this is certainly what the orcs have had for a while) ... and prosperity can lead to becoming spoiled.

    Gurren Lagan is an anime where this happens... people become complacent in their prosperity and forget what it was like in the older days, even blaming the very people who saved them from their plight. History repeats itself... that's basically been the Horde since Wrathish to the end of Mists (and possibly beyond)

    Why does Vol'jin never give Thrall so much as a "told you so"? It's entirely possible I missed this if it happened, mind, but from what I've seen it doesn't happen.
    Because Vol'jin knows Thrall's as torn up about this as he is... and he gave Thrall a bit of shit on Garrosh during the Shattering.

    Granted, these two don't quite apply. Using that particular block of text as the entire definition of Mary Sue wasn't my intention, though; you can pick apart things from the other blocks, or from the mary sue traits article.

    Even if he's not subjectively or objectively a Mary Sue, fixing the plotholes that seem to form around him would still be a boon to the quality of the story.
    I do agree. Just because a character isn't a Mary Sue does not mean the writing is pristine. There's certainly plenty of problems with Thrall's plot - and the game's plot in general - that I have recognized and that I do wish to be fixed.

  4. #24
    Getting back to the OP's post a bit, I tend to come at it from the point of view of restricted writing. I hesitate to say "bad"

    Fantasy novels have often had difficulty with the black-and-white thing. Part of the joy for many is that The Big Bad is undeniably bad, and your Heroes are undeniably Good. Warcraft's been trying for the shades-of-grey approach for MoP and I think it's causing them problems. Shades of grey often don't translate easily into a story unless you get into depth.

    To me the problem is that in trying to make a player faction vs player faction storyline, it's difficult to present the "Just War" scenario that we've been playing out in Vanilla, BC, WotLK & Cata.

    So instead they've backed off and gone with the easier approach of "Garrosh has gone Bad". They tried for a bit of a side serve of "the horde needs resources" but, given modern 1st world sensibilities, fighting for a bigger slice of the natural resource pie is a Bad Thing anyway so that had difficulty flying.

    And it kinda works. But it's not really very satisfying writing. I hesitate to say bad, cos they're trapped by the gameplay, but possibly some really good writing could've handled it where an average pulp fiction standard of writing can't. And in the process, many of their major characters have ended up trapped between black'n'white & shades-of-grey.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    Tides of War, where he's holding his own against Jaina. Very overpowered moment. Little to justify it apart from "The elements are as strong as the world"... which is kinda cheesy.
    I haven't actually read Tides of War but I found out what happened more or less. I always assumed that it was a fight that was extremely one-sided; where Jaina just absolutely trashed Thrall with little-to-no effort.

    While we're on the subject of Mary Sues, wasn't Jaina arguably one before Tides of War? All the sources seem to say she is basically a demigod when it comes to power, possibly even on the same level as Ragnaros & Malygos.

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