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So I got round to doing the questing for Darkrider Arly and Olakin this evening, because that's how I roll (i.e. hooray for ADHD and my focus being all over the place wheeeee), and once again I got struck by how fucking fantastic a villain Arthas is.

Why? We know him, he has a distinct personality, and we can guess at what he might do and why based on such.

Like when he up and abducts SPECIFICALLY the paladin who's been vandalizing his abomination construction department, and goes 'lol ur spare parts nao'. We've seen Arthas do this before--he can be really, really, really vindictive. (See also: Lana'thel and the rest of the Darkfallen.) And he seems to have this massive thing about making the punishment fit the crime in a really fricking trolltastic way. Like at the end of the questline, where he shows up to taunt you and then tries to roflstomp you with the Biggest Abominable Fjord Reaver Ever.

He's not always predictable, but Arthas has a very strong personality and he doesn't suffer from the arbitrary-plot-button it-happened-because-it-did ikea-playroom-full-of-dumbass-balls writing that's characterized the handing of MOST legacy characters lately. Wrath was sort of--well, the beginning of the annoyingness was the hellacious derailing of Illidan and Kael'thas, but the use-character-as-plot-button thing really started to come into play in Wrath and it only got worse from there. (Yes, bro, I mad.) Blizzard very obviously had no idea who the spanking fuck Varian WAS at that point and it shows, and Jaina apparently got such a headache from the characterization whiplash all over that she forgot she's the ruler of a sovereign nation equal to Stormwind and that Varian is not HER king. She is his equal.

But all kvetching aside for now--Arthas is who he is, and his depiction is decently consistent in-game--dropped plot thread about who's driving aside. (My guess: Ner'zhul would have screwed over the DKs, Arthas would not have because he is possessive as hell, but he claimed not to give a fuck to piss Tirion off because Arthas is the lord of /b/--there was some jockeying for the driver's seat as it were.) His actions are appropriate to what we know about him and they reveal his personality.

He likes ironic-lulzy fates for enemies. He's vindictive as hell. He does NOT react well to being shown up. He has a weird method of handling formidable foes that reveals equally how pissy he was with them, and how much he respects them for having pissed him off. Lana'thel almost kicks his ass? Okay let's kill her and then res her as one of the top generals and have HER res her colleagues et cetera et cetera Arthas has a Thing for elves.

...I had a coherent thought but it got eaten by Yogg-Saron so I'll conclude by saying I really like how Arthas is written in-game (the crummy novel can go wank itself, and so can its author's obnoxious internalized sexism and assy homophobia) and while maybe he did troll excessively it fits his character to do so. He believes he is UNTOUCHABLE. He's that confident, that arrogant. Even after Wrathgate, he's not afraid to walk out into the open in front of many armed and pissed-off people, and troll them. Hell--TIRION FOUND HIS HEART, and what does he do? "lol I dare you to smash it Tirion" yeah that went well BUT I DIGRESS.

Arthas is my favourite villain. He gets personal, he guns for YOUR CHARACTER SPECIFICALLY and therefore makes YOU a key player in the plot, he basically corners everyone and trolls and chess-bastards and plots and when he's done we end up with no choice but to do what he wants us to do. And he has SO much fun doing it. And the Scourge in and of itself has so much crunchy terrifying lore behind it and and and and etc. look at me fangirl wheeeeeeeee.

In conclusion, Northrend looks like Canada in places, and that rocks.
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July 2014

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