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12-17-2009 @ 6:17PM
I have an honest question, but I might get people mad at me... Is Thrall a Mary-Sue, and does it even matter? Described by Blizzard as the most powerful Shaman on Azeroth, he created the New Horde, on the Cataclysm site his description by Blizzard talks about him being the symbol of nobility, courage, compassion, etc...Many players, including Alliance, respect or even idolize him. Some say he has flaws, many deny it. What is the deal with this? If it was any other character, I think people would hate him because of his Mary-Sue qualities, but we love him.Is it because he's written better? Because his race has many flaws, even if he doesn't? Or do we just need a perfect hero sometimes? I'm not trying to start some faction flame war, this honestly is intriguing to me.
12-17-2009 @ 6:25PM
I don't think Thrall is a Mary Sue. He returned shamanism to the Horde and helped break them out of the shackles of demonic corruption. He has a likable personality and a deep backstory. He's not exactly a dynamic, rich character but by WoW standards he's one of the best we have. If you're not convinced, I advise you to play through Warcraft 3 as well as do the Escape from Durnholde Keep dungeon in Caverns of Time. Without Thrall, World of Warcraft would not be the same.
12-17-2009 @ 7:10PM
I think he's a big Mary Sue. It's okay to be a cool guy, but Thrall is portrayed as having no flaws. The only flaw I've heard he possibly has is that he trusts too much, but that's hardly a terrible flaw. Mary Sues tend to be perfect and flawless, which definitely fits Thrall. It's more obvious when you compare him to Varian, who has flaws like a real person(namely his over-aggressive reactions towards the Horde). Thrall though is just perfect.
12-17-2009 @ 7:15PM
so sick and tired of people throwing this term around like it has any weight or legitimacy. It's just an excuse to complain about cliches in character development. For some reason, WoW seems to be a favourite target of this "literary term" (using such a title is generous). Rhonin in particular seems to be the biggest offender in its eyes. While I agree he's hardly the most dynamic character, he barely even scores against the standards set for mary-sueism, yet people are insistent he is one of the greatest to ever walk a page.The people who use this term seriously are guilty of using another term, hyperbole. Unfortunately they forgot hyperbole is not meant to be taken literally.
12-17-2009 @ 7:23PM
And see, we get comments like this, from people who don't actually understand how mary sueism works.all they see is "has no flaws" and they run with it.There's far more to the process than just that.It's an evaluation of an overabundance of clichéd character traits.if you insist on using the thing, at least use it correctly.
12-17-2009 @ 7:37PM
Thrall is -not- a Mary Sue. I think you need to get your definition straight, because just because a character is skilled and virtuous it does not mean they're remotely a Mary-Sue. Sheesh.
A couple of Thrall's flaws: He is very cautious, he basically fell in love with a human, he does not keep Garrosh in line even when he is obviously crossing it, apparently he doesn't learn his mistakes either, since he once sent Grom Hellscream on his own into a forest to gather wood - he ended up drinking demon blood and killing a demi-god - he's now sent Garrosh Hellscream almost on his own (In Saurfang we trust) to Northrend. He can also be overly compassionate.I like to think that he isn't a Mary Sue... but it's really a matter of how much you know about said character and how you interpret it.
12-17-2009 @ 7:47PM
I personally am happy that Thrall is so good. The one thing I hate about the Warcraft universe is how all the major heroes either all have major flaws or a major fall from grace. Other than Thrall and possibly Jaina there are very few good guys to get behind. I think Blizzard loves either turning people evil or just destroying what we thought was going on. There was Arthas, Kael, now the Cataclysm is coming. Not only can you not beat this game, I doubt we will win at the end of the last expansion.
12-17-2009 @ 7:49PM
I do not think Thrall is a Mary Sue.To me, Thrall is a very well written character. Sure he's easy to love, but that doesn't make him a Mary Sue. I think that term is being thrown around a lot just because there are so many horribly written fanfics and such lately that any *truly* good characters are hard to see as just that.
12-17-2009 @ 8:18PM
Your definition of Mary Sue is off. A Mary Sue is not defined by how many flaws he/she has. Many bad authors try to add superficial flaws to their characters in an attempt to make him not a Mary Sue. (i.e. Ugly, "boring" personality, etc.)A Mary Sue is defined by what she DOES to the story and other characters. If she warps the story around herself, she's a Mary Sue (or a Gary Stu/Marty Stu for males). To take a simple example, Bella Swan from Twilight. Boring, no personality, little liked in her old school, suddenly becomes the object of affection for a vampire and werewolf. (...Or so I hear. I only read the TVTropes articles on it. I never read the books. Really.)Under this definition, Thrall, who does indeed have enemies (some of whom aren't exactly wrong in their views) and has made a host of mistakes, is not a Mary Sue. The story doesn't revolve around him or his exploits, and he doesn't single-handedly kill Old Gods. Now, if Cataclysm were to entirely be about how he kills Deathwing and fixes the entire world... Yeah, then he'd be a Mary Sue.
Warcraft III & Frozen Throne's Thrall was not a Mary Sue. He was a noble leader and an idealist with a vision. I think Blizzard did a great job there, not only with Thrall but everybody else, creating personalities that resulted believable. Then came wow, and well... Mmorpg killed the Rpg star.
12-17-2009 @ 9:04PM
Thall is a totally just shy of being a mary sue, regardless of the efforts by other responders to insist he isn't or that people are misapplying the term.The only reason he isn't a mary sue is because he isn't a transparent personification within the fiction world of the author. But hes pretty much got every other characteristic going for him, right down to the "omg he has flaws but they're good flaws" like he is "too patient" and "too trusting".
12-17-2009 @ 9:48PM
Comparing Varian to Thrall is kind of unfair- Thrall is the Horde's Jaina (even though she has less clout), and Varian is the Alliance's Basic Ca.. Garrosh (even though Varian has a few non-jackass moments), as it sounds like they're cementing in place for Cataclysm.Now that that's out of the way, yes, Thrall's kind of a Mary-Sue. Not Rhonin-bad, but pretty bad, yeah. I think the reason most people love him anyways is because he's such a huge part of Warcraft, was created by Blizzard, can't do everything, and is more savior than full-blown god. Compared with Rhonin: some pansy little mage created by an outside source who has done more than any character made in-house to change the course of history in Azeroth, save maybe Sargeras, and is the only reason several hardcore badasses are still alive/lived as long as they did. Also, he's married to Sylvanas' older sister and is the A'dal of Wrath- the insults never end.In fact, even if Thrall was a little bit more perfect & had somehow managed to keep Grom alive, he'd still be better loved, because of both the in-house reason and because Grom is freaking legendary and is missed by all fans of badassedness.
12-17-2009 @ 10:23PM
I thought he was a Mary Sue in "Lord of the Clans" anyway. He learns everything perfectly, everyone is in awe of him, his story seems pretty cliched.Of course in Lord of the Clans they made it seem heroic that 2,000 orcs taking on a fraction of that, led by a drunkard, when in reality it would be pretty incompetent if it were even close.That's my $0.02
12-17-2009 @ 10:44PM
Thrall isn't a Mary-Sue, but he is the creation of a very bad roleplayer.He was found and raised by humans after his parents were brutally murderedGrowing up he was beaten and abused by his new parents and he swore to get evenHe fell in love with the daughter of the human woman who breastfed himAfter escaping his cruel parents twice he was immediately taken under the wing by the leader of the Orcs after a long and arduous trek to start his rise to greatness
12-17-2009 @ 11:36PM
Another bit to add: Thrall is voiced by Chris Metzen, the guy who creates the lore for Warcraft. So Thrall is perfect as written by the guy who writes the lore, who also plays the character. That's equivalent to the original definition of Mary Sue, which was an author-insert into fan-fic who was perfect and adored by all the other characters in the pre-existing world that it was a fanfic of. Thrall fits that pretty closely(with arguability on whether Metzen created all of Warcraft).Sure Metzen also voices Varian, but Varian isn't a Mary Sue like Thrall. Varian has flaws, many of which Hordies(and some Alliance) use to accuse Varian of being a terrible person and equivalent to a future villain.
12-17-2009 @ 11:49PM
Whether or not Thrall is not a Mary Sue. He's a Gary Stu. :P
12-18-2009 @ 2:10AM
Thrall's flaw is not being too patient or too trusting.He's not willing to kill people until they try to kill him or some innocent. He's a pacifist.This isn't a good flaw in a faction with the leader called "Warchief." In fact time and time again you see how bad this is.Escaping from prison he knocked out a guard. A human forced him to fight 11 battles in a row, beat him when he lost, refused to allow healers to help him, and then had a line form of people that lost money betting on him in match 11 so they could beat him. When he attacked, he laid siege and asked to negotiate. The man threw the head of the woman he loved at his feet. Only then did he demolish the place.He allowed the Banshee Queen to run her Alchemist Society without supervision and only when he lost a major force in his army and UC fell did he act to reign her in, AFTER dealing with a Demon that was her right hand man.He allows close to open warfare because if he wanted to crack down on it he'd have to make a real war to end it. Garrosh challenged him and because he didn't want to cheat he was getting demolished prior to the Scourge breaking up the fight. (Note: Elemental Shaman vs Arms Warrior means a dead Shaman) Considering that in the battle for UC he was 1-shotting demons with ease, had elementals the size of houses and his wolves would likely tear up Garrosh while he giggled, it is safe to say he didn't really want to kill Garrosh.Thrall is not too trusting, naive, or patient. Thrall just doesn't like killing people and for a former arena warrior that's just silly. If he doesn't shape up soon his lack of a killer instinct is going to hurt Azeroth more than anything else can.
12-18-2009 @ 4:34AM
We like him because he's the underdog. Which is quite ironic seeing as he is the leader of half the world.
12-18-2009 @ 4:47AM
Hansbo, how is he the underdog when all of the Horde and half of the Alliance worship the very ground he walks on? To me it's more like Varian is the underdog in regards to popularity with players.And Angus, I see Cataclysm as partly trying to de-Mary Sue Thrall since a lot of players have noticed how goody goody perfect he is. Moving him out and having a new challenger is a way of dethroning him, though I'm sure the Thrall fanatics will still love him. "He left Orgrimmar to go save the world, and Orgrimmar is terrible under Garrosh because he's no Thrall!"
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