The running time of that video teaser for Episode 3: The Dragon's Reach lasts about as long as an Elementalist casting Meteor Shower and the impact hits about as hard. The forum has been on fire since it landed (Reddit, too, for all I know). Map chat buzzes and rings with speculation and, yes, delight. If you haven't seen it, it's worth forty-five seconds of your time.
It's always good to see Rytlock doing his thing, although from the chewing-out she's getting Rox may not agree, but even by his major predator standards that bit with the sword is going some. "What the hell is he doing?" seems to be the most common response. Suffice it to say that, on the back of this little piece of movie-making alone, today I bought the Destiny's Edge novel just to have at least a glimmer of an idea.
Still, that's the future. In the past and the present we have some aftermath and some questions brewing. Like, is Scarlet really dead? My answer to that is she's as dead as any supervillain, namely she is until some writer decides he or she has a really neat idea on how and why she's not. That's genre writing, folks.
Then there's the whole "are we corrupted yet?" thing. Was that really the Eternal Alchemy and if so didn't you imagine it would be, oh, I dunno, more Werner Herzog, less Roger Dean?
Much more interesting is the whole Jory/Kas/Belinda thing. Here's how I read it: Marjory has serious issues with her family. She has made a number of ambivalent comments about her upbringing and she has gone out of her way to keep information about her bckground from Kas. Kas only meets Belinda by chance.
|Maybe it's me. I do tend to see ironic foreshadowing pretty much everywhere...|
Belinda's behavior on meeting Kas for the first time is emphatically over-enthusiastic, leading to numerous accusations from players that she sounds like a much younger girl than the character would suggest. This is put down to a poor line reading by the voice actor, even though, as a rule, recent GW2 voice acting and direction has been pretty good and even rather subtle.
Belinda's subsequent appearances show her to be a competent and responsible soldier, not a flighty, breathy ingenue. The voice acting is significantly less hysterical. Either the audio director had words or, my choice, the initial reaction to meeting Kas was actually played as over-reaction, over-compensation.
In each meeting Belinda goes out of her way to be excitedly, enthusiastically accepting of both Kas, herself, and Kas and Marjory's relationship. She want Marjory to know that she, at least, very possibly in strong contrast to other members of their family, has no prejudices either in regard to Kas's rank or to her and her sister's sexual orientation and/or lifestyle choices.
After Belinda's horrific and shocking death, (Oops! *Spoiler*) Marjory chooses to cut Kas out of the entire mourning/grieving/funeral process. The reasons and explanations she gives are unconvincing and Kas is indeed not convinced by them. Marjory insists and Kas, behaving empathically, allows herself to become convinced because it's clear that Jory needs her to go along with the fiction.
Marjory is hiding something. It has been rather deliciously suggested that Jory, being a necromancer, wants Kas out of the way so she can perform some revolting ritual that will bring her sister back to "life". Much though that would make for a fascinating sub-plot I don't think that's going to happen.
|Then again, not without good reason.|
My reading is that Marjory knows that, even at the best of times, introducing her aristocratic, same-sex lover to her family, and especially her mother was going to be a challenge. This is emphatically not the best of times. I actually can't read which of those factors is in play but there's certainly something there that's not right. I get the distinct feeling that Marjory knows that to arrive home with Kas for the first time, along with the news that Belinda is dead, compounded by the fact that the two lovers were there when she died and failed to save her, would pretty much put the tin lid on any happy ever afters.
I do hope it turns out to be an issue of orientation not class. The introduction of a same-sex couple in this storyline has been welcome and refreshing but so far there's been an almost wish-fulfillment element to the easy, complete and unfettered acceptance the lovers have received, in the game-world at least. Perhaps Tyria really is utterly without gender prejudice (which would be nicely affirmative, it's true) and Kas and Jory's relationship is, quite literally, unremarkable within the parameters of their written, cultural environment.
That would be positive in it's way but also a missed opportunity. It would be a lot more interesting, not to mention powerful, were they to confront and overcome at least some opposition to the choice they have proudly made.
All well and good. Best talk about it now, though. When Rytlock drives that blade into the Ascalonian flagstones no-one's going to be in much of a mood for gender politics or sociological theorizing.