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God of War Ragnarok Writer Champions Angrboda as Part of "Our own spin" on Norse mythology



Matt Sophos worked as a writer and story lead on God of War and, in a Twitter thread, they dismissed spurious claims that the portrayal of Angrboda - a giant known in Norse mythology as the wife of Loki - as a black woman was a political decision or one borne out of outside pressure. He stated that "I can count on two fingers the number of notes we've gotten for story changes to 2018 and GoW Ragnarok combined. This was not one of them."

As for the suggestion that Ragnarok's version of Angrboda isn't accurate to Norse mythology, Sophos says that God of War "is our interpretation of mythology, not history - Norse or Greek. We tell a personal story with the backdrop of gods, giants etc through our lens. And that lens is not 100% by-the-Eddas."



Sophos goes on to point out that few of the characters in God of War are particularly accurate to their Norse setting. Blacksmith Brok has blue skin and a Texas accent, while his brother Sindri understands the existence of bacteria. Mimir is Scottish, and tied to a character from English folklore and Shakespeare. Kratos and Atreus are both adapted versions of established mythological figures. Sophos closes his thread by saying that their team has "consistently taken mythological characters and given them our own spin."

 
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NikuNashi

Member
This is one of those things were I wouldn’t have thought twice about it if no one brought it up. Does it matter? There are blue dwarves, monsters, fairies, elves…. Omg! An attractive black woman!!? That’s not reality!! 🤦‍♂️
When a blue dwarf is put in a game it is not politically motivated.
When a monster is put in a game it is not politically motivated.
When a fairy is put in a game it is not politically motivated.

When a strong black female is put in a game ........
 

RoboFu

One of the green rats
When a blue dwarf is put in a game it is not politically motivated.
When a monster is put in a game it is not politically motivated.
When a fairy is put in a game it is not politically motivated.

When a strong black female is put in a game ........

GOW isn’t a university course. It’s not sponsored by the history channel. There isn’t a copy hanging up in the national Nordic museum..,
 

DonJorginho

Member
Don't see why this is a problem, it won't suddenly make the game an awful one and at the end of the day it's fantasy. The nay-sayers here would have no issue if the character was green or blue as opposed to black.

I totally get that in some cases tokenism is a real issue, and I have called it out myself when it was as such. But in a fantasy game where you play as a God fighting Dragons and other magical entities it makes no sense to be so pent up by this minor inclusion.
 

onesvenus

Member
"Our interpretation" = Secret "diversity"
Yup, let's pretend GOW hasn't been a Greek/Norse mythology interpretation until now.

It's just plain stupid in Norse
Were you also concerned when Loki was revealed to be the son of a Greek semigod?

When a strong black female is put in a game...
it is not politically motivated.

I don't know why some of you are so angry at seeing diversity in fantasy games. I shouldn't have to remind you but here it goes: Mythology is not real
 

Bragr

Member
Personally, who cares, it's fantasy, but the backdrop here is that if they put a white person as an African god or something, Sony Santa Monica would be first in line to kill people for cultural appropriation. This is obvious ignorant hypocrisy.

It's "our" version of Norse mythology. Yeah, well. I hope they make an Egyptian game next, and half the gods are Japanese, and they go like "it's our version of Egypt". See how that goes over.
 

Soodanim

Member
This subject here is just the same as it would be had they shoehorned an out of place change into another culture's mythology. South or East Asian gods? A white, western god with all the facial features is going to be out of place, even if there's a green god in there. Same for throwing a distinctly Native American character among a group of African gods. It's easy to see why people might think it might be an out of place change. I get that the framework allows for it, but accents are just accents (we also hear the voices in our relevant languages) and a blue character is easily explained when the main character is forever cursed to be ash white from the ashes of his wife and child.

Either way, I'm going to wait and see if there's any relevance or significance to the change before I pass judgement.

For those that think this backlash is borne out of intolerance or is otherwise unjustified, consider that people might not be able to put their finger on why it seems out of place.
 

Business

Member
The tunnel vision of American developers is remarkable, it's like the whole world is America and that basically means adding black people wherever you can. It's funny because if it were some Senegalese, Cambodian or Inuit setting they would feel it's diverse enough (even if actually homogeneous) with an all cast of Senegalese, Cambodian or Inuit people, but alas, not here. Then if you point out this is some immersion breaking nonsense they feel the need to break the news to you that it's just fantasy, that dragons and giant snakes are not real and that the Eddas don't explicitly mention the characters to be white, and of course you must be racist too because you don't like black people. Yes as a creative you can do whatever, but people can laugh at you too.
 

TheSHEEEP

Gold Member
Hes better off not addressing it

Hes just adding fuel to the fire

That's what the SJW types (and the other end of the horseshoe as well, to be fair) are all about.
It's never about convincing anyone.
It's always about clout and fueling the fires.


Pretending that making a character from Norse mythology black is not pure pandering is idiotic. There's literally no other reason to do that.
Pretending that it actually matters in a fantasy game like that is equally idiotic. The game is already so disconnected from "historical"/source accuracy, it wouldn't matter if they brought aliens or clown zombies in.
 
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Clear

Member
The tunnel vision of American developers is remarkable, it's like the whole world is America and that basically means adding black people wherever you can. It's funny because if it were some Senegalese, Cambodian or Inuit setting they would feel it's diverse enough (even if actually homogeneous) with an all cast of Senegalese, Cambodian or Inuit people, but alas, not here. Then if you point out this is some immersion breaking nonsense they feel the need to break the news to you that it's just fantasy, that dragons and giant snakes are not real and that the Eddas don't explicitly mention the characters to be white, and of course you must be racist too because you don't like black people. Yes as a creative you can do whatever, but people can laugh at you too.

The bottom line is that tokenism is still a thing.

Putting token POC everywhere doesn't make it any more defensible, it actually makes it stand out more when its part of an obvious trend. Which in turn leads to the accusation of opportunistic virtue-signalling.

Now to be honest, I have faith in the GoW creative team to do this properly and from a visual/artistic standpoint I do like their rendition of Angrboda. But that's not enough to summarily discard criticism of the type I mentioned at the top of this post, or to try and portray every person who has issues with it as a bigot.
 
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