God of War: Ragnarok’s Angrboda ‘Controversy’ Explained

It’s March 2018. God of Struggle is releasing in a month, and it’s made some large adjustments. Not the whole lot is obvious but, however Kratos has a beard, he isn’t so offended anymore, and he has a son, Atreus. They’re residing within the Norse world now, and it’s an thrilling prospect. Followers need to know the way Kratos received there and extra information on how he survived the occasions of God of Struggle 3, with whether or not it’s a sequel, reboot, or only a basic ignoring of the unique trilogy additionally seemingly unclear. Nonetheless, followers are desirous to test it out as a result of it’s God of Struggle.

It’s close to the tip of Might 2018. God of Struggle has achieved common acclaim on all fronts, significantly within the dynamic between Kratos and everybody’s beloved, if considerably annoying, “BOY.” It by some means made the whole lot that was unsure make sense, and whereas Kratos getting to the Norse world remains to be complicated, it doesn’t matter. The sport is nice, having obtained a number of excellent overview scores. Inside this primary month of launch, it has offered over 5 million copies with 5+ million extra inside a yr. Not solely is it one of many best-selling video games within the collection, but it surely’s one of many best-selling PS4 video games as a result of it’s God of Struggle.

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It’s 2019, and the PS5 has been introduced. Followers know within the pit of their abdomen {that a} God of Struggle sport is in growth for PS5. Followers don’t know the way lengthy it’ll take to create or once they’ll see it, however even with out official confirmations, rumors and hype builds because it is God of War.

It’s September 2020, and God of War: Ragnarok has been officially announced on the PS5 unveiling for launch in 2021. Nobody truly is aware of the identify, however the teaser is epic and invitations followers to name it that. Finally, the sport is delayed into 2022. Everybody noticed it coming, some are upset to the purpose they harass Santa Monica devs, however by and enormous, most followers are okay with the wait. The hype stays excessive and Sony has to handle expectations for a number of following occasions, as a result of followers are dying for God of Struggle.

It’s September 9, 2021. The PlayStation showcase airs. Followers rapidly spot the God of Struggle teaser within the intro, and the present begins with an epic announcement of Knights of the Outdated Republic Remake. Sony exhibits off extra video games like Spider-Man 2 and Wolverine, and total, the present is killing it. God of Struggle will get a brand new trailer, exhibiting off its world, its story, an older Atreus, and extra. It’s a uncommon second within the trade the place hype and wait have all paid off, as a result of that is God of War: Ragnarok.

God of Struggle: Ragnarok – A Controversial Announcement??

god of war ragnarok key art

By no means, within the years since God of Struggle launched in 2018, has it been controversial, regardless of the adjustments it has made to Norse mythology. As God of War developer Matt Sophos points out, they made one dwarf blue who talks like a Texan prospector, they make one other who’s germaphobic, they make Mimir distinctly Scottish, they veer away from the normal backgrounds for Loki, and extra. That’s simply the tip of the iceberg for all of the issues God of Struggle has performed not beholden to Norse mythology, and by no means has this been controversial.

But, seemingly in a single day, it turns into simply that. Out of the blue, the trailer for God of War: Ragnarok is by some means controversial. Individuals are complaining a couple of boat animation in a world the place Kratos will indubitably face highly effective gods in unimaginable stage items, persons are complaining about Thor’s weight even if it exhibits an extremely highly effective character (who, let’s not overlook, has the repute of being an insane genocidal maniac), and persons are complaining about Angrboda being a younger, Black lady hailing from a race of “Jotun,” a large, a mythological race and one identified to have powers of foresight, transformation, and extra.

In a world the place Loki turns into a six-legged horse and turns into pregnant in mythology, a younger, Black lady immediately doesn’t belong. She’s “race-swapping,” she’s not a part of the tradition, and she or he’s misplaced, folks on the web declare.

Their justifications for such claims come from locations, to them, seemingly born out of cause. To them, a Scandinavian–an individual, not a god–has mild options, they usually could go as far as to possible stereotype Scandinavians as white pores and skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. They argue that Norse mythology is predominantly white, and thus, no Black individual might exist in Norse mythology. They declare it’s disrespectful to historical past and mythology, and that it brings politics into the sport. It goes barely additional than that, however the justifications boil all the way down to this younger, Black lady not becoming within the God of Struggle universe, they declare.

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God of Struggle: Ragnarok – Breaking Down a False Narrative


Discourse begins. Many clarify how these preconceived notions are simply and easily not true. Certain, Scandinavian folks are usually white, however for 300 years, they traveled as Vikings. And, traditionally, there may be proof of Black Vikings and Vikings going as south as North Africa, making a distinction even for the Sub-Sahara Africa area. Even Murderer’s Creed Valhalla captures this fairly properly, with North Africa having lore associated to the sport, and there may be some hypothesis {that a} potential Muspelheim DLC will correlate with North Africa in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

Some go additional to elucidate that the Jotun may very well be something; there isn’t any clear level of reference for a way a member of the Jotun race ought to look, with the whole lot from Marvel to other video games merely placing their interpretation onto it. Blue pores and skin, giant stature—that’s the frequent method, but it surely’s not correct to one thing that does not truly exist both. So, mix the Viking’s journey and the Jotun’s thriller, and Jotuns will be something devs need them to be.

Some minimize to the chase—that it doesn’t matter what these historical past and mythologies had been when this can be a online game interpretation. Others spotlight how a Greek man – Kratos – doesn’t belong in Norse mythology both. And there may be the competition of disrespect, of believing that Angrboda being Black disrespects historical past and mythology, but it surely’s straightforward to level out that nobody ever—and at most a really silent few—ever believed Santa Monica Studio had disrespected its supply materials with all its adjustments, till now. The claims that this trailer, which introduces the entire story set-up of God of War: Ragnarok, brings politics into the video games both fail to know politics or solely sees pores and skin shade as political.

Discourse continues. Out of the blue, a photoshopped picture of God of Struggle: Ragnarok’s Angrboda being white circulates the web. It doesn’t matter what somebody believes, Angrboda is already a longtime character in God of War: Ragnarok, and one which Santa Monica Studio has designed as Black. Somebody, so offended by the presence of a younger Black woman, took the trip of their day to make this picture. It’s proof that nobody has listened, and everybody who disliked Angrboda from the get-go has trenched in.

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God of Struggle: Ragnarok’s Angrboda Reception Is not Controversy, It is Racism

angrboda title image

Nobody doubted God of Struggle in 2018, however even when they did, the stats stood out and spoke to them. It was a console vendor. Nobody doubted God of Struggle in 2019, in 2020, or in most of 2021. Santa Monica Studio labored onerous to construct up a lot acclaim, a lot belief, and it did not even should. It wasn’t a aware resolution, only one coming from certainly one of Sony’s premier studios. However come September 2021, it might appear as if controversy is all that got here out of 1 trailer. And, in all of this, it’s clear what the true nature of this controversy is; it’s racism 101. To cover disdain behind false flags, to cover hatred behind some false notion of accuracy, and to cover their very own sense of superiority behind that of some faux narrative are all issues taking place right here, and all telltale indicators of racism at its coronary heart.

They refuse to pay attention, they refuse to even conceive of allowances (that many would and have argued aren’t even mandatory) for all of the belief Santa Monica Studio has constructed, they usually refuse to alter their minds—as a result of the arguments they hear are phrases that every one racists hear, ones they’ve constructed resistances to and developed skills to disregard. The easy matter of the very fact is that this God of War: Ragnarok controversy boils down to some folks so filled with hatred demand {that a} younger, Black lady’s very existence be defined.

On the finish of the day, nothing anybody might say and nothing Santa Monica Studio might do would have made this response something lower than what it was. Echoing Sophos’ sentiments as soon as extra, “[I]f the colour of Angrboda’s pores and skin is the place you draw the road…it is in all probability price some self-examination.”

No younger, Black lady—Angrboda or in any other case—must justify their very existence.

God of Struggle: Ragnarok releases in 2022 for PS4 and PS5.

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