The announcement of the first details of God of War: Ragnarok was received with happiness by the fans. However, a portion of Internet users was revolted by the fact that the game will have Angrboda as a black woman.
After several racist attacks, the screenwriter Matt Sophos used the Twitter to counter the main complaints of these people. First, he made a point of stating that “the vast majority of gamers are excited and think she looks amazing”, but would like to answer the main “arguments” of detractors.
Check out the writer’s response below:
“You gave in to outside pressure.”
I can count with two fingers the number of observations I received to change stories, counting 2018 and God of War: Ragnarok together. That question was not in any of them. I’m grateful for the confidence they give us to tell the best story possible without interference. So yeah, that doesn’t make sense.
“You became political”
As a writer, your job is to tell stories that are compelling and identifiable. You bring pieces of yourself into the stories and your opinions come out. So writing is ever political — is that they usually only talk about it if they approach a policy that they don’t agree with.
“Not true to Norse mythology/not respecting the culture”
Oh man. The big subject. Let me start with this: God of War it is our interpretation of mythology, not history – Norse or Greek. We tell a personal story with a background of gods, giants and etc through our perspective. And this perspective not is 100% faithful. For example, here’s a quick review of some of the mythological inspirations behind the protagonists of God of War (2018):
- Brok: A legendary blacksmith of the Dwarves we made blue and talks like a foul-mouthed miner from Texas.
- Sindri: Another legendary Dwarf smith we’ve turned grey, germophobic and knows a lot about bacteria (“little beasts”).
- Mimir: Rooted in Norse mythology, in God of War he is Scottish. Mimir is the name he assumed when he arrived in Midgard, and we linked him to a character from English folklore (and especially from Shakespeare’s plays)
- Baldur: The god of light and purity in the legends, we shake the basics of your invulnerability to (almost) all things, and make you incapable of feeling anything because of it.
- Loki: We made him half a giant, a fourth human and a fourth Greek demigod. Do I need to say more?
- Loki’s father: We rely on the translation of “Farbauti” – the “cruel gunner” – to link him to Kratos… A rude Greek demigod with a history of murdering gods. He was also voiced twice in a row by two amazing black actors. But I’m digressing…
I guess what I mean is… We consistently take mythological characters and create our own version. So if Angrboda’s skin color is your limit for how respectful we were, it’s probably worth a self-assessment. Thanks for listening.
The screenwriter received support from Cory Barlog, director of God of War of 2018. Also in the Twitter, the developer stated:
“We don’t bend to external pressure. We don’t create what others tell us. We tell the stories we want, with characters we see. We do this because we have spent years serving the journey. We make games for you. We create because we can’t imagine ourselves doing anything else.”
God of War: Ragnarok is scheduled for release sometime in 2022.