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Queen Jennah of Kryta

Spoiler Warning: This article contains significant spoilers for Edge of Destiny and minor spoilers for Ghosts of Ascalon. 

And so it is: human week has concluded & we’ve got a lot of tasty information regarding the race as a whole. While we’ve been given a little more insight to their mysterious monarch Queen Jennah, she is still a figure who’s hard to understand and plays a role in Guild Wars 2 that’s yet to be determined. Needless to say, a huge war has erupted among the fans of Tyria in regards to whose side they’re on.

Considering she is the Queen of Kryta, and essentially all of humanity, we still know precious little about Jennah and her true goals and motives. We’ve gotten a handful of tidbits from few sources: passing mention in Ghosts of Ascalon and a few cameos in Edge of Destiny, along with what we learned in human week.  This forces us to kind of piece together what she’s all about. One big issue is that a lot of the information we’re getting isn’t really factual at all but rather opinions from the people around her, which makes it difficult to pin-point exactly what’s going on.

One reason I think she is unpopular now is because of Logan. He’s lost a lot of credit with fans due to his actions in EoD and their “romance” has painted a confusing and unpopular picture of Jennah. Still, I find her to be extremely intriguing and am probably in the minority of fans who support her. Many see her as a manipulative selfish monarch at worst, or needy little girl at best. I fully disagree. I’ll get into that later but first, let’s take a look at what we know for sure so far.

Appearance and Skills
We’ve yet to see any official artwork of Jennah, much to the sorrow of many. We get a full description of her in Edge of Destiny though:

Queen Jennah was young, powerful, regal—garbed in a white gown and wearing the mantle of Divinity’s Reach across her shoulders. She had dark hair, tan skin, and riveting brown eyes.

My casting choice, for GW: THE MOVIE!

Sounds like a hottie, but we have to keep in mind this is from Logan’s point of view.  Unsurprising for  her to have a dark complexion, as Krytans historically have been of the mocha persuasion. Based on that description and what we’ve seen of Krytans over the years, I always kind of imagined her to look a little like Inara from Firefly (left).

There’s a statue in Divinity’s reach which a few people are suggesting may also be of her, but there’s no conclusive evidence of that (below).

We know that she’s a mesmer, and a powerful one at that. She has the ability to project her voice with her skills and was able to conjure up an image of Kralkotorrik as well as freeze everyone, friend and foe alike, in place for effect. We can also assume she can use her skills to charm the people around her. Honestly, the combination of mesmer and politician is a tricky one; many fans are un-trusting of her for that reason, and I would not argue with them there. But that’s exactly what makes her an amazing character.

Her role previous to Edge of Destiny.
What we’ve learned about her secession is that she became Queen when her father died. We can probably assume she was fairly young when that happened, and her claim to the throne may also suggest she has no mother or older siblings. But we otherwise don’t really have any indication of her actual age. She’s considered young to be a monarch, so I’m going to guess mid to late twenties. She is beloved by her people for the most part, but not so much with the nobility. This seems fairly typical in a monarchy.

So on to the speculation.
Back in my failed attempt to prove the Seraph were the next solider profession, I went on a pretty detailed political tangent about my view of Jennah’s role both before and after her experience at Ebonhawke in EoD. I’ll try to paraphrase that; even though I was wrong about the profession itself, I still think a lot of the political observations up to the point of the Seraph as a class hold strong.

Statue of Queen Jennah?

I stated the belief that humanity as a whole is a little self-concerned, focused on the centaur and charr mostly. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, given the overall idea that humans are endangered and it would appear Jennah’s priorities reflect that. What we learned this week reinforces this notion. There was little to no mention in the blogs or updated pages of the Elder dragons as a main concern at all. And as we now know, Jennah, while trying to keep Kyrta together in the face of centaur and bandits, is also faced with the pressure of political opposition. That seems to be a pretty hefty load to keep a leader busy.

Given the state of her situation, Jennah’s infatuation / dependence on Logan feels warranted. True allies are few and far-between for someone in her position. So is finding personal connections without selfish motivation. Logan presented the perfect opportunity as both someone to trust as an ally and as a romantic interest. He wasn’t after her crown or position, he was after her.  And so she seemingly jumped on the opportunity.

Was she manipulating him? At first, perhaps a little. But fans seem to forget she mentally connected with Logan and saw all the things he had accomplished. She probably was impressed by his feats during his stints with Destiny’s Edge. I won’t argue their relationship seems desperate and shallow at times, but I don’t think she is using any overt trickery to charm him. I think she is equally charmed, for whatever unfathomable reason that may be. But who are we to judge? Love knows no reason. Just look at Gwen and Keiran.

Regardless of how it began, I still think her tune changed quickly during the attack at Ebonhawke. To quote (from my previous post)

Jennah’s momentary connection to Kralkatorrik‎‎ and the Elder Dragon’s siege, and near destruction of Ebonhawke changed that outlook almost instantly. Everybody was affected: Charr, Ebon Vanguard, and Seraph alike. In those moments, Jennah realized exactly what they were facing in a way that very few other than perhaps Destiny’s Edge themselves had previously fully understood. As leader of the remaining Krytan humans, Jennah’s priorities took a drastic turn.

The biggest argument for her “selfishness” was the fact that she called out to Logan while he was supposed to fight Kralkatorrik. I don’t feel that it holds weight, though, for a key reason. We have no real indication she was aware that at that exact moment he was engaged in battle; and ultimately it was Logan’s choice to leave. And let’s be honest: connecting with the mind of an Elder Dragon doesn’t exactly seem like my idea of a good time. I imagine she must have been feeling and thinking some very intense and frightening things after that. Her life was in real danger and she saw the true chaos and darkness within Kral’s mind. Can we really blame her?

Then there are the indirect consequences that “could have been™” if things hadn’t played out the way they did. I feel strongly that had Logan not gone to protect Jennah and, in turn, lead Ebanhawke to fight against the invasion, things would have ended very tragically. With Logan assuring her safety and buying her time, Jennah was able to summon the mass hallusination that kept Ebonhawk from being completely destroyed. And had she died, with no heir, Kryta would have been thrown into a political power-struggle. The treaty with the charr certainly would have never happened, as she’s the one who charged the Vigil to retrieve the Claw of the Khan-Ur in an attempt to find peace having realized the true threat were the dragons, not the charr. And so the loss of Ebonhawke and lack of an alliance with the charr nations, and the high probability of internal squabbling, would mean humans would largely be taken out of the fight against the big bads.

Her role after EoD and in GW2
So here we have Jennah, as self-concerned as any leader would be in her situation as they have been all throughout time. In order to be a monarch, one needs to exercise a certain amount of self-interest to keep control, because there will always be those seeking to overthrow no matter how good or loved a person is. That’s just life in limelight, as they say. But consider this: if she is as powerful a mesmer as we have reason to believe, then why wouldn’t she use the magic people claim she’s bewitching Logan with to keep her political opponents at bay? That would make sense to me, but it’s obvious she does not abuse her power for political reasons. In that case, then there’s no logical reason for her to use magic to manipulate Logan.

Is this really self-interest?
We can assume the sneaky Minister Caudecus either wants the throne for himself or to put someone more agreeable to his cause there, but to what end? We don’t know, but we do know the arguments against Jennah that have been gaining him some power in Kyrta:

A) She is young, and young leaders are always seen as either inept or easily manipulated.
B) There’s the perception that the Seraph are unable to keep the centaur situation under control, leading to frustration and the desire for a new order.
C) Her pursuit of a treaty with the charr is looked at unfavorably both because of the resources being put into reinforcing Ebonhawke as allies and the continued rivalry with the charr.
D) Everybody hates Logan. (ok, maybe not)

But what would a treaty with the charr gain her in the long run? She is exhausting a lot of resources and risking support to achieve the task. I’m sure she knows this, but she continues to pursue it for the greater good (races banding together to stop the dragons and keeping faith in Ebonhawke).

The Queen’s Throne Room (Is that her sitting?)

I have it in my mind that it will be on Jennah’s orders, whether directly or indirectly, that we as players are charged to bringing Destiny’s Edge back together. Why? Because if anybody has the experience and drive to successfully lead the fight against the dragons, they do. And if anybody knows that well, it’s the Queen.

I fully disagree with this notion that she is only looking out for herself. I think she has the best interest of humanity, and the world, at heart. The kicker here is that if she’s to succeed in bringing everybody together, she needs to survive. To do that, she will have to act in a way that keeps her life and position in tact.

Meanwhile there is nothing the minister has said or done thus far to indicate he has any good intentions while it seems clear, at least to me, that Jennah is working toward an honorable end. We may question her for now, and there may be a time where she will make some touch decisions to test our loyalty. But such is life in dragon haunted times.

You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet, after all.

My conclusion? I think people are getting the wrong idea about Jennah. I have a feeling a driving story we might find in the game will really test our faith in her as a leader and a person. But in the end, I believe she will rise to the challenge and prove to everybody that she is capable and strong.

Poster thanks to Archaes8 of Guru

To the readers: This should be fun, but what are your opinions on Jennah? Love her or hate her? Think she’s manipulative or one of the good guys? What do you think she looks like?

  • Flying Monkey Boy

    I mostly agree , I think she is trying to do the right thing but i also think she is maybe being a bit over manipulative … but hey Logan is a douche and if they killed Zhaitan then who would be the main protaganist for us to fight in GW2 😀

    • Azureink

      You mean Kralkatorrik, not ‎‎Zhaitan.

      • NuclearDuckie

         And antagonist, not protagonist.

  • Hunter

    I think the characters as written are supposed to be sincere and unfortunately due to poor character development and emphasis on action, just come off absolutely terribly.

    • Izari

      I fully agree. Their characterization wasn’t done very well at all, especially not Jennah. Even so, there’s enough in the book and other outlets that show that she is trying to do a good job and not acting out in self interest but for whatever reason people don’t seem to notice that.

  • Felladin

    As Hunter said, my main issue with Jennah and Logan is the really daft lovestory. Had this been another game, like Super Mario or similar, I wouldn’t have bothered with a romcom plot.

    But it isn’t, this is a game where we get a fleshed out social commentary on a minor NPC race. We are faced with internal strife as well as external, gigantic, threats.
    And if we are to believe that this is a world of complex intrigues and deep personalities an entire nation can’t face problems due to a poorly written relationship.

    Had they told me that they met a long time ago and that they faced something like Gwens incarceration together I would have believed them to trust each other more than their friends. But Logan runs off from the assignment of his life and the world, after having seen her twice.
    I don’t believe she’s hexed him, it’s just lazy writing.

    I know, when we meet them now they’ve faced Kralkatorrik together, and had to rely on each other against ministry and the such. It doesn’t matter, their story was badly written from the start. :-/

    And as long as I don’t see evidence of otherwise, she’s the Mubarak of Tyria. She is the supreme and only ruler, without elections. I come from a contry that’s still a monarchy, and it’s a completely baroque rule of government.
    I thought you americans valued democracy over all else. 😉

    • Izari

      Well I value democracy for sure, but for this setting I’m not sure where it fits. This is a fantasy MMO game, and so we expect all that comes with it, including a monarchy for the humans.
      If a faction was rising up to instill a democracy in Kryta, that’s something I would support. But the only real opposition to the throne I see is coming from the ministry, which represents the interests of a rich minority and not that of the people.

      My argument for Jennah is basically under the assumption she has ruled fairly (and it would seem she is popular with the common folk for the most part). And from what I’ve seen from EoD on, trying to defend that she’s not selfish or manipulative as people are painting her to be.

      • Felladin

        That is a horrible standpoint, that we need a monarchy because it’s a fantasygame (I love you anyways, you know that). It’s been 250 years since we took out a fascist regime and reinstated monarchy, maybe it’s time for a new revolution?
        It would make for an epic eventchain! The overthrowing of the monarchy of Kryta, installment of proper juridical system (not the Judge Dredd they have now), periodic elections and so on.

        But yeah, it would be really hard for humans to overthrow their government when they are in war with the centaurs, in a shaky ceasefire with the charr and a huge dragon wanting them dead. Still, one heck of an eventchain…

        Good thing I’m rolling an asura. That way I won’t have to bother with Seraph and ministry and stuff. 😉

        • Izari

          Why is that horrible? I happen to enjoy those types of fantasies. It’s part of what makes the genre. Might as well say “it’s a horrible standpoint ot have magic users just because it’s fantasy (playing devil’s advocate here).

          Either way it’s what’s been given to us. Like I said, I think a democratic revolution would be awesome, but until I see something better than what’s there as far as opposition to the throne, I support it over the nobility. Those guys smell funny.

          (I’m going Norn, I think XD)

          • draxynnic

            There are a couple of old saws that are worth mentioning here. From Churchill: “Democracy is the worst form of government possible apart from everything else that’s tried”. From a source I can’t recall: “The best form of government is a benign dictatorship.”

            Ask anyone who lives in a democracy and they’ll tell you it has plenty of weaknesses. The democratic system makes it hard for leaders to look more than an election cycle or two in advance, for instance, especially when it comes to things that are unpopular in the short term but need to be done for the long term. If you have somebody who knows what they’re doing and who genuinely has the good of the people in mind, they’ll probably be able to do more good if given free reign than if handicapped by the electoral cycle. The problem is picking that person, and this is where the advantage of democracy comes in – it can hamper the value of a good government, but it can also go a long way to limiting the damage a BAD government can do.

            Going back on topic – I’ve gone on the record as defending Logan’s decision, which pretty much also makes me a Jennah supporter as well. I’m not going to go into detail here and now, but suffice it to say there are some very good logical reasons why sacrificing the queen of Kryta for a shot at killing an elder dragon might not be a good trade. The problem is, as has been mentioned, the lack of any form of internal monologue in the book – we don’t know if, in the time after receiving the call for help, Logan was actually thinking through those reasons or whether it was the simple “my crush is in danger, must drop everything and help!” response most people assume it is.

            Similarly, with Jennah, we don’t know her thoughts behind the call. What I think some of the Jennah-haters are forgetting, though, is that she didn’t know Logan’s mission had changed to killing Kralkatorrik – last she’d heard, Logan’s mission was to investigate whether Glint needed to be killed (something she had misgivings over) to prevent the Dragonrise. When she found that Kralkatorrik was already up, it would have been a reasonable assumption on her part that Destiny’s Edge had failed in the Crystal Desert and were free to be called to where they could do some more good. While Logan’s reasons for responding are a little murkier (he may have done the right thing for the wrong reasons, after all), I don’t think Jennah’s summon could be seen as selfish given what she knew at the time.

            I’ll have to admit that Bargamer’s plan would probably have been a better response on Logan’s part – as long as they could have got Glint there (I’m not sure she’d have fit through the mobile portal). Ebonhawke would have been a much more defensible position, and putting Snaff and Jennah in a vault would have freed up more of Destiny’s Edge to fight AND allowed Jennah, Anise, and any other mesmers among her bodyguard to help Snaff in mentally wrestling Kralkatorrik to the ground.

            However, it can be hard to think of the best plan for a situation when the heat is on, and neither Glint nor any of the other members of Destiny’s Edge (all except Rytlock strike me as being smarter than Logan, implied game mechanical attributes aside, and Rytlock is about the same) were able to think of it either.

            And, to be honest, the kidnap scenario does allow more opportunity to think, plan, and prepare – a better analogy would be receiving a call saying that she’s currently being attacked a few streets away. You don’t have the luxury to calmly plan and gather your resources in that scenario – you grab everyone who’s right there that’s willing to go and hope you get there before it’s too late.

            TL;DR: Jennah didn’t know DE’s mission had changed to killing Kralkatorrik – last she knew, DE was trying to prevent Kralkatorrik rising. Once she knew Kralkatorrik was active, it would have been a reasonable assumption on her part that the mission had failed and that Logan – and possibly Destiny’s Edge as a whole – was free to respond to a call for help.

  • Great post! I kind of agree mostly thought with Felladin, who agrees with Hunter. I think Jennah is a pretty cool gal. Seh leads a nation and doesn’t afraid of anything. But, she came off really weak in EoD. Either her story should have been fully fleshed out, or she should have remained off screen. The middle ground, I believe, really made people dislike both her and Logan… without much else warranting those feelings.

    • Izari

      Thanks a ton, Rav.
      I think maybe we’ll get some more of her in the 3rd book.
      Well. I hope.

      I do wish she was better written, though.

  • bargamer

    I don’t believe it was Logan’s choice at all. Read the book, paying attention to his word choice, his syntax, his personality as he fights Charr, the Sons of Svanir, dragon champions and their minions, and more. Now read the top half of page 363:

    His knees buckled, and he dropped to the floor. “No!”
    “Are you all right?” Rytlock asked, striding up beside him.
    Logan gaped at his friend.

    NOW tell me, with a straight face, that Logan made a calm and considered choice to go rescue Jenna. Jenna put a Mesmer Hex on his soul, and if he hadn’t gone right THEN, he would probably have gone insane or berserk. His single over-riding thought was on Queen Jenna, not on Rytlock, not on the plan to kill the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik, but on one, selfish, panicky Mesmer.

    Let’s give a hypothetical situation: Pretend that you are a soldier at war, and you get a phone call from someone you care about, saying they have been kidnapped. They want you to come alone, telling no-one where you are going, then they hang up. How do you first react?

    Personally, I wouldn’t gape like a landed fish at my co-worker, babble incoherently, and then leave.

    If I was Logan, I’d take everyone I knew, hand them a weapon and go hunting Jason Statham-style, and not stop until everyone between me and the kidnapper were dead. There’s nothing so important about the Crystal Desert that they had to risk so much to defend that location. Logan should have broken down the camp, taken everyone and Glint and the emerald-tree-thing to Ebonhawke. Put Snaff AND Jenna in the deepest, most heavily armored vault, and stack several walls, soldiers, and casters between Kralky and his minions, and accomplish both goals at once.

    That would have been the SMART thing to do. But Jenna panicked, and only summoned the one she had latched her claws into. It was only later after Logan had arrived and all but beat the ogres back anyways that she summons that illusion of Kralky to make the rest of the ogres go away.

    • Izari

      It wasn’t a calm choice. It was a panicked choice, for both of them. I think you are underestimating how easily people buckle when scared.

      Was it a spell? Yes. It’s the bond that would allow them to communicate. If he was shocked by it, I think anybody would be. Up until that point, she hand’t used it on him, but she did then.

      I can’t remember how long before the actual fight with Kral he left (I lent the book out so I can’t check), but if someone you love is in danger, you don’t think straight in that situation. Nor would I feel he would have asked his group to leave when they had something else equally important to do.

      I still don’t see how it was selfish of her to summon Logan when she was in real danger. That’s what he had promised to do for her, and right then she was both mind-frakked from Kralk and her life was on the line. Up until then she never forced him to go to her, even when she wanted him there.
      Of course she summoned him. 90% of people in her shoes would have.

  • I need to read EoD again. I don’t remember much of queen Jennah. i think she doesn’t appear much in the book (mostly she appear in letter form) kind of side-character. but i imagine her to be like a more elegant caster version of queen Salma in WiK.(Queen Salma is the warrior or ranger queen, i guess from her standing post. She doesn’t look very attractive to me tho…)

    i think maybe she looks like this.
    http://img18.imageshack.us/i/gw011a.jpg/
    thanks the Character makeover asuran guy.

  • Altoids/Toaster

    Interesting. Is the 2nd Guild wars book out????

  • NuclearDuckie

    Hey, where’d you get the high resolution picture of the throne room? I’ve only seen it drastically scaled down.