Gaming has had a bit of a tumultuous history with representation in quite a few ways, but LGBT+ representation is historically lacking. With the upcoming expansion, Blizzard intends to take a massive step forward in adding representation to their stories.
As a note, there will be slight story spoilers for the upcoming World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion due to the discussion around the character.
Within the realms of the Shadowlands, many are given a chance at rebirth, but few are given such a chance as the Kyrian covenant of Bastion. There, worthy ascendants are given the choice to reshape themselves as they see fit to become the truest version of themselves that they can muster.
Such is the story of Pelagos, a Kyrian Soulbinding option that players will interact with heavily throughout the Shadowlands storyline. Through dialogue with Pelagos, he reveals that he “had a female form in life,” stating that they don’t recall their name or race but recalls that he “never felt like my physical form represented who I was inside.”
Through the dialogue, Pelagos confirms that they were given the ability to become who he truly was. Joyfully describing the experience, Pelagos says the following:
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) July 19, 2020
“I felt comfortable! Excited! Like who I was inside matched what others saw for the first time! All of those feelings finally made sense.”
Above anything else, it’s fantastic to see that Blizzard is not only inserting a strong form of representation with Pelagos, but that they’re setting the trans individual to be a key storyline element. While this is far from the first LGBT+ representation placed into the game, it’s the first that it’s been a character of any dominance or import.
Previously, Blizzard has placed things such as same-sex couples or mentioned such things in passing as themes. Others have pointed to an NPC in the Caverns of Time, a male orc with a female voice, to be trans representation.
However, most of these things have been thrown out as random tidbits or jokes rather than as actual representation. The aforementioned orc NPC, for example, complains that the Caverns “do weird things to the body” when talked to, which many have found incredibly insensitive to the trans community.
Still, this is a massive step, and while there have been more than a few transphobes that are quick to make their opinion on the matter known over the internet, much of the community is rejoicing to see Blizzard finally putting some decent level of representation into the game.