Popular Culture Review 29.1 (Spring 2018) - Page 38

commitment to the Forsaken being grounded in response to personal trauma. She also participates in a second common trope concerning female characters, of the “bad-ass babe in chain mail lingerie” (as discussed in Sarkeesian 2016), portrayed with prominent breasts and exposed midriff, a model that was updated with her promotion to Warchief by covering her midriff, a choice that provoked considerable debate on the World of Warcraft forums (“Why did they censored [sic] Sylvanas?”, 2016). One interesting feature of her character, unusual among the Horde leadership, is that she is usually depicted as an archer who attacks from a distance using bow and arrow, skilled in tracking, misdirection, and complex strategies and aided by alchemists skilled in biological and chemical warfare, techniques themselves distrusted by her peers. There are strong parallels between Sylvanas, cool, calculating, and pragmatic, and Hillary Clinton, the strategically cautious policy wonk, opposed to similarly parallel characters of Garrosh Hellscream, a melee fighter prone to emotional outbursts and favoring immediate violent action and Trump, proponent of simplistic, viscerally satisfying solutions and prone to angry tweeting. Most interestingly, though, if the Horde is composed of outcasts, the Forsaken are outcasts among outcasts, constantly threatened with genocide, and due to their inability to reproduce, existing on the verge of extinction. Fiercely loyal to the Forsaken under her protection, Sylvanas plots, strategizes, fights, and sabotages, using any means necessary to ensure racial survival. Her implacability and ruthlessness are expressed in her speech at the annual Burning of the Wickerman celebration of the liberation of the Forsaken from the Scourge: In life, we suffered unspeakable tragedies. ... We [now] paint our faces with the ash, to send a message to new enemies. ... We are not monsters! We are not the mindless wretches of a ghoul army! NO! We are a force even more terrifying! ... We are the instruments of an unyielding ire! WE ARE THE FORSAKEN! In this statement, Sylvanas, originally an aristocratic ranger of the arrogant and privileged high elves, assumes a new subject position as a leader of the marginalized and downtrodden, standing up against racial discrimination and prejudice. This new role, however, does not represent a complete ideological break with her earlier life. As Ranger General of Silvermoon when alive, Sylvanas decried the insularity and racism of the elves and appointed a human, Nathanos Marris, as the first non-elven member of the Farstriders (an elite elven fighting force) and eventually promoted him to Ranger Lord against the wishes of many of her elven compatriots. Similarly, Hillary Clinton, during 38