Okay, I promise, I promise I’m going to leave Arthas: The Rise of Lich King alone. Any day now. Any … day … now …
I think I must have been badly traumatised by both its madness and its comically negative impact on my life because, for some reason, I just can’t stop picking at it. But since it’s a scab on the skinned knees of fiction, I suppose that’s fair enough.
I just want to share one more line before I set it on fire (since nobody wants it – but whyyyy? Did I fail to sell it to you somehow). Now, y’know Illidan Stormrage, right? Fantastically cool looking, half-mad, eyeless, demonic night elf. The betrayer, although it was he who was betrayed? The Lord of Outland? He for whom we are not prepared? That guy?
Well, would you ever write this about him: “Sweat gleamed on his massive, lavender-hued torso.” I’m okay with the sweat, I’m okay with the massive, I’m okay with the torso but what the fuck is with the lavender. LAVENDER? Illidan Stormrage is LAVENDER? Lavender is the colour of Grandmas. It is the colour of pot pourri. It is the colour of bath oil. It is in no way the colour of a fantastically cool looking, half-mad, eyeless, demonic night elf.
Goddamn you Christie Golden, is there anything else you’d like to WRECK around here?
Why don’t you take Darth Vadar and make him a whiny emo teenager…oh wait, somebody’s already done that.
Putting aside (for the moment, if it’s even possible) my accumulating rage and bile, I think the other problem I had when I was reading Arthas: Rise of the Lich King was that I found it quite hard to let go of the game behind it, if that makes sense. I couldn’t quite suspend my disbelief. Now, I know that’s my own problem, but I suspect part of the reason behind it was the general awfulness of the book making me most unwilling to give it an inch, let alone start dangling my disbelief over a dark chasm of doom.
But it did make for some unintentionally comic moments.
Book: [9 year old] Arthas flipped back the hood of his beautifully embroidered red runecloth cap
My brain: Hey, wait a minute, there’s no way Arthas is high level enough to wear runecloth
Book: He had thought he found well with his blessed hammer, now lying discarded and forgotten in the icy vault where Frostmourne had once been imprisoned but it was nothing to the damage he dealt now.
My brain: Well Frostmourne is clearly a legendary weapon, isn’t it? The hammer was probably only a blue.
Book: The dancer, a shaman by the name of Kamiku, missed a step and his hoof struck awkwardly.
My brain: *imagines the cow dance*
And once you go down that route, you can just run with it and run with it and run with it…
The herd of shoveltusk huddled together for warmth, their thick, shaggy coats protecting them from the worst of the storm. But not the group of PCs who charged in and randomly slaughtered them all, even though they were yellow.
Or like this…
Arthas strode down the cobbled streets of Stormwind, the air ringing with the cry of a thousand traders: WTS: Eternal Fire, cheaper than on AH!
The words died in his throat as Mal’Gannis began to shimmer and whirl in a familiar pattern. “No!” Arthas shrieked. He surged forward, blindly, recklessly, and would have been cut down in a heartbeat had the teleportation spell been completed. Arthas cried out incoherently, swinging his faintly glowing hammer at empty air. “I’ll hunt you down to the ends of the earth if I have to! Do you hear me? To the ends of the earth!” Manic, raging, screaming, he swung his hammer wildly at nothing until sheer exhaustion alone forced him to lower it. He propped it up and leaned on it, sweating, shaking with raw sobs of frustration and anger. “WTB port Northrend!” he howled.
“This entire city must be purged.”
Arthas’s statement was blunt and brutal. Jaina blinked. Surely he hadn’t meant that.
“How can you even consider that?” Uther cried, marching up to his former student. “Do it at 80, noob!”
Okay. For the sake of my sanity, and yours, I’m stepping way from Arthas now. I’m stepping away…