Blizzard's Long History of Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls and Fear of Women

While he is not the first to notice, fantasy author Sam Sykes tweeted last month about the weird recurring archetype that Blizzard Entertainment has been employing with some of their most prominent female characters. While stock characters are a feature of every narrative medium, Blizzard seems to have exactly one vision for female villainy: An angular beauty with lilac skin and a traumatic backstory to explain how a nice girl ended up in the mass-murder business.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

“Person (or, say, an entire race of people) gets corrupted and turns evil” feels like it’s 80% of Warcraft’s playbook, tbh.


Happy to see this article - it’s been rankling me for years that Widowmaker seemed to have fallen straight out of the Blizzard Template For Female Villains.

Leah from Diablo 3 isn’t quite as comically adherent to the template, but her incredibly disappointing story arc was the first time I became aware of this pattern.


Despite the emphasis on the Protoss in Legacy of the Void, the ending to the SC2 saga does involve Kerrigan just powering all the way up and ultimately being the hero of the story.

You know how deep it’s Blizzard’s staff fear of women when they get all the way down to vagina dentata only to hit a giant reset button because boyfriend’s sad:

This article is almost 10 years old, could have been written yesterday.


… (note) how the artifact periodically erupts in a flash of energy that destroys all nearby enemies, but then needs to rest for a little while before it can stand up and erupt again.

… sometimes a phallic symbol is really a phallic symbol, and somebody needs to call it out, because it’s ridiculous.

Damn, Blizzard.

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