There’s a nice new lore article detailing one of the non-player character (NPC) races that appeared in the Guild Wars expansion, The Eye of the North. The jotun are a giant-race, cousins to the ogres. It appears that the giant-races prefer mountains, the ogres getting the Blazeridge Mountains east of Ascalon, while the jotun once held court all throughout the Shiverpeaks. While the story of the ogres is still unknown, the jotun fell in power because of interracial conflict.
Behind the scenes, ArenaNet’s loresmith Ree Soesbee writes that the jotun lore was expanded to show something great that was taken because the jotun race cannibalized itself. They were legendary and possessed the magic and the ability to create huge monuments, possibly before the time of the gods and Bloodstones that brought magic to the races. This leads one to wonder whether the jotun had a hand in the Eye of the North superstructure. Regardless, all that’s left is a mongrel scrap of a race among massive stone monuments without meaning.
I have to wonder about their addition because Guild Wars, in my humble opinion, already has a fallen race story over and over! We need, yet another race, that has fallen? We have the mysterious Giganticus Lupicus (True Giants) that used to rule Tyria, we have the Forgotten that used to rule Tyria, we have the mursaat that were killed of by player actions, and an entire player-character race is dedicated to “down, but not out.” I guess the humans can be redeemed, I still think the Forgotten were a slave race to begin with, Jeff Grubb is likely holding the mursaat hostage because of me, and the True Giants seem truly lost to time. The jotun are the tattered race flapping in the wind; it’s just a matter of time before the sands of time pull them off the flagpole to fling them into the beyond.
I really wonder how far ArenaNet is going to take this race. Will it be another story left to the imagination, like the Forgotten? Or, is there simply nothing left to tell. I feel of all the NPC races, the jotun are going to have the most difficult story, if there is even one left. The humans are fighting back, the Forgotten seemed at peace by the end of Guild Wars their hand played out long ago, but it seems like the jotun intend to spiral downward without any intent on stopping.
In a way, the jotun remind me of the “prawns” in District 9. There is so much to learn about this space-faring race, but the humans just disregard the prawns as barely sentient creatures unworthy of a culture. The prawns live under one of the greatest monuments Earth had ever seen, and for all that power the spaceship and prawn technology was nearly worthless. With the prawns, the fallen status was apparent throughout the movie. I wonder how ArenaNet plans on showing the jotun in a similar boat.
They will have magical monuments at their camps, while standing around in loincloths and sharpened rock weapons, but is that enough to show the race has truly fallen? I wonder thematically how ArenaNet intends to show the difference between the primitive jotun on the downswing versus the primitive grawl on the upswing. I do hope that somehow the jotun come across differently in game than “brutes with clubs.” I would prefer not to just have one more solitary bit of lore for the Priory.
too bad they had to go so soon