1. #1
    FirestarLuva's Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Macedonia
    Posts
    818

    Hes Not Perfect, But Connor {Ratonhnhak:ton} Kenway is not a bad character. {Rant}

    This is not by me, but, I posted it here since I think it's probably the greatest Connor/Ratonhnhak:ton rant ever. It was written by someone on tumblr. I think she/he writes articles for video game media, which is a good thing, since this thing needs to get published. The writer is called Leviathyn. Kudos to this person.

    Hes Not Perfect, But Connor {Ratonhnhak:ton} Kenway is not a bad character.


    ' ' 'The Assassins Creed franchise is finally at the point of yearly release. With Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag looming on the horizon, its become easier to look forward with burning anticipation, while pointing out the flaws of previous entries. Some think that assassinations have been all but removed from the game. Others claim that the story is becoming a muddled mess of mysticism and confusion. Then, there are those that say Connor Kenway is the worst assassin weve played to date.
    While I wont dispute that Connor is a far cry from the charming arrogance of Ezio or the stoic duty driver Altar, he is by no means a bad character. No, like many of the fault found in Assassins Creed III, the time period is more to blame than the person.
    Connor, or Ratonhnhak:ton as he is called prior to becoming an assassin, is a chess piece of one of the more turbulent times in history. Taking place during the American Revolution, Connor seeks to further the cause of the Revolutionaries, while pursuing his own goals. When were first introduced to Connor, hes naive and guarded. Having witnessed the death of his mother, and the powerlessness that came from not being able to save her, he seeks out the training, knowledge and abilities which can help absolve that powerlessness.
    Here is where our assassins take a split path. Whereas Altar and Ezio became the dominating factors of their story, Connor is never truly rid of this powerlessness. Its a new character depth unreached by the other assassins because they were more instrumental in the events surrounding them. Altar outright liberated the assassins from a corrupt leader while Ezio led them into a new era of strength once he became the Mentor of the Order. Both retained the ability to directly influence their situations by rising in rank and/or accruing a loyal group of individuals to help them in their goals. Connor, doesnt receive this luxury during his quests. With most major events, Connor isnt the true driving force behind it; hes merely taking part in a grander picture.
    Connors powerlessness is a recurring theme throughout his journey until the very end. When he chooses to break away from his village and seek education at under the tutelage of Achilles, hes rejected by the seasoned assassin. When he finds Charles Lee and his father for the first time in Boston, hes denied the opportunity to take their lives, which is all he wants, because of their role in the brewing conflict. Even when he discovers the truth of George Washingtons actions, hes largely powerless to affect any change.
    Playing as a powerless protagonist is understandably unappealing on the surface. For some it may seem as though Connor is merely drifting from event to event during the American Revolution and never really taking hold of the reins and steering his own life. In my opinion, the struggle to further your own goals, by being forced to advance the goals of an outside party, makes for better characterization than simply bulldozing through everything in your path.
    The events of the American Revolution are set in stone. The British won The Battle of Bunker Hill and Connors presence shouldnt be enough to change that. Operating within these constraints, however, allows Connor to grow more as a character. From the limitations hes placed in, we see Connor push and pull with his own wants versus the entire countrys desires. While Connor may want Charles Lee dead as soon as possible, he doesnt have the power to do so because history prevents it. It creates external conflict for Connor to resolve which couldnt have been achieved had he always been in a position to do as he pleases.
    Externalities aside, Connor has a variety of internal conflicts which he struggles with over the course of the Revolution. To put it bluntly, he has the most daddy issues in the Assassins Creed franchise. To make that statement more general and abstract, Connor has authority issues. Hes forced to bounce from one authority figure to another because of his own lack of knowledge about the world. Beyond that, as was intended, theres a struggle between his Native American and European roots. In addition, he struggles with accepting his father and seeking a stable parental figure in his life as evidenced by his willingness to see the good in Haytham and attempt to work with him despite his Templar allegiance.
    All of these issues reach a fever pitch toward the climax of the story where Connor, fully educated in how both Haytham and Washington have been manipulating him, dissolves his ties to both and truly takes power and control for the first time. While it isnt a total resolution of all of his character flaws and issues (for example hes still rather naive by nature), it does mark a point of true growth for a character. While it doesnt mark Connors ascension into a master assassin, it does bring a logical, human conclusion to a well developed character arc.
    So did Connor Kenway make an effective protagonist for Assassins Creed III? In my opinion he did. Considering how limited he was by the backdrop of the American Revolution, the culmination of his own internal struggles and the external forces which he ultimately comes to realize he has no control over, Connor goes through a complete character arc. Whats more, at the end of this character arc, the world changing realization that he has to come to terms with is that not everyone can be trusted just because theyve helped you in the past.
    He loses more than he gains, realizes that he his friends were only circumstantial and ends his journey relatively alone. Id say that makes for a good, if not somewhat tragic, main character in the Assassins Creed franchise.
    ' ' '

    Another great Rant...

    ' ' 'Okay, I get it, Assassins Creed fandom. Youre very attached to Ezio.
    You played through a trio of games with him, watched him grow and fight and die, and became extremely fond of him. And why wouldnt you? Hes a charming character with great wit, a sense of style, and some wonderful development. His games spanned a lot of drama and detail in the series universe, and his role in the story was very important.
    But can we stop hating Connor for daring to be something other than an Ezio 2.0? For having his own personality and defining characteristics that are unique to him?
    I just cant identify with him, My co-worker said today. His story wasnt interesting. He wasnt funny. I miss Ezio. At my lunch break, I was very tempted to go home, pick up my Connor statuette, and beat him with it repeatedly until unconsciousness. Because this is not a unique sentiment it has been parroted by so many AC fans that it seems to be the norm within the larger community.
    This idea is built upon very wrong, very flawed principals; not only is it bigoted, its just plain not right.
    Be a fan of Ezio. Thats fine. Even prefer him if you want. But lets talk about some very important pieces of contextual information about Connors character before you go deciding anything.
    For one, Connor Kenway was not born Connor Kenway. The name the player addresses him with is not his name; the language he speaks in the majority of the plot is not his first language; and the cities and societies he navigates, whatever his parentage, are not his either. All of this informs how Connor acts and speaks within the game, and it seems like a lot of fans forget this.
    One of many complaints Ive heard about why Connors not interesting is his voice. He doesnt inflect much; hes very dry and monotone. For one, there are people who speak this way. Whatever. Not everybody has to speak like they have the sun shining out their ***.
    But in Connors case, it has everything to do with his cultural background. English is his second language. Id like to see anyone whos complained about Connors voice try to sound emotive and peppy speaking in a second language, where youre spending most of your energy translating what youre thinking in your mind into words, having to navigate a new tongue that you might not be very familiar with.
    The English language is a mind-**** with all sorts of arbitrary rules, and a person in Connors place has to be listening to other speakers, trying to understand and translate what theyre saying, on top of formulating a coherent and understandable response. Hes doing language calculus in his head while everyone else is just chatting, and you want to be upset thats hes not doing more than he already is?
    On top of this, he is an Indigenous person navigating white colonizer cities and towns. Think of what little history you learned in school. Ill be honest and say I know jack squat about the American white colonizers were ****s who believed anyone who wasnt white and wasnt of their culture was an animal, a savage, and a brute.
    You can tell in many dialogue scenes that the people Connor is working with dont respect him as a human being. They treat him like a lap dog, they ignore his physical cues (backing away when they try to touch him), and they completely ignore his opinions on the bigotry and hypocrisy in their society (i.e., slavery). Connor is in a very delicate situation, where these people have legal and social power, and he doesnt, but he needs their help.
    So hes got to put up with their ignorance while navigating their unknown culture trying to speak their language. Im not surprised Connor pulls into his shell, so to speak, in a lot of scenes in the game. You can see it happening. One minute, hes outgoing and even defiant to Achilles when its just them on the Homestead; the next, hes the silent figure in the background in a room of white men. Why is it so hard to believe that an Indigenous person in this time period would feel uncomfortable in this situation and keep his head down, as much as he could?
    Connor spends ninety percent of the game navigating a very dangerous, uncomfortable, alien environment and the fans want to be upset that hes not cracking jokes and playing the ****** like Ezio did, on top of just trying to survive?
    This brings me to my next point: historical context.
    So much of the impact of this game is derived from knowing some of the history of the time. Now, Ive already said my history knowledge is negative zero. But I do know enough basics to realize just how difficult what Connors doing is.
    Can you imagine being a Mohawk, losing your mother and watching your village be burned to the ground by white men, growing up in a time when your people are in more and more danger because of said white men, - choosing to leave the only home youve ever known to enter a dangerous profession and a society that hates your existence, all to make it better for your own people?
    Connor is the most compassionate, self-sacrificing individual, because he takes on so much hardship and pain, all for the benefit of his people, and for the cause he comes to care about. Hes an idealist he honestly believes that if he helps the colonizers they will help him in turn, that everything will turn out okay. He wants the Americans to be free! He thinks they deserve it, despite all the things theyve done and how theyve treated him.
    He is good enough to put up with his ******* of a father ordering him around as if he had the right, because its for the greater good of his people. He can put up with white men speaking around him and calling him slurs for the greater good of his people.
    He leaves his home, his people, and willingly enters the society of his oppressors to help his people; suffers micro-aggressions and bigotry all the while, and puts up with it with silent dignity. I am amazed and in awe that half the people Connor dealt with in this game didnt get hidden blades stuck through their throats.
    How can you say his story was boring? That it wasnt engaging or you couldnt identify with it? This story is the ultimate tale of determination and pain, but its not written in neon lights its in the context. Ins in the ways that the white characters dismiss Connors wishes, words, and concerns, the way they order him around and ignore his complaints, how they treat him, and how Connor toughs it out, how he manages not to break under all this bull****, because he knows it will benefit his people.
    I just how can that kind of character not mean something to you? How can that kind of strength and compassion not hit you right in the heart?
    So what if Connors a little quieter than Ezio? Hes more inward driven, but hes still hilarious. If youre not getting his jokes, youre not paying enough attention his wit is sharp and sarcastic.
    Hes still loving and caring. Ezio mightve been driven by the desire to revenge his fallen loved ones, but isnt that Connors motivation too, in a way? But hes working for even more than that, he wants to help all his people, not just avenge his mother.
    Connor is a different person than Ezio. Obviously. But it feels like people forget that. Love Ezio! Fine! But dont play AC3 expecting the same experience, you will be disappointed. Arent you capable of letting go of characters and moving on from time to time? The Metal Gear Solid fandom eventually got over MGS2s lead being Raiden, not Snake. People were ****** Nero was the lead of Devil May Cry 4instead of Dante, now the fandom adores him. Come on, these things happen all the time. Get over it.
    Ezio got three whole games. Altair got what, one console game and a crappy PSP one? And it looks like theyre already moving away from Connor and Aveline, too? Seriously, we have explored everything we can of Ezio. Lets move on.
    This is a case of fandom being waaay too in love with a character, and shoving their irritation that hes gone into hatred of another character. Thats just childish and immature. There is no reason to hate Connor, just because hes not Ezio.
    But theres more context to this situation, too. Connor as the lead character of this game is a HUGE deal. Video games rarely have people of color as protagonists.
    Fandom, what youre doing has bigger consequences than you know. Connors role in this game is historic in gaming, and yet the fans cant stop crying for the white guy from previous games. Do you realize what that says, that an entire fandom as a whole prefers the white guy to the person of color? For reasons which are flimsy and full of holes, at best? It is just another form of racism, of refusing to even consider the context of Connors identity and why he might be different from what you expect, and to outright hate him for failing to meet your expectations.
    Ubisoft did something good with Connor, but with outcries like these, the likelihood of it happening again becomes riskier. The IV game has been announced and its already clear the series is going back to its white protagonist ways, as if to placate fans incapable of thinking outside their own experiences and thinking critically about the way they view characters.
    This new character has been parodied by many people already and has been compared to multiple other fictional characters, because he legitimately has little to no uniqueness in his design and is just another White Male With Stubble.
    Fan reactions have consequences. Allowing your bigotry to blind you to the intricacies of Connors character, and nostalgically attaching yourself to the white male of games past will make an impact on what Ubisoft chooses to do in the future, and that impacts the people of color who already get so little representation in video games.
    It is ignorant, selfish, and cruel for fans to blow that chance because they refuse to work through their racism. Grow up fandom. Cherish and respect Connor for who he is, and stop comparing him to Ezio.
    ' ' '
    Share this post

  2. #2
    ACfan443's Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,162
    There suddenly seems to be a massive Connor uprising
    Share this post

  3. #3
    silvermercy's Avatar AC Expert
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    UK / Greece
    Posts
    5,081
    AC V: The Uprising

    lol
    Share this post

  4. #4
    Will_Lucky's Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    962
    Originally Posted by ACfan443 Go to original post
    There suddenly seems to be a massive Connor uprising
    Just a loud minority. Not exactly an uprising.
    Share this post

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by silvermercy Go to original post
    AC V: The Uprising

    lol
    Connor comes back from the dead and slaughters everyone because of the abuse he's gone through. He's so fierce that even Juno is afraid of him! @_@

    Originally Posted by Will_Lucky Go to original post
    Just a loud minority. Not exactly an uprising.
    Shameful fact but truth.
    Share this post

  6. #6
    silvermercy's Avatar AC Expert
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    UK / Greece
    Posts
    5,081
    Originally Posted by Will_Lucky Go to original post
    Just a loud minority. Not exactly an uprising.
    Don't let me beat you with that Connor statuette... (or worse, make me post some pant-less Connor pics from deviantart with 80,000 views and fangirl comments... Yes, there is such a drawing. This will be my threat from now on. Great! hehe...)

    Great rants OP! Thanks! 2nd one is my fave!
    Share this post

  7. #7
    Maybe this should have gone into the other Connor thread that was recently started?
    Share this post

  8. #8
    silvermercy's Avatar AC Expert
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    UK / Greece
    Posts
    5,081
    Originally Posted by Spider_Sith9 Go to original post
    Connor comes back from the dead and slaughters everyone because of the abuse he's gone through. He's so fierce that even Juno is afraid of him! @_@
    Zombie Connor!!
    Share this post

  9. #9
    SixKeys's Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    11,706
    Did this really need its own thread?


    Also, why does every Connor fan seem to assume that everyone who doesn't like him is an Ezio fan? Altar is my favorite, I don't care that Ezio's story is done, in fact I'm happy that he's gone after three games. Just because I don't think Connor is as interesting as the previous assassins doesn't mean I wanted him to be an Ezio clone, or even an Altar clone. I just wanted him to be better than what we were shown in the game.
    Share this post

  10. #10
    Will_Lucky's Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    962
    Originally Posted by silvermercy Go to original post
    (or worse, make me post some pant-less Connor pics from deviantart with 80,000 views and fangirl comments... Yes, there is such a drawing. This will be my threat from now on. Great! hehe...)
    Yeah, I saw it. I commented on it, thought he was pretty good looking....
    Share this post

Page 1 of 51 12311 ... Last ►►