Spoiler Warning: This article contains significant spoilers for Edge of Destiny and minor spoilers for Ghosts of Ascalon.
And so it is: human week has concluded & we’ve got a lot of tasty information regarding the race as a whole. While we’ve been given a little more insight to their mysterious monarch Queen Jennah, she is still a figure who’s hard to understand and plays a role in Guild Wars 2 that’s yet to be determined. Needless to say, a huge war has erupted among the fans of Tyria in regards to whose side they’re on.
Considering she is the Queen of Kryta, and essentially all of humanity, we still know precious little about Jennah and her true goals and motives. We’ve gotten a handful of tidbits from few sources: passing mention in Ghosts of Ascalon and a few cameos in Edge of Destiny, along with what we learned in human week. This forces us to kind of piece together what she’s all about. One big issue is that a lot of the information we’re getting isn’t really factual at all but rather opinions from the people around her, which makes it difficult to pin-point exactly what’s going on.
One reason I think she is unpopular now is because of Logan. He’s lost a lot of credit with fans due to his actions in EoD and their “romance” has painted a confusing and unpopular picture of Jennah. Still, I find her to be extremely intriguing and am probably in the minority of fans who support her. Many see her as a manipulative selfish monarch at worst, or needy little girl at best. I fully disagree. I’ll get into that later but first, let’s take a look at what we know for sure so far.
Appearance and Skills
We’ve yet to see any official artwork of Jennah, much to the sorrow of many. We get a full description of her in Edge of Destiny though:
Queen Jennah was young, powerful, regal—garbed in a white gown and wearing the mantle of Divinity’s Reach across her shoulders. She had dark hair, tan skin, and riveting brown eyes.
Sounds like a hottie, but we have to keep in mind this is from Logan’s point of view. Unsurprising for her to have a dark complexion, as Krytans historically have been of the mocha persuasion. Based on that description and what we’ve seen of Krytans over the years, I always kind of imagined her to look a little like Inara from Firefly (left).
There’s a statue in Divinity’s reach which a few people are suggesting may also be of her, but there’s no conclusive evidence of that (below).
We know that she’s a mesmer, and a powerful one at that. She has the ability to project her voice with her skills and was able to conjure up an image of Kralkotorrik as well as freeze everyone, friend and foe alike, in place for effect. We can also assume she can use her skills to charm the people around her. Honestly, the combination of mesmer and politician is a tricky one; many fans are un-trusting of her for that reason, and I would not argue with them there. But that’s exactly what makes her an amazing character.
Her role previous to Edge of Destiny.
What we’ve learned about her secession is that she became Queen when her father died. We can probably assume she was fairly young when that happened, and her claim to the throne may also suggest she has no mother or older siblings. But we otherwise don’t really have any indication of her actual age. She’s considered young to be a monarch, so I’m going to guess mid to late twenties. She is beloved by her people for the most part, but not so much with the nobility. This seems fairly typical in a monarchy.
So on to the speculation.
Back in my failed attempt to prove the Seraph were the next solider profession, I went on a pretty detailed political tangent about my view of Jennah’s role both before and after her experience at Ebonhawke in EoD. I’ll try to paraphrase that; even though I was wrong about the profession itself, I still think a lot of the political observations up to the point of the Seraph as a class hold strong.
I stated the belief that humanity as a whole is a little self-concerned, focused on the centaur and charr mostly. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, given the overall idea that humans are endangered and it would appear Jennah’s priorities reflect that. What we learned this week reinforces this notion. There was little to no mention in the blogs or updated pages of the Elder dragons as a main concern at all. And as we now know, Jennah, while trying to keep Kyrta together in the face of centaur and bandits, is also faced with the pressure of political opposition. That seems to be a pretty hefty load to keep a leader busy.
Given the state of her situation, Jennah’s infatuation / dependence on Logan feels warranted. True allies are few and far-between for someone in her position. So is finding personal connections without selfish motivation. Logan presented the perfect opportunity as both someone to trust as an ally and as a romantic interest. He wasn’t after her crown or position, he was after her. And so she seemingly jumped on the opportunity.
Was she manipulating him? At first, perhaps a little. But fans seem to forget she mentally connected with Logan and saw all the things he had accomplished. She probably was impressed by his feats during his stints with Destiny’s Edge. I won’t argue their relationship seems desperate and shallow at times, but I don’t think she is using any overt trickery to charm him. I think she is equally charmed, for whatever unfathomable reason that may be. But who are we to judge? Love knows no reason. Just look at Gwen and Keiran.
Regardless of how it began, I still think her tune changed quickly during the attack at Ebonhawke. To quote (from my previous post)
Jennah’s momentary connection to Kralkatorrik and the Elder Dragon’s siege, and near destruction of Ebonhawke changed that outlook almost instantly. Everybody was affected: Charr, Ebon Vanguard, and Seraph alike. In those moments, Jennah realized exactly what they were facing in a way that very few other than perhaps Destiny’s Edge themselves had previously fully understood. As leader of the remaining Krytan humans, Jennah’s priorities took a drastic turn.
The biggest argument for her “selfishness” was the fact that she called out to Logan while he was supposed to fight Kralkatorrik. I don’t feel that it holds weight, though, for a key reason. We have no real indication she was aware that at that exact moment he was engaged in battle; and ultimately it was Logan’s choice to leave. And let’s be honest: connecting with the mind of an Elder Dragon doesn’t exactly seem like my idea of a good time. I imagine she must have been feeling and thinking some very intense and frightening things after that. Her life was in real danger and she saw the true chaos and darkness within Kral’s mind. Can we really blame her?
Then there are the indirect consequences that “could have been™” if things hadn’t played out the way they did. I feel strongly that had Logan not gone to protect Jennah and, in turn, lead Ebanhawke to fight against the invasion, things would have ended very tragically. With Logan assuring her safety and buying her time, Jennah was able to summon the mass hallusination that kept Ebonhawk from being completely destroyed. And had she died, with no heir, Kryta would have been thrown into a political power-struggle. The treaty with the charr certainly would have never happened, as she’s the one who charged the Vigil to retrieve the Claw of the Khan-Ur in an attempt to find peace having realized the true threat were the dragons, not the charr. And so the loss of Ebonhawke and lack of an alliance with the charr nations, and the high probability of internal squabbling, would mean humans would largely be taken out of the fight against the big bads.
Her role after EoD and in GW2
So here we have Jennah, as self-concerned as any leader would be in her situation as they have been all throughout time. In order to be a monarch, one needs to exercise a certain amount of self-interest to keep control, because there will always be those seeking to overthrow no matter how good or loved a person is. That’s just life in limelight, as they say. But consider this: if she is as powerful a mesmer as we have reason to believe, then why wouldn’t she use the magic people claim she’s bewitching Logan with to keep her political opponents at bay? That would make sense to me, but it’s obvious she does not abuse her power for political reasons. In that case, then there’s no logical reason for her to use magic to manipulate Logan.
Is this really self-interest?
We can assume the sneaky Minister Caudecus either wants the throne for himself or to put someone more agreeable to his cause there, but to what end? We don’t know, but we do know the arguments against Jennah that have been gaining him some power in Kyrta:
A) She is young, and young leaders are always seen as either inept or easily manipulated.
B) There’s the perception that the Seraph are unable to keep the centaur situation under control, leading to frustration and the desire for a new order.
C) Her pursuit of a treaty with the charr is looked at unfavorably both because of the resources being put into reinforcing Ebonhawke as allies and the continued rivalry with the charr.
D) Everybody hates Logan. (ok, maybe not)
But what would a treaty with the charr gain her in the long run? She is exhausting a lot of resources and risking support to achieve the task. I’m sure she knows this, but she continues to pursue it for the greater good (races banding together to stop the dragons and keeping faith in Ebonhawke).
I have it in my mind that it will be on Jennah’s orders, whether directly or indirectly, that we as players are charged to bringing Destiny’s Edge back together. Why? Because if anybody has the experience and drive to successfully lead the fight against the dragons, they do. And if anybody knows that well, it’s the Queen.
I fully disagree with this notion that she is only looking out for herself. I think she has the best interest of humanity, and the world, at heart. The kicker here is that if she’s to succeed in bringing everybody together, she needs to survive. To do that, she will have to act in a way that keeps her life and position in tact.
Meanwhile there is nothing the minister has said or done thus far to indicate he has any good intentions while it seems clear, at least to me, that Jennah is working toward an honorable end. We may question her for now, and there may be a time where she will make some touch decisions to test our loyalty. But such is life in dragon haunted times.
You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet, after all.
My conclusion? I think people are getting the wrong idea about Jennah. I have a feeling a driving story we might find in the game will really test our faith in her as a leader and a person. But in the end, I believe she will rise to the challenge and prove to everybody that she is capable and strong.
To the readers: This should be fun, but what are your opinions on Jennah? Love her or hate her? Think she’s manipulative or one of the good guys? What do you think she looks like?