Riven lore: Exiled for what?

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The5lacker

Senior Member

11-24-2012

Something I noticed when looking for Riven's lore is that, well, she doesn't have anything to be "exiled" for. If anything, she'd be a Noxian dissident, which could get her exiled but doesn't, by itself, exile her. The term used is "Self imposed exile," which is interesting, but not terribly informative, and all in all I think her backstory is a bit...off.

Normally I wouldn't bring this up as I don't have any good solution myself, but I was looking through her trivia and saw that initially, her backstory was that she was a Demacian officer who was exiled for harboring Noxian fugitives. Now THAT sounds much more interesting, and gives a very intriguing view into the Demacian hypocracy, which in turn makes Noxus more sympathetic (Which is a good thing: You guys have worked hard to make the rivalry between Demacia and Noxus one of more ideology than GOOD VS. EVIL, PUNCH UP COMMENCE!)

What really bugs me is why you didn't go with that backstory. There is so much potential for character interaction there! From distain from the Demacians for her shirking of duty and a degree of respect and gratitude (however begrudging) from the Noxians, to the smaller, interpersonal clashes, like perhaps a degree of resentment from Irelia and the other Ionians that someone would protect their enemies, making a benevolent act outright aggressive in the eyes of a lot of people.

Look, all I'm saying is that I think there was a major missed opportunity with The Exile. She could've been used to paint basically every faction in a different light, but as is, all she really is is the one sensible Noxian who happened to find something wrong with using biological warfare on EVERYTHING.

Think it over. I'd like to hear a full version of the other story.


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JSFscotty

Member

11-24-2012

I guess it's because she.... exiled herself?


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Melancholy Exile

Senior Member

11-24-2012

Riven wasn't exiled, she is in exile. She hasn't returned to Noxus since the war by choice.

Xypherous has commented in the past that they didn't use Riven's original backstory because the character was whiter-than-white. While she might serve to expose the darker side of the Demacian creed, she herself was an uber-good person who had all the positive traits we associate with Demacians, without the heady mix of prejudices and indoctrination. I don't disagree that she would've changed many people's perception of the 'good' faction in the setting but she really didn't have much character of her own.

Personally, I think Riven still does a great deal of what you ask for: She forces the Demacians and Ionians to confront someone who is traditionally their enemy, but clearly regrets the things she has done and wants to atone for them.

Do the Demacians still hate her for the crime of being a Noxian or would they actually show her a measure of sympathy and respect for her new-found convictions? Do the Ionians want bloody revenge against her or would they see the sense in helping her reform and potentially inspiring a little change in the Noxian way?


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The5lacker

Senior Member

11-25-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melancholy Exile View Post
Riven wasn't exiled, she is in exile. She hasn't returned to Noxus since the war by choice.

Xypherous has commented in the past that they didn't use Riven's original backstory because the character was whiter-than-white. While she might serve to expose the darker side of the Demacian creed, she herself was an uber-good person who had all the positive traits we associate with Demacians, without the heady mix of prejudices and indoctrination. I don't disagree that she would've changed many people's perception of the 'good' faction in the setting but she really didn't have much character of her own.

Personally, I think Riven still does a great deal of what you ask for: She forces the Demacians and Ionians to confront someone who is traditionally their enemy, but clearly regrets the things she has done and wants to atone for them.

Do the Demacians still hate her for the crime of being a Noxian or would they actually show her a measure of sympathy and respect for her new-found convictions? Do the Ionians want bloody revenge against her or would they see the sense in helping her reform and potentially inspiring a little change in the Noxian way?
Atone? I see almost no atonement in her current backstory. Regret, perhaps, but over the fall of her nation, not her own actions. While I still appreciate her as a "good" version of the normally "evil" Noxian ideals (Strength above all else), I'd much rather have seen her be this "Fallen Angel" of sorts. Exile from Demacia for having mercy. Exile for mercy is much more interesting than self exile for...nerve gas.


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DragonOdyssey

Member

11-25-2012

It's a more of a "I can't believe I did that for them!" kind of thing. She believes of the idea of anyone can rise to power, if they have the strength to do so. However, her order to completely wipe out a beaten enemy and simply tossed away after she needed help changed her view on the current Noxus. What occurred that day made her realized that the current Noxus is just a corrupt power that has no concern over human beings, so she exiled herself to atone for following those orders.

But really, I would have liked to see her lore changed so that she was really exiled for being merciful and her ideals changed a bit. The current ideals is kinda vague, since it doesn't tell what she thinks the strong should do.


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Melancholy Exile

Senior Member

11-25-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by The5lacker View Post
Atone? I see almost no atonement in her current backstory. Regret, perhaps, but over the fall of her nation, not her own actions. While I still appreciate her as a "good" version of the normally "evil" Noxian ideals (Strength above all else), I'd much rather have seen her be this "Fallen Angel" of sorts. Exile from Demacia for having mercy. Exile for mercy is much more interesting than self exile for...nerve gas.
"Now she seeks atonement and her own way to serve the pure Noxian vision in which she believed"

Literally the last line of her character bio.

Personally, I've always read Riven as someone with a deep-seated self loathing born out of the things she allowed herself to do. She may have believed in the Noxian way, but Ionia left her walking through hell and reduced her to "dispatch[ing] helpless bystanders" - something she and her men had never been trained to do or cope with. Her hands are stained not only with the blood of innocents but also with that of those who had been the closest thing she had to family. She led them into the ambush, she she unknowingly called in Singed's barrage and yet she was the only one to survive. It's a massive ball of self-loathing, PTSD and survivor's guilt.

Riven wants to redeem herself. That's the core conflict of her character (and why she has a 'Redeemed' skin)

My complaint with your "fallen angel" angle is that she isn't a fallen angel at all. Demacia falls in our estimations for exiling her but she remains the high-water mark for 'good'. Rather than Noxian Riven breaking away from expectations of her people, Demacian Riven would simply be doing what most people expect of her as a member of the 'good' faction. She only serves to make Demacia look bad.


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Vuther

Senior Member

11-27-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melancholy Exile View Post
Rather than Noxian Riven breaking away from expectations of her people, Demacian Riven would simply be doing what most people expect of her as a member of the 'good' faction. She only serves to make Demacia look bad.
Also, Riven was released at a time during which Noxus pretty much consisted of unsympathetic characters. The most at the time was Urgot, because he isn't exactly happy on being brought back as a mechanical monstrosity, and his motive was still just wanting revenge on a soldier who killed him while both were acting as soldiers - there ain't exactly grounds to moral outrage there. I suspect that's why Riven ended up a Noxian.


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The5lacker

Senior Member

11-29-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melancholy Exile View Post
"Now she seeks atonement and her own way to serve the pure Noxian vision in which she believed"

Literally the last line of her character bio.

Personally, I've always read Riven as someone with a deep-seated self loathing born out of the things she allowed herself to do. She may have believed in the Noxian way, but Ionia left her walking through hell and reduced her to "dispatch[ing] helpless bystanders" - something she and her men had never been trained to do or cope with. Her hands are stained not only with the blood of innocents but also with that of those who had been the closest thing she had to family. She led them into the ambush, she she unknowingly called in Singed's barrage and yet she was the only one to survive. It's a massive ball of self-loathing, PTSD and survivor's guilt.

Riven wants to redeem herself. That's the core conflict of her character (and why she has a 'Redeemed' skin)

My complaint with your "fallen angel" angle is that she isn't a fallen angel at all. Demacia falls in our estimations for exiling her but she remains the high-water mark for 'good'. Rather than Noxian Riven breaking away from expectations of her people, Demacian Riven would simply be doing what most people expect of her as a member of the 'good' faction. She only serves to make Demacia look bad.
I see your point. This has been an interesting character study. Riven's a lot deeper than I gave her credit for.