Hello and welcome to Tyria Talk, where I’m going to take a moment to mostly reflect and give my opinion on things about the game, whether that be about gameplay, lore, or even the state of the game. This one will be about lore.
Having only covered early history of Tyria, I learnt quite a lot about how vague early
history really is. Although it seems that I have brushed off quite a nice chunk of it, there is still so much left to be discovered and said. Through this however I learned so much about the jotun and they quickly rose up to be one of my favourite races in the game. Their story is one of those heart wrenching ones full of tragedy and you can’t help but feel bad for what they have become after knowing how great they really were. All it needs is some raunchy jotun love story hidden somewhere in the history. P.S I Jotun You? Romeo and Jotunette? 50 Shades of Jotun? Ew, I’ll stop.
Now, in game, most of the lore sources concerning all this early history stuff comes from the Durmand Priory studies on the jotun stelae and recounts from jotuns themselves. I was reading through the lore forums recently and was astonished by the amount of people who where saying that the jotun stelae were invalid and proven “wrong”. I wanted to take a bit of time to talk about that. But first, let’s get educated shall we?
Stelae. What the hell is this word? What does it mean? To summarize this: it’s slabs of stone with words on it (they could also be wood but jotuns used stone). In our case each stela (singular) recalls some form of history for the jotun. Now with that said and done, let’s move on!
So first let’s talk about the races on Tyria and who could have truly survived the last rise of the Elder Dragons. So as we now know, the 5 elder races were known to have for sure survived: the dwarves, Seer, mursaat, jotun and forgotten and one redeemed dragon champion, Glint. But were there more? Of course there were!
It looks like the jotun lived mostly in moutains and the Shiverpeaks on the continent of Tyria. They probably had little to no contact with outside races. If they did, they probably didn’t care to document this or these records were lost. We know the karka were living in the sea at this point, and the djinn were living in the deserts in Elona. Zommoros, the djinn who resides in our wonderful Mystic Forge, tells us of a time when the continents were different then they were now, and that he remembers the karka from that ancient time when the world was emptier. The reason the karka even appeared in Southsun Cove is because they were fleeing the deep sea dragon, having already known the troubles they will face from previous experience, making sure to avoid Orr and Zhaitan. So this can leave you to question what else was living in the deep sea? Where the krait there? What about the largos?
Who knows what was going on in Cantha at this point, and for that matter even Elona?We still have yet to discover what effect the elder dragons have on these continents, if any. We also know that there are other, yet unnamed continents on Tyria, which their own races and beings to be discovered. What was going on there? What races were living at this point?
But more importantly, what of the ogres, who are said to be genetically linked with the jotun? They obviously also survived considering they are bothering the charr. The jotun either didn’t know, or didn’t bother to tell us.
There’s no way the jotun were alone in the world with the elder races, and theres no way that they could have truly known everyone who was living with them in the world. I saw a video recently about our own planet earth, that was showing some potential footage of mermaids! Like holy crap, we don’t even know who we live with yet. Mind. Blowing. I spent the next 5 hours annoying the crap out of my girlfriend, questioning the universe and everything in it.
So, what does this all bring us to? Are the jotun stelae valid? They most definitely are. Just because they are proven wrong because other races could have survived the elder dragons shouldn’t allow us to oversee this excellent source of history. I admit, those jotuns probably flowered the crap out of their stelae with their pride in themselves and biases of unseen egotistical proportions. But truthfully: the stelae holds so much more value in experience, in what they were going through during the rise of the dragons. “A sextant of swallowers rose to consume the world” an excellant starting point to any study, and those little oversights are mere scratches on the foundations of some good lore.
No matter what we do, history will always be wrong. It will always be misleading. It will always be confusing. But we strive to answer the mysteries that confuse us; it’s in our human nature. I believe that ArenaNet has done a fantastic job portraying the vagueness of history in these early years. I’m glad that we have no true answer to what has been going on because it will take away all the fun in speculation.
Besides, this is a game, it’s all for fun. LET’S REMEMBER THIS!