Paramount Pictures’ Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves features many classic races from the game, but as far as player characters are concerned, the party’s symbolic tiefling is a missed opportunity. The film itself follows a group of adventurers in search of a long-lost relic. Among all seven main casts, the troupe includes Edgin the Bard (Chris Pine), Simon the Sorcerer (Justice Smith), Holga the Barbarian (Michelle Rodriguez), Xenk the Paladin (Regé-Jean Page), Forge Fitzwilliam the Rogue (Hugh Grant) , and Doric the Druid (Sophia Lillis), all of whom are wildly varied in their abilities and strengths.
While the main adventurers have many unique and different abilities, they all seem human, except for Doric. Her horns and pointed ears show that she is a tiefling, a race of people in Dungeons & Dragons with infernal descent, giving them skin colors similar to those of a normal human, they can also have gazelle, ram or antelope horns possess, solid colored eyes and tails. But Honor among thieves missed the opportunity to participate in the variety of tiefling appearances as well as with the many other fantastic races that can be found in the game. Instead, the party’s homogeneous humanity symbolizes Doric, which makes the party’s makeup feel odd given the sheer number of different races in D&D, from dragonborn to orcs and halflings. Moreover, the overwhelmingly human majority of the party risks falling into traditional fantasy stereotypes in which those who appear most human are the standard for good, and those who don’t are “different” at best and characterized at worst. as bad.
Honor among the only Tiefling of thieves could actually be good
Despite the risks of having only one symbolic non-human race as part of Honor among thieves adventurous party and missing the opportunity to discover the true diversity and strangeness of people in Dungeons & Dragons, Doric’s status has some potential to give the film some clarity. As the unique tiefling character in the group, Doric offers a clear insight into the social aspects of D&D, especially the racism against tieflings. In the game, tieflings are usually shunned and regarded as devilish children, leading to suspicion and prejudice in mainstream society. This element could hold the key to Doric’s character, possibly adding depth to why she became a druid and retreated to the wilderness where she would not be judged for her parentage. In addition, this disparity gives Doric’s companions a chance to prove that although they are a group of thieves, they are honorable enough to expose any mistreatment or controversy surrounding Sophia Lillis’ character. This would endear them both to audiences, which could be necessary as they could also be at the root of the film’s major conflict and allow for a more characterization of the group’s overall dynamics as the film reveals how they each respond to systemic injustice as opposed to blatant bad. This can be especially true if one or more of the party members has racist views of Doric herself, leading to their own need to be held accountable and grow in their quest.
Just one non-human is a smart move to build the world
Beyond using Doric as a social barometer in Honor among thieves, humanizing the rest of the party is a smart move to immerse the audience in the world. Simplifying the party composition, even though it may feel strange, eases those who haven’t played D&D into the many classic locations of the Dugeons & Dragons’ Forgotten Realms, which can be overwhelming when shot in one sitting. In this way, the human members of the party are attuned to the audience, allowing them to discover the new, fantastic elements of the world as the characters do. It elevates the ‘everyday’ aspects of Edgin, Holga, Simon, and Xenk, making exploration of an entirely new world more natural and palatable, and giving audiences a base point to identify with in the face of highly alien monsters and civilizations. In this way the audience can grow with the party, connected by the similarities between the viewer and the viewer.
But the humanity of the adventurous party not only eases audiences into the world of D&D, it also allows viewers to connect more quickly with the world of D&D. Honor among thieves characters and their classes so that the film can spend more time developing the plot and dynamics between the characters. The recognizability of main characters is especially important in science fiction and fantasy films such as Honor among thieves, where characters with a non-human appearance require more relative screen time for the audience to adapt to their perspective and feel connected. The more inhumane a character appears, the longer the adaptation period is likely to be, while easily identifiable characters can be quickly understood by an audience. Ever since Honor among thieves doesn’t have to spend so much time acclimating viewers to non-human fantastic main characters, this frees up time to focus their attention elsewhere.
although Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves missed the opportunity for a more colorful cast of main characters, it can still make up for the mistake of the adaptation by demonstrating the diversity of D&D and the world at large. Moreso, Doric’s presence can still deepen the main cast’s characterization while staying true to the game’s lore. In general, it’s better to have a tiefling among the cast than not, and Doric is still an excellent way to showcase one of D&D’s most popular races.
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Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves