This blog was supposed to be completed in April as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. The rules for the challenge require you to write one blog, every day, during the month of April. It can be about anything you want, so long as you find a way to make each topic fit the letter of the day. I wanted to use the experience as a way to push myself to get started writing about Diablo III (and its “universe”).
Unfortunately, that proved to be a bigger task than I expected. I had a lot to say about the Diablo III topics I selected, and I needed some time to research each blog (to make sure I was spelling things correctly and had the lore right). As such, I did not complete the A to Z Challenge. I still wanted to write about the topics I picked, though. The only difference is that they can now be completed whenever I have time.
T is for Templar. The Templar is one of the Followers that players get in Diablo III. Kormac the Templar goes through a lot of character development from the first time the player encounters him through Act V. In this blog, I wanted to share some of my thoughts about the Templar. (There are some “spoilers” here for those who have not completed Act V in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.)
Kormac became a Templar when he was either a teenager or a young adult. It certainly seems like he has been with The Order for most of his adult life. When the player first encounters Kormac in the game (in Act I), it appears that he is no longer in his early twenties. His exact age is never given, but he strikes me as being close to 30 (if not in his early thirties). He is clearly an adult – not a “college kid” (so to speak).
All of the people who become a Templar are male. Kormac went through his initiation and became a Templar while he was in his late teens – early twenties. He then spent all of his time with his “Brothers” in The Order. For years, Kormac was content being a Templar. He was completely devoted to their cause, and never felt a need to question anything about The Order.
To put it plainly, this means that Kormac did not have much opportunity to be around women while he was a young adult. All the Templars are male. There is a point in the game where Kormac states that he didn’t have much need to travel after he became a Templar. This means he wouldn’t have spent much time away from his “Brothers”. He may or may not have been a virgin when he first joined the Templar, but either way, it is clear that Kormac simply doesn’t have a whole lot of experience with women.
That is not unusual for people who join a religious order. In the real world, there are priests who stay celibate and unmarried their entire lives. There are monks who live with other monks who are the same gender that they are, and also never marry. There are nuns who are “married to Jesus” and who live with other nuns – all of whom are women. Kormac’s life fits right in to what we recognize as how some extremely devoted religious people chose to live.
If you play a female character, there is a good chance that your character is the first woman that Kormac has befriended in years. He appears to be quite comfortable with her, right from the start. It is as though Kormac sees the player character as similar to one of his “Brothers”.
He mentions that he is glad that faith has brought them together, not because he has romantic intentions toward the female player character, but because he recognizes that they are effective when fighting side by side. This relationship is all about teamwork and the shared desire to achieve a goal that they both have.
Things change when Kormac first meets Eirena, the Enchantress. She appears to be younger than he is. Eirena is pretty, has an exotic accent, and appears to be incredibly innocent. She’s also dressed in a small amount of clothing. Kormac finds her attractive. He becomes flustered when he talks with her.
Eirena had been asleep for thousands of years – which explains why she seems a bit confused at times now that she has woken up. She spent most of her life with her sisters, all of whom were following The Prophet. It isn’t exactly a religious order, but it sort of fits that mold. It would be safe to say that Eirena probably didn’t have a whole lot of experience with men before The Prophet put her and her sisters into a magical slumber.
It appears that Eirena was completely happy living with her sisters. (Well, I mean, they were technically servants, to a master who wanted to raise a demon… but, that’s another story.) Point being, she loved her sisters very much and didn’t feel that anything was missing from her life.
There is no indication that Eirena was longing to find a husband. After meeting The Prophet, she pretty much devoted herself to completing the quest he sent her on. Shortly after waking up, she sets out to do exactly what The Prophet asked her to. She sets out to find the hero (the player character) and help him or her with their quest. That’s her goal. That’s her focus. Her only other thoughts are about her sisters (and she eventually finds out what happened to them.)
In other words, there is no indication that Eirena had the slightest interest in “dating” or starting a romantic or sexual relationship with anyone. She’s not like Lyndon, The Scoundrel, who makes it obvious that he was very open to the idea of finding a woman who wanted to be sexual with him. Eirena’s life goals do not include marriage.
Why am I going into all this stuff about Eirena? There are two reasons. One is that Kormac falls in love with her. In Act V, the player character has to continually encourage Kormac to let Eirena know how he feels about her. I don’t understand why the player character feels motivated to do so. Wouldn’t he or she be wise enough to see that Eirena is oblivious to Kormac’s feelings and that Eirena has never expressed a romantic interest in him?
As a result, Kormac makes some painfully awkward attempts to make Eirena aware that he has fallen in love with her. She, of course, has no idea what he is getting at. Here, we have a man who has no experience with women (and who may have never had a “girlfriend”) trying to tell a woman who has had no experience with men (and isn’t looking for a relationship at all) that he has romantic feelings for her. They end up misunderstanding each other.
When Eirena finally sorts out what Kormac is getting at, she comes to the wrong conclusion. She joyously tells him that she thinks of him as one of her sisters. To her, this is the highest compliment that she could possibly give someone. She is telling him that he is as important to her as the people who have always been the most important people in her life. She cares very deeply for Kormac, but isn’t interested in dating him (or anyone else).
Kormac, as we see in game, is crushed. He is unable to understand that Eirena basically told him that she loves him (but not as a romantic or sexual partner). She loves him in a way that means much more to her than that. He also doesn’t realize that he didn’t do a good job of making his feelings clear to Eirena. Never once does Kormac straight out tell Eirena “I love you”.
I have seen “on the internet” people referring to this situation between Kormac and Eirena by saying that Kormac got “Friendzoned”. They couldn’t be more wrong! The “Friendzone” does not exist because women don’t have “Sexual/Romantic Relationship” as a default setting. It is unrealistic to assume that being nice and friendly towards a fellow human being is supposed to result in sex.
Let’s take this a step farther. Kormac and Eirena are each too innocent to comprehend what the “Friendzone” supposedly is. Neither one of them has any experience with the opposite sex. She simply doesn’t have the skills required to intentionally manipulate someone else by pretending to be attracted to him long enough to get him to … I dunno… help her move, or something. He doesn’t have the slightest idea about how to tell if a woman is interested in him. He is too caught up in his feelings for Eirena (which are so new to him that it is painful to watch.)
There is nothing in the Diablo III “universe” that suggests that all the women are supposed to find a husband/romantic partner as quickly as they can. None of the player characters are married or attached to anyone. The Mystic has had more than one husband (and many sexual partners – and wouldn’t mind finding more). Adria didn’t marry Aiden/Diablo when she got pregnant with Leah/Diablo or become his “girlfriend”. None of the other characters think anything of this – it’s not controversial or unusual to them.
Kormac himself does not appear to feel that he has been “Friendzoned”. He has had his heart broken, and that sucks, especially since he seems like he is a good person. Eirena turns him down (without even realizing it) – yet, he doesn’t start calling her a bitch or a slut (like the young men who believe that the “Friendzone” exists would likely do). Kormac is an adult.
He may, over time, come to realize that his relationship with Eirena would never have worked in the romantic sense. There are plenty of other women in Sanctuary that he could, potentially, end up dating. For example, the librarian in Act V who tells the player character that Kormac is “much more to her taste” than Lyndon.