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The virtues and problems of Keyleth
#1
I've noticed this topic come up in a couple of other threads so I thought it might be best to start one specifically to discuss it so those other ones don't get derailed.  Please try to keep things civil and constructive - it's okay to say you don't like her and why, but that's not an excuse to be petty and mean.  Also, please note this thread is about Keyleth the character, not about Marisha Ray the actress - regardless of whether or not you like Ms. Ray that has no bearing on this discussion.  Finally, this is not just for discussing her negative aspects - this thread is also for discussing her positive ones.


Edit: if we're able to have a constructive discussion, then we can move onto the other members of Vox Machina in other threads as it's unfair to single Keyleth out Smiling
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#2
I'm not afraid to admit that while she is my favorite character, she has done things that have gotten on the nerves of the party and the audience. It's true that due to her not wanting to kill unless she has to, she's not exactly fit for adventuring. But the reverse holds true in regards to her Aramente: she won't last long alone unless she DOES kill to survive, something that she has to accept. It's just that ever since she accidentally killed that child, her wanting to do whatever it takes has taken a blow and she finds herself debating whether it's right to kill or not, as seen in quite a few episodes. I think that if she's facing entities that are definitely evil and wish to outright kill her (i.e. illithids and monsters), she's willing to take lives. But if it's against sentient life, especially those who are unfortunately caught in the crossfire or no longer a threat, she's torn.

There's also the fact that she needs to branch out more and expand her world view. She has to learn that the world can be quite unforgiving and that you can't talk your way out of every encounter you deal with. That being said, despite having traveled with Vox Machina for well over a year now in-universe, she's still young and unsure of herself. And even though at times she doesn't mesh well with others, another aspect of her quest is that she has to learn from others, not just her sister tribes. She also has to learn firsthand that while most would benefit from a moral compass, at times you have to be flexible. Otherwise, she becomes even more unsure of herself and is unable to make the important decisions when it counts.

Simply put, her being a part of an adventuring group is both detrimental and also advantageous. Sure, she comes to blows regarding the moral choices that they have to make, but she's also growing as a result of being with them. Besides, they need her just as much as she needs them. Only time will tell whether she will fulfill her quest and become a worthy leader for her people or just another corpse on the road... or even worse if her vision is any indication.
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Proud supporter of Vaxleth, an adventurer looking for campaigns to join, and just an avid fan of Critical Role.
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#3
As I've stated elsewhere, one of the things I dislike about her is how hypocritical she can be from time to time - she's taken glee in killing things, but has adopted a holier than thou attitude with NPCs (most notably Kima). I think she could do with paying heed to her (attempted) put down of Kima regarding the arrogance of believing that your way is the right way.

Even though I'm in the camp that dislikes her, I have found myself agreeing with her on rare occasions, but because of her attitude or the way she tries to make her argument I usually have to suppress the knee-jerk reaction to side against her, which is a shame as its being unfair to her in those instances.



One thing I find odd about her is that it's implied (if not outright stated) that she's a vegan (a couple of times she's made the heroes' feast she's said it was a vegan spread, iirc there was one time that she tried to get Trinket to eat a vegan meal, maybe a few other references). I'd have thought that a Druid, being in touch with nature, would see eating meat as a part of nature. I suppose that it could be a case that her Druid powers allowing her to turn into animals has given her so much empathy for animals that she's sworn off eating meat as a consequence - can anyone recall if it's been said or implied this or something like it is the case? (I'm assuming that the real reason is that Marisha is a vegan in real life, but as I said above, we're here to discuss Keyleth, not Marisha, so if this is so, it's not pertinent to the discussion Winking ).
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#4
(12-24-2015, 02:17 PM)LordofUzkulak Wrote: As I've stated elsewhere, one of the things I dislike about her is how hypocritical she can be from time to time - she's taken glee in killing things, but has adopted a holier than thou attitude with NPCs (most notably Kima).  I think she could do with paying heed to her (attempted) put down of Kima regarding the arrogance of believing that your way is the right way.

Even though I'm in the camp that dislikes her, I have found myself agreeing with her on rare occasions, but because of her attitude or the way she tries to make her argument I usually have to suppress the knee-jerk reaction to side against her, which is a shame as its being unfair to her in those instances.



One thing I find odd about her is that it's implied (if not outright stated) that she's a vegan (a couple of times she's made the heroes' feast she's said it was a vegan spread, iirc there was one time that she tried to get Trinket to eat a vegan meal, maybe a few other references).  I'd have thought that a Druid, being in touch with nature, would see eating meat as a part of nature.  I suppose that it could be a case that her Druid powers allowing her to turn into animals has given her so much empathy for animals that she's sworn off eating meat as a consequence - can anyone recall if it's been said or implied this or something like it is the case? (I'm assuming that the real reason is that Marisha is a vegan in real life, but as I said above, we're here to discuss Keyleth, not Marisha, so if this is so, it's not pertinent to the discussion Winking ).
I do understand the thing about her being hypocritical, but at times it's hard to tell whether it's the player or character. It is indeed inconsistent. Then again, our preconceptions are only based on what we've seen on the show; we don't know exactly what happened to her to make her have that kind of opinion about those like Lady Kima. And besides, at least she realized her mistake and allowed Kima to prove her intentions with her actions rather than her words. Plus, at the end of the day, I'd like to believe that over time the two of them did begin to trust and respect each other.


As for the vegan comment, I have no idea.
My YouTube channel for VG commentary playthroughs. Come check it out of you want.
Proud supporter of Vaxleth, an adventurer looking for campaigns to join, and just an avid fan of Critical Role.
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#5
Agreed that it could be explained by a bad experience from either the pre-show games or her backstory or the time skip that we don't know about. Presumably she's never been the same with Pike because of the friendship forged over the pre-show adventures and was okay with the priests in the temple of Serenray (spelling?) in Iman because of their aid in redirecting Pike. As for Kash, even though he was brisk with her to start with she probably didn't get high and mighty with him because he claim to be on a devine mission when they first met and later on after his backstory came out she probably felt too much sympathy for him to do so if he had.

This theory is credible considering her reaction to the stage magician in the Wintercrest episode where she accused him of being a Briarwood agent and became protective of Percy. If a similar thing happened with a paladin, cleric, etc prior to what we've seen then it's logical that she's have the same reaction towards them.

Mentioning the stage magician, while I understand her overreaction after seeing a few tricks even if I think it was a tad extreme, her initial reaction baffles me. I don't understand why she got so hyper when she first saw him when she has three close friends who are magic users (Tiberius and Scanlan for Arcane and Pike for devine) and a few other friends that use magic ( Alura and Lilith, and had in the case of Clarota) and is even a magic user herself, so I can't get my mind over why she acted like a five year old at their first magic show. I can understand a first level fighter who had just wandered out of the hicks being awed at such trickery and mistaking it for genuine magic, but not a seasoned druid. :/


Ultimately I think you could be right in it being because the actress is playing her inconsistently, although for the purposes of this thread I don't think we should care whether it's intentional or unintentional on her part - Keyleth is her character and she can play her however she wants. What this means for Keyleth (judging her as we would a character in a film, book, etc) though is an interesting question - is it because she is unbalanced mentally (can't imagine Taldore has many psychiatrists), is it because she is cracking under pressure from their adventures (possible considering how she's gotten flustered/panicky a few times in intense situations), is it just a case of her nievity showing through (she swings between acting how she wants and how she thinks others expect her to act), or something else? Any of these could help add depth to her character and could actually tie into her vision of her fate (as any of them could end tragically if not addressed). In fact, if any of these are intentional on Marissa's part, I think it could help redeem Keyleth in the eyes of those that dislike her if it comes out in an arc focused on her and she either comes to terms with the issue and averts tragedy or it leads to the tragedy making her a tragic figure rather than an irritation.



(Just in case anyone misunderstands - I'm saying the character could be unbalanced, not the player. This is purely a line of thought over Keyleth and not about Marissa. Sorry to be repetitive, but considering how hard it can be to separate character from player I just don't want anyone to mistake my distaste for Keyleth as an attack on Marissa).
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#6
(12-24-2015, 06:09 PM)LordofUzkulak Wrote: Agreed that it could be explained by a bad experience from either the pre-show games or her backstory or the time skip that we don't know about.  Presumably she's never been the same with Pike because of the friendship forged over the pre-show adventures and was okay with the priests in the temple of Serenray (spelling?) in Iman because of their aid in redirecting Pike.  As for Kash, even though he was brisk with her to start with she probably didn't get high and mighty with him because he claim to be on a devine mission when they first met and later on after his backstory came out she probably felt too much sympathy for him to do so if he had.

This theory is credible considering her reaction to the stage magician in the Wintercrest episode where she accused him of being a Briarwood agent and became protective of Percy.  If a similar thing happened with a paladin, cleric, etc prior to what we've seen then it's logical that she's have the same reaction towards them.

Mentioning the stage magician, while I understand her overreaction after seeing a few tricks even if I think it was a tad extreme, her initial reaction baffles me.  I don't understand why she got so hyper when she first saw him when she has three close friends who are magic users (Tiberius and Scanlan for Arcane and Pike for devine) and a few other friends that use magic ( Alura and Lilith, and had in the case of Clarota) and is even a magic user herself, so I can't get my mind over why she acted like a five year old at their first magic show.  I can understand a first level fighter who had just wandered out of the hicks being awed at such trickery and mistaking it for genuine magic, but not a seasoned druid. :/


Ultimately I think you could be right in it being because the actress is playing her inconsistently, although for the purposes of this thread I don't think we should care whether it's intentional or unintentional on her part - Keyleth is her character and she can play her however she wants.  What this means for Keyleth (judging her as we would a character in a film, book, etc) though is an interesting question -  is it because she is unbalanced mentally (can't imagine Taldore has many psychiatrists), is it because she is cracking under pressure from their adventures (possible considering how she's gotten flustered/panicky a few times in intense situations), is it just a case of her nievity showing through (she swings between acting how she wants and how she thinks others expect her to act), or something else?  Any of these could help add depth to her character and could actually tie into her vision of her fate (as any of them could end tragically if not addressed).  In fact, if any of these are intentional on Marissa's part, I think it could help redeem Keyleth in the eyes of those that dislike her if it comes out in an arc focused on her and she either comes to terms with the issue and averts tragedy or it leads to the tragedy making her a tragic figure rather than an irritation.



(Just in case anyone misunderstands - I'm saying the character could be unbalanced, not the player.  This is purely a line of thought over Keyleth and not about Marissa.  Sorry to be repetitive, but considering how hard it can be to separate character from player I just don't want anyone to mistake my distaste for Keyleth as an attack on Marissa).

This is exactly what I was trying to get across, actually. She's a complicated character, someone who (like actual people) can't be identified so easily. After all, we all have different aspects of ourselves that make up who we are. It's not out of the question to believe that she has ALL of those things.

And she's not the only one. This extends to Vax as well. Is he suicidal, loyal to a fault, or simply self-sacrificial? He could be some or all of those things.

Besides, if we always have characters who are easy to figure out, then where's the intrigue? Sometimes, having complicated characters that leave the audience guessing as to what kind of people they "really are" adds to their appeal. And sometimes, it detracts from it. It all depends on how they're written and/or used.
My YouTube channel for VG commentary playthroughs. Come check it out of you want.
Proud supporter of Vaxleth, an adventurer looking for campaigns to join, and just an avid fan of Critical Role.
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#7
Agreed, and there's not even a single answer to what is the 'correct' way to use such a character as Keyleth perfectly shows - some find her inconsistencies endearing while others find her irritating because of them. On the one hand that could be a problem of watching a character being played in what is effectively an improv play in that they don't have time to craft a script to show the depth in a more satisfying way but on the other hand it's an advantage in that her actions are more organic than they would be in a finely tuned script.

I think only time will tell whether it is actual depth or something superficial, so all we can do is wait and watch a great web show Smiling
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#8
(12-24-2015, 06:35 PM)LordofUzkulak Wrote: Agreed, and there's not even a single answer to what is the 'correct' way to use such a character as Keyleth perfectly shows - some find her inconsistencies endearing while others find her irritating because of them.  On the one hand that could be a problem of watching a character being played in what is effectively an improv play in that they don't have time to craft a script to show the depth in a more satisfying way but on the other hand it's an advantage in that her actions are more organic than they would be in a finely tuned script.

I think only time will tell whether it is actual depth or something superficial, so all we can do is wait and watch a great web show Smiling

Agreed. So now, let's wait and see where Vox Machina will go in the new year.

And I'm glad that we've been able to have a calm and civilized debate.
My YouTube channel for VG commentary playthroughs. Come check it out of you want.
Proud supporter of Vaxleth, an adventurer looking for campaigns to join, and just an avid fan of Critical Role.
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#9
(12-24-2015, 09:57 PM)TiamatZX Wrote: .

And I'm glad that we've been able to have a calm and civilized debate.

Ditto (:
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