The news broke today and my house became a place where nerds scream happily.
But the truth here is that Amazon and the nerdy-ass voice-actors from Critical Role have teamed up for a second tv series! Their first is The Legend of Vox Machina, which is in it’s second season, and as much as I love seeing the retelling of the 130+ hours of dungeons and dragons, it’s been a little shy on the queer content, leaving most to the imagination or the in-knowledge.
However. The Mighty Nein is a little different. It’s super duper queer all over the damn place.
And I apologize that this may be all I want to think about for a few days.
What’s Critical Role?
Critical Role is a twitch streaming D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) game based on a world made up by the Dungeon Master, Matt Mercer. His world has many of the traditional species from D&D (dragons… yes, but orcs, goblins, elves, etc). It’s a high fantasy world with silly adventures and people saving the universe. They have multiple ‘campaigns’ (a campaign is basically a chapter in the anthology that is Critical Role) and the first was TLoVM.
The ‘hook’ to the show is that the people playing D&D happen to be professional actors and voice actors. So imagine a bunch of people who are really good at acting sitting around and playing pretend for a few hours a week. It’s not for everyone, and I see that TV show as a fantastic way to get people introduced to the idea and the story, without making them sit and watch 4 hours a week, three times a week.
Who are the Mighty Nein?
First, no it’s not a typo. It’s not the Mighty Nine, it’s Nein as in the german for NO. They’re the second campaign by the self-proclaimed nerdy-ass voice actors, and it’s really where the show started to become huge. I won’t get into the details, but suffice to say the first campaign is pretty rough at first, and you kind of need the cartoon to sort out the story because of how wild it is.
But the ‘heroes’ who eventually become the Mighty Nein are essentially the opposite of Vox Machina. Where the team of Vox Machina (VM) became protecters of the realm and were highly regarded (if given a side eye for being weirdos), the Mighty Nein (MN) are scurrying in the dark doing things that have to happen and no one wants to. They’re the heroes no one knows.
And they’re coming to Amazon:
Who Should Watch?
Like I warned about LoVM this is NOT NOT NOT for kids! But if you like sword-and-sorcery stuff, with massive dragons and equally massive stakes for the universe, and seeing people make real decisions that aren’t always the best, while slinging spells and falling in love?
Then you should watch.
D&D fans for sure should give it a chance. People who wished Game of Thrones was a little less gritty and more goofy should watch. It’s that kind of show.
But … the Gay?
If you want no spoilers, please stop reading here.
Okay! So first of all, if you ask any queer watcher about the show they’ll likely mention one of (if not both) the super queer pairings: Hot Boi Essek and Caleb, or Beau and Yasha.
Beau and Yasha are both queer women. Yasha has a dark past and death and sadness. Beau has the shittiest parents known to the gods. They are both assholes in their own ways and they work perfectly. They’re amazing fighters (Yasha is a barbarian type, Beau is a martial artist) and have some great sequences streaming up.
Essek is an elf who … well he’s not the most ethical human. And Caleb is the resident tortured soul with the agony of his past worn like a cloak. Essek is also super hot, hence people calling him “Hot Boi Essek.” He and Caleb are both magic users who love to create new things. Naturally they’ll get into trouble together.
But main characters aside (and Essek is not main), we’ve also got a bevy of queers like genderfluid elves, non-binary guards, pansexuals, polyamory, throuples, and pretty much every permutation you can think of.
And? It ends with the queers having happy endings. As much as Caleb is allowed to have (he brings along his existential dread wherever he goes).