Recently browsing the IGN photo galleries, I came across two pieces of concept art for Fable III which I find interesting.
Now, I’m a fan of the Fable series and am looking forward to the third installment, but there is something slightly off in these drawings which annoys me.
They are a pair of drawings, depicting the possibility of becoming a real monarch in Fable III. As in Fable II, you can choose to play a male or female character, so there is one drawing for a king and one for a queen.
However, that is not the only difference. In one image we have the unhappy monarch surrounded by their rampaging, trouble-making children and an unruly dog. Beside them is the monarch’s spouse, berating the crown wearer to their heart’s content, with no apparent reaction from the ruler expect a grimace.
In the second image we have a regal monarch atop their throne. Goblet held casually in hand, they rest their feet upon the back of a pleading servant/peasant as they hand out what seems to be an imperial decree. No sign of any family and no one to challenge the monarch.
Now, with that in mind, any guesses as to which is male and which is female?
If you guessed right, get yourself a cookie.
If you guessed wrong…well, you probably need to read up more on men in the media.
These drawing demonstrate a mindset which is all too common, even pervasive in modern media. That mindset is the distrust of male authority. In many areas of media you can see numerous attacks on any and all forms of male authority, for no reason other than men being the ones with the power. This can be fathers, bosses or national leaders.
Kings are not very cool nowadays (for the most part), so when one is shown their authority is usually undermined in a variety of ways:
- Dumb King: The king might be senile, or just plain stupid, undeserving of the throne.
- Spineless King: The king is weak, pushed around by those around him, including his wife (as in the above picture)
Then we have female rulers. They are often shown in a much more positive light, such as:
- Nature Queen: The druidic queen of the forest. Matriarch and de facto mother to all, she is truly beloved.
- Empowered Queen: A generally powerful female ruler, shown as such at least in part to encourage women’s empowerment.
Now, both male and female rulers are often shown as evil tyrants/warlords who must be slain by the heroes, but female monarchs seem to get nicer treatment overall.
The key theme to the Fable III art is control.
The king obviously does not have control, while the queen is clearly totally in control of her surroundings. The only difference which is supposed to be present in the images is the gender of the ruler, yet we see only the male monarch as a joke. I find it hard to believe that is an accident.
I also find the correlation between having no family and maintaining power interesting.
At least we know which one will actually have heirs to form a dynasty.