Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Paladin Vocabulary, "Light"

Let’s start by examining one of the most defining words in the Paladin vocabulary, Light.

The two main Paladin Healing spells are Flash of Light and Holy Light. They can spread heals by using Light’s Beacon. These heals are enhanced by Sanctified Light, Infusion of Light, Healing Light, and Light’s Grace. They can further improve their throughput by using Seal of Light. Paladin mana pools are sustained by Illumination and Divine Illumination.

Paladin Tanks are Touched By the Light and Guarded By the Light.

Retribution Paladins have a Sheath of Light, and one of their best attacks is Judgment of Light.

We know that in the Lore of World of Warcraft the Light is a pseudo religion followed by Paladins and Priests. The Church of the Holy Light resides in the Human capital of Stormwind. In the Burning Crusade, we learned of the Naaru, creatures made of Light whom the Blood Elves used to create their own Paladins.

In nearly all cultures, Light is synonymous with Good.

One example of this is the popular Star Wars films where the ‘Force’ is broken down into a Light Side and a Dark Side. The Villains of the film follow or fall to the Dark Side, while the Heroes of the film champion the Light Side.

All people seem to have a fear of the Dark, and the Dark (opposite of Light) is portrayed in art and culture as Evil, while the Light is associated with Good. It is interesting to note that while we have many instances of ancient cultures worshiping the Sun (the Light), I’m not aware of any cultures who worshiped the Night, although some did revere the Moon (a Light in the Darkness).
However, in some eastern cultures, Light and Dark are seen as two parts of a greater whole in a concept referred to as Ying/Yang.

In American culture, Light can be synonymous with Knowledge. We use a ‘light bulb’ over someone’s head to show they have an idea. When asking for an explanation of topic, a common phrase asks for the speaker to ‘Shed some light’ on the issue.

In Christianity, Christ first states that he is the light. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 – NIV

Then towards the end of his ministry tells his disciples that they are the light. "You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can't be hidden.” Matthew 5:14 ISV

This emphasis on Light helps paint the picture of the Paladin as a Hero aligned with the forces of Good. Many of the ideas we have about what makes someone good, self sacrifice, and defending the weak and the helpless become part of our expectation of the Paladin Hero.

On a personal note, this image of the Warrior of Light was something that drew me to Paladin class in the first place.


Anna said...


Regarding the "Light" part of this, I was wondering if you'd read the Paladin initiation ceremony (it's in both Arthas: Rise of the Lich King and the book about Tirion Fordring). It's pretty powerful, and a strong representation of just what "serving the Light" really means to Paladins - particularly from the Silver Hand.

It's a huge part of my character's motivation :)

Honors Code said...

I have not read either of those, but it sounds like I would enjoy them.

Misneach said...

I almost rolled a Paladin first because, like you said, the idea of a Warrior-Priest seems so honorable.

This series is going to be great. Glad you're doing it.

Galoheart said...

The Light and the idea of serving a noble cause but serving the greater good bearing the light within was a huge reason one my very first WoW character was, is and remain my Paladin.

And being a Holy Warrior or Knight serving the Light as well. I guess a big reason why I have a harder time playing alts or usually don't play them much.

I guess from the beginning the Light got me and still has. When next I drop by the book store I be sure to pick up one those books and read it. Sometime a little less wow is good even to just read a book.

Serving the Light, that just seem to sound so noble. Sometime as well it also sounds too pure as well or too goody goody.

Often when I think of my Paladin and how I view him, I think of a noble Holy Warrior Knight as he is with great dedication to his cause "serving the Light". Yet I also think of him radical enough to walk up to the gates of he'll and fearlessly and courageously walk through it if he must to persue whatever darkness he chases being backed by that guiding "Light".

Fish said...

Good post, I find it ironic blizz uses so few words to define paladins, I keep waiting for Blessing of Reckoning Light Hand. . .