It shouldn’t surprise my friends that I am super over invested in the very minor characters of the Mass Effect series.
I have strong feelings about salarians, and Dalatrass Linron is the only female salarian you are guaranteed to meet in the game if you let the original council live in ME1.
And unfortunately, a lot of people remember her as the unreasonable frog lady who tried to blackmail Shepard to agree to screw over their buddy Wrex, or Grunt’s entire species. And who doesn’t want Krogan babies? Did you see the Krogan babies in the slides at the end? They were sooo cute.
It’s funny because I’m not even being sarcastic.
But the honest truth is, I think she gets hated on for a lot of the same reasons Anora from DA:O gets hated on; because she dares to say no to the player. For the majority of , people say yes to being Shepard’s ally. Sure, you might need to do a mission to get them, and another to save their son but they agree in the end.
Linron gives you an ultimatum. And it’s one that makes complete sense, the minute people are willing to look at what her options were, and what she knew of the situation.
- The krogan blame the salarians for the creation of the genophage
- The krogan are a race known for their physical aggression and many of them attack salarians and murder them for their race’s role in the genophage
- The salarians are a race known for intelligence and quick thinking
- The krogan population skyrocketed after the rachni war and krogan frequently attacked and took over other colonies
She knows these things, and then a Spector with connections to an organisation that tried to murder the council wants:
- a cure for the genophage, allowing a race that once nearly decimated the galaxy to breed and spread again
- her ships to go to the human’s home world, leaving Sur Kesh and the other colonies unprotected from the Reapers
Salarians like to strike first, to stop the fight before it can really begin. Tactic wise, what if the Reapers are destroyed and the Krogan rise up? What if the Reapers is not destroyed at all? She would have lost most of the salarian fleet and her top soldiers, and the salarian home world and colonies would be vulnerable to Reapers, raiding parties, krogan…
And why should she take the word of one human over everything she knows? Even Shepard, who’s history is blurred between what actually happened and what people talk about. Shepard is asking for a lot, and hasn’t done something to win Salarian trust like with finding the primarch and his son for the Turians.
And Wrex? Wrex is extremely aggressive towards the dalatrass at that meeting, and she refuses to be intimidated by him despite his threats. He talks about the Krogan being different, but why would she take his word for it? He talks about making them change, but again, why would she take the word of one krogan over several generations worth of knowledge about just what Krogan can be capable of.
And honestly, I think the inability to be able to empathise with strong minded female who stands her ground and doesn’t let a player’s character sway them is a problem in us as a society more so than the writing.
For Sur’Kesh, motherfuckers
I don’t care about Dragon Age so I can’t say a thing about Anora, but I think you’re comically oversimplifying by boiling it down to sexism. If you want to sympathize with her, cool, and I’m not going to argue that she doesn’t have her complexities. But don’t try to erase all the extremely unethical things she did.
Bakara and the other krogan women were kidnapped from Tuchanka, and held on Sur’kesh for experimentation. The kidnapping and experimentation of yahg citizens (the yahg are sentient beings, remember) were also done on her watch.
And her hostility towards the krogan is bigotry, not logic. The krogans blame the salarians for the genophage, yes…because the salarians were the ones who created the genophage. The salarians are a race known for their poor foresight.
"Generations’ worth of knowledge" about what the krogan are capable of? The Krogan Rebellion happened over a thousand years ago; the krogan have been demilitarized since then. They’re not even allowed a space armada, and a force made up only of ground troops is no thread to anyone, no matter how many extra organs they have. There’s no way the krogan as a whole have been a military threat to the Union—or anyone—in her generation, or her mother’s, or her mother’s.
Salarians like to strike first, which is what makes them completely useless in a war of attrition, as with the Reaper attacks on their colony. If the Reapers are not destroyed, the krogan are absolutely not a concern of hers, because the Reapers will steamroll them all together. The instant win button of the Crucible is the only logical scenario at that point. It’s the most effective use of salarian resources and she refuses to consider it because she’s too focused on the salarians. I certainly agree that the earth-centric story (and instant win button) of ME3 is awful writing, but regardless, it’s what we have to work with.
Does it not tell you something about Linron as a leader that she can’t even control the STG? Kirrahe brings forces against her wishes. Can you imagine the Navy SEALS going to help another country against the President’s order? Linron is extremely flawed.
I’m certain that some people dislike Linron for reasons rooted in sexism. But you can’t deny that she’s biased against the krogan and focused only on the plight of the salarians. You can’t deny that she’s authorized extremely unethical experimentation. You can’t deny that she’s a hypocrite (“The krogan are too brutal to reverse the genophage, but the yahg are perfectly safe to uplift”). She’s myopic, and the fact that the STG are more loyal to Kirrahe than to her speaks volumes about her as a leader. There are plenty of completely legitimate reasons to dislike Linron. And of course flawed characters make for interesting characters, but it’s inaccurate to paint her as a glowing hero who’s only disliked for her womanhood.