Imoen (buffleheaded) wrote,

I love writing about Imoen, but I still think that I fail at actually writing good essays. In any case, this is intended to both serve as an organization of ideas for myself AND hopefully shed some insights into the mess that is Imoen's character.

First off, I would like to list what canon provides for me to base Imoen's sexuality off of.

1)Upon finding the captive dryads, who reveal the identity of the captor as Irenicus:
Imoen: So beautiful! I used to dream of dryads and their beautiful trees.
Ulene: You are welcome among us, girl. Youthful exuberance is music that we have not heard in such a long time.
Imoen: I used to dream…but he doesn’t. Your charms don’t work on him anymore, do they?
Ulene: How do you know of this? He has touched you as we, hasn’t he? Irenicus searches for something he cannot find, and he looks within those that have no more idea than he.
Imoen: Irenicus…
Ulene: A name that is synonymous with death and ugliness.
Imoen: No, death sounds different. He showed me…I spit on his name. I spit on this place.
Ulene: Live as you can where you must, young woman. You will not survive if you give in. We have learned this.
Imoen: I have learned…something different. So beautiful you are. I almost can’t see you. I just want to go home. Oh Abdel, when can we go home?
[End Dialogue]

2) Keldorn: Imoen! What ... are you pawing at me yet again? Do you think I do not notice. You are trying to pickpocket me, aren’t you!?
Imoen: Well, no ... I just ...
Keldorn: Just what? Out with it girl. I won’t have a party member stealing from me.
Imoen: No, no, that’s not it! I ... I was just ... I was just trying to find out if you’re as muscular under your armor as you look.
Keldorn: Eh? What’s this?
Imoen: Oh, I know that you’re married and all that, Keldorn ... but do you have *any* idea how good you look? I ... I can’t help myself, I just want to touch you all the time!
Keldorn: Imoen! I ... I have a daughter the same age as you!
Imoen: I don’t know what it is, Keldorn ... maybe it’s the Bhaal essence in me. I just want to run my fingers through your hair and nibble on your ears! Oh, Keldorn, you drive me so wild!
Keldorn: By Torm, no! This is terrible! I ... I had no idea I had this effect on you ...
Imoen: Oh, get over yourself, Keldorn! Sheesh. (giggle!) Here’s your ring back. I won’t take it again, I promise.

3)HaerDalis’: Ahh, Imoen, my wildflower. Have I ever told you you’ve a most natural grace and innocent beauty about you? T’is something any man would find most charming.
Imoen: Yeah, okay, whatever. I don’t know about my grace, HaerDalis’, but I’m not all that innocent. I can smell a cheesy come-on from a mile away.
HaerDalis’: ‘Twas not meant as such. I’ve no intention of offending you.
Imoen: Uh-huh.
HaerDalis’: T’is only that I see you in an unguarded moment, at times ... and I see the ache in your heart reflected in your eyes. It saddens this sparrow to know there is no-one to hold you close, Imoen.
Imoen: I ...
HaerDalis’: But no doubt I over-step my bounds by saying so. It has only ever been my hope that you might one day give me the chance to be the one that comforts you. It would be an honor, my wildflower.
Imoen: Whew. Gosh, you’re good.
HaerDalis’: Yes, I know. T’is an art form that has served this sparrow well, at times.
Imoen: Write a book. I’ll buy it.

4) Imoen: So ... Sarevok. You’ve had an itty-bitty piece of my soul in there for quite a while now. What it’s been like?
Sarevok: (sigh) Well other than a slight obsession with my weight and the resurgence of a few pimples, it’s been simply grand. Now leave me be, girl.
Imoen: No, I’m serious. Does the fact that you have a little piece of me inside you make any difference at all? Tell me ... you owe me that much.
Sarevok: What do you wish to know, girl? What are you curious about? Perhaps you would be interested to know that I can feel the knives of Irenicus, slicing into my skin, torturing me. I can feel his hands and his breath, I *know* what he did to you, girl ...
Imoen: Al-alright, stop ... I wasn’t really serious ...
Sarevok: How about the agony you felt as your soul was ripped from you? The despair at being left only with the cold voices of your tainted heart, discovering what was inside you all along? How about the hurt you keep deep down within, wondering if you weren’t good enough for Gorion? How about the loneliness ... the unrequited longing you -
Imoen: Stop! Enough ... I won’t bother you, Sarevok, just -
(If Sarevok’s still evil)
Sarevok: You are pathetic, girl. When the true Bhaalspawn come to claim your essence, I hope you bring yourself not to flop onto your back at the first sign of danger!
Imoen: I ... I was enough to help kill you once, Sarevok! And I’ll stand by (CHARNAME) to the end, just you wait. It was ... obviously a mistake to talk to you. Excuse me.
(If Sarevok changed alignment)
Sarevok: I feel many things, Imoen. And I know that you are stronger than you think you are.
Imoen: I ... thanks, Sarevok. I guess. Um ... excuse me ...

5) A scene in Spellhold, the Cowled Wizard's insane aslyum where Imoen was imprisoned:
Cowled Wizard 1: The girl they brought in, she’s a cute one, isn’t she.
Cowled Wizard 2: I do believe I’ll have to practice some enchantment spells on that one.
Cowled Wizard 1: Haha! Hold…what was that sound?


So. From these conversations, we see several things. First, that she finds at least some women beautiful. Second, that sexuality is usually, for her, just something to tease people with--they make the funniest reactions, and she gets a good laugh. Third, people try to seduce her. Out of a relationship, she just wants to be held close, be safe and comforted--but even if you can read her like a book, like a CERTAIN BARD god HaerDalis', quit reading everyone's scripts...she'll shut you down if she knows you're trying to take advantage of her. Fourth! She has an unrequited love; since she's spent all but two years in Candlekeep with pretty much just one person available to her, as much as I wanted to avoid the idea that Abdel is her unrequited love, chances are that he's it. Sure, it could've been another party member, but none of the other party members are certain to have been in her life because who knows what a particular player will choose to put in his or her party. She will never talk about this. We actually see in her conversations with Viconia that she takes being Abdel's sister seriously; I suspect first that Abdel never knew that Imoen felt that way (analyzing his possible lines in conversations with Imoen throughout the games tell me that he probably didn't act as close to her as any PC/Imoen fanfic you can find will tell you.), and second that Imoen herself has a problem with the idea of a relationship with him. It does mean that it's possible for her to like men, but I think that any man would have to live up to standards set by Abdel, which is practically impossible and would explain why she is always so unimpressed by them in canon. FIFTH: badtouched. It's heavily implied that Irenicus indulged in noncon and in the Spellhold scene that the Cowled Wizards wanted to, as well. Sure, "practice some enchantment spells" is probably the lamest innuendo ever, but it's likely very accurate for what he had in mind; magic users in BG have more ways to take over someone's mind than eskimos have ways to say "snow."

So my Imoen is a lesbian who has exceptions to her homosexuality (believe it or not, for a little while, Thor was teetering on the edge between "big brother" and "male that's actually attractive." Eventually he tipped himself over to big brother, which was really a lot easier for me to play anyway. XD) For a long time, she had a crush on Rosalyn, who was basically the first person I really think that she bonded with in camp. It basically went unsaid, unnoticed, and Imoen's like a little sister to Rosalyn now. It parallels Imoen's experience with crushes in canon! Imoen accepts that she is supposed to be the "little sister" (though we see in BG2 that she's not as happy with the role as she was originally. She even decides to call Abdel "little brother" once.) and that basically her feelings are always going to go unrequited and no one would be interested in her the way she wants--anyone who's going to take an interest in her, she figures, just wants to use her and throw her away, and it may seem mean to HaerDalis' character to lump him in with this, but he certainly wasn't looking for a real relationship with her.

In previous posts, I wrote about Imoen's attachment to people. She is the one NPC in Baldur's Gate who, once she likes a person...that person basically has unconditional acceptance from her. Then I felt I should take into account the rules of romance in Baldur's Gate: first, people in Baldur's Gate take an interest in people who show interest in them. Second, Baldur's Gate romances involve a lot of comforting. One could draw the conclusion that relationships are supposed to focus on support in their culture. Third, relationships are dependent on race and gender, but one out of seven relationships in BG2 (counting the relationships not involving the PC) breaks the conventions of interracial relationships. When I say this, I don't mean that people in Faerûn don't get into relationships with people of different races, but it's impossible for the PC to get into a relationship unless the PC is a human, elf, or half-elf, and I think this says something. All relationships are heterosexual, even the unconventional one. BG prostitutes will even tell you off if you are the same sex as them. That's not to say homosexuality doesn't exist; there's plenty of gay jokes, actually. But it isn't socially accepted in Imoen's culture.

So, Glinda. I'm going to be honest, here. Glinda surprised me. XD In a good way that I absolutely adore, but I hadn't expected it at all. So, Imoen's in the mistletoe post, and Glinda says to watch the mistletoe to see the kissing and why it's bad. Glinda was obviously uncomfortable about it, which heavily pinged Imoen on a mischeivious level. She pushed her into the mistletoe. And when Glinda protested about having to kiss someone, Imoen offered herself. Here I'd like to point back to the way Imoen tends to gladly use sexuality as a way to get a funny reaction out of people. (There's also a self-esteem issue buried in Imoen's "it's just me" in this; Imoen also doesn't think that anything significant could result from someone kissing her, but that's probably another issue for another day.) Glinda called her bluff, so they kissed. ...And then they made out. And whether or not Imoen enjoyed the kiss itself, she enjoyed the proximity. And Glinda is someone that she can enjoy talking to. And with that one could consider, in a true BG style, the romance to have become "active."

So aside from the awkwardness of this being Imoen's first relationship, it is, to her, a social oddity for not following gender rules. For some reason this never affected her in her crush on Rosalyn, probably because she was never going to say anything. This has entered her mind, and no matter how much gay there is in camp, she's not going to make a big deal out of a same-sex relationship. She hasn't mentioned it to anyone, and is only talking about it when it gets brought up. This is the extent of the effect social disapproval really has on Imoen in this relationship. We see in canon that Imoen is afraid of how people will look at her when they find out that she's a Bhaalspawn--that she'll have the same kinds of problems society's been giving Abdel. For the most part, the time that she's spent in camp has helped her get over that, and the backstory post this past weekend was actually part of Imoen deciding that nothing bad is going to happen if people know that she's different. In a way, not calling attention to the relationship is just Imoen doing the same thing over again, but it's not nearly as bad as it had been with her background.

So if that's not what has Imoen so worried, what is it? She doesn't know where the relationship could possibly go, least of all what's supposed to happen next. It's not that she hasn't seen a romance before. Actually, with her intimate background in Winthrop's bar...and canonly looking through his porn why is Imoen's background so messed up...she's seen some typical, uh, physical expressions of affection. I think this shows through in her teasing Keldorn. And she's clearly sold on the idea that being held is comforting. So while she's inexperienced, snuggling seems fine with her, whereas the rest of the relationship is still foggy. Imoen's real weak point is the relationship's future. Assuming that the relationship doesn't crash before then, Imoen knows that she's going back to Faerûn, no matter what. She needs to go back and get her soul back, for one, and even if she somehow got her soul back, she'd go back because of her dedication to Abdel. So no matter what, the relationship will end eventually. That's the reason Imoen's pushing the idea that they shouldn't worry about where the relationship is going, or what's going to happen next, because if she keeps worrying about what's ahead, the middle is still foggy, but the end is clear. And Imoen isn't big on casual relationships, but she's also been enjoying the attraction and isn't ready for it to end--at which point she has something of a circular problem and decides that she'd really rather avoid thinking about it and just enjoy what there is without thinking things through.

Hopefully my reasoning makes some sense. XD

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