I always want to wait until I finish a game before I admit my love for a character but it always seems to happen before I finish that particular game.
Sometimes it even happens before I even start the game!
Think of it this way, I am exposed to that character somehow like maybe a friend of mine who also plays that game and then I get this gut feeling that I am going to fall in love with that character the moment I see them for myself.
Well, one thing is certain, my gut is never wrong!
In Horizon Zero Dawn, I spend so much time trekking around and battling machines since the world is so vast and I cannot always fast travel to a specific destination for a quest. Plus I hop from quest to quest at times instead of doing one at a time! All part of going with the flow in open-world games right?
Anyway, after meeting up with Erend and searching for clues about his sister Ersa’s abduction, it led us to a false location and then Erend told Aloy to meet him at the Palace of the Sun for the next quest. Like anyone else, I delayed going there and assumed it was because I was distracted by the countless things to explore in this game!
But then, I realized that yes that was why I didn’t go to the palace immediately, but then that gut feeling aforementioned was eating at me. It was like being in the stage of denial, whenever I find myself developing a crush on a fictional character. Delaying meeting that said character is a common tactic, the only exposure I had to him prior was a few images here and there and then upon arriving in Meridian for the first time, he was mentioned constantly due to being of great importance.
Then I finally decided it was time to face it, I knew it was going to happen, and there is a character in the Horizon universe who belongs in my heart: Sun-King Avad.
That’s right, I have a thing for leaders, monarchs, you name it. Everything I read and heard about him in codex entries and books in the game had my heart interested in him immediately. How he usurped his own father and put an end to the Red Raids where the Carja would attack, abduct and sacrifice those from other tribes. It seems like Jiran did this all for religious reasons, in other words, I’d call him the Mad Sun-King, until Avad decided to put a stop to it.
Avad has everything I could ask for, a strong sense of compassion and justice, calm, patience, and caring for his people the moment I met him in the game. He also wishes to unite the tribes together, hoping it will undo the tensions between them. There is no doubt the Nora and Oseram do not trust the Carja because of the raids. So Avad is constantly trying to rebuild the tribe’s reputation that was tarnished by his father.
As soon as I met him my first reaction was I thought he was cute and I loved his voice, so I went head over heels in a heartbeat! I also thought it was adorable how he appeared to like Aloy but didn’t seem to know how to express it other than hey I could use someone like you at my side, but I made Aloy kindly tell him that she can’t. Avad respected that of course and it’s understandable because Aloy has to work on herself first before she gets into anything else, or maybe she doesn’t need anyone.
Avad would be better off with someone who wants the same thing as him. He had feelings for Ersa once but because there was still some remaining tension between the Oseram and the Carja that could possibly cause riots if it was revealed, they couldn’t be together.
Well Avad, your Radiance, I would be honoured to be your Sun-Queen! Yes, I have already had a few dreams about him. The first one was when I was standing among a bunch of other girls and he was choosing a bride among us. But it wasn’t the final decision, it almost felt like The Selection. I remember him stopping to look at me and smiling like he thought I was the prettiest out of all the other girls there. He said he liked how I had more of my hair flowing freely rather than the other girls who had all those headdresses from machine parts like they were proud of their Carja roots.
Then the dream cut to me walking around the palace at night and I began to sing a song. I didn’t realize Avad was watching me the entire time, the other girls had gone to sleep, perhaps I couldn’t sleep.
He approached me and said I had a beautiful voice. I told him that it was the only thing I had left from my old life since coming to Meridian, I couldn’t battle machines anymore within the walls of the city, and then I proceeded to tell him that when my family had moved here, they had encouraged me to come before him as a possible candidate to be his bride. (in this dream he was looking for one and there were other girls as well) It was something I originally protested against because I didn’t want to be tied down to someone I didn’t love.
I was telling him this story as we walked along one of the catwalks overlooking the city, this night I had stayed up longer than I liked. As we stood overlooking the city, I said to him that now, things were different, he had changed me, I was no longer doing this for my family, but I was doing it because I loved him. However, I was concerned if he really meant to have a wife or just a mistress. He said the other girls were nice but it was me he wanted to spend his life with the most, thus it was the former.
He said he was hoping to find me this night so that he could propose and when he did, I accepted immediately. He smiled, slid the ring onto my finger and kissed me.
I haven’t had a dream about announcing the engagement, or the wedding itself, but I do hope I do some night! You know, a new fictional crush and a fanfiction idea, always start with a dream!