Having thoroughly exhausted the Nathan Drake Collection, earning 3 platinum trophies in the process (that’s not sad. It’s not. No you shut up!) I do what I always do once a void like this has generated such a chasm in my nocturnal proclivities: conduct a protracted article concerning various fleets of conjectural pandering and motivate some articulate relevance from fictitious events so absurd that it may as well be written in Klingon! But rather than discuss the events perpetrated in a series most are already well versed in, I thought I’d concentrate my convoluted abstractions on the considerably tumultuous union of Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher. Amongst all the theorised mythology and jutted architectures that no normal human being is dexterous in strength to ascend, belies two characters united by severely compromising conditions. Now let’s first establish that their relationship isn’t one of banal convention, but one based of intense emotional circumstances. Your more likely to see these two exchanging gunfire in some desecrated city than chocolates or flowers. They epitomise the contrasting similarities of traditional character relations, stymied in this instance by their respective desires. They really are the Ross and Rachel of gaming, emphasising the conflicting parabolic depiction of yin and yang, just a little less platonic. Their together, their not together; honestly the perennially shifting attempts at marital reconciliation is a little jarring, especially considering there’s little to no context that explains their subsequent division throughout the series. Their relationship is potentially volatile, exacerbated by the continual abstinence from each other, but the facile levity these two exchange in dialogue is seldom obstructed, even by the increasingly precarious circumstances they endure.
It’s a relationship that from the casual observer has been intermittent at best, structured around combustible circumstances and a rather dangerous liaison of two clashing enigmatic individual’s. You first encounter these two on a ship excavating a submerged crypt, with Elena documenting the empty burial casket from the Panamanian brine-waters they aren’t permitted to be in. You soon discover just what exhilarating affiliation these two have with each other. Everything they do is wielded with such intuition that’s it’s difficult to tell whether their actions are impulsive or suicidal! Which is only further complicated by the discordant correlation between them. Both are seemingly apprehensive of the other, yet they soon coordinate a naturally complicit alliance that punctually develops into something more substantial. The bond of their companionship has never been clarified beyond the suggested alienation between games, interrupted smooches, affectionate glances and tender gestures but that’s all the clarification you need really. The acrimonious departure that transpired in the interim and the emblematic band of a wedding ring entangling Elena’s finger are suggestive of something significant occurring between them, particularly considering the strangely absent jewellery on Drakes respective finger. The specific particulars of their confusing relationship is often dismissed as developments we are already aware of, despite its purported absence. Your continually apprised of their separation through expository dialogue but only witness the stunted attempts at marital reconciliation. Despite our adherence that we know these two, the surreptitious contraction ascribed to their congressional union remains a succinct mystery, with thinly veiled distinctions that adorn the tumultuous problems they face. But considering the multiple questionable motivation’s of Drake its small wonder that a woman of such reputed decisiveness is still attempting to distance herself from Drakes increasingly destructive personality. His multiple altercations with pugnacious minorities in some far-flung pocket of the world is nothing in comparison to his dereliction of matrimonial decency and nothing more exacting than his curious incredulity deserves. The dangerous sabbatical’s that invariably lead to such liaisons merely compounds the scrutiny, especially as he seems to attract hostility like Katie Hopkins on a trip to, well, anywhere!
“Though fractious, Nate and Elena’s love for each other is at times touching.”
Drake relishes plundering some palatial fortification, prioritising the accumulation of some gilded statue, studded in runes and ancient biblical curses rather than bracing his own marriage. His incorrigible adventurous nature is fun for us, but is interjected with a melancholic irreverence as if blindly ignoring the issue. Because of his wilful abandonment of his betrothed obligations, his immobilized empathy reflects a man stunted by emotional trauma to almost narcissistic levels. Drakes sociopathic tendencies seem rooted in his morose childhood. During one of the more poised moments in Uncharted 3, Katherine Marlow, the cantankerous antagonistic grants confidential insight into Drakes mysterious past. Absent, presumed dead parents, an assumed name are likely triggers, with absolutely no mention of a brother listed in Marlow’s resume of Drakes existence, making this reclusive sibling a baffling precursor to very interesting explanation in “A Thief’s End” (well hopefully). Considering his very Dickensian upbringing it’s no wonder that he has developed an associative disorder and lack of empathy, instead generating keen industry when dealing with assailants, such as discharging witty, often crass one liners after plunging a guy to his grizzly demise. So deftly does he supply inventive vocal humour that you could understand why he treats marriage with such elusive conviction. Yet his seemingly improvised provocations belies a man studiously loyal to his friends and dedicated to his historical causes. They say inactivity breeds complacency, well I guess the opposite applies to Drake. Yet Elena is probably the most important steward of Drakes humanity, exemplifying his own nuptial resistance with a more grounded perspective. Elena is endowed with all the nuanced knowledge that Drake simply doesn’t possess, reading situations with attuned nutrition and acting accordingly. She is also tough and assured when engaged, even surviving the adjunctive explosion of a grenade! In many respects she posses many of Drakes beneficial characteristics without many of his impetuous flaunts and obsessive predilections. She isn’t merely a complicit foil to Drakes reckless endeavours, but someone who can determine the outcomes with explicit provision, with a tenacious pragmatism that is both cogent and practical to almost every variable. With a sophistry that promotes tolerant representation of femininity without the expressed necessity to show off some cleavage or apply make-up, not only is Elena the perfect love interest, but probably the most fair representation of an independent woman, without having to literate it.
There’s an organic legitimacy to their fluctuating propinquity, punctuated by the maturity of Elena who seeks refuge from Drakes destructiveness. Of course their on off relationship provided ample fodder to exchange humorous observations of each others lives, but this is merely the conduit expounded by two individual’s that care very much for each other, even if it isn’t expressed with succinct sensitivity. Whenever the subject of their split is broached in conversation however it’s quickly lanced by Drakes defensive neurosis, further highlighting his permissive attitude towards relationships. It’s evident from his basic lack of empathy that their relationship will continue to deteriorate further, listlessly dwindling into inert spousal abuse. How they sustain any kind of relationship under such frenetic circumstances is beyond me, yet somehow this erratic instability, coiled and stoic as it is almost symbolic of the monogamous ambiguity their lives project. Whether the intended severance of normality is congenial to the combustible rigidity of their dubious companionship, or alternatively curtailed by the uniquely farcical circumstances they sustain, Drake and Elena will endure. If not, there is always the wizened intervention of Victor Sullivan. I can almost hear him, the surrogate paternal tutor attempting to amend Drakes marital complacency, bristling with stout ruminations in the shadows and bleating “kid, just remarry the damn broad will ya?!”
Who is your favourite gaming couple? Let me know in the comments. Cheers.