Centaurs in Guild Wars 2: Three Theories

Centaurs are insanely prominent in Guild Wars 2, especially in human communities. It makes sense that there’s more tension between them and humans than there is between them and any other race. They share a strong likeness and constantly invade each other’s properties and camps that it’s a wonder why they bother to be near each other at all. There had to have been a precedent to the constant cycle of one race establishing communities near an already-established community for the other race.

Historically, centaurs were first featured in Greek mythology, and their interesting dynamic with the gods, humans, and the Earth made their legacy persistent in many pieces of fantasy lore. For the most part, they appear regal, but beastlike when violent. They have superior speed and strength to humans. This doesn’t change in modern fantasy. But how exactly does it translate in Guild Wars 2?

Depending on the scale of the precedent to their relationship with the humans, the history may not matter. What matters most is what the humans are doing to stop the conflict completely. Which brings us to our first theory:


1. The humans have proposed treaties in the past, but the centaurs weren’t satisfied with them.

The centaurs’ linear proximity to the gods most likely creates the “proud race” stereotype in fantasy. There are different gods in Guild Wars, however, which may negate the historical context. Are they merely just another minor race, or actual beings who are bitter due to being forgotten by their creators?

In the game, it’s difficult to believe that the humans have not tried to create a treaty between them before. They’re generally reasonable in resolving conflict. We see the vast majority of NPCs, even the soldiers, only play defense against all creatures, so there must be a logical reason why there are constant events that involve taking over centaur camps.

There had to have been some sort of effort to make a peace offering. In Guild Wars: Nightfall, there are centaurs friendly to your player, so there must have been at least a few treaties that were rejected due to these past relations.


Case in point: The Veldrunners, who also apparently seek to abolish the resemblance between centaur and human.


2. It’s just in the centaurs’ nature to be violent for no reason at all.


What motive do the centaurs have whenever they attack? They don’t loot the houses they burn down; even if they did loot, who would they sell to? We never see them mining or scouring for resources like we do other minor races.

Perhaps my fascination with the centaurs in the game comes from a culturally biased point of view. Would I still be so convinced that their motives are more complex than, say, the skritt or the dredge if the centaurs didn’t look like humans? Perhaps the behavior we see is due to a biological disposition to be violent, despite their humanoid appearance.


3. Queen Jennah (or Logan Thackeray) wants to wipe them out


Therefore, all we can do is speculate until ArenaNet shows us something more definitive. One thing we know is that Queen Jennah strongly supports the alliance between humans and other races, even those that they’ve been at war with. This is evidenced by approaching her as a charr character. She’s humbled and proud of the opportunity to speak to a charr. The Black Citadel is no cramped town, nor is Ascalon a small region. The land divisions are fair between all the races. But why isn’t there such a generous arrangement with the skritt, quaggans, or centaurs? The skritt are not bright but mostly harmless, the quaggans are peaceful pushovers, and centaurs (with exception to those in Maguuma) are low-leveled.

There’s nothing to gain from any of these races, as far as we know, so why give them a big chunk of land?

Quaggans are content with the little they have, and skritt can easily be re-educated to work for other races. But centaurs disturb the peace, and can be easily defeated by low-level Seraph soldiers.

Why are there only centaur warcamps? We see no settlements that aren’t armed to the teeth, nor do we see children. Are they well-hidden, or were they the first to go?

There are still issues between the charr and the humans that Jennah needs to tend to, so control of the Seraph falls mostly on Logan’s shoulders. The friendliness of some centaurs in Guild Wars: Nightfall could have been the beginning of healed relations, but the lack of attention given caused them to take a leap backwards. As a result, perhaps Logan has decided to station some Seraph camps right next to centaur camps to keep them at bay and, ideally for him, to wipe them out completely.

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