30 August 2012

Ostercy is an awesome fanfiction writer who has not only created several stories featuring Lara Croft but also a parallel series focusing on Natla.

In these days of game developers messing around with Lara and trying to dilute her British roots, I’m sure that eventually someone is going to say “but there was never ever any evidence that Lara’s mother was English”. Lord Croft they can’t really mess with as he’s obviously an English aristocrat, but Lara’s mother, in contrast, could be vunerable to a Stalinist rewrite. Could she have been, for example, an American? Let’s examine the Lara Croft canon (yes, it does exist, contrary to what you may have heard recently) for clues.


(1) THE ACCENT

Given that Lara’s mother is named Amelia (a name no doubt chosen to sound stereotypically English) and says things like “epsolutely” – listen to the dialogue from Legend if you don’t believe me;

Child Lara: Are we going to cresh?
Lady Croft: Not unless it's epsolutely necessary.

- I’d say that Lara’s Mama is pretty damned English. The voice actress, Eve Karpf, is British (not merely “British born”) and trained at the Bristol Old Vic.

(2) THE ANNIVERSARY BIO

The Anniversary bio (originating from unlockables in the game) seems to have disappeared from the official Tomb Raider site but can be found elsewhere and includes various factoids.
“Richard and his wife, Lady Amelia DeMornay, had Lara only a year after marrying.” "DeMornay" with a capital D at the front and a capital M in the middle with no space before it is a very rare surname, according to ancestry.com. I found two worldwide, one from Scotland and one from Hertfordshire, UK. Rather a British surname.

CD gave the title "the Countess of Abbingdon" to Lara's mother. Now I suppose it possible that she could have gained the title from marrying an Earl (which Lord Croft self-evidently isn’t.) However the same bio tells us that "Lara Croft is the 11th Countess of Abbingdon". Interestingly, American Countess LuAnn De Lesseps from "The Real Housewives of New York City" got her title from marrying a French Compte, so maybe Richard Croft was Amelia Croft's second husband. It doesn’t seem very likely though, given that if Lara is the 11th Countess, then presumably Amelia is the 10th.

Finally, where is Abbingdon? We know it has a "Countess" (allegedly). There's Abbingdon Abbey in Oxfordshire, as well quite a lot of Abingdons (with one 'b') around the place. It's almost as if the writers of Anniversary made up a name to sound British ... which I guess suggests Lara's mother is British?

(3) THE EVIDENCE FROM CORE

The original bio of Lara begins “Lara Croft, daughter of Lord Henshingly Croft, was raised to be an aristocrat from birth” and later says “Her family soon disowned their prodigal daughter …” I suppose it’s faintly possible that if Lara’s mother wasn’t British she’d still want her daughter raised to be an British aristocrat and would cheerfully join her husband in disowning Lara for not behaving like a British aristocrat, but it doesn’t sound very likely to me.

So there we go. Every reason to believe that both Lara’s parents were British. Therefore if any “version” of Lara pops up in the future who is not 100% British, I’d say that that version of the character is “non-canonical” and will be soon forgotten as a temporary embarrassment. Time will tell.

What do you think?

External links:
a. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwWqdNg9w7U 
b. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0483822/quotes 
c. http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps3/618623-the-tomb-raider-trilogy/faqs/49852

Ostercy (290812)
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2 comments:

  1. I have to agree with the article. Whether Crystal/Squenix agree is in doubt however. WRT the new Tomb Raider reboot, I don't like the (accent of the) voice actress, don't like the new 'origin' of Lara, and am sad to see the end of the dual pistols, and ... etc. They seem to be making her mid atlantic, if not americanized.

    I will stick to thinking of the previous games as canon (even if there are two or three variants of Lara's background over all the games, the variants are similar). The new game? It will probably be a good game but won't seem to be 'Tomb Raider' with Lara Croft to me, just something with those names attached.

    Ray

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