D&D General D&D Red Box: Who Is The Warrior?

A WizKids miniature reveals the iconic character's face for the first time.

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The Dungeons & Dragons Red Box, famously illustrated by Larry Elmore in 1983, featured cover art of a warrior fighting a red dragon. The piece is an iconic part of D&D's history.

WizKids is creating a 50th Anniversary D&D miniatures set for the D&D Icons of the Realms line which includes models based on classic art from the game, such as the AD&D Player's Handbook's famous 'A Paladin In Hell' piece by David Sutherland in 1978, along with various monsters and other iconic images. The set will be available in July 2024.

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Amongst the collection is Elmore's dragon-fighting warrior. This character has only ever been seen from behind, and has never been named or identified. However, WizKids’ miniature gives us our first look at them from the front. The warrior is a woman; the view from behind is identical to the original art, while the view from the front--the first time the character's face has ever been seen--is, as WizKids told ComicBook.com, "purposefully and clearly" a woman. This will be one of 10 secret rare miniatures included in the D&D Icons of the Realms: 50th Anniversary booster boxes.


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The original artist, Larry Elmore, says otherwise. (Update—the linked post has since been edited).

It's a man!

Gary didn't know what he wanted, all he wanted was something simple that would jump out at you. He wanted a male warrior. If it was a woman, you would know it for I'm pretty famous for painting women.

There was never a question in all these years about the male warrior.

No one thought it was a female warrior. "Whoever thought it was a female warrior is quite crazy and do not know what they are talking about."

This is stupid. I painted it, I should know.
- Larry Elmore​

Whether or not Elmore's intent was for the character to be a man, it seems that officially she's a woman. Either way, it's an awesome miniature. And for those who love the art, you can buy a print from Larry Elmore's official website.
 

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michaeljpastor

Adventurer
View attachment 361826

The Dungeons & Dragons Red Box, famously illustrated by Larry Elmore in 1983, featured cover art of a warrior fighting a red dragon. The piece is an iconic part of D&D's history.

WizKids is creating a 50th Anniversary D&D miniatures set for the D&D Icons of the Realms line which includes models based on classic art from the game, such as the AD&D Player's Handbook's famous 'A Paladin In Hell' piece by David Sutherland in 1978, along with various monsters and other iconic images. The set will be available in July 2024.


Amongst the collection is Elmore's dragon-fighting warrior. This character has only ever been seen from behind, and has never been named or identified. However, WizKids’ miniature gives us our first look at them from the front. The warrior is a woman; the view from behind is identical to the original art, while the view from the front--the first time the character's face has ever been seen--is, as WizKids told ComicBook.com, "purposefully and clearly" a woman. This will be one of 10 secret rare miniatures included in the D&D Icons of the Realms: 50th Anniversary booster boxes.



The original artist, Larry Elmore, says otherwise. (Update—the linked post has since been edited).

It's a man!

Gary didn't know what he wanted, all he wanted was something simple that would jump out at you. He wanted a male warrior. If it was a woman, you would know it for I'm pretty famous for painting women.

There was never a question in all these years about the male warrior.

No one thought it was a female warrior. "Whoever thought it was a female warrior is quite crazy and do not know what they are talking about."

This is stupid. I painted it, I should know.
- Larry Elmore​

Whether or not Elmore's intent was for the character to be a man, it seems that officially she's a woman. Either way, it's an awesome miniature. And for those who love the art, you can buy a print from Larry Elmore's official website.
Comic books take the opportunity reinterpret artistic (both writing and illustration) intent (or lack thereof) all the time. This is no different. Entire swaths of continuity have been built over a single (ambiguous/incorrect) panel (why was Shadow Woman white instead of blue in the Hall of Heroes in the Legion of Super Heroes?)

Starship Troopers (the movie) reinterpreting the novel as satire about fascism discards authorial intent (which nobody is clear about anyway).

In the Watchmen series, making Hooded Justice (a character, like this warrior, who was never seen clearly or completely) a black man was artistic genius. The showrunner took the opportunity to subvert both the hangman's noose and the klan's hood to tell a very powerful story, taking advantage of the ambiguity.
 
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I always just assumed it was meant to be "your character" which is why you don't see the face. In the end it's you...whether you're a man or a woman. Anyone that's really bothered can grab the Super 7 action figure.
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That's kinda what I like about them making the miniature a woman - in D&D, everyone should be able to see themselves as the hero, and this speaks to that. Part of what makes the Red Box's art so great is that it sparks your imagination; you immediately picture yourself staring down the maw of that dragon, magic sword in hand. As a kid, that's heady stuff.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
The disrespect is stunning and grotesque. It is a male warrior as intended, and always has been. Everything must be ruined, right? That's the end goal, total wasteland.

Mod note:

So the thing you may not see is that what you are telling folks is that being a woman ruins something. That... is kind of insulting. Be aware of that, please.

In the meantime, I will refer everyone here to the site's inclusivity policy. Make folks feel uncomfortable, or become too vitriolic, and there will be more red text.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I hope every incel in the RPG world just had a coronary.
Mod note:

Folks, keep the rhetoric and vitriol down, please.

Out of interest how many groups of ppl do you wish death on?

Hey, gotchas are not helping. Please stop.

Everyone who is not willing to be kind in here probably should find another topic that doesn't raise their dander or snide reflex.
 

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