GW2 Tara Strong The Voice behind Scarlet

New Arenanet video showcase Tara Strong, the voice actor behind Scarlet, everyone’s favourite villain from living world season one.

Tara Strong is the voice of Scarlet Briar, the villain behind the momentous events of Living World Season 1. In this video, she talks about her experience voicing one of the most iconic characters ofGuild Wars 2 and what it’s like to play a relatable character who goes bad.


  • Scowny

    Good voice acting, bad script.

    • Extremely bad.

    • HadesClutch

      Bad is an understatement. It almost “ALMOST” makes Mass Effect 3’s ending (including Extended Cut) look like a grammy-winner.

      • YareYareDaze

        I didn’t like how “cheerful” Scarlet came off, and how she felt shoe-horned into the story. But bad script (let alone comparing it to the shit stain that is ME3), no.
        Later, tater.

        • HadesClutch

          Keyword: almost. Even then, there was reasoning behind why they did what they did, there was thought invested in ME3 – it just wasn’t something I could fathom believing it. Either way deal with it, I made the comparison. It’s just as bad.

  • Saul

    Did they try to cater to the bronies fanbase?

    • bleeters

      Right. Because Tara Strong’s entire career has consisted of that one time she voiced a cartoon pony and nothing else absolutely ever.

  • Everyone’s favorite villian? Dafuq are you smoking? I hated that character and couldn’t WAIT for it to be killed off.

    • En Sabanur

      “everyone’s favourite villain from living world season one”
      the sentence says for itself… favourite villain FROM season one… and she was the only vallain from that season, so, i guess she won the “contest of best villain from season one” against herself… where you could pick, she or she and obviously she won…

      • Ranique

        Even my 8 year old nephew doesn’t fall for that trick anymore. For years I’ve been calling my most favourite nephew, but just recently he said ‘But uncle, I’m your only nephew’. He was really a bit disappointed the poor bugger.

    • narg

      lol, how I hate LS series 1 for absolute ignoring gw1 lore stuff, Scarlet was best things so far, and here is no proof for that she was “evil” bcz she wants wake up elder dragon, in fact I believe, that it was players, who kill her and thru her death cause dragons wake up. She saw long long future of Tyria, so I think all what she was doing was preparing defense against elder dragons and as always, its better rule as one ruler then hundred shattered kingdoms (check Qin Shi Huang, first china emperor, he have balls!)

      • HadesClutch

        Preparing for the defense by sacking Lion’s Arch. Lion’s Arch which stood against Zhaitan’s Forcers. It baffles me how someone (the story writer) can make an excuse to justify attempted genocide when common sense would spell it out pretty plainly. It was bad all around. She had an aim, clearly she was siphoning for some reason (a Sylvari no less which I still feel is a mary sue-ish race), but it seemed clear she was aware of Mordrimoth’s existence and that the Elder Dragons were tied somehow to the channels of magic through the very core of the planet.

        • narg

          when Qin Shi Huang unite china and create first china empire, he kill every person, which he does not need, in fact, he kill almost 2/3 of entire china population, create family blood line, who supreme ruled china for next 2000 years without single opposite smartass, simple bcz he kill them all, that is what I call TRUE RULER, not that pussies everywhere nowadays.

    • Ranique

      That is the function of a good antagonist. You want her to be finished off. You are happy to kill her off.

      The issue is balance. The living story was too much written as a novel and not as a part of a game.
      Before her introduction there where two signs of her existance. The first was that Eir sent us a mail at the end of flame and frost saying that she suspect something bigger behing the dredge/flame legion assault (but the mail also gave a reward if I remember right and 90% of the people didn’t read it). The second was in a dungeon cutscene that could be skipped (Aetherblade retreat). It is good custom in games to skip video’s in dungeons, specially in hard ones. So again I think that more then 90% missed that one.

      So she popped out of nothing. the suddenly she is everywhere and behind everything bad. ‘What scarlet saw’ was released as a back story outside of the game and her journal was only unlocked if you where good at that ls chapter.

      So was it a good written villain?? yes, for a novel or linear movie it would be (though you would need a protagonist too then). In a game like GW2, the hatred people had against her was good, but it should be more obvious that we would finish her off (like with Zhaitan, we knew we would kill him from day one) instead of leaving that in the open so long. Also the bad guy should be introduced better in game in place we would notice.

      I am hopefull for season two. We know who will be the main bad guy. We will have the story journal that will tell us the story, even if we miss some details. I think it will be awesome!

      • Negative. I didn’t want her to be “finished off” because she was a good character. I wanted her finished off because she was annoying and in no way making the game more fun to play or the story line more interesting. I wanted her to be gone because I was just tired of seeing anything having to do with her. It was a piss poor character that was ONLY annoying at best. And there were other bad guys from LS1. I liked the two at the end of the F&F dungeon 1000x more than Scarlet. I hated Scarlet’s written lines, and the voice acting of said lines I didn’t enjoy either but when she had shit writing to work with…. She did the best she could I guess. That being said though that laugh at the end of the invasions right before she disappeared was just retarded. Didn’t enjoy Scarlet in the slightest bit. The story that revolved around her as a whole sparked 0% interest in me. Didn’t care for the plot built around her or anything. I found the Dragonbash to be of more interest than the LS Scarlet. She didn’t feel like a villian. She felt like a filler because they couldn’t come up with something better. Not to mention the writters are hellbent on making the plant people the stars of everything from normal story to living story. I guess maybe if I had some interest in the Slylvari I would find Scarlet more entertaining or interesting, but I don’t. I have do, however, have a lot of interest in the Norn story and the Jodan… and no, I didn’t go read the information they wrote outside of the game about Scarlet and do not intend to ever read it. I only know Scarlet from in game and that shitty poor excuse for a character in a video game villain didn’t spark any interest what-so-ever to spend time outside of game trying to learn shit about her.

        • Ranique

          Did you actually read my post?? or just the first 2 lines and then rage write this. I was pointing the flaws in scarlet’s character and pointing how it looks like gw2-writing team (might) have learned from that mistake.

          I do think that her voice should be irritating. This is how I would introduce her.

          After Flame and frost: the razing storm (where we find out bout the alliance between flame legion and dredge and make the first blow) she is introduced as a very smart sylvary with engineering skills to reach the molten facility. she helps us to get into that facility (instead of one of the factions as it was in the real story) and helps us beside Rox and Braham during the story, but just before the final fight she dissapears (saying ‘okay this is as far as I can go, now it’s time for you to die, tadaaaaaa!) and we fight the two end bosses and Scarlet is out of view.

          Mai trin a few months later makes her regular line to remind us bout her existance and again two months later she shows up in the queen’s pavillion as regular (maybe with some different dialogue mocking us to not killing her off in the dungeon at the first place).

          The difference would be that she would have been the good guy first, at the end of flame and frost we allready got a pretty good indication that she is evil and when she re-appears we know we will kill her and truly enjoy in that.

          • I read it all. And I agree with you about the character would be better placed in a novel vs video game. But from the first couple of lines it seemed that you thought I disliked her as a good villain… which would not be the case in the least bit. I dislike her because it was a poorly written and executed character and because of the poor writing the voice acting suffered. She just didn’t need to be in the game.

      • HadesClutch

        Season 1 changed drastically and for the better but the character itself was more of an attempt to create a dangerous foe who really became anything but a serious threat. It was, as I posted prior, a case of “shoe-horning” the antagonist for the sake of building an overarching story.

        I will give you that, hopefully, Season 2 comes around. One thing I absolutely loathed about GW2’s story was how different it was handled compared to the original GW1. Where as towards the climax of Season 1 Living World, you saw them depart from still backframes and two characters on screen at one time talking to suddenly a cinematic involving multiple characters at one time; this was reminiscent of Guild Wars 1 story telling. They did get some positives at that conclusion but it still doesn’t dissuade me from disliking Scarlet – it was a poor character.

        Now, I was a player and fan of the original and I was hoping they would go with expansions rather than LW-story telling. I wanted to Elona and Cantha which would progress the story, what we got were revisiting old zones and the start of the story being pretty boring until Scarlet finally came around. Hell, we still have plenty of Tyria locked off (Crystal Desert, Fire Islands, Isles of Janthir, etc). So I was never a fan of it to begin with.

        But don’t me wrong, some positives did indeed come from that finale. Here’s to hopping they learned from their mistakes.

  • HadesClutch

    I feel sorry, she’s such a talented voice actor by the sounds of it but the character she was cast for was shoe-horned into the game and in doing so became a sour subject amongst the gaming community. The majority despised Scarlet so much that her death was pushed ahead of schedule because they couldn’t do much with her without alienating the player base.

    Hopefully she gets another role, I do think she’s a great person.

  • Sty

    I did not find the story bad in itself. But a few points can be improved.

    For instance, we have no clue on how Scarlet was able to tame dredges, charrs, aetherblades, kraits, etc. All these pawns only claim that they fear Scarlet, which is not really consistent with her usual method of remotely monitoring her troops. Introducing a few elements on Scarlet’s abilities to lead these races would have made her character a lot stronger.

    The way how players interact with the story is not totally satisfying too. Just one example : the last fight against Scarlet. Dozens of players are fighting holograms for dozens of minutes. Scarlet is wounded and escapes (again). Next part, you are alone with Rox’ company (others players probably took the wrong exit), you manage to kill Scarlet and you become THE hero who killed Scarlet (and awaked a dragon). It does not make much sense. Hopefully, season 2 should more rely on instances (maybe like GW1 coop missions?), without such big discrepancies between events in open world and instantiated personal stories.

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