Drizzt do'Urden is a character from the Forgotten Realms universe within the game canons of Dungeons & Dragons, written by R. A. Salvatore. Drizzt is a Drow, or Dark Elf, who has renounced his home in the Underdark and his culture's evil ways and now walks the surface being sensitive, culturally aware, and generally grim and morose. He has appeared so far in twenty-five published Dungeons & Dragons novels and miscellany, not counting video game cameos and game modules.
In the books he appears in he is a card-carrying Good Guy who worships Mielikki, a forest goddess associated with unicorns. His swords are named Twinkle and Icingdeath. Drizzt is a rather spectacular example of a Canon Sue, or rather, Stu.
Drizzt as a Dungeons & Dragons StuEdit
Drizzt's cursory Gary Stu traits include:
- Striking lavender eyes. These are unusual for Drow, which usually have red eyes.
- Mastery of combat; capable of defeating multiple enemies, including very strong enemies.
- A super speshul animal companion that is a large magical panther named Guenhwyvar and lives on the Astral Plane.
- Magic weapons and accessories. While normal for a D&D setting, Drizzt's are specially tailored to fit his visual theme and combat strengths to the point of absurdity.
- Horribly Tragic Backstory.
- Inexplicably pure moral sense despite being raised in a world of evil and selfishness. His backstory suggests that this is hereditary, since his father was also Good-aligned. Note the "was". Back to the tragic backstory again.
While these are symptoms, not the disease, his status as a Gary Stu is very clear, even if sometimes in the canons presented by Dungeons & Dragons Gary Stus are hard to distinguish.
In the interest of fairness, most every player character (or equivalent casting) in Dungeons & Dragons games and canons can be considered to be Special. This is because players of the game take the roles of heroic characters who are exceptional among the general world's population. If the characters were unable to perform amazing feats (pun intended), they would not survive their journey and the game would not be very fun. Every player character will likely encounter magic or special weapons and armor, and as they grow to high levels, become astonishingly powerful.
Drizzt is a resident of a D&D-based canon, where high power levels are common. For comparison, anything possible in the Real World is possible in D&D by the 4th character level (including Olympic athletes, etc.); and Gandalf (the Grey, not the White), one of the most powerful Lord of the Rings characters, is equivalent to perhaps a 3rd-level Wizard.
However, Special =/= Speshul.
Despite Drizzt's Tragic Backstory and other hurdles, Drizzt always seems to have awesome things handed to him and ends up outshining almost everybody in his party. He always seems to be the most skilled fighter (even when he loses) and always seems to be in the right or the victim of misfortune. He seems to have impossible luck when it comes to encountering exactly the right new bit of gear he needs—and it always looks good on him. Drizzt was not originally meant to be the main character of his series—it was supposed to be about the barbarian Wulfgar—but he took over the story within two books of his first appearance.
Compared and contrast to other characters of the book The Crystal Shard:
Wulfgar, Cattie-brie and Bruenor each have a handful of magical items that they accumulate throughout the course of the books, but none of them add quite as much "bling" as Drizzt's items do. And even though Drizzt's companions specialize in certain types of combat, Drizzt manages to outshine each of them regardless: he's better in close combat than either Wulfgar or Bruenor, and is a better archer than Cattie-brie.
Better parallels to Drizzt are Artemis Entreri and Jarlaxle, who also accumulate large numbers of magical items and come close to Drizzt's skill level, but each is still not his match, and their items are not visually tailored to them (Jarlaxle is often mentioned as looking ridiculous in the sheer number of mismatched items he sports).
Fan and Official Reaction to DrizztEdit
Just because Drizzt is a Canon Stu does not mean he is unloved. While your mileage may vary, many see his exploits well-written enough to be decent escapist fantasy (to the point of making the best-seller list a few times) and thus Drizzt has an army of loyal fans—and fangirls and fanboys to boot.
Fanboys of Drizzt commonly wish they were Drizzt for some reason, thinking him the ideal sort of guy to worship. Instead of worrying over who to ship him with, they are more likely to get into redfaced Internet shouting matches over who in other fandoms he could beat in a fight. They often play or create poor Drizzt knockoff characters meant to copy Drizzt's conflicts and flair, to the point that there seem to be more rebellious and angsty Good Drow than Drow that are socially acceptable to their culture. Many fanworks are fully aware of how ridiculous this can get.
Fangirls of Drizzt think he is the sexiest thing ever and will drool and squee over him. They come in het-loving (Drizzt/Cattie-brie) and yaoi-loving (Drizzt/Artemis) varieties... and even crossover slash (Drizzt/Legolas ?!) varieties. For some reason many of them have a fascination with Drizzt when he was a cute little young kid, wishing to coo over the woobie qualities of poor little Drizzt growing up in the mean old stinky Underdark.
Drizzt is so firmly entrenched in Dungeons & Dragons culture that not only has he gotten cameos in several Forgotten Realms-based games on PC, console, and on paper, but in Dungeons & Dragons Edition 3.5 Drizzt's dual-wielding swords weapon build was made as a standard path for rangers. R.A. Salvatore got angry at this because when he first wrote Drizzt the specific two-sword build was supposed to be a special Drow fighting style and unique to Drizzt as a ranger. This is an interesting case where Drizzt has actually gotten less speshul as time passes, as the canon evolves around him to make him more standard.
Drizzt and the PPCEdit
Because Drizzt is a canon character, PPC agents are not allowed to kill him. However, blatantly copying or imitating Drizzt is a charge, as is changing his appearance such that the canon of the Forgotten Realms built around him is rendered null and void. For good or ill, R.A. Salvatore defined much of Drow culture, wrote a lot of canon, and changed a lot of canon for the Forgotten Realms universe, and removing/altering Drizzt disturbs all of that.
The PPC doesn't mind if you make fun of Drizzt, though.