Lore question: Is Widowmaker still brainwashed?

General Discussion
This is something I never understood fully since the game came out. The story is that Talon brainwashed her into an emotionless killing machine. Even her default voice line shipped with the game seems to contradict this.

"I single death can change everything."

That kind of line doesn't line up with this emotionless killer. It's almost like it's regret for what she did to her husband.

There are so many voicelines in game that go against this too.

Is she actually brainwashed still? If so, why is she still part of Talon? Sorry if this has been answered already.
I think the brainwashing is kind of fading away. I think a spark has been lit in her mind, but only time will tell;)
Everyone opens their eyes at some point in time. I don’t think she will ever be completely healed, however, o do think she is recovering from the brain washing.
Through in game interactions + otherwise, it's implied that the brainwashing is wearing off.

Her interaction with Moira - "I don't feel. That's the point, isn't it?" - feels quite forced, as if she's really trying to push that she's an unfeeling assassin.

Then, when Ana tells her that Gerard was a fool to love her, she responds with "You don't know anything about him!" - quite the heated response from someone who was brainwashed and killed Gerard with no remorse.

She also sometimes mutters, "Ah... Gerard..." during game setup, and there's also the Uprising spray...

(Not to mention her panel in the Reflections comic, and I'm not even gonna start with Chateau Guillard.)

I think the devs are definitely planning something with Widow and I am very keen to see what.
In game interactions aren't canon.

That's why everyone knows who Soldier 76 & Reaper are in spawn rooms but not in lore.

That said though, doesn't the classic "brainwashed to do evil" narrative always wear off eventually?
I think we'll know when she overcomes the brainwashing. Her Nova skin already kind of gives you a feel for how she'd be once the pigmentation of her skins becomes normal again.

Normal skin color=Free from brainwash

At least I think so.
01/28/2018 05:27 PMPosted by BEASTLY
I think we'll know when she overcomes the brainwashing. Her Nova skin already kind of gives you a feel for how she'd be once the pigmentation of her skins becomes normal again.

Normal skin color=Free from brainwash

At least I think so.


Wasn't her skin color because they trained her to use less oxygen or something? Brainwashing wouldnt have anything to do with actual combat training.
01/28/2018 05:23 PMPosted by BigProf
In game interactions aren't canon.

That's why everyone knows who Soldier 76 & Reaper are in spawn rooms but not in lore.

That said though, doesn't the classic "brainwashed to do evil" narrative always wear off eventually?


You have a point. It still seems odd. You would still think they would have lines based more on her brainwashing than anything. In the voiceline with Ana. She could have responded, "I don't know who you are talking about." That would have fed us some Lore all on its own. Maybe Ana could have responded, "It's a pity what happened to you."

They don't do that though. They just flat out show her emotion when it doesn't line up with her character. That would be like if Reaper had a line with 76 that made them sound like buddies... it's... weird..
01/28/2018 05:23 PMPosted by BigProf
In game interactions aren't canon.

That's why everyone knows who Soldier 76 & Reaper are in spawn rooms but not in lore.

That said though, doesn't the classic "brainwashed to do evil" narrative always wear off eventually?


Yeah, but whatever Widow's saying is put there for a reason. I doubt the devs are just whacking in lines with lots of potential meaning for no reason.
I also have another theory, what if Widowmaker was in Amelie all along, like Talon just brought that part of her out. What if she had a darker side that she never told anyone? It’s just a theory, but that all we can do at this point.
This is something I never understood fully since the game came out. The story is that Talon brainwashed her into an emotionless killing machine. Even her default voice line shipped with the game seems to contradict this.

"I single death can change everything." .


That voice line isn't meant to be emotional or something

It's like the 1 shot 1 kill voiceline, she isn't saying this because she is depressed that she killed her husband. It's just more of a reference to her skill in sniping.
01/28/2018 05:51 PMPosted by oceanman
01/28/2018 05:23 PMPosted by BigProf
In game interactions aren't canon.

That's why everyone knows who Soldier 76 & Reaper are in spawn rooms but not in lore.

That said though, doesn't the classic "brainwashed to do evil" narrative always wear off eventually?


Yeah, but whatever Widow's saying is put there for a reason. I doubt the devs are just whacking in lines with lots of potential meaning for no reason.


Exactly. Most lines in this game have purpose for the lore. Widowmaker can't be the odd one out
It's... ambiguous.

In-game voicelines seem to imply that the brainwashing is wearing off, but those may or may not be canon depending on which is which.

Official lore content isn't really clear. On the one hand, there's a panel in Reflections that shows her at Gerard's grave, but whether she shows remorse or not isn't clear, and all her other lore appearances don't even slightly show that side of her.

So, basically, maybe, we'll see.
I don't think they'd ever fully take it away, but probably will have a skin that would show her once the effects wore off, as well as interactions that would line up with her normal personality.
01/28/2018 07:38 PMPosted by MuddyMons
I don't think they'd ever fully take it away, but probably will have a skin that would show her once the effects wore off, as well as interactions that would line up with her normal personality.


They should do that more often with skins. The friendly reaction between Soldier 76 and Reaper would make sense if both characters possessed the skins before Overwatch went down. That would be really cool. I would love to hear interaction between Young Hanzo and Young Genji if both skins were equipped. Stuff like that.
All of her more vicious sound clips seem more forced, like she's trying to keep up the appearance that yeah, she's really evil, y'all, don't pay attention to her.

I mean, it could just be a limitation of her voice actress not really selling it, but who knows?

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