Ever since the release of Spyro: Reignited I have been developing a theory about the beloved purple dragon and the world he lives in that may make you see him in a whole new light: Spyro is part of a dictatorship. Now, hear me out. This theory started off as me just messing about and kind of thinking “damn, isn’t it funny how this is a thing, and then that’s a thing…” then I started thinking about it more and more…
I’m basing this purely on the first game as that is based in the dragon’s domain where as others are a bit more all over the place.
Let’s examine the evidence.
Gnasty Gnorc is sat in his shack, he’s watching TV and the dragons are being interviewed about their realm. The interviewer mentions Gnasty Gnorc and the dragons say they’re not worried about him and that he’s ugly. This angers Gnasty who uses a hammer/wand to turn all the dragons (except Spyro) to statues. Spyro then needs to travel the realms freeing the dragons and collecting gems.
Gnasty Gnorc used to be a dragon slave that escaped. He becomes a Gnorc freedom figther leading the gnorcs that he can free to rebellion. Using the hammer weapon that he steals from the dragons he’s able to turn them to crystal and turn the dragon’s gem horde into more gnorcs to help his cause.
With me so far? Ok, well buckle up, hold on to your hats and let’s break it down a bit…
Gnorcs Are Dragon Slaves
What makes me think that Gnasty Gnorc was a dragon slave? Ever notice how the Gnorcs are usually portrayed as ‘workmen’ from soldiers, to electricians, to whatever they’re doing with those barrels on one of the last levels… They are clearly used to manual labour. On the other hand, dragons you rescue are generally kitted out in luxurious or pricey looking clothing, armour, or jewellery. They are artists, scholars, and fancy warriors, their personalities seem to revolve around their hobbies. They aren’t working, they’re doing things they enjoy and appear incredibly chilled out about the whole ordeal, but the Gnorcs’ look and personalities revolve around their jobs. I believe the dragons are the ‘social elite’, leaving the gnorcs to do the menial work so that they can live a life of luxury and leisure. For example, here we see Baker dragon and… BBQ Dragon? How much cake do you see Gnorcs eating? Not that much, if any, I’ll bet.
In fact, when you visit each world the dragons you rescue are in theme with that world but there are no other inhabitants other than the gnorcs and maybe some other enemies like wizards, strongarms etc that are more native to those particular areas. Why would they also be enemies though? Because the dragons in their area were keeping them in check and with them all turned to crystal they were able to join the rebellion with the gnorcs. You didn’t think this guy did all the manual labour in the swamp did you?
Warriors and Gems
We are told right at the beginning that Gnasty has a spell that is creating warriors from gems to ‘aid his cause’, this informs us of two things: Gnasty needs warriors, and gnorcs are (or can be) created from gems. We’ll tackle the Warrior shortage first: Why does he need to create more? Is he the only gnorc? Are there so few of them? The mountain of envelopes behind him says not. They’re also sealed with hearts: fan mail. Other than other gnorcs who would send Gnasty Gnorc fan mail? Exactly. No one. So this proves that there is a large number of gnorcs out there somewhere that are liking what Gnasty is doing. Why can’t they join his cause though? Because they are the gnorcs he’s trying to save! He needs the gems to create his band of Merry Men and save the imprisoned gnorcs.
Now we come to the gems, if gnorcs are created by gems was Gnasty a gem too once? Who would have made Gnasty? THE DRAGONS. This is why they are so protective over their gem horde and why the aim of the game is to get the gems back, it provides them with slaves and prevents Gnasty from making more rebels! Somehow Gnasty escaped the dragons, stole the magical hammer (which acts like a wand, enabling him to do magic) to stop the dragons creating more gnorcs, and started a rebellion.
The Dragons Are Overpowered
In the first levels the Gnorcs actually run away from Spyro because they’re scared, they don’t even try to hurt you. Why so scared of a tiny dragon when all the other dragons are frozen? Because even a tiny dragon is more powerful than a Gnorc, incredibly more powerful. You don’t even get extra powers in this game you just have headbutts and fire-breath from the get-go and that is the level you stay at.
Meanwhile, none of the older, more powerful dragons really help you that much in your quest. Once freed they’re generally incredibly nonchalant about their whole ordeal, some fly off to try and stop Gnasty at the final level, a bit like when you’re playing through a low-level dungeon in an MMO and some level 80 that just needs the rare loot from the boss at the end gets randomly put in your team, uses their boots of hasty assholery and runs straight there leaving the rest of the team, who are actually the right level for the dungeon, fighting goblins in the first room. In short, the dragons are really not worried about this rebellion, as if they’re used to this sort of thing happening and have stopped them in the past without a problem. They are so confident in their power they are happy to send a child to sort it out for them.
Spyro and the Dragon Eggs
Speaking of Spyro being a child, I think this is why he wasn’t crystallised along with the rest of the dragons. Despite the name I don’t think Gnasty is evil, he didn’t want to curse an innocent child, maybe he even hoped that Spyro could be saved and brought around to the ‘freedom’ way of thinking. Unfortunately for Gnorc, Spyro’s mind has already been warped. I don’t believe he is aware of the dictatorship or has considered the consequences of his actions (he’s not renowned for being a thinker), but he believes he is doing the right thing. Now stay with me, I will admit this next section is pure conjecture and I have no screenshots to illustrate this but it makes sense to me: This is why the thieves have been commissioned to steal the dragon eggs. Spyro is the only young dragon we see so baby dragons are pretty rare, Gnorc steals the eggs so that they can be raised without the privilege and power that has come so easy to the rest of the dragons, maybe so that they can fight on his side or maybe to try and bring about a new world of equality. After all, if Spyro had been frozen too then that would have been it for Dragon-kind and the world would be different, maybe Gnorcs and Dragons would have lived side by side in peace. Why else steal the eggs? Though while we’re on the subject of eggs let’s just recognise the blatant female dragon inequality. Where are all the lady dragons? If you think about it their absence is a little sinister… The eggs prove that they exist after all (unless male dragons can breed, they are fictional beings so it’s not out of the realms of possibility).
Have I convinced you? Are you helping Spyro to quash a slave rebellion, or have I gone a little over the top? Just have a think next time you play…
I am also not the biggest Spyro fan in the world so if I have missed out some essential Spyro lore please feel free to share in the comments!
2 thoughts on “Theory: Spyro is part of a Dictatorship and Gnasty Gnorc is the Good Guy”
Great theory, I love it when my childhood is stomped on!
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At least it doesn’t really apply to all the other Spyro games!