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Is Imoen a child to Charname?

BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,089
Heya, ;), I just started my umpteenth run in BG, and I haven't played in a while, so my perception of the dialogues is somewhat refreshed.

I just noticed a couple of things in Imoen's initial dialogues that kind of struck me in a new way. You either call her "little one", or "child" in your first responses to her initial "Heya" dialogue. She will then protest that she is not that much younger than you, "though you sure got tall fast." Then, your first dialogues with her when she tries to join you outside Candlekeep also imply that you consider her a child to you, including your rejection dialogue choice, where you practically call her a "brat" to you.

Assuming for the sake of argument that you are both human, what relative ages would make sense for these dialogues? I'm thinking something like, I'm about 18-22, and Imoen is about 12-15.

If you interpret all the early (and later?) dialogues from the point of view that Imoen is a fellow orphan who came to Candlekeep about five years after you, and was five years younger, it can kind of shine a new light on the relationship between the two of you. She could either be seen as an irritating but beloved kid sister (or an irritating and hated kid sister you can't wait to get away from), or a young girl that had a crush on you.

I think that if you think of Imoen as someone you grew up with, but who was still a child or a "tween" when you had just entered your young adulthood, and that she and you were always close, in either an older-younger sibling dynamic, or as her having a crush on you at first, that you would treat sensitively while letting her down easy (or not), can change the whole dynamic between you and her throughout the trilogy.

What do y'all think?

"Joni, Imoen, please don't cry. You'll forget me, by and by. You're just 15, I'm...22, and Imoen I just can't wait for you." Conway Twitty.



semiticgodJLeeAerakarThacoBellgorgonzola

Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,243
    i want to say imoen is probably around 16 or 17 at the earliest, in fact i wouldn't be surprised if she was 18 actually

    if i'm not mistaken, even gorion calls you child ( even if you are a dwarf and probably older than he is lol.... )

    and a lot of characters who call your charname child as well ( i believe jaheira is notorious for this )

    i think for BG the context of "child" is someone who isn't as experienced as you, or perhaps not as wise as you sort of deal

    it looks the people who refer to others as "child" are referring to the fact that they have witnessed or experienced more in life then they have, so they are more like a mentor to the person they are referencing

    its pretty foggy on how old you are as a charname since you can wildly range in age from human to elf ( from what i recall elves don't hit adult hood until around 120? and yet a human is lucky to hit 100, so i doubt gorion is going to be older than an elf charname )

    although i truly doubt imoen is in her 20s though, i would think in that period setting, once people hit that age they would have matured more to the world around them, knowing that they live constantly in strife with all this monster and magic jargon always going on about

    AerakarBelgarathMTHThacoBellgorgonzola
  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 231
    The opening narration says, " You have spent most of your twenty years of life..."

    So, charname is 20, regardless of race, according to that.

    Charname's dialogue pretty much cinches that he/she calls Imoen a child, but what one says and thinks don't necessarily always match. If I remember correctly, wasn't Imoen kind of an after thought? A character added late in development using some audition recording or something? I don't think they thought too much about what age she was supposed to be. But if there is some lore I don't know about how far apart they are, 20 would be the starting point for any calculations.

    sarevok57semiticgodgorgonzola
  • jasteyjastey Member Posts: 1,012
    Let's put it that way: I was 20 when I got acquainted to a friend who was 17 at that point. Now we are decades older, but I was very surprised to realize that the age difference was actually only 3 years ("nothing" in the age we are now). I thought the age difference it like 10 years the least, because "xx was so young when we first met".
    What I wanted to say: Imoen could well be 17 and a half, but be percepted as a "much younger one" to the PC. Especially if we imagine her with a joyful behavior. But yes, the emphasis on "child" in those two Imoen-PC dialogues is a bit overwhelming.

    Dev6BelgarathMTHThacoBellgorgonzola
  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 231
    True. By BG2, I doubt charname still sees her as a child.

    sarevok57gorgonzolaJaheiras_Witness
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,559
    I always figured Imoen was AT MOST 2 years younger. Close enough to hang out and enjoy each others company, but far enough that when charnames is 20, Imoen is a little less mature. Though I imagine that even a 30 something Imone would still be pretty playful and free spirited. So I see the "child" designation as a playfulness/maturity thing, rather than age.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,146
    If Charname is 20 and he's known Imoen for most of his life, even if she's 16 (4 years difference) she'd always seem like a child to him. I have a sister who's 2 1/2 years younger and it wasn't until she was about 40 that i realized she wasn't really a kid anymore. Even now I still think of myself as older and wiser than her, and she still says she lives in my shadow to some degree...

    ArviaBelgarathMTH
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,455
    well she says she is only alittle younger then chrname in bg1 so she has to be at most a year younger.

    ThacoBell
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,146
    megamike15 wrote: »
    well she says she is only alittle younger then chrname in bg1 so she has to be at most a year younger.

    Unless they have the same birthday it could be closer to two years. That's enough when you're young...

    ThacoBell
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 313
    I had the same problem when I started BG1 last week for the first time after... 18 years? 20 years? And I had only played it once. BG2 much more often. In BG2 I had always considered her a little sister, in BG1 I noticed she was a beloved but ANNOYING little sister. She certainly talks and behaves like a child. But if Charname is 20, I guess she's maybe 16 or 17.
    For people of that age it's a huge difference. I have a sister almost 3 years younger than me, and I remember when I was 20 and in my 2nd university year while she was 17 and still at school, I felt much older and wiser😆.
    If Charname is male, well, it's worse (brothers never notice their baby sister grew up), or it's not a sibling relationship but a teenage crush, which, if the feeling was not mutual, would make the perceived age difference worse than the real one.

    For me, she stays the beloved little sister who just happens to have a very immature and annoying year until she grows up and becomes my best friend. (and finally stops stealing for fun and learns something useful)

    Balrog99gorgonzolaBelgarathMTH
  • ArdanisArdanis Member, Developer Posts: 1,442
    edited April 6
    It's funny, I always thought Imoen responds to being called little with "I'm as old as you are", but I just opened her BG1 dialog and she says "Child? You are only a few seasons older. Hrmph! I didn't care where you were off to anyway. Nope, not at all. You just run along on your little errand." What do you know...
    Arvia wrote: »
    For people of that age it's a huge difference. I have a sister almost 3 years younger than me, and I remember when I was 20 and in my 2nd university year while she was 17 and still at school, I felt much older and wiser😆.
    If Charname is male, well, it's worse (brothers never notice their baby sister grew up), or it's not a sibling relationship but a teenage crush, which, if the feeling was not mutual, would make the perceived age difference worse than the real one.
    Mine is seven years younger. Whenever I see another harem anime with MC's imouto in it, I can only plant a palm onto my face because the only people who'd even want a little sister are those who never had an idea what vicious little devils they really are :D

    gorgonzolaBelgarathMTH
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,455
    the "I'm as old as you are" is from her talk with jeheria in bg2 at the start of the game.

    Balrog99gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,420
    so the bossy jaheira is almost of the same age of you, possibly a little younger as is old as imoen that is only few seasons younger then charname. :o

    "though you sure got tall fast." is a fantastic answer to give to a gnome or dwarf charname ;)

    BelgarathMTH
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,455
    the you is referring to charname.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,420
    sorry, i don't understand what you mean.
    first you tell
    megamike15 wrote: »
    the "I'm as old as you are" is from her talk with jeheria in bg2 at the start of the game.
    where i suppose her is imoen, so immy and jaheira have about the same age.
    and in that case the you is jaheira.
    then i tell
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    so the bossy jaheira is almost of the same age of you, possibly a little younger as is old as imoen that is only few seasons younger then charname.
    and in that case the you is charname, that is few seasons (let's say little less then a year) older then imoen, that has about the same age of jaheira.

  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,470
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    "though you sure got tall fast." is a fantastic answer to give to a gnome or dwarf charname ;)

    That's why she follows it up with, "Relatively, anyway." :)

    gorgonzola
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,267
    edited April 7
    Isn’t Jaheira supposed to be markedly older than CHARNAME?

    Going by memory, back when I contracted for Beamdog I got a copy of the original VO script for BG and Imoen was described as a 12-year old. That was a very early draft though and I remember being surprised at the 12 figure as I always thought of her a couple years younger than CHARNAME (so around 16-18 at the start of BG.) That was likely just the original/early concept as I doubt the game ever implies she’s that young.

    gorgonzolaBelgarathMTH
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 313
    No no no in BG2 she says to Jaheira that she (Imoen) is as old, or almost as old (don't remember the exact words) as Charname, not as Jaheira

    gorgonzolaThacoBellmegamike15
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,420
    if @Arvia is right then imoen is slightly younger of charname, let's say 1.5 year, and the fact he treat her like much younger and she tells "hey only few seasons, not much age difference between us" is very compatible with it , they are both in the age where there is a transition between being boys and young adults, even if that age changes in different places and ages, probably in a society like the one of the game it happens earlier then in the western countries of the modern world. and in that phase is quite typical that the slightly older feels proud of it while the younger try to minimize the difference. while in reality sometimes the slightly younger is the more mature as everybody has his times...

    on jaheira, if the same age thing is referred to same age between imoen and the charname, but told by immy to the druid, we can assume that jah is older then both, other in game clues suggest it, she is married, even if in some societies marriage can happen early, she has a kind of connection with gorion that let's think that she is around as a young adult since a little more then charname that is beginning that phase of the life right at the beginning of bg. and as she is older, if you agree with the hypothesis i am making, with a bossy attitude towards her husband, charname, that is the leader of the party and almost everybody, see aerie in bg2, is more then likely that she is even bossier with imoen, that being what she is, see the bg2 epilogue, where
    she runs a thieves guild, deals with the most powerful mages, but asked about tells:"heya, it's yust me, immy..." showing that she is much more then what she likes to appear
    ,
    is not intimidated by the bossy druid and tell her "i and our party leader are about the same age, don't treat me like a baby".

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,730
    edited April 7
    "A few seasons" can be less than a year difference.

    The gradations of "some", "a few", "little", and "several", are quite special.

    ThacoBell
  • shabadooshabadoo Member Posts: 77
    Considering the time period represented, 12 years is not so young as it seems today. It may be anathema in modern society, but it would not be so unusual for a girl of her age to be courted at one time. Often married by 15-16. I think the dialogue is intended to maintain the sense of her relative inexperience and immaturity, not any specific age or differences of age between characters.

    BelgarathMTH
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,559
    shabadoo wrote: »
    Considering the time period represented, 12 years is not so young as it seems today. It may be anathema in modern society, but it would not be so unusual for a girl of her age to be courted at one time. Often married by 15-16. I think the dialogue is intended to maintain the sense of her relative inexperience and immaturity, not any specific age or differences of age between characters.

    Yes, but look at Imoen. That is not the figure of a 12 year old.

    AndreaColombo
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,455
    Arvia wrote: »
    No no no in BG2 she says to Jaheira that she (Imoen) is as old, or almost as old (don't remember the exact words) as Charname, not as Jaheira

    yeah sorry for the confusion. i would have found the exact quote but i can't seem to find it.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,420
    lroumen wrote: »
    "A few seasons" can be less than a year difference.
    yep, in my hypothesis few seasons is more then 1 year as imoen is telling it that she is not so much younger and talking of seasons make look the same amount of time shorter. like 9.90 $ is often used in prices instead of 10$. telling i am only few seasons younger then you sounds different then tell you are only 2 years older then me, given how at that age every year matters in the age of a person.
    but few seasons can also be like only 6-8 months.


    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Yes, but look at Imoen. That is not the figure of a 12 year old.
    true, but in rl i see girls under 15 that pretty much look like women, women of 25 that look teenaagers and for the males is sometimes even worst with 2 people with the same age one with a huge beard and the other with only the first beard hairs.
    seeing the imoen avatars i get the impression that the bg one is older then the bg2.
    probably 12 years are to few, you are right, but she can be anything from 14 to 25 as far as i can judge.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,559
    I think "a few seasons" safely rules out any age below 18.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,089
    Not necessarily. "A few seasons" is so vague, it could mean almost anything. Also, as the younger, who wants to rush to being a grownup, Imoen is likely to exaggerate her meaning of "a few seasons". "A few" could be a dozen from her point of view.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,559
    edited April 8
    *EDIT* I actually highballed it.

    A few: a few

    determiner
    Three
    pro.
    A small number of things

    Several: adj.
    Being of a number more than two or three but not many: several miles away.
    adj.
    Single; distinct: "Pshaw! said I, with an air of carelessness, three several times” ( Laurence Sterne).
    adj.
    Respectively different; various: They parted and went their several ways. See Synonyms at distinct.

  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 634
    Relevant xkcd: https://xkcd.com/1070/
    Anyways. Headcanon’s always been that Immy is one or two years younger than CHARNAME. Growing up as the only two children in Candlekeep, any difference in age will matter a LOT: I could easily see someone one year older than someone else calling them child. Or it became an inside joke. Or it’s like how the older twin can be obsessed with being older by minutes.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 1,455
    well the person calling them child is jeheria. who is much older then both of them and their guardian.

    ThacoBell
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