Gaming

5 Video Game Characters Named After Jewish Mysticism

Who knows where the names of video game characters come from? Most of the time you don't even pay attention, you just process the information for identification and move on with your quest. Well, a fair amount of them actually come from Jewish mysticism, and some of them might surprise you.

Golem (World of Warcraft)

The golem is a Jewish legend that Mary Shelley borrowed heavily from to create Frankenstein. Golems are humanoid men created from mud and given the ability to move and act, though not speak. In the Talmud, Adam is created by god as a golem. The best-known example is the Golem of Prague, in which a rabbi constructed one to defend the ghetto he lived in from anti-Semites. Legend has it that the remains of the golem are in the attic of the Old New Synagogue, waiting to be reactivated should he be needed again.

In World of Warcraft, golems are huge, powerful constructs built from a variety of sources, not just mud or dust. Like their mystical inspirations, they aren't known for their intelligence, but are fierce protectors of whatever they have been assigned to guard. They do not require food or air, and can withstand almost any harsh environment. In general they are mindless husks, merely animated tools of a wizard, though there are reports of golems wandering masterless to unknown destinations.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner