Not everyone is happy about Childe featuring heavily in the upcoming 2.2 update releasing on October 13, and I wish I could stop hearing about it. While he’s treated as a nuisance by characters in the game, it seems that the sentiment also carries over to the Genshin community.
Calm down with the Childe hate, y’all. I get that he’s had two event banners already when fan faves such as Xiao and Ganyu have had one. I also agree that he has very few story reasons to be part of a new event in Inazuma. But consider this: our boy deserves it.
Childe is the 11th officer of the evil Fatui faction in Genshin Impact. The Fatui hail from the snowy lands of Snezhnaya, and they are unquestionably loyal to a goddess who plots war with the entire world. Childe specifically plotted to steal a god’s power and later incited a different god to attack the city-state of Liyue. This man has violated so many Geneva conventions that he should be brought to the Hague. Just last February, I was one of those judgemental Genshin players who initially thought there were just too many villainfuckers. Then it finally clicked for me. He’s so much more than your average white bread villain.
At first, I clocked him as an overconfident white boy with too much faith in his skills. After all, there’s an in-game boss event where you can beat him up every week for item drops. He just feels far less impressive after I’ve beaten him countless times.
But not only does he wield two elements, he’s also the only human Genshin character who can channel elemental power into two kinds of weapons (a bow and his knives). This only becomes annoying for some players because he knows exactly how good he is. He’s not going to downplay himself for your social niceties. Frankly? That’s an inspiration. We should all aspire to be more like Childe.
Childe is even more impressive when you consider his dark backstory regarding how he turned into a ruthless warrior. He has so much baggage around the event that he hasn’t even told his own mother about it. Despite all this, Childe isn’t even the slightest bit angsty about all the hardship that he’s gone through, which is so much more interesting than villains who opine about how pitiful they are for falling into evil. He’s fully aware that he’s a glorified assassin and that he’s not the hero of his own story, and he’s not the least bit sorry about it. Sometimes, you can sort of guess that a villain is going to have a redemption arc well ahead of time. Childe is not one of those villains.
Perhaps more personally, I don’t even see Childe as a white boy. To me, he’s honorary Chinese. He cares deeply about his multiple siblings, and he sends them gifts while he’s working abroad. He lies to the children in his family to keep them happy. These small touches make him feel more Chinese than a lot of Asian characters written by western AAA studios. There’s a joke that he’s been saying farewell to Snezhnaya so many times that he’s about to get his Liyue citizenship. And you know what? The fandom is right. You fight his weekly boss encounter in Liyue, and his next limited banner will be the second time that he shares an event with Ningguang. Who cares if his own countrymen don’t accept him? Childe is as Chinese as I am, and I am proud to call him my brother.
In the next major event update, Childe will even explore the region of Inazuma with Xinyan. I think this is a pretty good sign that the developers have got an extensive story roadmap for the character. There’s still so much that we don’t know about him. We haven’t met his mentor, and we don’t know why he believes so deeply in the Snezhnaya goddess’ ideals. If Childe is miHoYo’s favorite son (he has three event banners and four theme songs), then maybe it’s for a good reason. Personally, I can’t wait to find out why.