Skywrath and Venge: Dota 2’s Tragic Love Story explained cover image

Skywrath and Venge: Dota 2’s Tragic Love Story explained

This love story isn’t quite as romantic as you remember.

You may think Skywrath Mage and Vengeful Spirit have much to celebrate this Valentine’s Day, but Venge will probably spend it eating chips on the couch. Dota 2’s most prolific love story has drawn plenty of attention throughout the years, and most think it's a classic tale of love won and lost. However, the full tale is much more complex than that. 

Here’s the “love” story of Skywrath and Venge explained with every detail from Dota 2 and Underlords. 

First, it's important to understand where the would-be lovers come from. Skywrath Mage and Vengeful Spirit both come from a civilization and race called the Skywrath. These people are effectively humans with the addition of wings and clawed feet. The Skywrath are particularly skilled in magic, and their wings are a point of pride. 

The Ghastly Eyrie is the capital city of the Skywrath society with the Nest of Thorns as its royal palace. Vengeful Spirit, whose real name is Shendelzare, was originally the crown princess of the Skywrath, but her sister organized an assassination attempt against her. Venge lived, but her wings were broken in the process, the ultimate shame for a Skywrath. She prayed to the goddess Scree'auk, who took her body in exchange for a ghostly form and, presumably, even fancier magic powers. 

<em>Venge's sister Imperia sits the throne in the Nest of Thorns (Image via Valve) </em>
Venge's sister Imperia sits the throne in the Nest of Thorns (Image via Valve)

As for Dragonus the Skywrath Mage, he is a royal guard for the Nest of Thorns. Though now an accomplished mage and bodyguard, he grew up alongside Shendelzare and fell in love with her at a young age. He is sworn to protect whoever is seated at the throne, which is currently Venge’s sister Imperia. He is at odds with himself have to protect the woman who killed his childhood love.

Both characters’ lore is full of romantic tropes hinting at a deeper connection. However, most fans misunderstand the true nature of their relationship.

Are Skywrath Mage and Venge a couple?

Almost all evidence suggests that Skywrath and Venge are a one-sided crush rather than a true romance.

The biggest hint is in the character’s unique voice lines, or rather the lack thereof. When Skywrath Mage dies, he has several lines referencing his love towards Venge.

  1. Still Her face I see!
  2. My death means nothing next to hers!
  3. My dreams, unrequited!
  4. Never to restore Her to the Nest of Thorns!
  5. I die, but my love lives on…

In addition, he has several other voice lines that likely reference Shendelzare.

  1. In the name of my secret love, I'll use this power well! (Leveling up)
  2. Ah, my heart, my wings, let us fly. (Meeting allied Venge)
  3. Nor shall I die until my task is done! (Picking up Aegis)
<em>Skywrath will never get over it (Image via Valve)</em>
Skywrath will never get over it (Image via Valve)

However, Vengeful Spirit feels quite differently about her old childhood friend. Instead of longing, many of her unique killing lines express anger at him for not stopping the coup. 

  1. You will beg for forgiveness, Dragonus.
  2. I have surpassed your treachery, Dragonus.

In all of her voicelines, Venge has absolutely nothing positive to say about Skywrath Mage. The only thing close to friendly is when meeting an allied Skywrath in the early game, she will politely ask how her homeland is doing. That’s all.

<em>Venge will probably also never get over it (Image via Valve</em>)
Venge will probably also never get over it (Image via Valve)

So as far as a relationship goes, it's very clear that Skywrath has an unrequited crush on Venge while she feels negatively about him in return. This is a stark contrast to most fans’ understanding of them as a couple. It’s possible that a future Arcana or two will add more to their relationship, but as of right now, Skywrath and Venge are closer to enemies than lovers.

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