How Baldur’s Gate 3 Benefits from the Return of Jaheira (2024)

Jaheira is one of the most iconic companions in the Baldur's Gate series, and her return in Baldur's Gate 3 has sent ripples of excitement across its fandom. As the lifelong friend of Gorion, she and her husband Khalid are often the first to join the good-aligned player's party in the opening hours of Baldur's Gate. As Gorion's ward, the player already has an established bond with Khalid and Jaheira, and their choice of class makes them a guaranteed boon to most party compositions in Baldur's Gate.

However, Jaheira is also a tragic character who has endured a lot of trauma across the events of the first two Baldur's Gate games. Though she has often been a voice of reason - if impulsive and vengeful at times, it would seem that the intervening years between Throne of Bhaal and Baldur's Gate 3 have only made her grow wiser.

RELATED:Baldur's Gate 3 Teases Return of Fan Favorite Character

What Happened to Jaheira in Baldur's Gate?

How Baldur’s Gate 3 Benefits from the Return of Jaheira (1)

Jaheira features heavily in The Game Awards 2022's Baldur's Gate 3 trailer, serving as its narrator and arguably most prominent character. Minsc ferociously crawling out of a mimic stole the show, but Larian Studios definitely intend to make players understand that Jaheira will be playing a central role, transitioning from a righteous fighter and capable druid into that of a leader and mentor. She will seemingly guide players on their quest to rid themselves of the Mindflayer tadpole.

There are plenty of reasons why Jaheira is the perfect character to connect BioWare's Baldur's Gate saga with the new Larian sequel. Beyond obvious ones, such as her popularity in the fandom, Jaheira's complicated relationship with the Harpers and her headstrong nature make her a balanced mentor for the player character in Baldur's Gate 3.

At the start of Baldur's Gate 2, Jaheira lost Khalid to the rigorous torture of Irenicus, leaving Jaheira distraught and traumatized for much of her time in Amn. Though she eventually overcomes her struggle with grief, and potentially starts a romance with Gorion's ward, becoming a widow irrevocably changes Jaheira's character.

The Jaheira that players meet in Baldur's Gate 3 has seemingly embraced her duties with the Harpers and risen through the ranks to become an omnipresent authority figure on the Sword Coast. Though she isn't present in the Early Access build of Baldur's Gate 3, her influence reaches the player well before they cross paths. In Act 1, it is heavily implied that Jaheira sends Harper agents to investigate the Cult of the Absolute, an organization that seems to have a vested interest in the player and their tadpole.

Many fans believe that the Dead Three (Bhaal, Myrkul, and Bane) are using the Cult of the Absolute as their latest bid for supremacy, and given Bhaal's importance to the overarching plot of the Baldur's Gate games, it makes sense that Jaheira would stand to oppose his schemes in honor of Gorion's ward. These factors make her the ideal Gandalf figure in the story of Baldur's Gate 3, but she is not alone in her quest.

RELATED:Baldur's Gate 3: Who are the Mind Flayers?

Minsc Joins Jaheira and the Player in Baldur's Gate 3

How Baldur’s Gate 3 Benefits from the Return of Jaheira (2)

As Jaheira puts it, Minsc is a man who sees the world in far simpler ways than most. He is a ranger who aspires to be no less than the traditional image of a hero, and many cynical companions from the first two Baldur's Gate games find Minsc infuriating to the point of conflict. While Minsc may not be the brightest, this unwavering resolve endears him to the audience - and having an adorable hamster sidekick helps.

Given Baldur's Gate 2 came out at a time when save importing wasn't a thing, BioWare established a default set of companions: Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, Dynaheir, and Minsc. This lovable brute has been a staple of the Baldur's Gate series since 1998, and though some fans argue his inclusion as a companion in Baldur's Gate 3 is just fan service, Jaheira showing up more than justifies having Minsc along for the journey given their mutual respect and admiration.

Minsc and Jaheira are the only characters to feature as companions in all three Baldur's Gate games, and this unique position is what makes their role in Baldur's Gate 3 so important. They connect games that are over two decades apart, and given the Bhaalspawn Saga concluded in Throne of Bhaal, their absence in Baldur's Gate 3 - set a century after - would have made Larian's sequel too disconnected from what came before.

RELATED:Is Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 Worth Playing Today?

Baldur's Gate 3 is Better For Including Jaheira and Minsc

How Baldur’s Gate 3 Benefits from the Return of Jaheira (3)

The legacy of Baldur's Gate is so vast that it has spawned or directly inspired several modern franchises such as BioWare's Dragon Age, Pillars of Eternity, the Pathfinder games, as well as Larian's own Divinity: Original Sin. The burden of continuing that legacy is a heavy one. Baldur's Gate 3 uses the Fifth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and whereas the Second Edition was ideal for adapting to into the pausable real-time combat seen in the first two games, Fifth Edition lends itself much better to a turn-based style.

This departure for Baldur's Gate 3 has split the fanbase, with more cynical folks believing Baldur's Gate 3 would be better as a Divinity spin-off. Though the differences between the combat styles may be irreconcilable, bringing Jaheira and Minsc back is the perfect way to tether the sequel to its predecessors in spirit. There may still be a chance that other companions such as Viconia or Jan Jansen make an appearance, but if Jaheira and Minsc are the only ones to return, it will be enough. Baldur's Gate 3 has its own story to tell, and if Larian sticks the landing, it will have a legacy of its own as well.

Baldur's Gate 3 releases in August 2023 on PC.

MORE:How Baldur's Gate 3 Has Changed In Early Access So Far

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