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Dungeons & Dragons: The Writers Sacrificed A Sad Holga Scene For More Action

Contains spoilers for "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves"

As anyone can tell while watching "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves," the film came about out of love. Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley had been working on the feature since 2019 and wanted to tell a story that would honor the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Anyone who plays character-based games knows that requires tragic backstories for its chief characters. Lovable bard Edgin (Chris Pine) uses humor to make up for his inadequacies in life, like the death of his wife. And although it seems that nothing can touch Barbarian Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), she is nursing a deep emotional wound following the exile of her tribe. One significant scene would have focused on this pain, but it never made it to screen.

"There was a scene when they leave the tavern in the very beginning, and Holga gets kind of harangued by members of her former tribe, other barbarians who, you know, call her names and stuff. And she sadly says, 'They're not wrong,'" Goldstein told Collider. "And it was an effort to kind of build more sympathy for her, but ultimately, we felt like, 'Let's get to the action.'" And true to their instincts, sympathy is not something that Holga lacks. By the end of "Honor Among Thieves," Holga gets a moving arc with or without the missing scene.

More time was devoted to the main plot

The entire cast of "Honor Among Thieves" shines in their roles, with each part as significant as the last. But the character of Holga proves Hollywood is sleeping on Michelle Rodriguez. In the final act, she brings out the waterworks, which would not have worked as well without correct pacing.

"Directors who we like gave us this bit of advice early in our career, which we really took to heart, which is, 'It's always better to kill your B material to make your A material sing even more,'" Goldstein continued. "And so, there's stuff that we love and we keep in right up until we're getting close to locking, and then we're like, 'Alright, let's let that go,' because pacing is everything."

Though audiences lost out on a heartbreaking moment where Holga faces the consequences of choosing love over her tribe, they are rewarded with the most cathartic moment of all in the end. Even though Edgin spends the entire movie intent on bringing Kira's (Chloe Coleman) mother back from the dead, he has a complete character reversal after Sofina (Daisy Head) poisons Holga. Edgin realizes he would be reviving his wife for the wrong reasons, and Kira's true mother is Holga. Egdin chooses to resurrect Holga over his own needs, which becomes the most heartfelt moment of the film. Holga is the center of the emotional resonance and a true part of Egdin's family.