Sarah Louise Kerrigan, the self-styled Queen of Blades, is a major character and the predominant villain in Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft series of video games and novels. The character was created by Chris Metzen and James Phinney, and her appearance was originally designed by Chris Metzen. and its expansion Brood War. The voice of Kerrigan is played by Tricia Helfer in the game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
Kerrigan originally appears in StarCraft as a twenty-six-year-old female Terran psychic, trained as an expert espionage agent and assassin both physically and mentally. Initially the second-in-command of the Sons of Korhal, a revolutionary movement headed by Arcturus Mengsk against an oppressive Confederacy of Man, she is captured by the insectoid Zerg and infested, turning her into a human/Zerg hybrid completely under the control of the Zerg Overmind. She becomes one of the Zerg's most powerful agents, but eventually usurps the Overmind control of the Zerg to seek dominance over the galaxy. Kerrigan's life before her infestation is further explored in the novels Uprising and Liberty's Crusade, while Queen of Blades elaborates on her infested character. As one of the major characters of the series, Kerrigan has been critically praised for her believability and character depth; she is ranked as one of the fifty greatest female video game characters ever by Tom's Games, and a survey by GameSpot put Kerrigan as the greatest villain in computer gaming.
The character of Kerrigan was created by Blizzard Entertainment's Chris Metzen and James Phinney, and Glen Rane, have exhibited influence on her portrayal in later works. Kerrigan was not originally intended to be a major character, and was only meant to appear on a single level. Initially based around the character Tanya Adams in the Command & Conquer: Red Alert series, Kerrigan was named after Nancy Kerrigan, who at the time was involved in a feud with Tonya Harding. However, Kerrigan's character grew on the developers, who decided to give a far greater role to the throw-away character.
Many of the aspects of Kerrigan's infested character, especially her hair, are inspired by the Greek gorgon Medusa. Kerrigan's self-proclaimed title is the Queen of Blades, which is gradually introduced to other characters to the point where it is synonymous with her. Chris Metzen has explained that it was meant to be an honorific title; a blade is a weapon designed to rip enemies to pieces, making the title fitting for Kerrigan, who evolved to be the greatest agent of the Zerg Overmind.
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