Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Star And Total Nerd Sophia Lillis Took Issue With The Lack Of Cleric

"Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" could have easily gone wrong. It could have been an attempt to replicate the grittiness of "Game of Thrones" or just a copy of Middle-earth. The writers could have shamefully hidden what makes the game weird and fun. Thankfully, none of that happened. Instead, this is a hilarious adventure comedy film, one that is deeply weird, from its creature designs to its humor – which is not self-referential or campy, but genuine and heartfelt – and right down to its portrayal of magic having several components and not being super reliable. This is the closest we've got to actually capturing what it is like to play D&D since "The Legend of Vox Machina," which was actually adapted from a real D&D campaign.

All the characters in the film are like archetypes you find in the game, but with enough nuance and depth to feel like real people. You've even got everyone you'd find in a fantasy party, including a very horny bard (Chris Pine, who actually sings!), a raging barbarian (Michelle Rodriguez), a self-conscious sorcerer (Justice Smith), a mighty druid who outshines them all (Sophia Lillis), and, albeit briefly, a hot and very powerful and painfully righteous paladin (Regé-Jean Page). It is a rather balanced party designed for every situation — almost. 

The film does severely lack a healer, however, a role that is traditionally played by a cleric. This apparently became a bit of an argument behind the scenes of the movie as well, with the film's star and resident D&D nerd, "IT" co-star Sophia Lillis, taking issue with the unbalanced party in the film. Indeed, after the film's premiere at SXSW (via Variety) when asked what class the cast would love to play, Lillis said, "I would probably be a cleric, because that is one thing that this group lacked."

Every party needs a healer

That was not the first time she raised that concern, apparently, because even Regé-Jean Page, who has a relatively minor (yet fantastically memorable) role, joked about the lack of a cleric during a recent appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." 

When talking about the characters in the film, Page said that it is a relatively well-balanced party in the film, but jokingly told Colbert that "as a player yourself, you'll know that no-one respects healers, so we have no healer in the party." As soon as Colbert clarified and asked about the lack of a cleric, Page recalled, "Sophia was riding us all for this, in no uncertain terms. She's brutal, when that woman criticizes you."

Clerics have long been a staple of D&D, but it is true that the healer is often an underrated and unappreciated role, not just in that game but in every kind of multiplayer role-playing game. There's a reason we have the term "murderhobo" to humorously refer to many a D&D party, because more often than not, players just want to live out their Middle-earth fantasies of killing orcs non-stop, rather than heal people and stay behind. 

This is dumb and misguided because clerics rule. Look no further than "The Legend of Vox Machina," where one of the main characters, Pike Trickfoot, is a cleric, and a badass one at that. She still fights monsters, but she also saves the party on a regular basis.

Clerics rule, period

Granted, there is one practical reason not to have a cleric in "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves". If you have a high enough level cleric, they can just revive any party member whenever they die, which would make death feel cheap and unearned. Even if you don't have someone that powerful, fans would know that is an ability they have and can potentially use, which may make some fans mad if it that ability isn't used. For example, I'm a little disappointed Chris Pine's Edgin the Bard doesn't use any magic during the movie. 

This is also why "The Legend of Vox Machina" changed a lot of the story of its source material in season 2, to avoid having party members die every two weeks before being resurrected with magic. Grog's death from the original campaign, for instance, was changed into him just losing his strength for a couple of episodes.

As for "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves," there's always the possibility of the sequel introducing the badass cleric we deserve. So make sure you turn out for the flick when it hits theaters on March 31, 2023.