Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: Bringing the Classic Game to the Big Screen


Johnny Oleksinki/New York Post

A movie still depicting five of the main characters of the film.

“Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” was released on March 31, 2023 with a lot of excitement from long-time Dungeons and Dragons fans. Dungeons and Dragons, also known as D&D, had remained an underappreciated and misunderstood game within the general population since its creation in 1974. Recently, however, shows such as Stranger Things have brought D&D back into the public consciousness, with new generations of players beginning to start their own campaigns and stories. Because of this spike in popularity, “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” has been made and released, with a lot of positive feedback. 

The movie stars Chris Pine as Edgin Darvis, an arrested thief who joins a group of adventurers in a fantasy-style quest to get his daughter back. The group is very akin to a classic D&D party, with recognizable character types, including a bard (Egdin), a barbarian (Holga Kilgore), a sorcerer (Simon Aumar), a paladin (Xenk), and a druid (Doric). To an outsider’s perspective, the party just looked like a colorful cast of characters, but an experienced player could easily tell how much effort the writers put into making it as similar to actual gameplay as possible. 

The “easter eggs” in this movie were also a joy to many longtime fans. Certain items can be seen in the background, such as the Bag of Holding, a magical bag capable of holding up to 500 pounds in a pocket dimension, which we see the sorcerer carrying around and placing items into. We also see the Green-Flame Blade used by the paladin when they are fighting some of the monsters. This is a combination of a high-level spell and weapon that allows the caster to coat their weapon in a green flame. It makes sense that such a powerful character as Xenk would be able to cast it. Speaking of spells, we see the characters use multiple well-known spells, including Minor Illusion (cast by the bard to disguise himself) and shape earth (cast by the sorcerer to fight in the final battle). Finally, we see easter eggs within the different monsters commonly found in a D&D campaign. The party fights a large creature known as an Owlbear and a chest with jagged teeth known as a Mimic. These examples are just some of the elements that make the movie so similar to a real Dungeons and Dragons campaign. 

“Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” has also been praised for its breakdown of heteronormative tropes. The two main characters, Egdin and Holga, had lived together for a while and had raised Egdin’s child after his wife was murdered. For any other movie, it would seem obvious for the pair to end up together, but that is not the route that was taken. Instead, we see the two of them grow together but stay friends. Their platonic relationship is treated as more important than any type of romantic one, and that is very rare to see. Often, characters are shoved into relationships (especially heterosexual ones) because that is what is expected. This movie, however, was based on a game made for people who don’t necessarily fit into that perfect picture, which is why we see these often “unconventional” ideals carried over. Romantic love isn’t necessary to have meaningful relationships, or even to raise a child, and that is a very progressive and nice thing to finally see. 

In all, “Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” was a very enjoyable movie and was received well by both the average viewer and long-time players. The cast of characters was overall likable, and the similarity to classic D&D made it that much more special. The movie’s ending also left room for a possible sequel in the future, which is something many are looking forward to.