The world of Resident Evil is not a fun place to live — you’ve got more viruses and parasitic entities than you can shake a stick at, any moment a zombie apocalypse can break out, and the only people who seem to be able to do anything about it are handful of cops who happened to be in the same town in the ‘90s (and also Claire). But something about the world of Resident Evil is particularly rough on little girls. Resident Evil Village just provides the latest little girl to get dealt a bad hand by fate: Rosemary Winters.
Resident Evil Village’s central plot revolves around Resident Evil 7’s Ethan Winters attempting to rescue his baby daughter, Rosemary, from the clutches of an evil cult. On the surface that sounds very Silent Hill — and that’s a column for another day. But it’s the cult’s reasons for pursuing her that draw comparisons with Resident Evil’s other little girls… most of whom have either been test subjects or bioweapon incubators.
Spoiling Resident Evil Village
In Resident Evil Village, you discover that the infamous Mother Miranda is the one who originally discovered the Mold and created Eveline, the child bioweapon from RE7. She believes Rose to be a form of Eveline (and her long-dead daughter, Eva), which is why Rose has been brought to this remote, European backwater — Miranda wants to use Rose to bring Eva back.
There’s lots of other stuff going on, such as Miranda apparently inspiring the creation and mission of Umbrella vis-a-vis Ozwell Spencer, Ethan finally succumbing to a Mold infection, and the Duke’s… well, whatever is going on with the Duke. But for now, let’s focus on Rose.
The epilogue shows a now-teenage Rose paying her respects at her dad’s grave and being picked up by what looks like the Secret Service, who tell her she’s needed on a mission. She responds to a quip referencing Eveline by talking about her special abilities, implying she may indeed have some of Eveline’s powers (though she violently rejects the notion that she is Eveline). I think the overall implication of this is that she was raised by Chris and is now working as some kind of bioweapon-empowered government agent (the last thing I think Ethan would have wanted for her, but no one ever said Chris was a bastion of good sense).
Rose is not the first little girl to be significant because of what she inherits, nor is she the first child to be used by a villain as a vessel for their twisted goals. In fact, she’s just the latest in a line of little girls who bear the brunt of the perpetual global zombie pandemic. I don’t know why it always seems to be a little girl who gets the worst of these things, but it is.
Thank Heaven for Little Girls
The first and most obvious example is Sherry Birkin, the daughter of Umbrella scientist William Birkin. Her father is best known for mutating into the hideous G mutant and pursuing Sherry specifically because she can carry the G offspring (and yeah, I’m still not over the incest subtext of that, thank you very much). He manages to successfully infect her, though Claire is able to give her a vaccine.
When we see her some 20 years later in Resident Evil 6 (yes, we’re going to talk about Resi 6; try not to break out in hives), the virus is still inside of her, largely neutralized but still giving her phenomenal healing abilities. So we’ve got a daughter granted supernatural abilities by her father, who later goes on to become a government agent. Sound like anyone we know?
Another example is Natalia Korda. You may not remember her if you haven’t played Resident Evil Revelations 2, but she’s the little girl who partners with Barry Burton while he’s trying to rescue his own daughter, Moira (yet another daughter who gets the short end of the stick in the RE verse). You eventually discover she’s an orphan who’s being groomed by antagonist Alex Wesker as a vessel for her powers, in much the same way that Rose is supposed to be a vessel for Eveline’s powers.
If we reach way back into the lore, the T-Virus only exists because of a little girl. Lisa Trevor, the daughter of Spencer Mansion architect George Trevor, was patient zero in Umbrella’s research, abducted as a little girl and forced to be a test subject. Not only was she the first test subject to adapt to the proto-virus, but she’s also the source of the G-Virus. You could even draw comparisons between Rose and Alexia Ashford, given that Rose is a living bioweapon related to European aristocracy — though hopefully Rose makes more heroic use of her powers than Alexia did.
I suppose, whatever else you can say about Rose, she’s at least got a great father in Ethan — something none of her predecessors can boast. I’d be curious to see what, if anything, future games do with her, considering Sherry and Natalia haven’t appeared in the series in several years. Maybe the three of them can form some kind of superhero league.