The Horizon Zero Dawn Blanket: Banuk Ice Hunter and Ice Hunter Master

The HZD Blanket


Did you know there are only two escalators in the entire state of Wyoming?

Did you know Wyoming is called the Equality State because it was the first state to allow women to vote, but they only did it so they could claim a big enough population to join the United States in the first place?

Did you know bison are wild animals and NOT just big cows, because they absolutely are and they will 100% fuck up your day?

Harambe didn’t die for this shit.

Basically, Wyoming is a very pretty, very empty state, and the people you find there are so unused to meeting other people they’ll drive their car directly into yours before the shock can wear off. And apparently, a couple thousand years in the future, not much has changed. Let’s meet…

The Banuk

The first thing I need you to know about the Banuk is that every one of them exist on a spectrum:

They are a very spiritual tribe, believing a “blue light” lives in the machines and connects them all in life and harmony. They even take the blue glowy parts off the machines they hunt and weave them into the skin somehow to be closer. All of this makes more sense when you remember that prior to the beginning of the ‘Derangement’ most of the machines were pretty chill and the really aggressive machines that only exist to fuck shit up hadn’t been seen yet. The Banuk have ‘Werak’ leaders, and they also have spiritual leaders, called Shamans, who have just as much as say if not more as to what goes on in the Werak.

You’d think that would make them pretty pacifist when it comes to killing machines. You would be wrong. As previously stated, the Banuk territory stretches far to the north. In Horizon Zero Dawn you never actually see any of their territory, just the spots where they’ve settled in Nora lands, and already that area is constantly covered in snow. In the DLC The Frozen Wilds you venture further north into the Cut (essentially Yellowstone National Park through Wyoming and Montana) where it’s even colder and snowier. And this still isn’t even the Banuk’s main territory. This is just as far north as the Mad Sun King from Carja was willing to go to steal people for blood sacrifices. Their primary territory is called Ban-Ur, so far north it’s probably in Alberta. It’s so cold and treacherous up there they’ve essentially hit a ‘never invade Russia during the winter’ situation.

All of this is to say that brutal weather has created a people on hardcore mode:

  1. Any hardship is a challenge that should be met. So, if a Banuk is cold, they don’t layer up or go inside, they’re expected to fucking deal with it.
  2. Every Banuk needs to be capable of taking care of their own god damned selves. They travel in Weraks but because they’re constantly moving if you can’t keep up you’re getting left behind.
  3. All of this also applies to any foreigners who show up in their lands. If you decide to go on holiday to the Cut you better bring your own supplies because they Banuk ain’t giving you shit. Their world is hard enough to live in without trying to keep some flouncy little Carja alive.

So, yeah. You’ve got a mix of the highly spiritual and the ‘u wot m8?’ all living in a beautiful, deadly tundra. Of course they’re going to be weird.

Banuk Fashion

We are finally working with a tribe that doesn’t primarily use browns!!!

The Banuk’s primary color is blue, most likely to blend in with the ice and snow the way the Nora use green and brown to blend in with the forest. The Banuk get their colors from the sulfur springs located in The Cut (Yellowstone) so they also use pops of other colors.

There’s a lot of triangles and hard angles in their clothes, and in the rock paintings the Banuk will put up pretty much anywhere as long as they’ve got the pigments and the free time.

The angles and the colors were the most important things for me for every square design for the Banuk. Because I’m still learning crochet and don’t know many advances techniques, a lot are going to be corner to corner designs. Obviously I will be working with a blue base, but unlike with the Oseram I won’t be restricting color usage. In fact, I’ll be trying to get in little pops of other colors where ever I can.

In the base game, there are only two outfits, the Ice Hunter, and the Sickness Eater. I couldn’t add on the game map for The Frozen Wilds DLC without losing the standard blanket shape, so instead I decided to cut into the black border of the blanket where the Cut meets Nora lands. I’ll be making a square for the settlement that is right on the border, Song’s Edge, and around that I’ll have squares for two outfits that only appear in the DLC, the Ice Hunter Master and the Banuk Werak.

The Banuk Ice Hunter

The main Banuk Ice Hunter outfit is available in the base game. This outfit offers Freeze damage resistance and is especially good to wear when you’re dealing with those Glinthawk sonsabitches.

I hate them so much.

The light version of the outfit also highlights what I was saying about the Banuk seeing hardships as something to overcome. This includes the motherfucking cold:

“Frostbite is for pussies.” -some Banuk Shaman, probably.

The pattern I used for this outfit is called ‘Teatime’ from the same The Big Book of Granny Squares book I’ve been pushing my way through. I super love this pattern. First off, there were no mistakes and the instructions were clear (if you haven’t been reading my updates on this blanket, The Big Book of Granny Squares is a hot mess of a book that clearly wasn’t edited for clarity or mistakes). Secondly, it’s a corner-to-corner (c2c in crochet parlance) that’s also made out of diamond blocks, so not only am I getting the larger angles, I’m also getting smaller ones. Third, I just really like the texture of this pattern, especially these little swoopy bits.

This was not a hard pattern. Most of the Nora squares took me ninety minutes to two hours for each square, but these came out in about an hour. The hardest part was probably doing the edging. At first I did it with the same Gull color I used in the middle, but not only did it not look right, it didn’t look clean either, what with the uneven edges. The only thing I wish I could have done was get in little lines of red and green from the belt, but ultimately I think without those colors the square works great as a closeup of the shirt.

I used Navy for the dark half, Marina for the lighter half, and Gull for the white in the middle.

The Banuk Ice Hunter Master

Confession time: when I started on this blanket I didn’t think I would be writing it up like this. So I had my list and I started going down it in alphabetical order. It was only after I’d gotten through the first square that I realized I could put the journey up on my blog, and if I was going to do that, I should make the squares in an order that makes sense with the game.

So, these squares are the first ones I did for the blanket, way back in December. This pattern is also how I realized I was in for a bumpy fucking ride with The Big Book of Granny Squares. Again – I’m new at crocheting, so if it were a smaller mistake I might have just glossed right over it and had a fucking time trying to figure out why my square didn’t look right. Lucky for me, I tripped over what might still be the biggest mistake in the book.

Because the design is pretty simple, there’s a lot of ‘Repeat Line 2’ type instructions. Well, as I was beginning to decrease for the back half, the instructions told me to repeat a line for the increasing half. And then, the way it was written, I would have been increasing forever. Sitting on my couch until the fires reach me, forever making longer and longer rows in Whirlpool blue until they stretch across the house and eventually reach the moon, I suppose.

This book is hilarious garbage, 2/5 stars.

(Okay, I talk shit about this book all the time, so I do want to make clear that so far I have been extremely happy with how these squares turn out. There are some really fun patterns in here. You just have to be on your toes.)

Anyway, this square was done with Whirlpool and Tranquil in the middle, and Caution and Solstice around the sides. The whole thing is done in single crochets, the personality obviously coming from the shapes and the colors. This was the first c2c project I ever did, actually. I very much had no idea how to increase before this.

Before we wrap this up, I just want to put the outfits together side by side.

Now, I know the ‘Master’ outfit is the better of the two and obviously supposed to be more advanced, but…is it me, or does this seem like the kind of shit the Banuk throw on tourists when they show up without supplies? Like, ‘Aww, look at the widdle Carja baby crying about how cold it is. Is it too cold, baby? I’ve got the fluffiest thing for you, to keep the widdle baby warm.’

It’s so much thicker than any of the other Banuk getups and it makes me laugh every time I see it.

Granny Squares

I have finally finished the black granny squares that will be going in the negative spaces in the map. Sixty five squares, about an hour for each one, so over two and a half days of making these delightful little guys.

Next time on The HZD Blanket, we’ll be working on the Banuk Sickness Eater and the Banuk Werak, and discussing some Bodacious Banuk.


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