Donna Beneviento, Resident Evil 8’s Creepiest Lord, Unmasked

Despite being the quietest of Mother Miranda’s lords in Resident Evil Village, there is actually a lot more to Donna Beneviento than meets the eye.

Following the release of Resident Evil Village earlier this month, there has been a lot of focus on Mother Miranda and her four lords, along with Ethan Winters’ amazing regenerative abilities. But, while Lady Dimitrescu took the internet by storm ahead of Resident Evil Village’s release, she actually turned out to be one of the less foreboding bosses players face as they guide Ethan through the cursed village. Karl Heisenberg has been labelled as the strongest of the four lords, however the most haunting and terror-inducing of them all is easily Donna Beneviento.

In the run up to the release of Resident Evil Village, there was barely even a glimmer into the background of Donna Beneviento. Along with her puppet Angie, she appeared in some of the trailers ahead of the game’s release, but her presence was so minimal it was extremely easy to miss all together.

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Related: Who Walks Up To (SPOILER) In Resident Evil Village’s Ending

However, her vague and ethereal existence within Resident Evil Village’s promotions, as well as in the game itself, was an intentional choice by the game’s developers. As revealed in the Trauma Pack DLC for Resident Evil Village, there is a lot more to the unassuming adoptive daughter of Mother Miranda’s than first meets the eye.

Resident Evil Village: Behind The Veil Of Donna Beneviento

Resident Evil Village Donna Beneviento Concept Art

While the other lords in Resident Evil Village are fairly bombastic, Donna Beneviento hides herself away behind her veil of mourning. Instead, it is her puppet Angie that embodies the livelier aspects of her personality. This is reflected in the way these two characters are attired. Donna is dressed head to toe in swathes of black fabric, representing death. Meanwhile Angie is wearing the bright white garb of a wedding dress, indicating life.

Along with the way these two characters dress, their facial constructs are also symbolic within Resident Evil Village. The sun and moon crest of House Beneviento (which itself represents fantasy and reality, hinting at Donna’s ability to cause people to experience hallucinations) is reflected upon Angie’s crafted face. It is also present with the scarring across Donna’s right eye, which was caused as a result of RE8’s cadou parasite.

Meanwhile, Donna Beneviento stands out in Resident Evil Village as being the only lord without a mutation. When she dies at the hands of Ethan Winters, she does not leave behind any crystalized remains either. Rather, players take Angie from the corpse of Donna to sell to The Duke. This may well be because Donna shared out her cadou essence with her dolls, not leaving enough for herself to be immortalized in mysterious gemstones. This further adds to her elusive and ghost-like presence in Resident Evil Village.

Resident Evil Village: What Could Have Been For Donna Beneviento

Resident Evil Village Beneviento Family Concept Art

But while the final versions of Donna and her puppet Angie in Resident Evil Village are certainly terrifying, and ultimately lead to one of the most unnerving chapters of the entire game, House Beneviento was not originally going to be a doll’s house. Initially, Donna was going to be a doctor within the village, and not have her puppet sidekick. If this has been the case, the Mia doll in House Beneviento would have been a corpse that looked like Mia instead.

Related: Resident Evil Village’s Biggest Questions Left Unanswered (For Now)

The drafts for Resident Evil Village also reveal that Donna’s family were all going to be skeletal-like ghosts (above), that had committed suicide by throwing themselves off the waterfall outside the house, prior to the events of the game. While the final release of RE8 sticks with the idea of Donna’s parents being deceased, the cause of their death is undisclosed.

While these concepts would have surely played out in true and terrifying Resident Evil fashion, the final choices made for Donna and House Beneviento in Resident Evil Village are undoubtedly some of the game’s best ones. Donna Beneviento is a truly creepy adversary, and her presence will stay with gamers even when they have put down their controllers and switched off their consoles.

Next: Resident Evil Village: Why Chris Redfield Really Shoots Mia Winters

Resident Evil Village is now available for Google Stadia, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

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