Aleksandra Zaryanova

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Name: Aleksandra Zaryanova, Zarya
Occupation: Athlete (formerly), Soldier
Location: Unknown
Status: alive
Fandom: Overwatch
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Aleksandra Zaryanova, commonly known as Zarya is a playable character from Overwatch, a first-person shooter game by Blizzard.


Zarya used to be a weightlifter[1] but after the omnic invasion she abandoned her weightlifting career to join her local defence forces and protect her country. She is a tank character that uses a gravity-manipulating particle cannon to fight.


Zarya is very popular in fandom, especially because she is a positive depiction of a muscular woman. She was introduced into the game by Blizzard because of criticism of their designs of women, and many fans felt happy that a larger woman was represented in a triple-A game.

Some fans of Overwatch are critical of Zarya's appearance and reason for creation, considering her to be an example of creators bowing to angry fans' demands.[2] This, however, is not a widely held opinion and most fans were positive about her inclusion in the game.

Fanart featuring Zarya commonly has themes emphasising strength, since it is an integral part of her character design.[3] Crossover fanart including Zarya often features the Team Fortress 2 character Heavy, as the two are similar in personality and physical build.[4]


The juggernaut ship featuring Zarya is Zarya/Mei. Other ships include Zarya/Mercy and Zarya/Doomfist.

Example Fanworks



Fan Vids

Zarya-centric Communities


  1. "Zarya - Overwatch Wiki". 
  2. "Zarya and the imaginary SJW conspiracy - Reddit". 
  3. "Overwatch - Zarya by ladyrosse". 
  4. "Zarya & Heavy Fanart - Tumblr".