[LMB] Ezar (no talk about religion here, honest)

Tel teldreaming at gmail.com
Mon Sep 12 06:20:25 BST 2011


On Sun, Sep 11, 2011 at 9:03 PM, Tony Zbaraschuk <tonyz at eskimo.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 11, 2011 at 08:07:02PM -0700, Tel wrote:
>> On Sun, Sep 11, 2011 at 6:25 PM, Pat Mathews <mathews55 at msn.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > Ezar was a hard man, a very hard man. I don't see him as a bad
>> >man. There's a difference.
>
> There is, but I think Ezar has definite tinges of badness in him.
> Or else some things wouldn't have been allowed to get as far out
> of hand as they did.
>
> Aral, now, Aral is hard as nails when he needs to be (consider Carl
> and Evon Vorhalas, for instance.)

*very neutral noise*

>> -Tel (and seriously, how many times do you have to try to kill the
>> main character as a helpless child before people accept you're a bad
>> guy? Clearly more than three...)
>
> I think we understand Piotr, or think we do.  And Miles, our hero,
> seems in many ways to take after his grandfather and use him as a
> model (for instance, the discussion of political maneuvering in ACC).
> So we go "There must be something there."

When you get down to it, some folk believe villainy is incompatible
with loving your wife, being a good (grand)father, reading books to
your children before you kiss them goodnight and so on. And this is
flatly not true. How people treat their ingroup often has nothing to
do with how they treat their outgroup. Humans dehumanize other people
very, very, easily.

We see how Piotr treats his outgroup. Just because Miles moves from
one category to the other in Piotr's eyes doesn't mean Piotr's
reformed. What if he hadn't tested out bright?

> Bujold is very good about having bad guys who are, in some ways,
> sympathetic or understandable once we get into them somewhat.
> (Wencel, Martou dy Jironal, Cavilo... just to name a few.)  She's
> also got some bad guys who are much less symapathetic (Serg, Ryoval,
> Dondo dy Jironal...)

But this quality often has little to do with how... I'll say how much
damage they do. How much suffering they cause. You don't get people
saying they like and admire Tien. Did he cause one tenth, one
hundredth, even one thousandth the utterly needless human suffering
Ezar did? No.

But big crimes are -romantic-, somehow.

-Tel



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