[LMB] villains

Tony Zbaraschuk tonyz at eskimo.com
Tue May 14 00:17:18 BST 2013


Just catching up on my inbox...

On Fri, May 10, 2013 at 09:42:40PM -0700, beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com wrote:
> Ezar doubtless had less control over the larger historical situation than
> you are implying; "supreme ruler of the Empire," yes, but ... with his
> predecessor's scalp on display.  But that does not absolve him for what he
> chose to do in *reaction* to all the things that hemmed him in.

Yes.  Sometimes you'r caught in a bad situation and have no really good
choices.  But even so, some choices are worse than others.
 
> I'm sure he had many reasons for doing what he did, some better than
> others.  One, which we consider the main one (although we never hear Ezar
> say that), was to not just kill Serg and his cronies but to utterly
> discredit the War faction, which might lead the Empire into long bloody
> wars (instead of the short thing Escobar ended up being) and/or
> destabilize the Empire.  Let us remember the saying about being hypnotized
> by the hard choices, I can't remember where Miles says it.  

I think we hear him say that his mother says it a lot.  (And she may
well have had Ezar in mind, though apparently neither she nor Aral
ever talked about this particular thing to anyone, that we know of.)

> Also remember
> that we hear Ezar's motives through Aral's eyes, and that would probably
> be the reason that would resonate most with him (and the one Ezar had to
> know would most motivate him to join the plot).  

Yes, which doesn't mean it's not valid.  Ezar knows Aral well enough
(and both of them know Barrayar well enough) to know that Aral will
not be moved by totally BS reasons for something.  Ezar had other
reasons, but this was a real concern.

> Another, we are told, was
> a desire to give Serg a hero's death in battle, as the last gift he could
> give him.  I might be willing to forgive the body count if we knew for
> certain that Ezar was right about the need to discredit and dismantle the
> war party and this being the only way to do it.  

While I tend to agree with you, those _ifs_ are very iffy indeed.
Really?  The war party was _that_ powerful?  So powerful that no
conceivable regent could control them?  (Well, maybe.  There are
examples on Earth, like Japan in the 1930s.  But Ezar had kept 
the lid on for a long while.)

> I do *not* forgive him
> the death count for the portion of his reasoning that was all about OH
> NOES, MY SON MUST LOOK LIKE A GOOD HEROIC SOLDIER AND TRUE VOR EVEN IF I
> HAVE TO KILL A LOT OF PEOPLE TO DO IT!

Yes.  This is the part that most evidently moves it beyond "hard choice
in a bad situation" to out-and-out villainy.


Tony Z


-- 
There is a reason most German philosophy scholarship consists of 
trying to parse what German philosophers actually meant.
--Lady Wisdom's Favorite


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