[LMB] What makes a character irredeemable?

Joel Polowin jpolowin at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 28 18:03:44 BST 2019


Beatrice Otter <beatrice_otter at zoho.com> wrote:
> But I'm not sure that "redemption" is the right category.  It's a very
> Christian-centric idea, and I say that as a Christian myself. Christians
> assume that sin is what determines one's fate after death, and that
> sinners must be redeemed/forgiven by God or they go to hell.

The responses I've seen here seem to be leaning in the direction of
"what, in *your* eyes, put Dondo in that category?" rather than "what
do you think made him unacceptable to the gods?"  But on the whole,
I agree with your analysis.  "Irredeemable" is a tricky concept from
any philosophical framework.  What if, instead of being snatched by
the death demon on the night before his "wedding" to Iselle, Dondo had
had a stroke or other traumatic brain injury that completely upended
his personality?  Such things are not unknown in the real world,
though usually the change is much for the worse -- frontal-lobe damage
generally runs to "the metaphorical brakes come off, and any nasty
inclinations that the person has kept under control suddenly run amok".
But if, say, Dondo had had a religious experience (the bolt of lightning
out of the clear sky, right near him) and suddenly realized the horror
show that he was making of his life...  could he have turned himself
around enough to make him "redeemable" in the eyes of the readers?

Dondo having ended up in the Bastard's hell isn't necessarily conclusive
of anything.  He was held separate from whatever god might have taken
him up long enough to be sundered anyways.  Not to mention having been
trapped in close proximity to a demon for quite a while -- who knows
what effect *that* might have?  It wasn't the usual sorcerer-demon
relationship, so one can't reliably extrapolate from that.

Joel


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