[LMB] What makes a character irredeemable?

Pat Mathews mathews55 at msn.com
Fri Jul 26 21:12:33 BST 2019

I think because while Martou was greedy and power-hungry, Dondo got an active pleasure out of seeing people, or at least Iselle, suffer.
From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, July 26, 2019 12:07 PM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold. <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Subject: [LMB] What makes a character irredeemable?

Thinking about our recent quote-exchange about good and evil, I found my
thoughts returning to The Curse of Chalion.  We're told Dondo dy Jironal
ends up in the Bastard's Hell, while Martou is taken up by the Father.  And
the Gods are the closest thing we're likely to get to an objective and
absolute judgment in that universe.  (Ultimately everything is derived from
Lois Bujold's opinions of course, but that's not my intended point.)

Clearly we are meant to view Dondo as evil, and irredeemably so.  But not
Martou, despite his making a bunch of very dodgy decisions and impaling the
protagonist on a sword while seeking to slay his lawful liege.  This is
pretty obviously the intention of the author, so a conscious strategy to
make Dondo be rejected by the readers and considered not worth salvaging.

What is it, precisely, that takes Dondo out of our sympathies?  To use a
Troperism, he crosses the Moral Event Horizon.  But why and how?

Matt G.
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