[LMB] What makes a character irredeemable?

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 30 04:33:50 BST 2019

From: Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com>

I agree that Dondo's self-will would have prevented his being taken up even
if a god had been willing, much like Joen, whom the Bastard does offer
mercy to.

But, here's the thing - as readers, we're primed to view both those
destructions as suitable and proper.  The sundering and destruction of
Horseriver is clearly meant to be perceived as a tragedy, although he
probably did more damage than either Dondo or Joen.

So my question is:  how does LB cause us to view Dondo's destruction as
just and right?  Induce us to not shed tears at his destruction.  Because
it seems clear that's the authorial intent, and one that is very successful.

Gwynne: I see Horseriver's sundering as a tragedy because he's taken so
many innocent generations of souls with him. All those descendants had
no choice from the moment he invaded them. I was so sad at the last that
they couldn't be drawn out from him, as the animal spirits were. I think the
Gods should have found a way to separate those spirits, and give each
one a choice. That's the tragedy there.

But Dondo, he gloried in his evil. We see that the god took Boleso, who
wasn't much of a prize. But we'd been told that he had a difficult upbringing,
spoilt and then ignored, and that he felt a lot of pressure as the King's
youngest son. His mistakes were mostly made as he tried so hard to find a
way to win respect.  Dondo just plain enjoyed causing misery. Martou did
some terrible things, but he'd justify each one as necessary, as his duty to
the country - and he believed that. Dondo had no higher goals, no motives
except self-indulgence and sadism.

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