transentient at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 08:44:12 PST 2005
On Nov 24 2005, at 3:05 AM, Roy C. Lackey wrote:
> After the ship sailed, it was attacked. He acquitted himself well
> the attackers (self-preservation is a great motivator) and was
> wounded. The
> captain took back command of his ship. When Able was well enough
> he, along
> with his magic hound, attempted to take control of the ship again by
> intimidating the captain. When the captain dared to resist, he was
> and his body thrown overboard. Able cleaned up the crime scene and
> the mate as the new captain, thus ensuring the new captain's future
> cooperation. Able had no authority to do any such thing. His
> treatment of
> the captain was entirely self-serving, criminal, unknightly and
> Surely a man deserves at least as much consideration as a horse. Would
> anyone care to defend Able's treatment of the captain?
True, he essentially murdered the captain and stole his boat. Someone
could probably argue that the line was still blurry there, that the
captain could have gotten out of it with his life and his ship, or
that the environment Able stepped into when he first set foot onboard
the _Western Trader_ was suitably cutthroat that if he had not taken
such measures to demand respect immediately, he would have been taken
advantage of and possibly killed himself. I don't think so myself,
but i do think the idea is that Able's aspirations towards Knighthood
would have never gotten started if he hadn't conducted himself in
such a manner. If you despise this idea you are well entitled to.
What I think is the main thing is that Able was not yet a knight at
all - this was early in his development and he still had lots to
learn. I find that to be an interesting take on the heroic paradigm.
Instead of a hero who grows in power and wisdom while having an
unshakable moral center from inception to apotheosis, which I think
of as fairly typical in fantasy (anybody reading David Zindell's
books? Danlo / Valashu comes to mind), Able has no moral center at
the beginning of the story, or through most of the first book. I
think when you are assesing Able's character you really have to take
into account whether you are looking at him pre- or post-Skai.
He also kind of reminds of Cu Chullain, who was a nasty individual
who did great things for small reasons.
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