(urth) Honor

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Wed Nov 30 18:26:13 PST 2005

Rostrum wrote:

>On 11/27/05, Roy C. Lackey <rclackey at stic.net> wrote:
>> There is more, including the specific mention of "Trial by Combat", but
>> that's enough to prove my point.
>I feel like you've forgotten what your point was.

My point, above, was to establish that "Trial by Combat" was, indeed,
incorporated into TWK. See below.

>The point I thought I was arguing with was, "Able is a jerk because he
>believes might makes right."

I don't know whether or not Able believed in the doctrine of might makes
right. He is a jerk because he repeatedly used his superior might to push
weaker people around in pursuance of his own ends, both petty and . . .
'heroic'. I have cited various examples of the petty -- and I haven't
exhausted the list. Did he believe it was wrong to bully people? Apparently
not. How did he rationalize his behavior, even to himself -- if he thought
about it at all? By what "right" did he push people around? By his strong
right hand.

>The examples you gave:
>1.  The stable hands - I think there's been pretty convincing argument
>that Able was right to insist that they take care of the horses.
>2.  The pass - I'm not sure if you understood my point.  I'm arguing
>that his stand at the pass is a way of proving he is a better fighter
>and for that reason more worthy of wielding his opponent's weapons and

Able had no need or use for his opponent's weapons and armor when he made
his stands. He already had a magic sword, gilded armor and a one-horned
steed from Skai.

>Now you've got this other example:
>On 11/27/05, Roy C. Lackey <rclackey at stic.net> wrote:
>>    [ABLE:] "You have to let me do this, Your Majesty. I've worn your
favor in the
>> lists. I'm your champion."
>>     "Oh, Lady! Dear Lady of Skai! It's . . ."
>>     "Ordained?" I suggested.
>>     Gaynor's eyes brimmed with tears. "It's for me, too. So the king will
>> see that -- that I'm not what he thinks. The Valfather will give the
>> to the right, won't he?"
>>     "That's what people believe, I know. It may be true."
>Here, Able acknowledges that this society believes that victory in
>combat would somehow prove the Lady's innocence, but he doesn't seem
>convinced of it himself.  "It may be true" -- Able knows the Valfather
>could/might give victory to the right, but that seems to me a long way
>away from some kind of self-righteous certainty that victory in battle
>proves that he is right.

"Ordained" was Able's suggestion. In context, I don't see how it can be
interpreted as other than predestination.

>Able is convinced of the Lady's innocence and is willing to fight for
>her, knowing that his victory will be seen by others as vindicating
>her.   Are you arguing that, had he lost, Able would have reconsidered
>and thought, "Maybe the Lady is an adulteress after all?"

Uh, no. First of all, Able didn't believe he could be beaten by anyone, and
he was right; there was no doubt about the outcome. He was a Hero, not just
a knight. Second, Gaynor's "innocence" wasn't really at issue. The
precipitating spat between her and Morcaine was a sham, a plan concocted by
Earl Marshal Escan, with the complicity of both women (who each had
divergent agenda but were in agreement on this one issue), to get Able an
audience with Arnthor so he could deliver his Aelf message.

Gaynor was still a virgin, btw, and Morcaine would get her jollies no matter
who won the combat.


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