The Grandmaster's vision
01.11.2012 @ 22:59 #21
01.11.2012 @ 23:38 #22
Question: If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?
Answer: Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one.
Refusing to call evil by its name doesn't make it cease to be evil. It does make it easier for evil to blind the foolish or to seduce followers to its side, though. ›››
Something in me just cannot let that stay.
The correct answer from my point of view would be: 1
You called the tail 'leg', so the former legs aren't 'legs' any more as "being a tail" is the new definition of the word 'leg'. What was previously called legs would have to be called otherwise now.
Having to define your words is the first objective you'll have to do in a philosophical discussion (at least that's what I learned). And after that you'll have to stick to your definition whenever you use that word.
Words are just the dress of thought, not the thought or concept behind the word itself.
So first off, if someone defines "evil" to mean something entirely different than you, that doesn't mean they are wrong about evil (in your definition). They just use a different word for the same thing.
Second: I believe "evil" to be something akin to absolute zero. A state that can never be reached but can be used to measure things by their distance from this point.
The reason for this is, that I believe pure evil has to be so malevolent that it would immediately destroy itself because it hates everything so much (including itself).
That way evil can never exist in a pure form for me.
But that doesn't mean that I don't find Jaques's actions or thoughts hateful, racist and evil towards non-humans and humans alike (note that I used 'evil towards ...' as a relative term compared to pure 'evil').
But he still cares for something. Most of all he cares for himself but secondly I'd say that he really wants to help the humans (in his twisted way).
And I think the reason for his way of thinking is that he never was prepared for his prophecies and time travels. He saw really awful and bad things and could not really talk with anyone about it. That's bound to drive someone mad, or at least give him some very strange ideas.
...om nom nom...
I don't like circles—they're just pointless.
01.11.2012 @ 23:59 #23
It's also true that Alvin had already been through a lot even before we lose track of him at the end of Chapter 4.
In Chapter 1, you can talk to Alvin in the inn. If you ask him, "Waiting for your kin to come," he tells you that he has no family. If Geralt expresses sympathy about this, Alvin brushes this off by saying, "I barely knew them," revealing that he lost his parents at an early age.
Then he loses his foster-mother, Caroline, who's torn to pieces by barghests right before his eyes. He himself is chased by those same barghests and barely escapes.
Shani gives him to Abigail, but before he can get comfortable there, the Reverend rips him away from Abigail and fills his head with fire and brimstone. Then the Reverend gives him to Salamandra, where he learns that he's to be taken to Vizima and experimented on. Although Geralt saves him, he does witness Geralt's killing a large number of Salamandra thugs during this incident.
When we next see him, he's been kidnapped by Salamandra again, being held in the Temple Quarter. Again Geralt saves him, and again Alvin witnesses the bloody killing of a number of men.
Then Geralt gives Alvin to Triss or Shani to raise, but he doesn't get to stay there long; he is kidnapped by Salamandra for the third freaking time. He manages to rescue himself, but only by teleporting to a place he's never been to before. Although it's cool that he manages to do this, it has to be a bit disorienting.
Alvin never gets to feel safe. He never gets to form a bond with an adult who cares for him for a long time. He witnesses bloody murder after bloody murder. He's kidnapped again and again. It's no wonder the poor kid is a little off -- after all that trauma, it's a wonder he can even stand up.
Then there are the visions. He has a vision in the courtyard of the inn during Chapter 1. He keeps having them -- Abigail talks about treating his trouble sleeping with herbs while he's with her, but he only gets to stay there for a few days. He has visions throughout his life and talks to Geralt (while he's the grandmaster now) about those visions. Here's what he says:
"I hear the wails of those who perished." It sounds to me as if Alvin was tortured by his visions for years. He hears the screams of the dying over and over again in his visions, and he knows what the screams of the dying are like in real life, because he's witnessed all of those deaths -- Caroline's and those of all the Salamandra thugs Geralt kills before his very eyes. Alvin couldn't have been too stable to begin with, given all the trauma in his life and the lack of a steady person to take care of him and comfort him and help him ... and then he has these visions to deal with.
We don't know who took care of him when he made that final trip into the past. But whoever it was, it doesn't seem as if they were very understanding about his visions or his magic. Look at this snippet:
The SIN of otherness? It's a sin to be different? Having magic makes him a tainted, unworthy creature? Then how much must he have to do to overcome that sin and prove that he's worthy of belonging to humanity? He must become humanity's savior in order not to be cast out of it.
Poor guy. He was crazy and bad, but wouldn't ANY of us be, if we'd gone through what poor Alvin went through?
02.11.2012 @ 00:14 #24
02.11.2012 @ 00:18 #25
I'd argue he doesn't really care about himself but rather for his vision and his desire to save humanity. Is it a twisted vision and desire? Yes, but it's also a worthy goal.
For what it's worth with regards to Jacques he disgusted me and made me sad when I killed him. It also disturbed me to see my principles being distorted in such a fashion. I told Alvin to use his powers for good, that the Scoia'Tael have their backs against the wall but keep on fighting in a desperate battle they know they can't win and that more witchers can't be made any more.
That turned out well....there's a cautionary tale in the game there.
Gilrond: There's also moral nihilism to which I subscribe to an extent, though not fully. I don't believe humans are capable of determining what is good and evil.
02.11.2012 @ 03:54 #27
Yes he persecuted the non-humans. but he was hunted down by the elves from that other dimension as a child. he is as guilty as the scoiatel.
the issue is that he believes in "lesser evil" and "the ends justify the means." (ironically the same way of thinking as the emperor) and that the issue: like in the short story, Geralt doesn't believe in lesser evil. there's only evil and even worse evil and alot of times the worst kind of evil is done with the excuse of being the lesser evil.
02.11.2012 @ 04:17 #28
"You doubt me? I don't blame you, I had my doubts too. But now my vision is strong."
Alvin must have believed for a very long while that he was insane. That all his visions were just a product of his madness, of his "otherness." (that line I did not even know he said because my Geralt never said it to him).
Imagine how painful it must have been for a growing lad to be riddled in self-doubt to the point of questioning his sanity every single day.
Jacques is a very broken person, riddled with pain every single night.
It's heart breaking really no matter what he ended up becoming...
Geralt definitely is not a moral nihilist. But as players, we can adopt that philosophy when looking at TW setting if we so wish. I do so, and no I don't believe doing anything is ok.
02.11.2012 @ 05:51 #30
Which makes it even more irritating that Geralt doesn't give a fuck.
02.11.2012 @ 15:55 #31
Costin Moroianu said:
Yes, I hate it.
For me, the antagonist - protagonist interaction is very important in how I rank antagonists and that's the main reason why Jacques ranks second. The interaction between him and Geralt at the end is bad, because Geralt ends up becoming an emotionless a-hole.
02.11.2012 @ 18:42 #32
It would be good to have an Alvin flashback in the third game however, just a little nod to the doubt and guilt Geralt must be feeling for a little stout lad that he failed. I wonder if remorse over that helped drive him into Triss' arms between the first and second game, she's not averse to manipulating the white wolfs feelings for her own gain as we all know.
If you're fleeing from Nilfgaard I feel bad for you son, I got ninety nine problems but the sorceress ain't one.
02.11.2012 @ 18:53 #33
Maybe Geralt somehow knew who the Grandmaster was (through his actions, through his words, through some kind of sixth sense when he first saw him, I don't know) and was disappointed by what Alvin had become.
...om nom nom...
I don't like circles—they're just pointless.