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Isn't Smodur supposed to be the pragmatic one?

What was up with his personality in this episode? The wiki reads:

Smodur proved himself to be a just, determined and cunning Imperator who often acted as a mediator in arguments between the three High Legions in Ascalon.

And:

Smodur was considered by some to be the most progressive of all charr. He became part of the truce faction of the charr and worked on the Ebonhawke Treaty with the humans upon receiving the Claw of the Khan-Ur which a Vigil group led by Dougal Keane had retrieved from Ascalon City at the suggestion of Queen Jennah, General Almorra Soulkeeper and Imperator Malice Swordshadow in 1324 AE. When Ambassador Steelcrusher volunteered to be the head of the Iron Legion's delegation for the truce negotiations at Summit Peak, Smodur accepted his offer as the two charr knew each other well.[2] While seemingly acting purely out of noble interest, Smodur was also using the opportunity provided by the ceasefire to forge a stronger alliance with humans as a means to strengthen his position as Imperator in Ascalon. Since the peace negotiations began, Smodur pulled the charr forces back from the gates of Ebonhawke, allowing humans to settle outside the stronghold's walls peacefully. By his decree, non-charr races were permitted to enter the Black Citadel, and human prisoners held in the Gladium Canton were set free and permitted to live in the Citadel if they chose to stay.

And now he acts like Bengar, at least the Bengar of before this Saga.

Is this on purpose? Are we meant to doubt whether Smodur is still sane? Or is he just badly written? He sure as kitten didn't seem 'pragmatic' to me.

<13

Comments

  • Ashantara.8731Ashantara.8731 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 28, 2020

    @Diovid.9506 said:
    What was up with his personality in this episode?

    I agree that he was acting just like Bangar in a way: ruthless and without conscience.

    I usually despise Rytlock, because he used to be the (insert word that Rytlock called Smodur) who was acting up like a self-absorbed idiot a lot of the time, the way he treated Rox or had no respect for Kasmeer's gods and on many more occasions. However, in this episode he was the "wise" one and Smodur was portrayed like an (insert same previous word).

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 28, 2020

    He acted in charafter for how charr whould act but differently for how we've view'd him in the past.

    I agree with randulf here tho, the enemy hes facing now is much smaller and more managable than kralky and he doesnt need any outside help to deal with it.

    Hes exercising whats basicly charr diplomacy at this point.

    One could argue tho that maybe some other Imperator would feel more natural to us the players?

  • thepenmonster.3621thepenmonster.3621 Member ✭✭✭

    Bangar is screwing up Smoldurs rise to Khan-Ur. Of course he's showing the true color of his fur. Nothing amiss in his portrayal of a hungry politician.

    The Commander will end you.

  • videoboy.4162videoboy.4162 Member ✭✭✭

    It'd be interesting if they threw in a twist and we found out Smodur has been corrupted by the whispers too. Bangar is hitting from the outside and Smodur is hitting from within.

  • thepenmonster.3621thepenmonster.3621 Member ✭✭✭

    @Astralporing.1957 said:

    I'd say that it's the exact opposite. Bangar's secession removed the only other serious candidate for Khan-Ur from the picture

    He can't be the Khan-Ur of nothing. He's bleeding supporters to Bangar.

    The Commander will end you.

  • Astralporing.1957Astralporing.1957 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @thepenmonster.3621 said:

    @Astralporing.1957 said:

    I'd say that it's the exact opposite. Bangar's secession removed the only other serious candidate for Khan-Ur from the picture

    He can't be the Khan-Ur of nothing. He's bleeding supporters to Bangar.

    All the more reasons to up the diplomacy front. If he kills everyone, he will still be a khan-ur of nothing after all.

    The whole point of a social game is to play with the people you want to play with, not be forced to play with the people you don't.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Astralporing.1957 said:

    @zealex.9410 said:
    He acted in charafter for how charr whould act but differently for how we've view'd him in the past.

    I agree with randulf here tho, the enemy hes facing now is much smaller and more managable than kralky

    Hint: in the story we're being constantly informed about how Dominion is the stronger force than the unified legions here, and that the difference is getting bigger with every day.

    Yes but its nowhere near elder dragon levels of trouble for them.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    There is no diplomatic option here either. Smodur would have to concede to Bangar and that means waking and succumbing to Jormag. Smodur is fully aware of ED problems after Kralkatorrik.

    There is a possibility of course that the constant battles with humans, branded, ghosts and even briefly Mordremoth, that Smodur has gone somewhat War crazy. The ghosts and kralk could not be reasoned with and diplomacy with Kryta basically took away one of the three wars so he could focus on the others and perhaps even get Krytas aid. War is something he is just used to and with no other way out except to fight, has lost the plot a bit

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • Fueki.4753Fueki.4753 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @zealex.9410 said:
    Yes but its nowhere near elder dragon levels of trouble for them.

    Except that he's/we're up against Jormag's forces, which is the currently biggest threat to Tyria.

  • Revolution.5409Revolution.5409 Member ✭✭✭

    The Commander and Crecia are too busy trying to make Ryland think, while Smodur wants to win the war.
    Ryland is a traitor and one of the fundamental reasons for the outbreak of this civil war, so we are sure that Smodur's actions are the wrong ones? Does Ryland really deserve to be saved?

    Personally I do not think that Smodur's actions are wrong, we are talking about a war and with the passage of time the enemy becomes stronger, I do not blame him for trying to do everything to win.
    At the beginning of the chapter, Smodur is sitting at the table to negotiate but the one who got up going away was Ryland, so what do we surprise ourselves with?
    The only ones who have a different interest apart from ending the war are the Commander and Crecia.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but the only one who seems to know that Ryland is the son of Crecia and Rytlock is Bangar, if the other emperors knew about this, how much impact would it have on the credibility of this character?

  • The writers wanted to turn smodur into a monster, but he is actually the only one who behaves like a general. The char are a race that lives for war and combat, the idea of a civil war is good but I dont think that it´s well executed.

    Returning to Smodur, he is the only one who seems to win the war.

  • Swagger.1459Swagger.1459 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Diovid.9506 said:
    What was up with his personality in this episode? The wiki reads:

    Smodur proved himself to be a just, determined and cunning Imperator who often acted as a mediator in arguments between the three High Legions in Ascalon.

    And:

    Smodur was considered by some to be the most progressive of all charr. He became part of the truce faction of the charr and worked on the Ebonhawke Treaty with the humans upon receiving the Claw of the Khan-Ur which a Vigil group led by Dougal Keane had retrieved from Ascalon City at the suggestion of Queen Jennah, General Almorra Soulkeeper and Imperator Malice Swordshadow in 1324 AE. When Ambassador Steelcrusher volunteered to be the head of the Iron Legion's delegation for the truce negotiations at Summit Peak, Smodur accepted his offer as the two charr knew each other well.[2] While seemingly acting purely out of noble interest, Smodur was also using the opportunity provided by the ceasefire to forge a stronger alliance with humans as a means to strengthen his position as Imperator in Ascalon. Since the peace negotiations began, Smodur pulled the charr forces back from the gates of Ebonhawke, allowing humans to settle outside the stronghold's walls peacefully. By his decree, non-charr races were permitted to enter the Black Citadel, and human prisoners held in the Gladium Canton were set free and permitted to live in the Citadel if they chose to stay.

    And now he acts like Bengar, at least the Bengar of before this Saga.

    Is this on purpose? Are we meant to doubt whether Smodur is still sane? Or is he just badly written? He sure as kitten didn't seem 'pragmatic' to me.

    Smodur is being pragmatic. Pragmatic doesn't mean being nice to enemies who want to kill you, your friends and your people. Pragmatic doesn't mean letting Bangar, who wants to be Jormag's champion, wake up an Elder Dragon (that will ultimately cause more death, destruction, suffering... across the planet).

  • Swagger.1459Swagger.1459 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Why is Smodur reacting in certain ways?

    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Bangar_Ruinbringer

    "Once Bangar learned that Ryland's mission to secure Braham's bow had been successful, he and Ryland wasted no time and slipped out of the Blood Keep while being joined by several dozen heavily armed warbands from the Renegades and all the four legions whom the Blood Imperator's agents had rallied behind him. They headed for the Shiverpeaks Pass where they used Iron Legion explosives to blow up the bridge behind them to prevent anyone from following them. Before heading farther north in the blizzard, Bangar addressed the assembled warbands while holding Braham's bow in his claws and announced his plan in clear terms: the charr would even the odds against Aurene by getting their own Elder Dragon—Jormag.

    The charr army ventured into Bjora Marches where several charr were affected by Jormag's whispers via the dragon champion Drakkar. Not wanting to risk losing his army to the Ice Dragon, Bangar resolved to take Ryland with him as the pair traveled to Drakkar to kill the champion and silence the whispers. Although they were being tracked by Crecia and Rytlock who tried to catch up with them unseen, the charr army managed to keep their distance.

    Bangar and Ryland tracked down Drakkar into an icy cave south of Drakkar Lake in 1333 AE just in time to witness the Pact Commander and Braham, who had been reunited with Crecia and Rytlock, being close to succumbing to the power that had been controlling Drakkar all along: the Whisper of Jormag, a piece of the Elder Dragon. Bangar rallied the nearly defeated heroes and told them to stand up as they faced the Whisper together. Using Braham's bow, the Blood Imperator ultimately vanquished the weakened Whisper and gloated his victory to the party.

    As the party confronted Bangar about the theft of the bow and that he tried to claim credit for the kill, Bangar revealed his aspirations to become Jormag's champion and intended to use Drakkar's death as proof that he alone could control the Ice Dragon. Rytlock tried to convince Ryland to stop following Bangar, but Ryland remained loyal to his imperator and responded by asking where Rytlock's loyalties lay as a member of the Blood Legion.

    When the Commander tried to persuade Bangar to stop his mission as Jormag could not be controlled, the Blood Imperator responded by shooting the Commander with the enchanted bow while stating that a confrontation between them would always end this way. Before the Blood Imperator could finish off the Commander with another arrow, the enraged Braham accessed his totem ability to Become the Wolf and attacked the two charr. Ryland stepped in the way to face Braham's wolf form, only to be wounded by the transformed norn. As Crecia and Rytlock lifted the wounded Commander with the intention to retreat, Bangar and Ryland left the cave as well as their new mission was to return to charr lands to convince the High Legions of the Blood Imperator's power.

    With Aurene's help and the magic of the Scrying Pool, the recovering Commander gazed into visions of the past in the Eye of the North, reliving the Steel Warband's journey to the Far Shiverpeaks and experiencing Ryland's adventures with Bangar before the battle against Drakkar. Following the rogue warbands' initial departure from Grothmar Valley, Bangar had ordered Ryland and the Steel Warband to establish a route to Bjora Marches in order to bring in more supplies and additional forces. An advancing blizzard had made several choppers crash and threatened to block the intended route north, however, forcing the Steel Warband to take a detour through Stone Summit ruins in order to reach their destination.

    Unexpected battles with the remaining Stone Summit and their Ancient Forgeman forced Ryland to shoot a distress flare to summon reinforcements; however, Bangar arrived to the ruins in the company of two captains and only after the battle had already been won. The Blood Imperator questioned why the warband was late and wondered why the distress signal had been used. Although Ryland claimed the use of the flare had been a miscalculation, Bangar had his doubts. The imperator had nevertheless noticed the threat the blizzard posed to his forces, so he ordered Ryland to accompany him into Darkrime Delves so they could find an alternate route through the pass.

    As they explored the delves, Bangar explained that the use of Braham's fire-enchanted bow had been a propaganda tool rather than a strategic weapon and that he believed how subjugating Jormag should not be too difficult if the Commander had already succeeded with Aurene. The Blood Imperator also revealed his dream of founding a charr empire that would reach from the Shiverpeaks all the way south to Cantha, ushering in a new age of charr supremacy.

    As the pair advanced deeper, they came across Almorra who was being pursued by the Sons of Svanir. After deciding to join forces with the pair to battle the inhabitants of the delves, Almorra revealed what the Sons of Svanir had done to the Vigil at Bjora Marches and urged Bangar to send his forces to aid her. Bangar and Ryland ignored the general's request, however, and tried to convince her to help them with their plans instead.

    Ryland got briefly separated from the rest of the group, and Bangar and Almorra continued to bicker and shout at one another as they moved forward, arguing over the present turmoil that Bangar was causing and their troubled past together. When Almorra mentioned their son, Ajax, and insinuated that his death had been due to Bangar's influence, Bangar became enraged. They yelled at one another over their incompatible views on how to deal with Jormag: Almorra wanted to kill the Elder Dragon, while Bangar wanted to tame it and bend it to his will, which Almorra did not think was possible. Finally, their arguments escalated to the point that they began fighting one another, and Almorra, although weakened in Svanir captivity, still had enough strength to knock Bangar back just as Ryland reunited with them.

    After questioning Ryland and learning that he would remain loyal to his imperator, Almorra felt that she had no choice but to defeat Ryland too to stop Bangar's plans. The two charr clashed, and Ryland ultimately disarmed the general after a fierce battle. As Almorra lay on the ground beneath Ryland, the recovered Bangar approached her with a dagger in hand and revealed his feelings for her while he tried to win her over one last time.

    When Almorra stated that the imperator had never loved her and that his actions would not preserve but end the charr, the angered Bangar stated that the general was too wounded to be saved and that Ryland should mercy kill her with the dagger. Ryland hesitated, however, due to Almorra's heroic status in charr society. Almorra used the last of her strength to stand up and face Bangar one last time while stating that the imperator had now lost another son, inciting Bangar to stab her with the dagger in rage.

    As Almorra's body fell to the ground, Bangar stopped to think for a moment, before coldly ordering Ryland to get rid of the body. In response, Ryland took Almorra to the other exit of Darkrime Delves and buried the general under stones from the surrounding rubble, where the Commander would eventually find her in.

    While the Commander was experiencing the visions and recovering from the wounds Bangar had inflicted, the Blood Imperator spent his time spreading propaganda about his triumph over Drakkar and winning several battles against any charr forces that opposed him.[24] He persuaded several warbands to follow his lead and defect from the rival legions, naming his new cross-legion faction the Dominion. As weeks passed, the Dominion amassed at Drizzlewood Coast in the Woodland Cascades in greater numbers to face the forces of the United Legions in combat."

  • Swagger.1459Swagger.1459 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @videoboy.4162 said:
    Just a quick nitpick, guys. They're Imperators, not Emperors.

    Smodur isn't being pragmatic. It's one thing to kill the Charr that have become Icebrood, it's another to kill his own people that are being manipulated into thinking they're being loyal to the Charr by joining Bangar. If you pay attention to the NPCs on the new map, a lot of them are upset and worried about friends and relatives that have recently defected. Murdering them is only sending more defectors to Bangar.

    “being manipulated”...

    Bangar brought the Charr together to find like-minded individuals to follow him. Those Charr aren’t “being manipulated“.

  • Astralporing.1957Astralporing.1957 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 30, 2020

    @Swagger.1459 said:

    @videoboy.4162 said:
    Just a quick nitpick, guys. They're Imperators, not Emperors.

    Smodur isn't being pragmatic. It's one thing to kill the Charr that have become Icebrood, it's another to kill his own people that are being manipulated into thinking they're being loyal to the Charr by joining Bangar. If you pay attention to the NPCs on the new map, a lot of them are upset and worried about friends and relatives that have recently defected. Murdering them is only sending more defectors to Bangar.

    “being manipulated”...

    Bangar brought the Charr together to find like-minded individuals to follow him. Those Charr aren’t “being manipulated“.

    Oh, they are manipulated. First, a lot of Bangar's success in persuading charr lately has been due to his claim of defeating Drakkar (which we know he didn't do). So, they are being lied to by him. Second, they believe that Bangar can control and "leash" an elder dragon - just (as they were led to believe) like commander has managed to do with Aurene. Simply, they think that since someone else has a nuke, they should arm themselves, and are being led to believe they can do it safely. They can't, but they do not know it. In this, they are manipulated again - just this time not by Bangar (who is being manipulated alongside them) but by Jormag.

    Point is, only those that went with Bangar, his core of truly loyal Blood Legion followers, are those that were already made into Frost legion. The rest were left behind to act as meat shields. Even Ryland and his Steel Warband (likely, because Ryland started to show some small degree of being able to question Bangar in the Steel and Fire story part, so he was probably no longer fully trusted anymore). All those charr could have been saved. Instead, Smodur's actions only pushed all of them even more into Bangar's camp - even those that might have been reluctant into accepting Jormag's power will do so now, as they will desperately need more power to avenge those that were lost. And, of course, all paths of diplomacy are now completely cut. Ryland will take care of that, informing everyone how treacherous and untrustworthy the other side is.

    And all of that is because Smodur stopped being smart, and (again, contrary to his whole modus operandi in the past) decided to solve problems by force alone. And apparently was very violently set against any other potential solutions.

    No, he is not being pragmatic. Being pragmatic would mean accepting diplomatic solutions even if he thought they would be unlikely to work out. Because, seriously, what would be to lose? Not time, because nothing stopped him pursuing an offensive at the same time. Being pragmatic would mean not antagonizing his Blood, Flame and Ash allies (allies, not subordinates, remember?) - as well as other, outside allies if commander is not a charr - over something that was not a major issue to the war. There was absolutely no cost to letting the attempt to persuade Ryland take its course (at worst, if, as he expected, nothing would have come out of it, he could use it as an argument later on in his discussions with Crecia and company to push them more towards his point of view by reminding them that they've tried and failed once). It's not like waiting 5-10 minutes more would have made a difference after all. No, he decided to sabotage the talks not due to pragmatism, or because it gave him any kind of advantage, but because he seemingly just didn't like the idea. Or, because, for some reason he didn't want the talks to succeed at all.
    Which is very unlike how he was described as acting up to very recently.

    I made another summary of what i see wrong with all this in another topic. You can read it here:
    https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/comment/1255952/#Comment_1255952

    The whole point of a social game is to play with the people you want to play with, not be forced to play with the people you don't.

  • Sublimatio.6981Sublimatio.6981 Member ✭✭✭

    I think Smodur is entirely in his character.

    "Smodur proved himself to be a just, determined and cunning Imperator who often acted as a mediator in arguments between the three High Legions in Ascalon."

    well, he is just, as he executes traitors for leaving the ranks. determined - focused on warfare and winning. cunning - by letting us bomb a research camp.
    he is also cunning by playing human politics right and strengthening their alliance, as well as owning the claw of khan ur.

    "clang clang shriiiiek clang!" -Belinda Delaqua
    When I join your LFG

  • Westenev.5289Westenev.5289 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 30, 2020

    Smodur REALLY wants to be Khan Ur. Allowing Ryland and his merry band of steel legion heroes save the day would only serve to boost Rylands support, so he does everything in his power to make sure he doesn't survive the war.

    At least, that's the only reason I can think of. Why else would he hate steel so much?

  • Tanith.5264Tanith.5264 Member ✭✭✭

    @thepenmonster.3621 said:

    @Astralporing.1957 said:

    I'd say that it's the exact opposite. Bangar's secession removed the only other serious candidate for Khan-Ur from the picture

    He can't be the Khan-Ur of nothing. He's bleeding supporters to Bangar.

    I can hear Metal Legion singing now..."Where's your Claw, Khan-Ur Nothing?" :lol:

  • voltaicbore.8012voltaicbore.8012 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @VAHNeunzehnsechundsiebzig.3618 said:
    After some thinking:

    Smodur is pragmatic.
    War does not work? Try diplomacy.
    Diplomacy does not work? Go to war.
    Bangar is creating a new charr god? Fight him to stay free.
    Traitors are strenghtening the opposition and might wipe you out? Kill them - to contain the threat and send a strong message to those who are thinking about treason.

    He stayed true to himself tbh and acts like I would expect from the imperator of Iron Legion.

    I 100% agree, and I think a lot of people who are interested in Tyrian lore feel the same way.

    I think most of us are actually not shocked or particularly surprised that Smodur is doing what he's doing. What we're not pleased with, however, is how the writing seems to want us to be shocked/surprised/betrayed. It's dumb.

  • Revolution.5409Revolution.5409 Member ✭✭✭

    @Westenev.5289 said:
    Smodur REALLY wants to be Khan Ur. Allowing Ryland and his merry band of steel legion heroes save the day would only serve to boost Rylands support, so he does everything in his power to make sure he doesn't survive the war.

    At least, that's the only reason I can think of. Why else would he hate steel so much?

    Throughout the episode he repeats many times "we don't need traitors".
    The episode begins with Smodur executing Iron Legion defectors, the Charr in the lab are also Iron Legion defector soldiers.
    I think Smodur feels betrayed by his own soldiers for this he has assumed this attitude, it would be too obvious to want to become Khan-ur.

    I don't think Smodur hates Stellwarband, I think he considers enemies, if we add that they are loyal to Bangar, they are the cause of the civil war, they have eliminated all the Charr who opposed them, Ryland has not stopped Bangar from killing Almorra , I think there are quite a few reasons. XD

  • Revolution.5409Revolution.5409 Member ✭✭✭

    @Astralporing.1957 said:

    @Revolution.5409 said:
    The episode begins with Smodur executing Iron Legion defectors, the Charr in the lab are also Iron Legion defector soldiers.
    I think Smodur feels betrayed by his own soldiers for this he has assumed this attitude, it would be too obvious to want to become Khan-ur.

    Ryland's not his own soldier. He is from Bangar's legion. If anything, he is less of a traitor than all the Blood Legion charr under Crecia.

    I don't think Smodur hates Stellwarband, I think he considers enemies, if we add that they are loyal to Bangar, they are the cause of the civil war, they have eliminated all the Charr who opposed them, Ryland has not stopped Bangar from killing Almorra , I think there are quite a few reasons. XD

    And yet he had absolutely no problem with negotiating with Flame Legion. Even then, it wasn't a war to the death. So, why this one is?

    No he is not a soldier of his but he is one of the main antagonists for the Charr legions in this war, many iron legion soldiers have betrayed Smodur to side with Ryland, and this is mentioned by Ryland himself at the beginning of the chapter, Smodur has not really no reason to want it alive i would say for him it is the cause of the problem.

    Do you mean negotiations with Efram?
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Efram_Greetsglory
    "Efram Greetsglory eventually became the leader of a more progressive splinter group which desired a cease-fire with the other High Legions."

    Efram is not Emperor of the whole Flame Legion but only of a part, I would say that the reason is this.

  • thepenmonster.3621thepenmonster.3621 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 31, 2020

    Having finished the episode twice now I'm sticking with my original assessment: Smodur sees the Kahn-Ur position as Him vs Bangar and Bangar's forces need to be wiped out before he can do that (Total surrender to him is the only option Bangar is accepting so diplomacy is off the table in his eyes) The other NPCs called Smodur out on how he is acting as if this civil war is just the next step in his path to the top several times so his motivations are obvious.

    Smodur is a politician and that means wanting power by any means necessary even if it results in becoming the king of an ash pile. His portrayal is fine if infuriating.

    And that leads to the actual characterization flaw in the episode: How passive The Commander is about all of it. Effram should have been stopping us from tearing out Smodur's throat over the grenade, not the other way around.

    edited for proper spelling

    The Commander will end you.

  • Hannelore.8153Hannelore.8153 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 30, 2020

    I'll just make one comment here, about the Pact Commander Vs. Bangar or any of his lackeys like Ryland. If the Pact Commander is from the Vigil, than the Dominion has a very personal beef with you, as you're the one who derailed the Renegades and killed Ajax, Bangar's son, under Almora's orders to do so (this is part of why Bangar killed Almora, too, as they bicker about it in that episode).

    They just can't bring this up because not all players are Vigil. But the Pact Commander isn't some neutral third party, & they have alot more reason to trust Smodur (despite how he is acting) than anyone from Bangar's Dominion.

    Pragmatic is one thing, but I don't think people are understanding all the history here. Even if we were somehow to negotiate with Bangar's leiutenants, all of the variables on the table such as Aurene and the events from the Vigil story wouldn't just magically be off the table, Crecia (and to some extent Rytlock) are hoping for something that's just likely impossible.

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  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Progressive != Pragmatic

    Take note of the difference.

    On top of that, well, I'll just quote myself from elsewhere on this topic:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    Although Smodur is established as a progressive charr, the situation we're in now is vastly different than at launch. At launch, charr had enemies on all sides - Flame Legion, ghosts, branded, ogres, and humans - and this was the public reason why Malice and Smodur wanted peace with humans. Smodur has been taking credit for the peace accords, despite the fact that the actions which put everything into play (getting Vigil to retrieve the Claw of the Khan-Ur and give it to Jennah so she could offer it to Smodur to initiate peace talks) was Malice's and Almorra's actions and planning. Since peace with humans, the branded have been wiped out, progress was made against the ghosts, and the Flame Legion are now allied.

    On top of that, Smodur's only "rival" in petitioning for the position of Khan-Ur was always Bangar. Now that Bangar is labeled a traitor to the other two imperators post-Bound by Blood, Smodur basically sees the position of Khan-Ur as effectively gained. This is why he goes about ordering other legion soldiers left and right. Which naturally bothers the officers of other legions (as firmly established by Rytlock, who before was working with Smodur as a more-or-less equal due to being a Tribune in another legion).

    Another possibility for Smodur's apparent change in personality, is due to whom we're fighting - this is the first time we've seen Smodur's attitude towards "traitorous charr". We never once got to hear his take on Renegades prior to Season 5, and in Bound by Blood, he was pretty bloodthirsty towards the notion of getting to fight Renegades.

    Then there's also Ryland himself. Ryland is young, strong, and charismatic. He is quickly showing up to be a rising threat to Smodur's dominance as Khan-Ur. So naturally, Smodur wants to nip this in the bud. Hence his constant regard to dismissing Ryland and the Steel Warband, preferring to just kill them instead of negotiation.

    Finally, and most peculiarly, there's the possibility of external interference. Specifically speaking, Jormag. Throughout the episode, Smodur is repeating a key phrase in various wording: "We don't need traitors". He even says this moments before that critical moment in the final instance. If Jormag's been whispering in his mind that he doesn't need traitors, over and over again, well, that'll get to him.

    TL;DR

    • Change in scenario, leading to peaceful and progressiveness giving way to agressiveness to achieve his goals.
    • Bangar, his only rival, is effectively "out of the picture" and he considers himself Khan-Ur - initiate power tripping.
    • He might simply despise traitorous charr more than anything else.
    • Ryland is an up-and-coming rival that he doesn't want now that Bangar is out of the picture.
    • Jormag influencing.

    When I first saw it, I thought it was a bit out of character. But the more I thought about it, the more I realize that while it's a different side of him, it isn't contradictive.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • Ryland also helped murdering Almorra. I am sure that really goes down well with Vigil commanders and vigil charr - or charr in general.

    I am surprised and disturbed that Ryland-the-Almorra-murderer was not brought up. Lots of charr would see Ryland in a new and very negative light.

  • Urud.4925Urud.4925 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I forgot exactly in which episode, but I remember the commander suggesting Smodur as replacement for Bangar, since Smodur has been always (the few times we saw him) more diplomatic and rational. I guess Anet decided to get rid of Smodur as well, in favor of Crecia and (probably) Ryland as her young right-hand man/esquire (but as @VAHNeunzehnsechundsiebzig.3618 said, he killed Almorra, and he's just a puppet, so no sympathy for him).
    But the change of personality was quite out of the blue for me. I've been surprised as well.

  • Pifil.5193Pifil.5193 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 6, 2020

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    There is no diplomatic option here either.

    This is the truth. Smodur sees that and appears to be the only one to see that, Crecia and Rytlock are compromised as Ryland is their son. Who knows what Malice's plans are. Hell, the pact commander seems to have forgotten that there can be no negotiation with the elder dragons (despite the fact that the fight with Drakkar just happened).

    Bangar is feeding an army to Jormag, we all know that. The traitors who joined Bangar are, either actually or effectively, dragon minions now. Bangar's a threat to all charr everywhere. Maybe Smodur is too heavy handed but he's right that we can't negotiate our way out of this. Ryland certainly was not interested in talking.

    I suspect that this is how charr always fight, it's total war, after you've beaten your opponent thoroughly you let them try to negotiate for better terms, but you hold all the cards.

    As for the truce with the humans, well as the saying goes, diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you find a big enough stick. Smodur was happy to negotiate with the humans because that freed up the charr legions from a centuries long siege and lost them very little. Perhaps nothing in the long run: who knows how long the peace would have lasted after the other threats to the charr were removed.

    Once the threats of the ghosts, flame legion, ogres and Krakaltorik are removed then what? Where next for the charr?

    His plan, like Bangar's, is for a new charr Empire with Smodur as Khan-ur. I never believed that he was committed to peace as some kind of an end goal for the charr. Peace is just another weapon for him.

    In the end I suspect that Malice will be Khan-ur.

  • Revolution.5409Revolution.5409 Member ✭✭✭

    @Pifil.5193 said:
    As for the truce with the humans, well as the saying goes, diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you find a big enough stick. Smodur was happy to negotiate with the humans because that freed up the charr legions from a centuries long siege and lost them very little. Perhaps nothing in the long run: who knows how long the peace would have lasted after the other threats to the charr were removed.

    Once the threats of the ghosts, flame legion, ogres and Krakaltorik are removed then what? Where next for the charr?

    His plan, like Bangar's, is for a new charr Empire with Smodur as Khan-ur. I never believed that he was committed to peace as some kind of an end goal for the charr. Peace is just another weapon for him.

    Humans also benefited from the Ebonhawke treaty, and this reasoning could also be done from a human perspective, first solving internal problems and then attacking Iron Legion to recover Ascalon.

    All these threats have actually been resolved, only the ritual to rid Ascalon of ghosts has been partially successful.
    In history he is the only emperor Charr who actively participated in helping the commander against both Mordremoth and Kralkatorrik by sending troops and weapons.

    He never hid that he wanted to become Khan-ur.

  • Kylden Ar.3724Kylden Ar.3724 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Astralporing.1957 said:

    @zealex.9410 said:
    He acted in charafter for how charr whould act but differently for how we've view'd him in the past.

    I agree with randulf here tho, the enemy hes facing now is much smaller and more managable than kralky

    Hint: in the story we're being constantly informed about how Dominion is the stronger force than the unified legions here, and that the difference is getting bigger with every day.

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    He's doing what his warlike tendencies are driving him to do.

    That's the point - everything we heard about him so far told us that he was supposed to be the one that preferred the diplomatic and thought out solutions. And yet, instead, he now seems to think that "diplomacy" is just another word for "let's kill them all".

    Notice by the way, that with his behaviour toward other allied charr, from other legions, he's also very much ruining his chances of becoming Khan-Ur and truly unifying the charr. Something a diplomat of his caliber should not be unaware of.

    @videoboy.4162 said:
    They've hinted for quite some time that Smodur's end goal is to be Khan-Ur and he's been playing the long game to get there. Everything going on right now has thrown a huge wrench in his plans.

    Yeah. His behaviour being one of the biggest factors after the last story.

    @Diovid.9506 said:
    Is this on purpose? Are we meant to doubt whether Smodur is still sane? Or is he just badly written? He sure as kitten didn't seem 'pragmatic' to me.

    The answer to this question will decide whether this episode was one of the best or worst LS chapters so far.

    Personally, i really, really hope they do have an in-story, reasonable explanation on this 180 degrees flip of personality.

    Narrator: They in fact did not, they just are getting worse at writing themselves out of their contracting game lore and plot holes. But there is always money in the Banana... Er... Gem Stand.

    How many times we gotta tell you GRIND IS NOT CONTENT there ANet?

    Leader of Tyrian Adventure Corp [TACO], [RaW][TACO] Alliance, Kaineng.

  • Rauderi.8706Rauderi.8706 Member ✭✭✭✭

    At this point, I assume anyone acting "out of character" if I don't assume bad writing is influenced by Jormag.

    Many alts! Handle it!

    "A condescending answer might as well not be an answer at all."
    -Eloc Freidon.5692

  • casualkenny.9817casualkenny.9817 Member ✭✭✭

    The charr are a society of warriors, organised into legions and warbands. Loyalty is highly valued in most armies, and probably far more so among the charr. I don't know any charr lore, but I can imagine that an imperator of a martial legion would absolutely despise turncoats who betray his legion? (esp the fuzzball who lured his legion away) To him, traitors could rank far lower than slaves, and it is also a personal affront to him

    (Ash legion sounds like they might be more forgiving in this regard?)

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Hannelore.8153 said:
    On top of this, like it or not, Charr are a warbourne society and these people are traitors. Yes, Ryland and his Warband are hardcore traitors, and in many countries on Earth they'd be executed on sight. If anything Smodur is somewhat civil compared to what Ryland and his friends have done, and what Bangar is trying to do to the Charr society in general. Not unite it, but regress and destroy it entirely.

    This one I'm going to object to.

    Iron and Ash Legion members joining the Dominion are pretty clear-cut as being traitors, but as part of Blood, the Steel Warband are following the orders of the legitimate Blood Imperator. Said Imperator may have gone off the deep end and broken the alliance with the other legions, but the Steel Warband never had a change in allegiance - they've been following the same leader throughout.

    Strictly speaking, in fact, it's Crecia and Rytlock, especially Crecia, who's turned traitor by taking over what was left of the Blood Legion in Bangar's absence in what is essentially a coup. We give them a pass because they're doing so out of having a greater loyalty to the charr alliances (both between the legions, with other races, and with multiracial organisations), but nevertheless, those are the ones that have turned against their Imperator.

    Which is a distinction that the Smodur we'd seen before should have made. Execute the Iron Legion defectors? Sure, they did turn traitor, and nobody's going to trust someone who defects and then defects back to their original side without really strong evidence that they've changed their worldview. But for the Steel warband... we had good reason to think that at least a couple of them were privately uncomfortable with what Bangar is doing but so far they've just been going along with the chain of command - if they were to switch, it would be believable (as well as being a major propaganda victory).

    If Smodur felt that Cinder should not be released, there were a lot of things he could have done apart from arbitrarily murdering her mid-negotiation when he knew that would infuriate his allies.

    @Naxos.2503 said:
    I'm not questioning his pragmatism, but I seriously question his sudden callousness. There is a huge element of it during the second negociation with Ryland that just makes no sense. And one can visibly see it on his face as he does the deed : That to me, is out of character. Doing that during negociations -just- to anger the opposite party makes very little sense from a pragmatic standpoint, especially when the opposite party is about to concede. He did it to prolong the bloodshed, not end it. As if Killing more of his opponents will results in him getting more glory. He is a glory seeker yes, but Smodur is Way smarter than this. This, I expect of a Blood Legion imperator. Iron Legion rewards ingenuity.

    I think this is a story tool, in order to give more credence to Efram, and make him appear as the more humane Charr of all imperators, with the added twist that he isn't one, but with the expectation that he -should- be.

    To be fair, I didn't get the impression Ryland was about to concede. He was basically saying "Give up your leverage and maybe I'll think about what you're saying". Maybe he was genuine, maybe it was purely a ploy to get Cinder out of there. I can see Smodur deciding that letting her go without getting more in return than an "I'll consider it" wasn't a good trade.

    Killing her there and then wasn't a smart way to handle it, though, either for the short to medium term of winning the war, or his long-term ambitions.

  • Sheader.6827Sheader.6827 Member ✭✭✭

    They jumped his personality too much. I remember from Season 2 how calm and respectful he was towards the PC and Rytlock. This is not the same character. The situation does not demand him to turn into Bangar 2.0.

    If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly. That but this blow might be the be-all and the end-all—here.
    Macbeth Act 1, scene 7

  • Revolution.5409Revolution.5409 Member ✭✭✭

    @casualkenny.9817 said:
    The charr are a society of warriors, organised into legions and warbands. Loyalty is highly valued in most armies, and probably far more so among the charr. I don't know any charr lore, but I can imagine that an imperator of a martial legion would absolutely despise turncoats who betray his legion? (esp the fuzzball who lured his legion away) To him, traitors could rank far lower than slaves, and it is also a personal affront to him

    (Ash legion sounds like they might be more forgiving in this regard?)

    We know that this legion Charr is made up of spies and assassins, they may have a particular conception of what is considered "betrayal", I think this legion is on the side of the strongest or those with similar interests, it is more likely that Ash Legion has other purposes in this war and not Iron Legion.

  • Kylden Ar.3724Kylden Ar.3724 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 19, 2020

    @Sheader.6827 said:
    They jumped his personality too much. I remember from Season 2 how calm and respectful he was towards the PC and Rytlock. This is not the same character. The situation does not demand him to turn into Bangar 2.0.

    What it is is bad writing, plain and simple.

    I feel really, really bad for all the people that have been begging for Cantha for 6 years, cause when they get it next year, all they will get is disappointment. They have already contradicted the lore on it many times in GW2 itself. None of the writers from Factions are still at ANet.

    It will not be what is expected, at all, except looking Weeb, and it will disappoint harder than their attempt at Elona/Nightfall nostalgia did with Path of Fire.

    HoT was the last good story they had.

    How many times we gotta tell you GRIND IS NOT CONTENT there ANet?

    Leader of Tyrian Adventure Corp [TACO], [RaW][TACO] Alliance, Kaineng.

  • JTGuevara.9018JTGuevara.9018 Member ✭✭✭

    He still is! He hasn't changed. I don't even see the problem here. Smodur is doing what is practically done in any conflict, hold the line and punish betrayal and defections. However, he does have a more heavy hand in war than in peace. But still, it's no diffferent than what any mere run-of-the-mill Charr warband does on a daily basis. The thing is, the player and Crecia want diplomacy so they can bring back Ryland in one piece. However, diplomacy doesn't always work. Bangar's forces have made it clear that they will oppose the legions to the death.

    If people see a problem with Smodur, it's simply because the latest episode did a good job highlighting the differences between Crecia and co vs. Smodur, which in any case good job ANet! Basically, Smodur wasn't a problem until the story said he was a problem!

  • Kulvar.1239Kulvar.1239 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @voltaicbore.8012 said:

    @VAHNeunzehnsechundsiebzig.3618 said:
    After some thinking:

    Smodur is pragmatic.
    War does not work? Try diplomacy.
    Diplomacy does not work? Go to war.
    Bangar is creating a new charr god? Fight him to stay free.
    Traitors are strenghtening the opposition and might wipe you out? Kill them - to contain the threat and send a strong message to those who are thinking about treason.

    He stayed true to himself tbh and acts like I would expect from the imperator of Iron Legion.

    I 100% agree, and I think a lot of people who are interested in Tyrian lore feel the same way.

    I think most of us are actually not shocked or particularly surprised that Smodur is doing what he's doing. What we're not pleased with, however, is how the writing seems to want us to be shocked/surprised/betrayed. It's dumb.

    The main issue with Smodur is that he's written into tricking the player to do things.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 20, 2020

    @Sheader.6827 said:
    They jumped his personality too much. I remember from Season 2 how calm and respectful he was towards the PC and Rytlock. This is not the same character. The situation does not demand him to turn into Bangar 2.0.

    To be fair, in Season 3 he had Rytlock arrested for questioning, and then deemed Rytlock's experiences in the Mists 'classified' so there was no opportunity to make the link between a figure in the Mists that could reignite Sohothin and Balthazar until Balthazar had already caught us by surprise.

    But yeah, there does seem to be a shift in his characterisation.

  • Blocki.4931Blocki.4931 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Seems like a typical, war-minded Charr to me. There has never been tolerance for defectors or enemy spies, so why show mercy to them now?