RyuDragnier.9476 Posted September 30, 2019 Share Posted September 30, 2019 @Loesh.4697 said:Joking aside, to add a bit more meat to this conversation, there is a running theme under this episode that i'd actually love to hear the developers thoughts on, because I feel like it's going to color the rest of the Icebrood Saga. In terms of Rytlock, of Crecia, and now we know even Bangar.Historical wrongs or rights aside, you can tell a lot about the health of a society based on the children that are present within it. One of the most striking things to me about humans and Charr even back as far as the core game were the differences that their parenting techniques created in the children under their care. One of the reasons why I am on the humans side in a lot of it is is because of how they treat their children and the sort of people that it tends to produce. Humans clearly have a much different perception of race relations even on at an early age, the kids in Divinity's Reach roleplay as old Ascalonian heroes but when you talk to them they are readily accepting of the fact there is a difference between the 'Bad Charr' of ages past and the good Charr now, that the worlds changed a lot and that the Charr were not a monolithically evil people In the Fields of Ruin this is different of course, a lot of people there had been fighting with Charr who had tried to kill them since early childhood, but even then there are kids like Olia in Forlorn Hope who wonder why they must fight with the Ogres. To them they see this fighting and don't always just default to killing their enemies, but try to understand the circumstances that make sharing the land impossible.Say what you will about human spirituality, but it's considerably different from the typical comparison people seem to make between Christianity and it. There is, after all, a world of difference between a Cross and an Ankh. Part of the reason I really like playing my human Guardian is it's like playing a Paladin that was into Greek Stoicism and Wicca. They are more like primordial elements of the universe that, while capable of immense cruelty as per the parables, are also capable of extreme kindness in their scriptures. Indeed the primary values of human faith are compassion, empathy, and protection. Even Balthazar, the most ruthless of the gods, had a philosophy that revolved around fighting to protect another rather then fighting for the sake of fighting.I'm not saying that religion produces objectively better children, after all one of the mist striking things you can find in Divinity's Reach is a human child who is being pressured into liking Grenth and learning about necromancy with his father dismissing it as just a phase. However what I AM saying is that spirituality can have a strong influence on what values a culture holds close to it's heart. Humans are in Guild Wars, a defensive people, and when I think of the kind of values their best teach I think of Gandalf speaking to Frodo in Moria. 'Many that live deserve death, and some that die can deserve life. Can you give it to them Frodo? do not be so eager to deal out death and judgement.' The gods themselves may fluctuate between good, evil, and somewhere inbetween, but the actual values they taught their people were good.However the children of the Charr are much the opposite.Cubs in the Black Citadel would scoff at that kind of commentary, for violence and destruction are not only taught to be good things, but their wish fulfillment fantasies of enacting violence on their enemies are taught as a good thing. Exceptions may exist but by and large their children are fed on a steady diet of altered sanctioned history and a belief that only through violence can they gain respect from the people around them. In truth all it creates is fear, the same fear that Bangar Ruinbringer feels keeps them safe, fear that Shaman Ninukab points out has turned their homeland into a hellscape, fear that a cub expresses towards a Vigil soldier trying to calm them about Aurene, it's a fear of the other and it's encouraged. Children go out to the Stormcaller monument fed on such stories and wonder to their Primus why they don't kill all the humans already. Such fear is indeed, likely what drove Ajax Anvilburn to madness, he was as one of the Iron Legion soldiers say, a coward.That's a very specific word to use to describe someone, and when I saw it I thought of all the times fear had come up in the last episode, and also how Jormag offers Bangar a way to escape his fear.That is the trap of Charr society. Humans have built a culture of vulnerability where people are encouraged to be compassionate to one another, even beyond the boundaries of race. It is why when the Skritt came to the surface of Tyria the Sylvari and humans were open to negotiating with them, where the Charr were all too happy to aid in the Asura's extermination campaign. The Charr by contrast built a society of strength, a Darwinian nightmare where only the 'strongest' live and the weak are discarded like refuse. The weak, the infirm, and elderly are consigned to huddling in farmsteads with their cattle while the youth taunt them about how they were basically sent out there to die.Real Charr are badasses, real Charr are defined by their ability to fight and kill with a completely blank emotionless expression, real Charr are also apparently defined by their deep seated insecurities of both themselves and the others around them.That I think is why I rush to humanity's defense, and why it's hard for me to believe, even in the early start of the war, that humanity was entirely at fault for what happened in Ascalon. Cultures of 'Strength' are about anything but, they are not about being strong, they are about a fear of other people, of change, of anyone controlling your destiny but you that isn't a healthy way to live. To gorge oneself of meaningless violence past the point of whats sane for no other reason then to prove your dominance and communicate it to others. Meanwhile a culture of the 'vulnerable' truly knows what it is to be strong, to confront their fears and tell others about them, to find strength in each other and hope for a better tomorrow even when the world seems nihilistic and cruel. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a key part to adulthood, if you never progress past that point you'll never grow up even fifty years later, you'll still be the same child terrified of the dark.Say what you will about human religion, say what you will about religion in general, but the spirituality and compassion taught there certainly allowed humans to raise better kids in my eyes. That was my take away from Bound by Blood. Reading this, it makes it seem like Charr society is a jab at toxic masculinity and the older American mindsets. You aren't allowed to show emotion, you aren't allowed to cry, real men don't cry. Empathy and kindness are for weaklings. Born weak, are constantly sick, or old? Too bad, if you can't take care of yourself you're better off dead. We're better than you because of how we look. Etc etc. Basically outdated notions that cause harm in the long run. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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