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Isn't Smodur supposed to be the pragmatic one?


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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.

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The Charr situation has changed. The need to unite the Legions against Ghosts, Kralk, the humans and other threats has lessened or vanished as they were battles they seemed unable to win. Now it's a case of short, bloody civil war with the victor basically taking over the Charr. Bangar isn't going to fight nicely, so neither is he

If he's not being manipulated by Jormag (unlikely with Drakkar dead) he clearly senses his chance to take the mantle of Khan-Ur and is taking it. Charr warfare seems to be merciless and that's how he is playing it. This isn;t a long drawn out affair against the Humans whilst being harrassed by Kralkatorrik and the Ghosts. This is a single enemy and one he wants eliminated fast. He's doing what his warlike tendencies are driving him to do.

He was perhaps more merciless than I expected, but also not entirely out of character given the complete change in circumstances in the last few years

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Yea I agree :/ It felt a bit out of his character compared to what we've been used to from Smodur in the charr personal story, living world season 2 and the background lore you can find about him in-game... I guess I'd like an explanation of why his character changed so drastically

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@"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).

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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?

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@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 kralkyHint: 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.

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Has his personality changed? We've only ever met in briefly in game, as Charr in Personal Story and in LS2 as any character, and at a few other points, but we've never really got to interact with him much and he never seemed super nice.

His best presentation was probably at The Grove Summit.

Keep in mind that he's the leader of the Iron Legion, which is infamous for many things throughout Charr history but mainly freeing them from their false gods using their war machines, and thus they see something like what Bangar wants to do as extremely regressive, essentially putting them back in the same situation they spent hundreds of years escaping.

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.

The Dominion's fighting against the most unity the Charr have had since GW1, for basically no reason. Because they can.

Is Smodur a jerk? Yes, Rytlock used to be very similar, if you remember. He just mellowed out from being around us, but I suspect its closer to the norm for Charr society. I mean, just look at their use of harsh prisoner labor, seemingly to the point of death.

But most of the people Smodur's killed came at the Pact Commander, even, with hostile intentions. Think about that. After the Commander has saved the world countless times, including from the very dragon that had supressed the Charr race up until now (and corrupted tens of thousands of them), only to be as someone who is just a target because they're in the way of "the prize".

I'd say the only really questionable thing is the dead Ash operatives, which he probably didn't know about. But otherwise, Smodur hasn't killed any allies, while Bangar and Ryland have killed many of them, including Almora.

And I doubt Smodur's personality has changed much, he's still embracing the Flame Legion's return to the Legions & he accepted help from Humans including Seraph, and Logan Thackary of all people who is at a very high position in Human society.

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@"Hannelore.8153" said:Has his personality changed? We've only ever met in briefly in game, as Charr in Personal Story and in LS2 as any character, and at a few other points, but we've never really got to interact with him much and he never seemed super nice.But we've heard a lot about him. He is supposed to be an outlier in charr society - meaning, he's the one that uses diplomatic solutions and talking wherever he can. Instead of just killing his opponents, he prefers to make them into allies instead. Of them two, Bangar is supposed to be the undiplomatic warmonger.Now, compare that to what's happening in this story - it's Bangar that's winning the war on diplomacy and PR front, and it's Smodur that prefers to just smash his enemies, and shows clear aversion to even consider a diplomatic solution (going even so far to actively sabotage it).Something has changed. Whether it's something within a story, or a storywriter, at this point we can't really tell yet.

Keep in mind that he's the leader of the Iron Legion, which is infamous for many things throughout Charr history but mainly freeing them from their false gods using their war machines, and thus they see something like what Bangar wants to do as extremely regressive, essentially putting them back in the same situation they spent hundreds of years escaping.Then why he is now emulating the worst excesses of the Flame Shamans? The very ones that have seen them overthrown?

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.Technically they aren't. Remember, Smodur is not the Khan Ur, and Ryland and his warband are Blood Legion, following Blood Legion emperor - Bangar. It's Crecia that is the deserter. It's an internal split of the charr society, not some traitors going their way.

Notice by the way, that after the 3 legions freed themselves from Flame's yoke, and forced them away from Ascalon, while they kept warring with them, and executed individual traitors from time to time, the war with the Flames was still rather low key, and didn't stop the legions from trying constantly to reach some sort of agreement, trying to pull at least part of the Flames back to the fold. Even then, at least some plans were on healing the split. It's just specifically the Flame Shamans that had to die. Here, the legions are also supposed to be healing the split first and foremost, trying to stop Bangar from commiting his crazy plan with minimum losses to the charr society as a whole. Instead, Smodur doesn't even think about diplomacy, he just wants to kill all his enemies, which at this moment consist of at least half of the charr (according to some things we can hear during the story).

The Dominion's fighting against the most unity the Charr have had since GW1, for basically no reason. Because they can.So is Smodur. That's the problem. For him the "unity" means just killing off anyone that won;t bow to him. And all that for a charr that was known to be willing to be patient, and content to make longterm plans for longterm success, as well as known to his succesful diplomacy. Instead, he's now pulling out Mengsk on everyone, with his "I will rule this sector or see it burnt to ashes around me" approach. Except Mengsk has done it way better, as he actually waited with that reveal until after he has won.

@thepenmonster.3621 said: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.I'd say that it's the exact opposite. Bangar's secession removed the only other seriuous candidate for Khan-Ur from the picture (Malice was never truly interested, and for obvious reason, most charr would never allow anyone from the Flame Legion at this position). What is really screwing his candidacy however is his falling out with other legions.

@videoboy.4162 said: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.Jormag this time seems to be more cunning and devious that how Smodur is acting. If he really was corrupted, i'd say that Primordius is more likely candidate.

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@thepenmonster.3621 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.

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@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 kralkyHint: 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.

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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

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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?

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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.

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@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).

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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.

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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."

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@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“.

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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.

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@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

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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.

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