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[quote:e3743b092e="nomad-human"]Thank you lovey! Sometimes I think the sympathy for Reyak v. Khavi makes me think of the lack of sympathy for Two-Edge. He isn't pretty...so screw 'im. Sometimes I get that same feeling about the similar lack of sympathy for Khavi.

I guess sometimes I wish that I could scream from the rafters "Who cares if he's pretty and tortured!?!?! Who cares if she's beautiful and haunted!?!?! Doesn't anyone care about their actions?!?! [/quote:e3743b092e]

Well, I think you've probably gotten familiar enough with the way I think that you'll be willing to admit I'm [i:e3743b092e]not [/i:e3743b092e]one of those squealing fan-girls who loves a character just because he's "pretty and tortured." What I was trying to do in this discussion, Nomad and Lunakat, is not to rehash the same old ground, but to look at it from an entirely different angle: not what the characters [i:e3743b092e]did[/i:e3743b092e], but what they would be [i:e3743b092e]capable [/i:e3743b092e]of.

[quote:e3743b092e="lunakat"]Absolutely. But her motivations for each action were very understandable. She wanted to steal the palace back in order to raise the Go Back's spirits. She didn't do it for greed or self-aggrandizement. It was for her people. [/quote:e3743b092e]

Rayek would argue that his motivations were not less noble than Kahvi's. Her goal was to raise up her people; his goal was to raise up the entire elfin race. Granted, he had some very wrong thinking about certain kinds of elves that led him into terrible misdeeds. But no, I don't think it is motive, in and of itself, that sets the two of them apart, Kahvi as "good guy" and Rayek as "bad guy." I agree that their actions set them apart that way-- Rayek has indeed done much huger misdeeds than Kahvi ever dreamed of. But I think that's largely because nothing Rayek does is ever going to be small. When he does good, he's going to do something enormously heroic. When he does wrong, he's going to do something enormously wrong.

[quote:e3743b092e="lunakat"]So, um... if Rayek had not shown remorse-- he would have been utterly evil. Only his guilt redeemed him in any way. Kahvi never ever went that far-- and really never did anything so terrible that she would need to show that level of remorse. [/quote:e3743b092e]

Well, but for me the rub is that Kahvi has never shown [i:e3743b092e]any [/i:e3743b092e]level of remorse for [i:e3743b092e]anything[/i:e3743b092e] she's done. And it's Rayek's remorse that redeems him.

As for not having sympathy for her because she has no softer side-- well, you're right. :) Sympathy being a soft emotion, it's hard to find sympathy for someone who appears to need and want none. But that doesn't mean I condemn Kahvi, or that I excuse Rayek. I'm trying to look at both of them as they are-- and what I'm trying to compare is not their outward actions, but their hearts. It certainly has nothing to do, for me, with what either of them [i:e3743b092e]looks[/i:e3743b092e] like.

My question is, would you say that Kahvi is at heart a more moral being than Rayek? She has never been tested as he was tested, has never had the opportunity or the means to do anything as bad as Rayek has done. So is the fact that she has never done anything that bad due to her moral character, or simply to the luck of the draw? Or to something else-- say, just more down-to-earth common sense than Rayek has ever had?

There is one thing that makes me say-- yes, Kahvi has more moral character than Rayek did (until he learned his lesson, that is). When the War for the Little Palace started, and Kahvi was released from wrapstuff, she was appalled that the other Go-Backs, led by Zey, were willing to kill other elves to get their goal of the Little Palace. She wanted her tribe raised up, but to her, killing the Sun Folk was too high a price. So I would say that yes, after her fashion she made different choices than Rayek-- in her own sphere.

But Kahvi is still in many ways a ruthless character for whom the ends justify the means. She wouldn't do what Rayek did-- she wouldn't try to wipe out other elves by changing the past-- but that's also partly because she is too down-to-earth to ever delude herself the way Rayek did, in the chasing of his dream. But I think they both do still have a certain bent towards "my goals accomplished, no matter who gets hurt." Kahvi is lesser in degree than Rayek, but she is no saint.

However, another consideration on Kahvi's behalf is that she deserves more leniency [i:e3743b092e]because[/i:e3743b092e] she has neither Rayek's sensitivity nor his imagination. Would she be less ruthless if she could imagine better how another elf or elves might be feeling? In a way, Rayek's imagination and sensitivity make him [i:e3743b092e]more [/i:e3743b092e]culpable, because he had the capability of placing himself in Cutter's place-- in other words, he should have known better.

So in summary, I don't want to go into the old face-off of "you just don't understand Rayek," on the one hand and "you only like Rayek because he's pretty and tortured" on the other. I think the issues can be looked at more deeply, and less passionately than that.

However, I don't have the Holocaust as part of my personal family history. So I completely understand that Nomad is not able to disengage her emotions from this in the same way I can. (hugs Nomad)

Anyway, I hope we can continue the discussion-- but I don't want to fight over this again, either. So if you want to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about, and end it there-- I'll end it there. :)