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I was trying to write a comparison between Season 2 of Legend of the Seeker and Seasons 4 and 5 of Supernatural but then I realized they have a major similarity I need to discuss before I can order my thoughts on how they’re different.


Spoilers for all over both shows and a few for Sword of Truth books too.

Beta read by [livejournal.com profile] booknerdguru and [livejournal.com profile] samvimes_ftw

Trigger Warning: Discussion of physical and mental violations of will


In many ways, LOTS and SPN are telling the same story. It’s a story about families of blood and choice. It’s a story about choosing free will over the plans of Gods. It’s a story about choice and what it means to choose and deal with the consequences. The problem I have with both shows is that they repeatedly undercut their theme by using scenarios that explicitly deny free will.


Since the story is about choice, it makes thematic sense for rape and hostage taking to be a major part of the story. After all, if a story about choice focused on the characters deciding what flavor of tea to have, it’d probably be either boring or humorous. Both shows have taken away characters’ choices in order to show how the characters deal with it and how it impacts their other choices. I’m not criticizing that. I will say though that neither show handles this perfectly all the time.


To start at the more human level, both shows depict all kinds of magic that can override the free will of another person. LOTS has the Mord’Sith, the Boxes of Orden, and the Confessors as the most obvious cases but there are subtler ones. The orb that can implant memories is used to fool people into thinking they are murderers, coercing them to act in ways that are contrary to who they are. When Zedd casts the Spell of Undoing, we’re never shown the mechanics. He creates an alternate world where Cara was never a Mord’Sith but we don’t know how. Did his spell change Mistress Nathair’s mind on Cara’s suitability? Was another girl chosen in her place? When Zedd repeats the spell again on Dahlia, it raises the same questions. Then there are the people in 2x06 who are unable to act in violence even for self defense because of a spell.


SPN has similar magical coercion. The sirens’ venom will make the target want to do anything for the siren. The wraiths’ venom will make the target hallucinate and doubt their own sanity. Demon deals are shown to override free will. Specifically, the man who made a demon deal for a woman to fall in love with him, the woman who was granted a promotion at work, and its implied there are others who’ve traded their souls for wealth and fame. How do you guarantee wealth or fame except by coercing people to buy their product or pay attention to them? The painter very clearly says that talent has nothing to do with it. The Leviathan put drugs in the food to make people more compliant. Two of Azazel’s special children can influence ordinary humans’ minds and make them do anything from have sex to commit suicide. The Horseman Famine operates by pushing people into feeding hungers they would otherwise suppress. Eve has a similar effect on the monster population. The angels of Heaven are able to be controlled like robots. Note, this is relevant to the discussion of seasons 4 and 5 because even before we met Naomi we saw instances of brainwashed angels. I’d say when Cas let Heaven take Anna, when Anna did her time travel trip, and Raphael’s followers in 6x03 were all examples of angels who had to a greater or lesser degree been programmed. I have some headcanon about how free Raphael might or might not have been during the Civil War but that’s for another time.


Those plots and subplots add to the conflict, what detracts from it is when the cosmic powers get involved. To lay out the series of events I’m going to start with the flashbacks from 2x17 of LOTS and the time travel in 4x03 of SPN. Both of these episodes focus on the generation before the main heroes. These are the events that shape the heroes’ childhoods and to a greater or lesser extent, their views as adults. Both of these episodes are about why the shows’ respective pairs of brothers exist at all.


In 5x14 of SPN, we learn that John and Mary were decreed by Heaven and were given no choice in this, a lesser angel marked their hearts and they were forever after a “perfect couple” as far as the angels were concerned. We didn’t know that as of 4x03 but it’s relevant because 4x03 is about Mary’s all consuming love for John. Even before things start to go badly, Mary is willing to give everything up for John. She’s willing to cut her ties to her extensive family, her family traditions, and life as she knows it over her father’s objections. This isn’t directly to do with John because as a Vietnam vet, if she wanted to keep being a hunter, he’d be a good partner. It has a lot to do with her choice. Azazel kills her parents and John, then offers her only John back. She has a choice to start a life without any of the people who matter most to her or to start a life with John in exchange for what she thinks is her soul.


In 2x17 of LOTS we see that Panis is sterile and in need of an heir. He goes to Zedd who fixes the problem magically and Darken is born. The show devotes time to showing how Zedd doubts the wisdom of healing Panis. Panis is shown sucking up to Richard so it’s hard to get a feel for his thoughts on the subject. Panis is very invested in looking like the victim. Where the cosmic interference crops up is that there is a prophecy about Darken’s future, one that indicates the infant is evil and needs to be destroyed. We’re never told the source of the prophecy so it could be one of the mutable prophecies Shota hands out sometimes or an immutable one from the Halls of Prophecy and could have been told by Shota or the Sisters of the Light. (Either would fit in with the episode’s pattern of trying not to mention women if it can possibly helped and minimizing the time spent on the necessary female characters. Except when Panis is bribing Zedd with women.) Either way, it has a similar effect to the cupid bonding John and Mary. Zedd’s father, Caracticus, decides the best way to prevent the prophecy’s completion is to use magic to kill Darken while he’s still a baby. Panis has Darken revived because both these shows think death is a suggestion. Some of the lines suggest Darken might have remembered things about being dead or in contact with the Keeper, influencing his behavior through his childhood. Darken’s death definitely spurred Panis to kill Zedd’s father and start the ongoing struggle between Zedd and the House of Rahl. The prophecy about Darken being evil, Panis’s second son defeating him, and the bad blood between the Rahls and the Zoranders all lead to place Darken in a similar position to Mary.


Between Heaven and Azazel, Mary was placed in a position where a demon deal would be its most tempting. Heaven bound her to John and Azazel dangled her life with John in front of her after destroying her old life. A prophecy of most likely divine origin started a chain of events that colored Darken’s childhood and the Keeper offered him a way to power over his own life and to stay out of the Underworld. Both of them could have decided not to take a deal but everything was set up to make that as unlikely as possible. They are isolated. They are people who weren’t raised to be a powerless (a wizard and a hunter, a prince and an heir to a family tradition of monster hunting going back centuries) and yet are in a position where they feel just how little power they have in the face of cosmic forces. I find it likely that if they had continued to resist, their respective universes would have continued to throw things at them until they gave in and grabbed what control they could.


We also discover in different episodes that these were not the only contributing factors to allowing that deal to snowball. In 5x13 of SPN, we see Dean and Sam warn John and Mary about Mary’s impending death. Michael erases their memories in order to make sure events play out as they “must.” In LotS we are told numerous times about the prophecies foretelling Richard and his feat of destroying Darken. Darken responds by trying to head the prophecy off through killing both Panis and Richard. He fails at foiling the prophecy because Zedd has a more complete version and death is for people who aren’t main characters. The prophecy in LotS and the archangel in SPN set things up for Sam to be raised on the road and Richard to be raised in Westland, giving them the backgrounds necessary for the Apocalypse to play out.


If Mary hadn’t taken the deal, Dean and Sam would never have been born. If Azazel hadn’t interfered, Sam would never have been given demon blood which means he wouldn’t have been an optimal vessel for Lucifer. If Mary hadn’t died that night in the nursery, Sam and Dean would have gone to school like regular children. They would have had their mom to provide emotional support. Dean wouldn’t have been left in charge of Sam for days at a time. Dean and Sam would not have bonded in the way that makes the show possible.


If the prophecy foretelling Darken’s fall to evil had not been released to the magic using public, Cracticus would not have killed Darken. Panis would not have killed Caracticus and Zedd and Thaddicus would not have sworn vengeance. Panis wouldn’t have tried to reforge a connection with Zedd by impregnating Zedd’s daughter. Twice. (I have many things to say about that. None of them positive.) If Taralynn weren’t the woman Panis tried to have his redeeming prophecy baby with, Zedd wouldn’t have been in a position to save Richard from Darken’s impression of Herod. If Richard hadn’t been spirited off to Westland, he would have been raised in a war zone. If Richard weren’t raised in hiding, he’d have knowledge that would have changed his behavior toward Kahlan and Darken.


In Supernatural, the bond between the brothers is what jump starts the Apocalypse. Any one of Azazel’s special children would be an optimal vessel for Lucifer but only Dean and Sam have the symbolic relationship that can stand in as a metaphor for Michael and Lucifer. But Sam doesn’t win the demonic sweepstakes competition, Jake does by killing Sam. The point of the competition was to push the winner into despair. They were isolated and surrounded by enemies, told by people who could enforce it that if they didn’t kill each other, the alternative was death. Once Sam was drawn into the contest, it was likely that he would die because he’s been raised by Dean and John to sacrifice himself for others. The chances of Sam choosing to kill not just people, but people who’ve been made “freaks” in exactly the same manner he was, is vanishingly small.


That’s part of where SPN fails to depict free will by not defining it. Theoretically, Sam could choose to kill Jake and become the leader of an army of demons. But would he? Azazel says that Sam is the favorite of the bunch but everything is arranged to favor Jake or Ava. Sam helped Ava and has spent the last five months worrying about her while she’s been practicing how to kill the other special children. It’s a combination of her becoming skilled at the challenge while he’s handicapped by caring about her, seeing her as someone in need of rescue. Jake, on the other hand, is a fellow warrior. Like Sam, he’s had his life turned upside down by a demon and has made a career of putting his life on the line for others. Sam has the physical capacity to kill either of these characters but mentally or emotionally, they need to strike first. Both Jake and Ava are sneaky enough that they know that if they get the drop on him, it needs to be a killing blow. Jake does get the drop and does land a killing blow. Which topples the next domino.


Azazel already made sure Dean had no other family to turn to. Sam wasn’t pulled off to the ghost town until after Dean knew a crossroads deal could bring someone back from the dead. Azazel had taken John from Dean in a deal. Dean was raised to see every bad thing that happens to the people around him as his fault in some way. This is shown over and over in 1x18 especially but other episodes too;1x12 where the faith healing made someone die in his place, when Jo was taken by the serial killer ghost, and every scene to do with John’s death. John and Sam’s death leave Dean perfectly positioned to not just accept that John should be alive in his place but also that John would have saved Sam. He sacrifices himself in a demon deal to “put things right.” And even this is something Azazel engineered. Azazel possessed John and Dean was unable to shoot his remaining parent. Azazel used his telekinetic powers to injure Dean badly enough to need a trip to the hospital and then another demon rammed them, slowing them down enough that Dean would have died without intervention. Azazel didn’t necessarily foresee John being able to momentarily get control back but if he hadn’t the choice would have been left to John to trade his life for Dean’s in the cabin instead of at the hospital. John made a choice but the choice didn’t change anything.


Meg does her part to maneuver the Winchesters too. From her entrance in 1x11 she messes with Sam’s head. The most important appearance though, is the one in 2x14. There she tests the bond between Sam and Dean. She possesses Sam and uses Sam’s body to threaten Jo, a woman Dean has been shown to feel strongly protective about. Dean doesn’t know his brother is possessed and he still chooses to protect Sam. When John traded his life for Dean’s and when Dean traded his life for Sam’s, both were intended to get a Righteous Man into Hell so he would be forced to spill blood and the Apocalypse could start. Dean could have decided not to do the deal. Dean could have decided not to torture. But it was never really an option. Dean wasn’t left in a position where going on without Sam sounded doable. It might be that it was physically possible for him to leave Sam dead, but angels and demons conspired to leave him with no other options.


In Legend of the Seeker, the manipulation is more subtle. The prophecies made Darken see Richard as a threat. Seeing Richard as a threat meant Darken tried to kill him. Darken’s attempts to kill Richard resulted in the deaths of Richard’s father and brother, spurring Richard to fight Darken. Darken’s shown to have been raised by a man whose relationship with emotion is more self serving than average. Darken’s been interfered with by infernal forces from a young age. And yet his attacks on Richard aren’t simply about power. All he wants from Richard is for Richard to no longer be a threat. In 1x20 he’s willing to give up any shot at the Power of Orden if it means killing Richard. From that I conclude that for Darken, killing Richard is about security. He shows considerable paranoia, not unjustified seeing as some of his elite troops have turned traitor (1x5 and 1x15). The Sword of Truth stokes Richard’s anger and he was prophesied to be the Seeker.


In 1x22, Darken is defeated by his own paranoia. If he hadn’t attempted to gain the Power of Orden, Richard wouldn’t have had access to it. If Darken weren’t so intent on killing Richard, at least three of Richard’s family members would still be alive and Richard would be less motivated to kill Darken. If Richard weren’t prophesied to be the Seeker, Darken wouldn’t have tried to kill him. The prophecies aren’t just saying what will happen, they’re causing people to act. Richard would not have been able to kill Darken if Darken hadn’t been trying to kill him. The specific manner of Darken’s death tears a hole in the Veil, opening the way for that world’s Apocalypse. It’s Darken’s deal with the Keeper, the magic of Orden, the magic of Confession, the magic of an Agiel, and the magic of the Sword of Truth are all required for Darken’s death to play out. If Zedd had never heard the prophecy about the Seeker being born in Brennidon, he wouldn’t have spirited Richard away and wouldn’t have Named Richard as Seeker.


It gets even more obvious toward the middle of Season 2. The Creator releases a prophecy saying that the fate of the world rests on Kahlan’s pure heart beating. The Creator has to know that the moment Annalinna learns about that, she’s going to try to take Kahlan’s safety into her own hands. Annalinna slows Kahlan and her party down long enough to insure that there won’t be two Seekers at once. If Kahlan had left the Temple of the Prophets when she set out, she may have reached Richard before Sister Nicci. They might have avoided the confrontation entirely. The prophecies regarding Leo becoming Seeker cause Shota to attempt to force Zedd to Name a new Seeker.


The Tear in the Veil, opens holes to the Underworld, allows the Keeper to raise the dead, and launches the Seeker on another epic quest. The magical plot compass guides the main characters more or less through their adventures, an object of divine purpose leading them from place to place. They could decide not to follow it but they won’t because it’s follow the shining blue light or let the world end. Their behavior is already determined by their goals and experiences. Richard especially is established as a character who will run on instinct and maybe think about things later. This makes him easy to manipulate. The most glaring example is when he knowingly handed over untold power to a Sister of the Dark. In 2x15, a possible avatar of the Creator questions him on his plan, pointing out the obvious flaws and Richard’s response relies more on attacking Maia’s credentials than defending his plan.


The LotS party of main characters has been positioned to follow Richard and support him in his plans. Zedd gave up everything about his old life to take Richard to Westland and watch over him while he grew. Even for a wizard who appears to be capable of living many time longer than human, he gave up a lot in the belief that Richard would be the Seeker and put things right; his mother, his daughter, his student, his brother, the prestige of being a Wizard of the First Order and all of these things mean something to him. He even gave up on the idea of having a relationship with Richard as his grandfather. At the beginning of the series, Richard only knows Zedd as “the crazy chicken man” and in 1x04 Zedd tells Kahlan that Richard must never know Zedd is his grandfather. For all he tells Kahlan “prophecy be damned” he allows prophecy to dictate a lot of his life. It’s hard to tell how much her time with the Sisters of Light informed Kahlan’s views on the Creator and prophecy. In 2x15, Maia says Kahlan prayed for Dennee every night during the time they were with their father, before she went to the Sisters of Light. Kahlan was raised in an Authoritarian household, first by her mother who had absolute control over the household through Confession, then by her father who ruled through violence and is explicitly stated to have abused Kahlan and Dennee (1x5, 2x14), then by the Sisters of Light who put special attention into raising children with unique magical powers (I don’t have room to go into this in more depth but I will say I find it interesting that the organization with the greatest access to statements of divine intent puts so much effort into guiding generations of uniquely talented children), and finally Kahlan is tutored by Serena whose style is implied to be much like Kahlan’s mother. Kahlan has been raised to look to others in her family unit for not just moral guidance but moral authority. She’s aware that her father’s behavior isn’t ok but I think that message gets confused by every other moral authority in her life telling her that it’s her duty to enslave people for being bad. To me, the plots of 1x10 and 1x11 combine to establish Richard as her new moral authority. She accepts his judgment of the things she’s been taught to do and fear more than she trusts her own. She explicitly rejects the authority of her father, Serena, and the Sisters of Light in favor of Richard. That doesn’t mean she never argues or disagrees but that when it comes down to taking a moral stand, she’ll side with the Seeker as automatically as Zedd if not more so. Cara’s version is even more brutal and I have a future meta planned for why I think Cara is obeying her new Lord Rahl and not much else has changed so I’m not going to dwell on it in this already extremely long meta.


Richard responds on instinct and the rest of the party arranges themselves to back him up. They could theoretically tell him no or separate from him but every time they try to, bad things happen. Kahlan gets her mind and body split in two. Cara gets captured by regular villagers and put on trial. Kahlan condemns an innocent man to execution. Zedd nearly destroys the world by taking the Sword into the Underworld. They are free to choose so long as they choose to stay on Richard’s side. Even defection due to magical torture is reversed through more magic.


4x17 of SPN serves as a good metaphor for the way the powers go about arranging things as a whole. Zachariah forces Dean to conclude that he would have always chosen to be a hunter but when you look at the way he gets to that conclusion, it becomes obvious how untrue that is. Zachariah makes Dean and Sam be strangers to each other but he gives Sam hints and memories of the hunting life while giving Dean none. Sam is given a frustrating, menial job that he could do in his sleep. Dean is given power and responsibility in a way that limits his freedom. Sam is implanted with memories that make him closer to the man who becomes the most obvious case of ghostly mind control. Everything is perfectly arranged so that they will be as bored and frustrated as Zachariah can make them. Then he dangles the haunting in front of them and makes certain Sam is suspicious. Sam is receiving dreams that leave him feeling like he should be hunting monsters with Dean. They both clearly feel a sense of accomplishment and victory when they salt and burn the ghost (in 5x12, Dean in his right mind calls this kind of hunt so routine as to be more boring than awesome.) Sam returns to his to his job and can’t cope with the frustration but Dean continues to cling to his mundane life. Instead of taking this as Dean’s answer, Zachariah pushes Dean more by painting a picture of a future with no free time. If Sam were in management, the challenges of that job would be better suited to him. If Dean were receiving the dreams, he’d be less likely to jump back into the hunting life. If Zachariah has to push so hard to get the answer he wants, it’s not the real answer.


In 6x20, Dean Winchester tells Castiel that “just because (he) can do what (he) want(s) doesn’t mean (he) can do whatever (he) want(s).” That statement is intended to be about the difference between freedom of will and freedom from consequence. It could be argued that the things keeping Richard’s companions with him are just consequences of their actions and it could be argued that Jake succeeding in killing Sam is just a consequence of the combined choices of the special children. I’m not saying some of what’s happening isn’t down to the choices of the mortals involved but some of it is manipulation from powers so much greater than human that choice isn’t a word I feel really applies. John and Mary were deliberately bound and their memories deliberately taken from them. Sam spent his whole life surrounded by and nudged by various demons from his third grade teacher to his prom date to his best friend at college. His girlfriend was murdered in front of him in exactly the same way as his mother. Dean was tortured in Hell until he couldn’t say no anymore. Darken never asked to be born and never asked people to prophesy him to be a monster. Richard never asked to be prophesied to be a savior. I understand that the nature of temptation is that it’s tempting but I think this manipulation passes beyond being tempting and way onto the other side of being coercive.

Date: 2013-03-26 11:12 am (UTC)
meridian_rose: pen on letter background  with text  saying 'writer' (castle: ryan thinking)
From: [personal profile] meridian_rose
"Panis is very invested in looking like the victim." Yes, he is!

You're right that we never hear about the source of the prophecy but actually I'd question "immutable". It's correct, but new prophecies can render previous ones invalid (at least as far as I understand the show canon).

"(Either would fit in with the episode’s pattern of trying not to mention women if it can possibly helped and minimizing the time spent on the necessary female characters. Except when Panis is bribing Zedd with women.)" This is true and I hate that it's true because Cara is one of my favourite characters in all my multi-fannishness, and I think LotS did a good job having two lead females, who talk to each other (Bechdel test!) and that one of them was bisexual. Also Verna, etc, kudos on her. Of course there's the whole "only bad people are gay/bisexual" vibe which I've mentioned before and won't get into here, but yes. The fact that Darken's mother and Zedd's wife (or mother of Taralynn at least) aren't mentioned is telling.

"Panis has Darken revived because both these shows think death is a suggestion." And as you mention, at least for major characters. Others get killed off easily; Richard goes to the Underworld but gets revived, Darken's got a season pass from the Keeper, but Michael Cypher has to die and stay dead as a show of final heroism/redemption. Of course all shows do this to some extent; SG1's Daniel Jackson ascended on multiple occasions, while Martouf had to die, I'd argue unnecessarily (he could have been disabled without being killed if they'd tried a bit harder).

"Both of them could have decided not to take a deal but everything was set up to make that as unlikely as possible." Yes, it's the whole thing about choice: do you really have one? Not if events and here the gods, have stacked the deck so firmly against you.

"Panis wouldn’t have tried to reforge a connection with Zedd by impregnating Zedd’s daughter. Twice. (I have many things to say about that. None of them positive.)" And I would read that meta and agree with wholeheartedly I suspect.

"If Richard weren’t raised in hiding, he’d have knowledge that would have changed his behavior toward Kahlan and Darken." Something fanfic has tried to explore because it really does change everything.

"Dean was raised to see every bad thing that happens to the people around him as his fault in some way." Which is obviously going to influence him!

You make a good point about the self fulling nature of the prophecy against Darken, whose actions spur Richard to turn against him. (Anakin had a similar issue of course. Prophecy is dangerous like that)

"All he wants from Richard is for Richard to no longer be a threat. In 1x20 he’s willing to give up any shot at the Power of Orden if it means killing Richard. From that I conclude that for Darken, killing Richard is about security." Certainly how I read him. We're constantly told he's a tyrant. Yes, the method of gaining Mord'Sith is cruel (though arguably not that different from seizing Jedi children from their parents at a young age to be isolated and trained to never show "negative" emoting). However we don't see signs of D'Haran rebellion, or whole villages under Darken's protection starving. He acts against the Midlands because it's home to the Confessors and others who support the Seeker. He doesn't even seem to want the Midlands – he doesn't take over Milena's kingdom in "Puppeteer", preferring diplomacy rather than bloodshed – just to rule over them. He just wants to rule D'Hara, his way, as peaceably as possible.

"In 1x22, Darken is defeated by his own paranoia." Which is why he was to be revived really, because the prophecy is that only Richard could kill Darken, and Darken's attempt to split the Boxes of Orden caused his death.

Date: 2013-03-26 11:12 am (UTC)
meridian_rose: pen on letter background  with text  saying 'writer' (children)
From: [personal profile] meridian_rose
"The prophecies aren’t just saying what will happen, they’re causing people to act." Exactly!

"The magical plot compass" LOL

"Richard’s response relies more on attacking Maia’s credentials than defending his plan." Yes. Admittedly this seems to be an acceptable legal strategy, to find loopholes and discredit your accuser rather than prove your innocence.

"For all he tells Kahlan “prophecy be damned” he allows prophecy to dictate a lot of his life." It's an odd thing for Zedd to say, given his insistence that Richard kill Darken Because Prophecy.


"when it comes down to taking a moral stand, she’ll side with the Seeker as automatically as Zedd if not more so. Cara’s version is even more brutal and I have a future meta planned for why I think Cara is obeying her new Lord Rahl" Again, a valid point, and another meta I'd read.

"They are free to choose so long as they choose to stay on Richard’s side." I'd never thought of it before, but I can see the point.

"Zachariah forces Dean to conclude that he would have always chosen to be a hunter but when you look at the way he gets to that conclusion, it becomes obvious how untrue that is." Again, if he has no real choice, then he could make no actual choice.

"In 6x20, Dean Winchester tells Castiel that “just because (he) can do what (he) want(s) doesn’t mean (he) can do whatever (he) want(s).” That statement is intended to be about the difference between freedom of will and freedom from consequence." I'm slightly confused by this. Is it that just because you can do what you want, doesn't mean you *should*, unless I'm mistaken.

"I understand that the nature of temptation is that it’s tempting but I think this manipulation passes beyond being tempting and way onto the other side of being coercive." I'd agree! Great meta :)

Date: 2013-03-26 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vorquellyn.livejournal.com
Is it that just because you can do what you want, doesn't mean you *should*, unless I'm mistaken.

I think we mean the same thing. I think the difference between something you can and should do and something you can do but should not, is consequences In that scene Dean and Cas are having an argument about a deal Cas made with a demon. I'm not defending Cas's choices in that episode because he makes some really awful ones. That particular deal though goes very badly for reasons I think Cas was prevented from knowing. After the Apocalypse is averted in 5x22, Raphael the Archangel tries to give it a reboot. Cas is left with a choice between submitting to having everything he's worked toward for the last two seasons undone, being killed, or taking a deal a demon offers him. Due to a bunch of OOCness (I don't like the writing in the first 16 eps of S6) by the time Dean is informed of the deal, things are in motion and have progressed to the point where Cas falls into a sunk cost fallacy. Dean is arguing that Cas should just drop the deal and walk away. Cas is arguing that this was the only way he could see to stop Raphael and it's too late to back down now that Heaven's Civil War has been raging for close to two years. Neither is hearing what the other is saying, just rejection. The reason why the plan was a bad idea was that it unleashed a group of ancient, powerful monsters on the world. Even the demon involved didn't see that coming. So far as we know.

Thank you. I had a lot of fun writing this. :D

Date: 2013-03-28 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vorquellyn.livejournal.com
I realized the consequences thing may have come across more sociopathically than I meant. I think some actions are morally neutral because they have few consequences or the only consequences are for the person acting. Barring extenuating circumstances, choosing which shirt to wear in the morning is generally a morally neutral action because excepting extenuating circumstances, the only consequences are mine to bear. Negative consequences on other people are usually a good indicator of an evil action. Though I think that intent, action, and result all matter to some extent.

Date: 2013-03-26 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vorquellyn.livejournal.com
I'm going with immutable because Shota, who has experience with twisting prophecy doesn't see a way to make the prophecies from the Hall not true. This thing was so long I wasn't sure I wanted to get into the difference between the visions in 1x07 and the way the ones from the Palace are treated. Though I'd say that the ones in 1x07 seem to come from Shota's Gift and the others come from the Creator. The distinction is left really vague, only differing in the way Shota reacts. I think they've done a good enough job of setting up Shota as an authority on prophecy that I'll take her reactions as reliable. And Richard owes her a huge apology.

I love Cara. I really, really love Cara. I would watch a spin off about Cara. I love that they made her explicitly bisexual and while I don't think Goodkind intended it at all, she scanned that way to me in the books too. That said, I have a problem that her relations with women are framed as part of her dark backstory and her non torturous relations with men are something that come after Richard has "saved" her. Had the show continued for another season and Cara did not have obvious romantic feelings for a woman who wasn't a Mord'Sith I would have been very unhappy. That meta about Cara and her idea of Lord Rahl will involve this too.

Not if events and here the gods, have stacked the deck so firmly against you.

Not only that but I have a hard time blaming people who were raised with abuse for trying to get enough power to stop the abuse. We're never shown Panis being outwardly abusive but I find it hard to see him otherwise. The fact that he uses his treatment of Taralynn as an attempt to gain sympathy from her son, suggests to me that at best he is so callous that he doesn't understand how skeevy his treatment of her was. I can't imagine he treated a child he decided he didn't want any better.

I'm completely agreed on Darken's style of rule. I'd also suggest that 2x17 says pretty clearly that the war with the Midlands was ongoing when Darken took the throne.

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