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Paladins... or any other of those really "Holy" warrior types...
Lonnehart at 3:09PM, Nov. 12, 2008
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I'm kinda bored, so let's talk about them a bit.

I've been thinking about how easy it is to “corrupt” these hero types. I bet some of you are thinking that “Paladins? Easily corrupted? Impossible!”. I've been seeing them in stories in both literature and video games where they fall from grace. From Sir Mordred in the Arthurian legends to Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande from Neverwinter Nights and Arthas from the Warcraft universe and even Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars, these dedicated protectors of all that is good somehow become very powerful symbols of evil and destruction. How do you suppose these heroes are so easily corrupted? And what's the difference between these heroes and other heroes who have proven to be incorruptible?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
Mushroomcomix at 3:47PM, Nov. 12, 2008
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The other uncorruptable heroes didn't get offered enough money, power, treasure, women (or men), to get corrupted…in real life you could look at the Knights Templar they were there to safely escort people and their money/goods to the “Holy Land”, then they get enough power and next thing you know they are the most corrupt bank in Europe and Asia Minor.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
Inkmonkey at 1:46PM, Nov. 13, 2008
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Essentially, because uncorruptable heroes are boring, so they're relegated to secondary character status.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:00PM
kyupol at 2:08PM, Nov. 13, 2008
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For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
(1 Timothy 6:10 )

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
Hawk at 3:14PM, Nov. 13, 2008
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You can't start a thread about corrupted paladins without Lord Arthas of the Warcraft series being mentioned. I hate him so much.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Biz3 at 4:19PM, Nov. 13, 2008
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Christ made me do it.


More seriously, though. In most fictions and such with one or two of these ‘heroes’, they often seem to be blinded by some form of zealous belief and led to do a lot of stuff, only to realize what they've done when it's too late.

Arthas from Warcraft, for instance; after bashing a lot of undeads in his homeland and seeing an entire city falling to a plague, he heads off on a crusade to the ‘undead lands’ and turns to all means necessary in order to complete his goal. And in the end, when all comes to all, he's become the very same thing he fought so hard to stop.

And that's how it usually goes. They always seem so naive, willing to go to all extents for what they believe in, even if it eventually leads to the next great apocalypse or something.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
harkovast at 5:48PM, Nov. 13, 2008
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Everyone has a price at the end of the day.
Also a hero who fails makes for an interesting change of pace!

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:42PM
bravo1102 at 6:58PM, Nov. 13, 2008
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Considering that the first “paladins” were the knights of Charlemagne in his cycle of romances… (France had to compete with the English King Arthur, in fact in one story they meet and take on Attila the Hun, in another Attila is a vassal of Arthur. One of the great enemies of Charlemagne and his paladins is none other than: Morgan le Fay borrowed from the Arthur stories)

The classic “paladin” was Roland. He was so pure he died, because he was stubborn. Hubris. That's from Greek story telling and any Medieval bard worth his salt knew his Greco/Roman myths and mined them for material. Then there was Chretien de Troyes who invented the character of Lancelot. (the Knight of the Cart) The perfect paladin who betrays all he believes in for love. That's where we get the term “romance” from the romances of Arthur and Charlemagne and Alexander etc.

Everyone else just stole or got inspiration.

Heck those video game paladins all started with that rulebook for pencil and paper role-playing in 1977 by Gary Gygax and the character class of Paladin.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
usedbooks at 7:26PM, Nov. 13, 2008
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Dynamic characters make for a fun story. A hero that has fallen always has you thinking about the possibility that he might become good again. You feel bad for him but also know he must be stopped. It causes conflicts with the other characters when faced with having to destroy someone who might have been a former friend/mentor/father or might try to “rescue him,” hoping there's something remaining of his old self. And sometimes we see that. We loathe Vader, for example, throughout the trilogy (you know, the good trilogy ;) ) but we mourn for him in the end. That's powerful stuff.

I also love an evil character that becomes good,. For some reason, I find those characters far more moving and endearing than any good guy who is always good or villain who is always evil. The fun part is when they switch sides a few times and/or appear to switch sides. (Fujiko from Lupin III is great at keeping viewers guessing.)

In short, good vs. evil is boring when it is just an external battle. The internal battles must rage on as well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:37PM
Red Slayer at 8:53PM, Nov. 13, 2008
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Biz3
Christ made me do it.


More seriously, though. In most fictions and such with one or two of these ‘heroes’, they often seem to be blinded by some form of zealous belief and led to do a lot of stuff, only to realize what they've done when it's too late.

Arthas from Warcraft, for instance; after bashing a lot of undeads in his homeland and seeing an entire city falling to a plague, he heads off on a crusade to the ‘undead lands’ and turns to all means necessary in order to complete his goal. And in the end, when all comes to all, he's become the very same thing he fought so hard to stop.

And that's how it usually goes. They always seem so naive, willing to go to all extents for what they believe in, even if it eventually leads to the next great apocalypse or something.
He who fights monsters…
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:03PM
Willicus at 12:19AM, Nov. 14, 2008
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In DnD, you have Anti-paladins.
They are paladins who serve evil gods instead of good ones, and spread their dogma through war. Anyone who refuses to convert is slain.
But pallies suck anyways so wutefuh. :]
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:50PM
ozoneocean at 2:43AM, Nov. 14, 2008
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bravo1102
That's where we get the term “romance” from the romances of Arthur and Charlemagne and Alexander etc.
Hmmm. Yes, in terms of popularising it… It comes from “Rome”- to write in the language of Rome: Latin composition. :)

Nice explanation there and good history. Although I think Gygax owed more to a nerdy knock-off of Tolkien and so his Germanic influences than the romances, but you're right though because the romances are the origins of DnD's Paladin stuff, even if the majority came from elsewhere.

Yes, rather than an inevitable failing inherent in the idea of a Paladin, It's more like a popular story theme that involves paladin characters.
_________________________________________
Mushroomcomix
in real life you could look at the Knights Templar they were there to safely escort people and their money/goods to the “Holy Land”, then they get enough power and next thing you know they are the most corrupt bank in Europe and Asia Minor.
Templar were never paladins. They weren't evil or corrupt either- the were very typical of the peoples at the time really. “corrupt” for the Templar really meant “not in favour with the church” :)
Most of its enemies suffered similar sleights. Like those poor old Byzantine Orthodox eastern Christians.

Starting as fighting monks, what they became were a wealthy, international mercenary group. In reality they were a strong landless political force, and that meant they were a danger to established political movements like the Catholic church and the Western European kings. So that was why they were destroyed and why we have stupid stories about them now.
Unlike the idea of the failings of “paladins”, the reason for their fall is very much the same as what's happening to Falun Gong in China right now. - Being perceived as a competing and insidious political movement by the established political power, so force and propaganda is used to dissolve then and drive away followers.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
harkovast at 3:47AM, Nov. 14, 2008
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I want to be an anti paladin!

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:42PM
Vakanai at 9:32AM, Nov. 14, 2008
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The main difference is, evil tries harder to corrupt those types compared to others.
Why?
Cause they still got that sweet, sweet paladin taste in hell.
Paladin: the other other white meat.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
lefarce at 9:00PM, Nov. 14, 2008
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I've never found characters who've fallen from grace to be very interesting, or characters who have a strict line between good and evil. It's too easy to be cliche.

Thats why I find myself attracted to comics and characters who do not have a defined path. They just do what they simply think is right. This (to me) makes characters feel more real, more motivated and inspiring that the ho-hum antics of the good vs. bad.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:33PM
bravo1102 at 9:14AM, Nov. 15, 2008
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Someone
Hmmm. Yes, in terms of popularising it… It comes from “Rome”- to write in the language of Rome: Latin composition.

One problem with that; most Medieval Romance was written in the venacular. It was among the first venacular literature. Except when written by monks, but most of Arthurian romance was not written by monks, in fact they hated it. Adulterers as the main characters?

The original romances were written in latin during the Roman days, but they were more like modern romance novels than pure Roman “in the style of Rome” so the definition may have been coined that way, but it always meant tales of love and adventure. It's remarkable how closely modern romance novels follow the formula of ancient Roman novels…

Paladins were an ideal, never a reality. They existed in literature; fiction and were for entertainment not role-models. Thinking differently is to miss the point of the literature they originated in. Achilles as a Paladin? In later romances yes, but not in Homer. Just like the Victorians cleaned up Mallory's Morte D'Artur. What I read in school as the legends of Arthur is not what is in the original tales or what was intended for the original audiences. Chretien de Troyes wrote for Eleanor of Acquitaine and her daughter and courtly love was a game. And in reality led to sex, no paladins in sight.

On the battlefield Mallory had blood, gore and guts. No paladins in sight. The original stories fo the knights of the round table, kill or be killed. No paladins in sight, except one because he was super special. Percival/Parzifal/Peredur or as he's been transmorgrified for us: Galahad. they changed the story to make him the son of Lancelot's twue wuv who kills herself blah, blah as opposed to a woman who shuns the world and riases her son in total ignorance because her knight left her in a lurch and pregnant and went off and got himself killed. Then there's the fisher King who is a fallen paladin and waits for the pure paladin to ask the question blah, blah. It's also a very tiresome Wagnerian opera.

Know how this stuff came about and it loses all it's luster. Everyone else just stole the original material.

Oh and Gary Gygax also stole from Hollywood King Arthur, Robert E. Howard, Fafrid and Grey Mouser, Elric and a lot more was stirred into the pot than Tolkien and some Germanic legends. Present at Creation :) Chainmail fantasy supplement 1976. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Naughtelos at 7:25PM, Nov. 18, 2008
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“And Uther said, thou shalt take the light, and swing it, and use it to bitchslap they foes, in the light's mercy.” -Kennie Thornhammer, Vile Withering

Unless your God talks directly to you (And even then, I urge you to disregard whatever advice you are given), it's easy to misinterpret what, exactly is the “right” thing to do, which leads to corruption, and over a period of time, infidel purging.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM
bravo1102 at 1:06PM, Nov. 19, 2008
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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

From the book of Armaments: “Then thou sall lobbest thy Holy Hand Grendade, and thine enemies being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.”

When in doubt go with Monty Python. When in college I saw Holy Grail for the upteenth time in my Arthurian Romance Class. The level of satire is so subtle that at times it takes intimate knowledge of the tales of Arthur to get the true genius of the movie. Lots of holy S***! moments.

But then at the final exam I had an epiphany about John Boorman's Excaliburwhich is the best adaptation of Arthur ever committed to film and that has an astounding insight of Arthurian Romance. :) (and by extention the original depictions of our Paladins)

Cue O Fortuna:

O Fortuna /O Fortune,
velut luna /like the moon
statu variabilis, /you are changeable,
semper crescis /ever waxing
aut decrescis; /and waning;
vita detestabilis /hateful life
nunc obdurat /first oppresses
et tunc curat /and then soothes
ludo mentis aciem, /as fancy takes it;
egestatem, /poverty
potestatem /and power
dissolvit ut glaciem. /it melts them like ice.

Sors immanis /Fate - monstrous
et inanis, /and empty,
rota tu volubilis, /you whirling wheel,
status malus, /you are malevolent,
vana salus /well-being is vain
semper dissolubilis, /and always fades to nothing,
obumbrata /shadowed
et velata /and veiled
michi quoque niteris; /you plague me too;
nunc per ludum /now through the game
dorsum nudum /I bring my bare back
fero tui sceleris. /to your villainy.

Sors salutis /Fate is against me
et virtutis /in health
michi nunc contraria, /and virtue,
est affectus /driven on
et defectus /and weighted down,
semper in angaria. /always enslaved.
Hac in hora /So at this hour
sine mora /without delay
corde pulsum tangite; /pluck the vibrating strings;
quod per sortem /since Fate
sternit fortem, /strikes down the string man,
mecum omnes plangite! /everyone weep with me!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Metruis at 7:32AM, Nov. 22, 2008
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You mention Anakin, but now I must step in, in defense of Star Wars here–Anakin was NEVER a Paladin type! He was a Jedi. But unlike most Jedi, he grew up in a chaotic neutral society, where there were no laws, without the paladin nature most Jedi were trained to have.

Obi-Wan was a Paladin. He protected good. He was lawful good.

Anakin was a chaotic character–not lawful good. He'd taken the holy warrior class, but it was never in him. He was greedy, desperate, passionate, loving, intense, selfless and selfish at the same time. Paladin is more than a class. He was not easily corrupted because he was corrupt before he ever became a Jedi. He was never an innocent, pure child. He'd grown up watching society be cruel and even as a Jedi, it still reflected upon him. His passion was for the dark, dangerous side of life. Though he was GOOD before he became Darth Vader, he never fought for all that was right. He fought, I think, in a way for revenge. If he could help people who were suffering, he could strike back at those who'd made him suffer. If he could be good, he would hurt those who'd hurt him.

Anakin was not a paladin. Anakin was a warrior, perhaps. A fighter. But not for any good, shining, flawless hero reasons. Sure, he helped the heroes and they try present him as shining and innocent and good… but he's pretty torn up by inner demons. There's no holy warrior there. Just someone who tries to do what he thinks is right because he feels that it's right.

Now, the Jedi are an excellent example of paladins slowly becoming corrupt. Look at how they were at the time of the purge! Ignoring what was right in favor of their own morals, torn between those who refused to fight because they believed in encouraging others to fight instead–torn between merely protecting, was protecting also destroying, they had to destroy their ‘enemies’… and some who just fought.

I believe, had the Jedi survived the purge, they would have been a flawless example of corrupted good, for the “good of mankind” doing evil. Some may have already been that way, not all of their motives were in the right place. Some were… some weren't. But hey, the glory of Star Wars is in how much fans can debate what it means. Snrk.

I've always had this thing for writing where you pair up a paladin-type character with a ‘they just do what they figure is right’ gray character. I have a lot of neutral characters for that reason and it's interesting to watch my characters with plenty of personality flaws clash with the ‘good guys’. When I write paladins, they're more than just holy warrior of all that is good and right. My lawful goods suffer, struggle with what they're doing, and question whether it is wrong or right. I've never liked the ‘blinded by zealous belief’ characters–unless it takes them to a point where they begin to become the villain in their quest for good. I find that interesting, done right. But I'd rather see someone who does good because they believe in it–and struggle for it. Man, I love my torn between the good of the universe and the good of the people at hand characters. The ones who struggle to stop defining things as black and white and see the gray in the middle.

I think Raito/Light is a pretty good example of a corrupt Paladin… snrk.

Personally, I don't like heroes that are proven incorruptable. Let's see a little personality flaw here or there!

And I figure they're easily corrupted because since they shine out as the good guys, all the evil ones make a lot more effort to bring them down. Why corrupt a neutral when you can corrupt a lawful good? It's the zealots who'll really help your cause–not someone who was already neutral to begin with.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
mlai at 7:49AM, Nov. 22, 2008
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Are you trying to make us believe that Anakin Skywalker of Star Wars eps. 1-3 are even remotely deserving of such a long detailed analysis?

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Hapoppo at 9:16AM, Nov. 22, 2008
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mlai, I think you're severely underestimating the benefits of delving into the psychological science of Star Wars Episodes 1-3. Just think, if we study hard enough we could one day discover what the hell George Lucas was thinking making that crap.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:42PM
bravo1102 at 6:17PM, Nov. 22, 2008
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mlai
Are you trying to make us believe that Anakin Skywalker of Star Wars eps. 1-3 are even remotely deserving of such a long detailed analysis?

Shhh, it's an “A” paper for literature class…

Back in the 80's I had a friend who got an A for his book report on the novelization of Empire Strikes Back. Of course that was a much better story…
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
cartoonprofessor at 2:27AM, Nov. 25, 2008
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bravo1102
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

From the book of Armaments: “Then thou sall lobbest thy Holy Hand Grendade, and thine enemies being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.”

When in doubt go with Monty Python. When in college I saw Holy Grail for the upteenth time in my Arthurian Romance Class. The level of satire is so subtle that at times it takes intimate knowledge of the tales of Arthur to get the true genius of the movie. Lots of holy S***! moments.

But then at the final exam I had an epiphany about John Boorman's Excaliburwhich is the best adaptation of Arthur ever committed to film and that has an astounding insight of Arthurian Romance. :) (and by extention the original depictions of our Paladins)

Hear! Hear! Both adaptations are the only ones worth watching!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
ozoneocean at 2:52AM, Nov. 25, 2008
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bravo1102
But then at the final exam I had an epiphany about John Boorman's Excaliburwhich is the best adaptation of Arthur ever committed to film and that has an astounding insight of Arthurian Romance. :) (and by extention the original depictions of our Paladins)
Except for the Renascence era armour… Which was LOVELY but a little anachronistic. It get that the tale is fantasy and a mishmash anyway though. :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM

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