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Similar or different, Hild verses Past thorfinn

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    Baked Potato

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The only thing her and past thorfinn have in common is their desire for revenge for the death of a father.  Everything else couldn't be more different. 


    Past thorfinn really was a heartless mindless killing machine.  She clearly has a heart and a mind.



    She would not risk killing the baby, even for her revenge. She clearly doesn't even want to kill his adult friends, probably a bluff with the poison. Past thorfin wouldn't hesitate even for a second, to slaughter a whole group like his, baby and all.



    She shows a quick sharp mind the way she roped them in, and with the (probably fake) poison. Past thorfin was a idiot, who did everything his target of revenge asked of him, like he was rewarding the person who killed his father, instead of revenging on him.  Even when he got permission to fight him, I bet his revenge target liked that too, the combat keeping him sharp. If you didn't know better, Past thorfinn and his revenge target could have been seen as best friends and beloved comrades in arms of vicious ruthless killers.


    Even the nature of their target of revenge is different. Thorfinns target for revenge was a awful asshole to near the very end and deserved/needed to be killed a thousand times over, over the decade/s or whatever (and Thorfinn was no different for a long time too) Her target of revenge, thorfinn, has had a radical change of heart/mind and personality.  I don't blame her for doubting it, even with evidence otherwise. Thorfinn is like his polar opposite of his past self.




I feel like you're missing my point here and that you're focusing on their differences instead of their major similarity. I'm talking about the characters' motivations, their driving force, their essence. Nearly all the things you say about Thorfinn were motivated by his grief and rage over his father's death. I'd go as far as to say that those emotions were what defined his character and were the source of almost all his actions up until Askeladd's death. Now we have a character that has those exact same emotions stemming from the exact same circumstances (the murder of their fathers), that is driven to kill Thorfinn like Thorfinn was driven to kill Askeladd. Yes they approach things differently and have led different lives but that doesn't change this huge similarity between them right now.


The point I am making is that the driving force behind Thorfinn's actions in the past is the same as the driving force behind this woman's actions right now, and this will allow Thorfinn to reflect on his past self. I see this fight as a fight between Thorfinn and past Thorfinn so that's why it has a lot of meaning to me. He not only has to face a victim of his past violence, he has to face someone who has a huge similarity to his past self.


"their essence"


Their essence is not that of revenge, this point is shared between them, not letting it define them. But Hild managed this alot better then Thorfinn of the past did.


Nearly all the things you say about Thorfinn were motivated by his grief and rage over his father's death.

I'd go as far as to say that those emotions were what defined his character and were the source of almost all his actions up until Askeladd's death.



No, that was all Thorfinn and not revenge. Revenge would have been trying to kill Askeladd by any means necessary, or at least trying to hinder him. Not becoming Askeladds life long trusted companion, helping him has he kills the multitudes.

Thorfinn must have really hated his father to give his killer such aid and assistance, such dedicated soulless labor of mass murder on the cheap.



The point I am making is that the driving force behind Thorfinn's actions in the past is the same as the driving force behind this woman's actions right now


Hatred of the father to the point where you become loyal companion to his killer? No, that is not the case with Hild.


he has to face someone who has a huge similarity to his past self


Nope, a small similarity to his past self. Having your father killed is not all there is to a person. You brush off the major differences between them that I carefully outlines as though they were almost nothing. As though it doesn't matter that she kept her mind and heart, and didn't slaughter many multitudes, and he lost his mind and heart, and did slaughter the multitudes. 


Alternate reality scenario where Hild becomes like Past thorfinn.

One neighbour talking to another,

"Say, did you hear that Hild took up with this Thorfinn, becoming his trusted lackey and is ruthlessly and mercilessly wiping out whole towns?"

"Yeah, grief will do funny things to you, it's good that she she's letting it out."

Since in RedRuMs eyes it's nearly the same as her living quietly, helping villages deal with dangerous beasts, saving lives, and not wanting to hurt anyone but her target of revenge. Either way, it's like Thorfinn looking at his past self, according to RedRums.

Edited by truepurple, 31 May 2015 - 01:01 PM.



    Baked Potato

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I just figured something out. It really wasn't about revenge for Past thorfinn. It was about pride of strength, a pride so great it swallowed all his reason and his soul, even though he lost as only a kid. If you look at it that way, what made no sense in the light of "revenge" makes perfect sense under pride of strength. Him being combat gungho and doing things the most difficult way, was him trying to prove himself. Similarly, he would only fight Askeladd in fair combat, because otherwise there would be no point, no pride, no show of strength. Or revenge of pride, you could say. NOT revenge for his father.


Hild wants to hunt Thorfinn, just like she would any animal that kills humans (like she seems to do as part of her job) This is somewhat her wanting to kill him with her own strength of hands, but also her way of not facing that Thorfinn has changed, if she treats him like a dangerous animal she usually hunts, she can better convince herself that is all he is. Plus if he is fighting back, it is easier for her to kill him than if she were do kill him him in cold blood, since she kept her soul, and killing Thorfinn in cold blood would simply sit too ill with her. Of course Thorfinn isn't going to cooperate with this, and will probably end up risking his own life to save hers in the end, which will finally convince her, he has changed. Not that she would stand a chance against Past thorfinn, his combat skills too uber, and his ruthlessness too complete.

Edited by truepurple, 30 May 2015 - 03:54 PM.



    Potato Spud

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If nothing else, Hild did not go out seeking revenge.  She didn't leave everything behind to look for Thorfinn to kill him, so even as she nursed her Hatred for Thorfinn, she kept living her life as best she could.


While Thorfinn had revenge/hatred (or whatever) be his primary motivating factor.


That alone is a huge difference of character, even within the shared motivations of the actions we've seen "on screen."



    Potato Sprout

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Thorfinn was much younger than Hild when he lost his father. His father's death was a bargain that he most likely was to young to understand (Thors dies, rest of them lives - that's also what kept Leif motivated to search for Thorfinn for YEARS). Thorfinn was a kid that by mishap and his emotional torrent ended up stranded on a ship with ruthless killers. For Askeladd to kill him would've been easy. However Askeladd had some honour and felt obliged to Thors. In some way, perhaps awed. After all, he offered Thors leadership and that offer was sincere. So, he came up with a way to break the kid somehow, yet not kill him. A mercy in a way, a cruel think if looked at differently. In steps:


1) He survived the first attempt

2) He showed Thorfinn a difference in power - after all, an untrained kid blinded by rage is quite powerless against seasoned and crafty warrior

3) He danded a carrot (revenge) and applied stick (you'll die).


Now tell me TruePurple, what could Thorfinn do? What could any 7(or whatever he was at the time)-year old, who just lost his father and was tormented by his inability to stop it, do? On a boat, alone, against whole crew, who slew that father?


No, it's not hatred of Thors, that caused Thorfinn to join Askeladd. It was something much more basic, which all humans posess. He adapted as he could. At some level, Thorfinn, even being really young, knew that if he pressed too hard with his revenge, he will die. Too many knife swings, too close, and Askeladd would have to kill him, promise to Thors or not. You can't lead rowdy killers and let a kid try to off you due to your good heart or gentle nature.


So, Askeladd waited until Thorfinn could reason and offer him a way: work for me, and for each "job" I'll let you kill me without retribution. You win, you go. That way, Askeladd found a way to keep the boy alive and keep his leader position safe. To his warriors, he was "toying" with the boy. Some will say it's stupid, some will say it's impractical, some will say it's cruel, some will laugh. None will rebel, as long as things are clearly in control. Some will even think Askeladd is scary, to twist a boy like that. Cruel. Worth following. Look how that vicious Thorfinn listens to him and cannot off him despite all those tries. How amusing.



IMO, Thorfinn was put in a situation quite beyond any boy his age. He had to made compromises or die. He wasn't so much of a grown-up as Hild was. He was not a creator, he wasn't in marriageable age, he wasn't an apprentice to anyone yet, to learn craft and know how hard it is to create something.


Finally, Thorfinn was a boy. In recent chapters, with Karli, this is nicely outlined. Look it up, when Thorfinn summs up why nobody wants to take Karli in. Because Karli is expected to demand revenge for his family. Because Karli is a boy. If he won't get revenge, everybody will despise him and shun him. If he tries, he'll have enemies and others will fear their retribution, so they'll shun Karli anyway.


Summarizing then:

- boys mature later than girls,

- boys in that culture are STRONGLY expected (and raised appropriately) to exact revenge for fallen kin

- Hild was 13, Thorfinn was 6 (just checked)

- This point is partially a guess: Hild was not picked up by Askeladd's men. Thorfinn had to be (he stayed on Thors boat which they took).

- Thorfinn undertook revenge right there, right now (screaming I'll kill you and staring daggers at Askeladd's men to the point they were affected), without skills or means to see it through

- Hild was already a maker and highly-intelligent. Her designs were clearly beyond her carpenter father (he could build it but not fix it or fully comprehend it).


So, all in all, Hild was already shaped much further than Thorfinn was and could therefore hold on to more things in her life than Thorfinn could. As a human being she was stronger and had more resources to sustain her during crisis (family's death). Kinda a guess, but her crisis was not so prolonged as Thorfinn's was: he was WITH his father's killers. She was away from hers.



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Well the main point is that they are different, not similar, like was said in comments. Also, she lost her whole family, not just her father. You are absolutely making my case for me fry.


What you are talking about is separate, whether it was 'excusable' for Thorfinn to become a heartless loyal mass murderer in service to his fathers killer.


What could Thorfinn have done?


As part of any of these, do minimal effort to be still valued by the group, rather than going all out to impress and help Askladd out. If you are going to sneak attack someone, it is always good to be underestimated.


Waited till he got older and stronger, then stab Askladd in his sleep and run off.


Poison him and others and run off the moment there's a chance (like adjacent to a town or forest where you can blend away)


During battle, betray Askladd in one way or another. Either by stabbing him in the back or causing the battle to flow in such a way as to get him killed.


If Askladd is too strong to kill this way, kill his strong/loyal/smart men off one by one this way, till Askladd is vulnerable. But instead Thorfinn did the opposite, he fought hard in ways that saved Askladds men.


If failing all this, learn to live off the land and than running off and doing just that, rather than helping Askladd like a loyal minion.

Edited by truepurple, 26 October 2016 - 04:07 PM.