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Gawyn is a murderer!


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I was re-reading "The Shadow Rising" and when Siuan Sanche got deposed what right did Gawyn have to run around killing warders. He was a student in the tower with absolutely no role or responsibility in the tower.He poked his nose into something he should not have, allowed Elaida to rule and killed his masters.Well done.

 

I hope he gets burned into ash by Rand in AMOL.

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Gawyn is, beyond question, guilty of egregious douchebaggery. But your example is not a good one. Gawyn had no reason to believe Suian's deposing was improper. Neither did the Warders who attempted to free her. As far as either group knew, Suian was properly removed. Gawyn was following the law as established.

 

And that's without even getting into the fact that joining an organization does not deprive one of moral agency. If he felt the actions of the rebel Warders to be unlawful and wrong, he should have opposed them. The same goes for those rebel Warders themselves.

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not a big fan of gawyn myself, but he didn't just up and start running around killing warders, he assembled the younglings together in support of the tower guards during the chaos that erupted after suian was deposed. nobody was fully in the right in a situation like that, but he was supporting the the apparent lawful side. and while his choice was pretty stupid (to support either side, or to think he actually knew what was going on) sanche and the rest of the aes sedai are much more to blame because of their obfuscation and the opacity of their organization. even his sister is to blame for not trusting him with the truth of what was happening even if it was against suian's wishes. gawyn may be an inflexible idiot, but to call him a murderer for what happened in the tower is pretty ignorant.

Edited by Testy al'Carr
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Gawyn is, beyond question, guilty of egregious douchebaggery. But your example is not a good one. Gawyn had no reason to believe Suian's deposing was improper. Neither did the Warders who attempted to free her. As far as either group knew, Suian was properly removed. Gawyn was following the law as established.

 

And that's without even getting into the fact that joining an organization does not deprive one of moral agency. If he felt the actions of the rebel Warders to be unlawful and wrong, he should have opposed them. The same goes for those rebel Warders themselves.

 

But how did Gawyn know what the law was. His motivation in a large extent seems to be personal antagonism towards Suian because she was in his opinion putting her sister and his lover in danger.

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Gawyn is, beyond question, guilty of egregious douchebaggery. But your example is not a good one. Gawyn had no reason to believe Suian's deposing was improper. Neither did the Warders who attempted to free her. As far as either group knew, Suian was properly removed. Gawyn was following the law as established.

 

And that's without even getting into the fact that joining an organization does not deprive one of moral agency. If he felt the actions of the rebel Warders to be unlawful and wrong, he should have opposed them. The same goes for those rebel Warders themselves.

 

But how did Gawyn know what the law was. His motivation in a large extent seems to be personal antagonism towards Suian because she was in his opinion putting her sister and his lover in danger.

gawyn is among the most educated individuals in the westlands. he knows tower law as well as most aes sedai. he was to a large extent motivated by his dislike of suian sanche no doubt, but don't question his knowledge of the law, he wouldn't have arbitrarily gathered together the younglings and supported the tower guard just because he didnt like suian, the proof of that is that he let suian out once he started learning more about what happened. his gut reaction was to support those charged with the defense of tar valon. and as i have said i think of him (and i havn't said it but his brother as well) as an inflexible idiot (although atleast his brother walked away, right into an even more f*#@ked up bunch of folk, but he walked away) but to even imply that he wouldn't know what the law was is to imply that he cant be trusted with a crayon.

 

EDIT: changed supported to tower guard to supported the tower guard, didn't actually change anything over all.

Edited by Testy al'Carr
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and while his choice was pretty stupid (to support either side, or to think he actually knew what was going on) sanche and the rest of the aes sedai are much more to blame because of their obfuscation and the opacity of their organization. even his sister is to blame for not trusting him with the truth of what was happening even if it was against suian's wishes.

 

Siuan's obfuscation does not make her _more_ to blame for his actions. There's only one person responsible for Gawyn's actions. I realize that it was difficult for him, and that is also portrayed in the text when he runs into them. While I'm glad that he spared the life of Siuan (I can't imagine he would have killed Leane or Min), that does not in any way free him of responsibility for jumping into the fray and slaughtering the warders some of whom he had trained with and had no reason to have antipathy against. There are some redeeming factors, but the responsibility for his choices, fueled by personal dislike, can not be laid on Siuan who merely did what she had to in order to protect the DR and fight the BA. Had she prioritized the feelings of the spoiled First Prince of Andor over those, things would certainly have been more disastrous.

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Siuan's obfuscation does not make her _more_ to blame for his actions. There's only one person responsible for Gawyn's actions. I realize that it was difficult for him, and that is also portrayed in the text when he runs into them. While I'm glad that he spared the life of Siuan (I can't imagine he would have killed Leane or Min), that does not in any way free him of responsibility for jumping into the fray and slaughtering the warders some of whom he had trained with and had no reason to have antipathy against. There are some redeeming factors, but the responsibility for his choices, fueled by personal dislike, can not be laid on Siuan who merely did what she had to in order to protect the DR and fight the BA. Had she prioritized the feelings of the spoiled First Prince of Andor over those, things would certainly have been more disastrous.

 

I would not say that he slaughtered anyone. Yes, he fought and won, but I wouldn't say he "slaughtered" them. He joined the fight for the side that he thought (as did most) at the time was legally in power. He fought those that were rebelling against the legal (as most thought at the time) regime.

 

To me, his only wrong was joining a fight in which he was not officially a part of.

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To me, his only wrong was joining a fight in which he was not officially a part of.

 

Yep, that's what it boils down to. But its hardly a minor mistake.

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Gawyn was a Tower trainee. He had some sort of obligation to the Tower as an institution. We are not told the exact nature of the trainees obligation to the Tower, but it almost certainly involved legal duties of some sort, formalized with an oath.

 

The President of the United States is impeached for high crimes, and removed from office by the Congress, which has the legal authority to do so. Certain senior military officers like the current President better than the alternative, and so conspire to unlawfully return the impeached President to power. A West Point cadet discovers this conspiracy and has the ability to stop it. You're claiming he should not do so?

 

Christ, I can't believe you're making me defend Gawyn.

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To me, his only wrong was joining a fight in which he was not officially a part of.

 

Yep, that's what it boils down to. But its hardly a minor mistake.

 

It's only a mistake in hindsight. A well-trained, leader of men, who's been trying to find his sister, who he swore an unbreakable oath to protect, was hidden away from him by Siuan, who had just been deposed, a thing that rarely ever happens, and never happens for minor infractions. There's no way he would, or should, have stood aside or taken up the other position.

 

Christ, I can't believe you're making me defend Gawyn.

 

It never ends.

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gawyn is morally bankrupt if you ask me. How do you explain killing your own teachers who were trying to free siuan and yet free her yourself when you get the chance.

 

I have always maintained on the battlefield he is a level above his brother. But when it comes to moral behaviour, this kid is screwed in the head

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I don't have the book right here, but I can't remember that anyone forced (or even asked) him and his men to fight for Elaida. Min was unsure about who he would support, and it is very much implied that he made his own choice. And I am acknowledging that he seemed a bit conflicted about his choice when they meet again the next day(?). Still, it was his choice to make and it would seem to me that he had three alternatives and chose the worst. He knew Elaida, he knew what she was like, he knew what Elayne thought about her, and he knew that Elayne, Egwene and Min were with Siuan.

 

Edit: I read the chapter again now. There is indeed no proof that he was forced to take a stand.

 

Min was not about to tell them that Warders from the Blue and Green Ajahs had planned to free them before they were stilled, and might have succeeded if Gawyn had not roused the students, "children" too, and led them into the Tower to stop it. The fighting had been among the deadliest, student against teacher and no mercy, no quarter.

 

"You killed Coulin?" Siuan said in a cold tone fitting her former office. "And Hammar?"

Min's heart sank. Be quiet, Siuan! Remember who you are now, and be quiet!

Gawyn spun to face the three women, his eyes like blue fire. "Yes," he grated. "They were my friends, and I respected them, but they sided with . . . with Siuan Sanche, and I had to-" Abruptly he shoved the paper he had sealed into Min's hand. "Go! Go, before I change my mind!" He slapped her mare, then darted to slap the other two as Min's horse leaped through the open gates. "Go!"

 

While we can't be 100% sure, my impression is that by far the most likely explanation is that he chose Elaida's side out of spite (or desperation out of fear for Elayne/Egwene if you want a more redeeming reason). I think that him letting Siuan go shows us he is struggling with it and that is a redeeming factor, but all in all it doesn't make up for all the wrongs.

 

 

Edited by Alric
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The people trying to free Siuan were, officially, traitors who declared war on the White Tower. That means that as a student in the Tower, he was well within his legal rights to kill them on the battlefield. Regardless of the moral or ethical justifications of the side that he chose, he did not break any laws in doing so.

 

He did break the law when he helped Siuan escape. Also, he broke the law against being an annoying twat.

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The people trying to free Siuan were, officially, traitors who declared war on the White Tower. That means that as a student in the Tower, he was well within his legal rights to kill them on the battlefield. Regardless of the moral or ethical justifications of the side that he chose, he did not break any laws in doing so.

 

He did break the law when he helped Siuan escape. Also, he broke the law against being an annoying twat.

 

I agree with this but have one problem with it. He is a representive of Andor and I would say a special guest at the Tower rather than a member of the tower. A guest shouldnt jump into the towers problems whereas a member of the tower would be totally right in attacking the traitors

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Gawyn had no idea the BA had been pulling strings in this situation. He had an obligation to the WT as a trainee to stop what he viewed as a traitorous act. Had he known the vote to impeach Siuan was rigged he obviously would have chosen a separate course of action.

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We don't know that there's any law saying that anyone who trains with warders have to fight for the Tower. Especially not when that person is a royal and obviously has loyalties elsewhere. Like I said, there are redeeming factors, but it seems quite obvious from the text that he made a choice. There's nothing passive or reactive in what he did, it is his own choice to take the lead. That, along with the fact that he knew Elaida (whom Elayne disliked even before arriving in the Tower) and that he knew where Elayne, Min and Egwene stood, makes his actions very troubling.  

 

Considering where RJ took this in the next books, throwing even more misery his way, sent out to be killed by Elaida, the rumors about Morgase, and running into Rand and making things worse instead of resolving them... I think the path is quite clearly laid out. Make wrong decisions for the selfish and emotional reasons = punishment. He needed to be hardened, and everything will get worse until he learns to control himself and make tough but right choices. I have no idea where this ends, because I'm only at WH, but I feel that this is heading to a place where he will have to own up to what he's done. Good people don't get away with doing bad things in this series. 

 

 

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We don't know that there's any law saying that anyone who trains with warders have to fight for the Tower. Especially not when that person is a royal and obviously has loyalties elsewhere. Like I said, there are redeeming factors, but it seems quite obvious from the text that he made a choice. There's nothing passive or reactive in what he did, it is his own choice to take the lead. That, along with the fact that he knew Elaida (whom Elayne disliked even before arriving in the Tower) and that he knew where Elayne, Min and Egwene stood, makes his actions very troubling.  

 

Considering where RJ took this in the next books, throwing even more misery his way, sent out to be killed by Elaida, the rumors about Morgase, and running into Rand and making things worse instead of resolving them... I think the path is quite clearly laid out. Make wrong decisions for the selfish and emotional reasons = punishment. He needed to be hardened, and everything will get worse until he learns to control himself and make tough but right choices. I have no idea where this ends, because I'm only at WH, but I feel that this is heading to a place where he will have to own up to what he's done. Good people don't get away with doing bad things in this series. 

 

The problem is you seem to be blaming him, as if he should have known better at the time. And I think that's what people are arguing against. I don't think many of us think he did the right thing, but it was certainly the expected thing. And it's hard to blame a guy for doing what a rational person in his position would have done -- his subsequent stubbornness aside.

 

In his eyes, Siuan had basically kidnapped the daughter heir. So when the tasks of finding his sworn charge (Elayne) and fighting against the tower "traitors" appeared aligned, he followed that path. When he came face to face with Siuan, those paths diverged and he had to make a choice. Turning in or killing Siuan wasn't going to help Elayne in any way, and so he had to let her go because Elayne is his top priority.

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Gawyn was a Tower trainee. He had some sort of obligation to the Tower as an institution. We are not told the exact nature of the trainees obligation to the Tower, but it almost certainly involved legal duties of some sort, formalized with an oath.

 

The President of the United States is impeached for high crimes, and removed from office by the Congress, which has the legal authority to do so. Certain senior military officers like the current President better than the alternative, and so conspire to unlawfully return the impeached President to power. A West Point cadet discovers this conspiracy and has the ability to stop it. You're claiming he should not do so?

 

Christ, I can't believe you're making me defend Gawyn.

 

Gawyn is not technically a full trainee. He is simply learning swordsmanship for his duties as First Prince of the Sword. He has no obligation to the tower, in the way that people who are actually going to become warders do. I mean, Galad just leaves the tower and joins the whitecloaks, that would be desertion if he had any legal obligation.

Edited by Dagon Thyne
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Gawyn is probably the weakest and most selfish character in the entire series. He has zero backbone and stands for nothing but himself.

 


  •  
  • Lawfully he sides with Elaida, but allows Siuan to escape who is integral to defeating Elaida. No backbone, and you killed all those Warders for nothing.
  • Abandons his duty as First Prince of the Sword. Duty heavier than a mountain? Not for Gawyn! No backbone, let Elayne take care of herself, good thing she has Birgitte!
  • Vows to kill Rand to damn the entire world. Most selfish act in the entire series, and he even has people constantly telling him that Rand didn't kill Morgase.
  • Abandons his Younglings and joins the Rebels. Live with your consequences, turncoat.
  • Pisses off Gareth the Great Captain all the time and continually disobeys the Amyrlin Seat because "he knows better than them."

 

He needs to just die in AMoL.

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The people trying to free Siuan were, officially, traitors who declared war on the White Tower. That means that as a student in the Tower, he was well within his legal rights to kill them on the battlefield. Regardless of the moral or ethical justifications of the side that he chose, he did not break any laws in doing so.

 

He did break the law when he helped Siuan escape. Also, he broke the law against being an annoying twat.

 

I agree with this but have one problem with it. He is a representive of Andor and I would say a special guest at the Tower rather than a member of the tower. A guest shouldnt jump into the towers problems whereas a member of the tower would be totally right in attacking the traitors

 

Even so, Tar Valon is an ally of Andor and when someone declares war against it as the Siuan loyalists did, he is justified in taking up arms to help defend it.

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Gawyn is, beyond question, guilty of egregious douchebaggery. But your example is not a good one. Gawyn had no reason to believe Suian's deposing was improper. Neither did the Warders who attempted to free her. As far as either group knew, Suian was properly removed. Gawyn was following the law as established.

 

And that's without even getting into the fact that joining an organization does not deprive one of moral agency. If he felt the actions of the rebel Warders to be unlawful and wrong, he should have opposed them. The same goes for those rebel Warders themselves.

 

I feel this is pretty much correct. The only think you probably could nitpick is the understating of Gawyn's level of douchebaggery, because if douchegaggery was like the Source, Gawyn's walking around with both Access Keys all the time.

 

We all know that RJ has a military background, so its logical to think that he would draw from that expirience and possibly use it as a model. Servicemen and women have to follow "Lawful" orders and oppose unlawful orders. Now, you can rationalize that Gawyn was a forign dignitary and not part of the tower chain of command. Still, from his point of view he is in the middle of an attempted coup, so he sides on the lawful side. I don't consider him choosing one side, the side he believes to be the established lawful side, and and thus killing for that side to make him a murderer. It makes him a combatent, but not a murderer.

 

Now do I think his feelings about Suian, for what happened to Egwene and Elayne, played a roll or made it easier for him to choose Elaida and the Tower? I'm sure it did, part of his douchebaggery.

 

We could look a little closer into his actions leading up to and around Dumai's Wells and its possible some of those actions could be considered murder. He also has considered murder when he decided he wanted to leave the Younglings, I think he would have killed if he had to when "deserting". So, again he is a Douchebag.

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If murder is equal to unjustified killing then Gawyn killing Hammar and Coulin wasn't murder, because that act was justified. The Warders were traitors, and thus, under the Law of the Tower, deserved to die. Gawyn's motivations were complex, but as long as they include holding to the alliance between Tar Valon and Andor, then his actions were adequately justified on a personal level to not be murder. His other motivations are largely irrelevant.

 

Now, if you were to title this thread "Gawyn is a traitor!" you would be correct. Helping Suian, Leane and Min escape was certainly treasonous. Desertion is a form of treason, and Gawyn deserts the Younglings to join Gareth Byrne, and then deserts Egwene to go sulk in Andor. And his hatred of the Dragon Reborn and vow to kill him or see him killed, regardless of the outcome of the Last Battle, is treasonous to all mankind, or would be, if he ever managed to do anything about it other than pout, and if he hadn't eventually abandoned that hatred for reasons as spurious and irrelevant as the reasons he adopted that hatred in the first place.

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Just lost everything i wrote..................... :mad:

 

Basically I disagree with those who says he didn't know better. I think he knew enough. And I can't see the proof of an obligation to fight for the Tower. Additionally the quotes show that he chose to take lead. It might be a question of interpretation, but that's what I get from the text. Seems like we will just have to agree to disagree on the interpretation.

 

As for the comments about his siding with Elaida being technically legal... of course. But I don't think that's relevant or interesting at all. I just scratch my head about the implying that he had no way of knowing and no choice. Clearly the way RJ portrays it he _is_ conflicted, emotional, and irrational.

 

I won't blame him for lack of backbone for not killing Siuan. That he faltered at least shows us that he has second thoughts, which is a good thing. Unfortunately it can't make up for all the lives lost because of his actions. If he had went through with that there would be no reason for him not to kill Min, who was also involved in whatever plot he thought was going on. We know he's conflicted, but at least not a sociopath. 

 

 

Edited by Alric
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When you're throwing around words like "murder," then what the law says about it is absolutely relevant. If the law says it's murder, it's murder. If the law says it's not murder, it's not murder. Now, if the question is whether Gawyn should feel guilty and lose sleep at night for having killed Hammar and Coulin, then of course he should, and I believe the books portray that he does. But he was personally, politically and professionally justified in having done it; that he could have been perhaps equally personally justified in not having done it is irrelevant. Was it the right thing to do? Well, it helped lead to the Tower split, and ultimately to Egwene as Amryllin. That's better than either Elaida or Suian continuing as Amryllin, and considering the other choices of Aes Sedai we have to possibly be the Amryllin, probably the best possible outcome, which doesn't say much for the Aes Sedai. If Hammar and Coulin and their allies had succeeded in rescuing Suian and Leane, they would have had little reason to choose other leaders, even if Suian and co. left Tar Valon to organize opposition elsewhere.

 

What I never understood about that whole rebellion thing was how Suian's supposed infractions were severe enough to warrant stilling and execution. Removal from office I can understand. She hid her knowledge of the identity of the Dragon Reborn and allowed him to walk free when she had him in her grasp. I'm sure the Hall was livid with her, and rightly so, but she didn't betray the Tower or any of the Sisters in it. She took a discretionary act that was arguably within her authority to make. This was a mere political disagreement, and the consequences of losing that argument should never have included stilling and execution. There wasn't even a trial, just a clandestine meeting of the Hall to pull her down. Still, none of this justifies Hammar and Coulin trying to rescue the former Amryllin and her Keeper through use of force, instead of taking their concerns to Sisters or through the Hall.

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