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 Post subject: King Douglas and Dinn Durandal
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:42 am 
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These days I was re-reading favorite moments from "Deathstalker Return" and you know, for me the parts with Douglas and Finn are much more interesting than the ones with Lewis and his band of adventurers. I mean, killing monsters and visiting bizarre planets is cool, but to see how a whole civilization fades because of the vengeance of a petty, but brilliant man was awesome. Finn Durandal is one of the greatest villains ever and I loved the way Mr. Green wrote about him. He was very smart, utterly evil and always smug, even in the face of bigger threats.
On the contrary, for me Douglas was the real hero of the books. A real man with no superpowers and with very human emotions and weaknesses, he was truly the victim in the whole story. He was betrayed by his friends, both Lewis and Finn, by the love of his life and, in a way, but the whole Empire, which turned into everything he fought, all his life. And yet he remained a Paragon at heart, did not join the Hellfire Club, did not bow to Finn, stopped hating Lewis and even forgave, in his own way, to Anne. Such a great man, and without being a superhuman killing man. I congratulate Mr. Green for creating such inspiring characters.
What do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: King Douglas and Dinn Durandal
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:51 am 
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Location: Trowbridge, Wiltshire (Near Bradford on Avon)
I think that Finn would have had his arse handed to him by most of the investigators we see in the previous books. As such, I find his arrogance misplaced. I also find him really petty and childish.

I prefer a villain that I can sympathise with, to some extent. He needs to get over himself so badly.

Douglas was the victim of the piece, I agree. He just wasn't cut out for the role, was he? Too weak. As a paragon, he did fine, but he lacked the greatness needed to be king.

That said, the fact I talk about both as if dissecting real people is a testament to Simon's writing ability.

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 Post subject: Re: King Douglas and Dinn Durandal
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:43 am 
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Quote:
I think that Finn would have had his arse handed to him by most of the investigators we see in the previous books.

In a battle, yes. The Investigators come from a much darker era. They were real murderers working for a terrifying regime. But the thing is, they would have never got close to him. He is too skilled in manipulation and will obliterate them with a third party force like the uber espers, like he did with the fellow Paragons.

Quote:
I also find him really petty and childish.
I prefer a villain that I can sympathise with, to some extent.

Well, to a degree Finn is a victim of his inability to love. He is a sociopath and I'm not saying it just as insult - I think that his condition was medical as this was strongly hinted in his conversations with Anne and in his final duel with Douglas. But yes, he is still a complete monster - and I love him for that! I am a bit tired of books in which you read book after book, only to discover in the end that the villain is not that bad. For example, I do like and sympathize Anakin from "Star Wars", but I think that we can all agree that he is not as cool as ESB Vader.
We know that Finn maybe is born a monster - but is still a monster. And I like that!

Quote:
Douglas was the victim of the piece, I agree. He just wasn't cut out for the role, was he? Too weak.

To a degree, I find that all characters in the second series, including Lewis, are a bit weak and not as magnificent as the characters in the original series. But this makes them more interesting and likable, at least for me. And I am not sure what could have Douglas done differently... he was in impossible situation, betrayed by his closest friends and his true love. He remained a good man and this, for me, is a tremendous power...

Quote:
That said, the fact I talk about both as if dissecting real people is a testament to Simon's writing ability.

Yes, and I'm loving it! I love such discussions! Maybe it's too geeky, but hey, there's nothing wrong with that!


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 Post subject: Re: King Douglas and Dinn Durandal
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:27 pm 
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You forgot that Douglas also got the girl! Nina made me laugh, she was all that her great-grandfather Flynn was and more. Her and Douglas teaming up made a perfect match.

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 Post subject: Re: King Douglas and Dinn Durandal
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Yes, but Jessamine remained the love of his love. He never told anyone about it. He liked Nina and probably was happy with her, but Jes was his true love.


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 Post subject: Re: King Douglas and Dinn Durandal
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:46 pm 
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Darth Sparhawk wrote:
I am not sure what could have Douglas done differently...

His job. He was king of a galactic empire. That means he had to put his job before himself. He failed to do that, and thus let the whole empire down. He didn't have the luxury of being 'just a man'.

Darth Sparhawk wrote:
I am a bit tired of books in which you read book after book, only to discover in the end that the villain is not that bad.

When I said 'sympathise with' I didn't mean to imply that they are 'not that bad'. I can sympathise with Valentine Wolfe (one of my favourite characters in any work of fiction) and Gregor Shrek, but I certainly do not think that either of them were 'not that bad, really'. If anything, I'd say both were nastier pieces of work than Finn.

Finn comes across more as a petulant child than a complete monster, to me. But, then, should we be surprised? He is as much a product of his time as the others are of theirs.

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 Post subject: Re: King Douglas and Dinn Durandal
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:37 am 
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And this, I think proves how good Simon is really, as an author, because people feel differently about the characters. I could never feel anything but utter disgust to Gregor, he is by far the most horrible character in the whole series and possibly in the whole SRG universe. I hate, hate, hate him and I am so happy that he died as a dog, he deserved nothing better. Utter piece of ****. What he did to his daughter...
Val is a favorite of mine, too, although he sometimes resembles the Joker from the "Batman" universe. Still, a very unique character and I loved the way he surprised me. I thought that he would be a very complex character and the beginning of the series and I could have never imagined that he would turn to be a monster like this. Probably the drugs are to blame, I am unsure. But something turned horribly wrong with him. I wonder what kind of Empire is the one he rules in a parallel dimension.
About Douglas, maybe you are right, but I don't think that any of the characters in the trilogy did any better than him. Except Owen, but he is not from that time. I think that in the end, Douglas proved himself to be a good leader.


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 Post subject: Re: King Douglas and Dinn Durandal
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Darth Sparhawk wrote:
I could never feel anything but utter disgust to Gregor, he is by far the most horrible character in the whole series and possibly in the whole SRG universe. I hate, hate, hate him and I am so happy that he died as a dog, he deserved nothing better. Utter piece of ****. What he did to his daughter...

I completely agree. Which is why I like that character so much. To feel that much emotion for a fictional character is the mark of an exceptional author.

As I said before, it is not so much that I 'sympathise' with them in the traditional sense of the word. It is more that I react to them as if they were actual people I had met.

Darth Sparhawk wrote:
Val is a favorite of mine, too, although he sometimes resembles the Joker from the "Batman" universe.

Somehow, Valentine always reminded me of Marilyn Manson/Brian Warner.

Darth Sparhawk wrote:
About Douglas, maybe you are right, but I don't think that any of the characters in the trilogy did any better than him.

Again, I agree with you. Lewis, if anything, is the real villain of the piece. It was his selfishness and inability to control his desires that almost ripped the empire apart.

The only one who I can condone is Jesamine. She's an actress and, as such, is not really expected to be a shining example of a role model. Unlike Lewis (and Finn), who was supposed to be a paragon.

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 Post subject: Re: King Douglas and Dinn Durandal
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:40 pm 
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I agree with everything you said... :)
What's your opinion about the uber espers? I think that they were really scary monsters and the way they took the real power from Finn was chilling.


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 Post subject: Re: King Douglas and Dinn Durandal
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:37 pm 
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I quite liked the uber espers, although they turned out to be more about fear than power, really.

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