King of the Dead and his army: Good, Evil or Misunderstood?

Discussion in 'Debates' started by Cjg, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. Cjg

    Cjg New Member

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    In another forum, there are some people who consider the King of the Dead an evil character. I disagree. The King of the Dead and the army of the Dead were not evil. They weren't neccessarily good either, but they didn't fight on the side of evil. The army of the Dead were men recruited by Gondor to fight against Sauron, but they chickened out and went AWOL. Because of that, Isildur cursed them. The Army of the Dead wasn't evil or good. They were more like mercenaries hired to fight, but don't really care about the outcome. The only side they are on is their own. That doesn't make them evil. It just makes them selfish and inconsiderate. What do you think?
     
  2. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro Art House Member

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    Good? Evil? Misunderstood?
    I would say all of the above. Just like any one of us, they made choices that move them either way.
     
  3. Senekha

    Senekha <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    I agree with UT, as one must consider the technicalities of the term 'evil'. If our basis of evil is whether the person in question (the King of the Dead) aided any 'evil', or antagonists, then he is not guilty, as he fled the battle scene rather than switched alliances. However, he cannot be saved from the fact that he did, in fact, betray his oath and thus destroy any scrap of loyalty, integrity, and perceived 'goodness'.

    My opinion is that the King of the Dead was not 'evil', per se, but he did commit an evil, in breaking a blood-oath. That, in some views, may have condemned him and given him an 'evil' reputation. I use quote marks to denote a matter of view.

    As for misunderstood - I do not think that he was misunderstood; perhaps his motives for betrayal were unclear, or even wrongly interpreted, but his deed, his act of treason, is a fact. In this, there is but one truth, which can not be misunderstood. A deed is a deed, whether committed out of just or unjust reasons.

    This case is, as is most everything, a matter of perspective.

    Regards,
    ~Senekha
     
  4. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    I have to agree. Just because you do ONE good/evil act doesn't make you a good/evil character.
    Now, to get all philosophical... how can we tell whether someone is good or evil?
     
  5. telcontar_63

    telcontar_63 Soldier of Gondor

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    I would have to agree with all of the above. You have to take into consideration that the movie made the King of the Dead way more "evil" than he did in the book. I can't exactly remember right, but I think that the only time that the King was shown by himself was after the ships had been taken. But I don't think that they could be considered wholly evil though. They made a mistake and I think that they felt remorse for their actions before the end.
     
  6. Operc Etcagatal

    Operc Etcagatal Member

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    it depends, they where evil BEFORE they where going to fight Sauron along side Isildur, because they where an army that was made of thieves, murderers and rapers, so they WERE evil, but they are kinda nice to Aragorn, because they kill al those Orcs.
     
  7. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    They were men that Isildur had gotten an oath of fealty from the Men of the Mountain, who used to worship Sauron during the Dark Years. The King of the Mountain swore to fight against Sauron if Isildur called for aid, but they didn't, and so broke their oath. It never mentioned anywhere in the book that they were thieves, murderers, rapists, etc.
     
  8. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Nor do they fight any Orcs, that was only in the movie. In the books, they helped the Grey Company take over the Corsairs ships and thats about it.
     
  9. Operc Etcagatal

    Operc Etcagatal Member

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    I don't know if it is in the book, but in the movie they say they are murderers and stuff.
    OK OK the movie is different from the book, I know.
     
  10. Senekha

    Senekha <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    No, the movie states only, if I remember correctly, that they were tr****rs, and Aragorn suggests that they were murderers.

    They would obviously have the odd sadist or sicko, as does any large army of any country, but the only offense they committed was the failure to live up to their oath - that hardly names them rapists and murderers. Perhaps they were viewed by some as murderers because of the ensuing slaughter that took place after they abandoned the King.
     
  11. SEVENWOLVES

    SEVENWOLVES GET READY FOR PUNISHMENT

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    i thought the army was very dull, sorry but in the final fight they look like grasshoppers!
     
  12. Vizion

    Vizion Double Tapped

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    I think the reason they may seem evil is because they were cursed, and that made them change, up until the point Aragorn came.
     
  13. Bard

    Bard Erchamion

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    I think they were just misunderstood.
     
  14. Negrolef

    Negrolef New Member

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    Most people misunderstand them, they were bribed by Sauron to betray Gondor and Isildur cursed them causing them to stay.
     
  15. The4thMusketeer

    The4thMusketeer New Member

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    Well, they did throw in their lot with Sauron, so I suppose in most people's eyes they are evil. I can't blame them for that, though. If I was an inhabitant of Middle-earth my sympathies would lie more with Sauron than with the pious prigs that consist of the opposition...:saurumon:
     
  16. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I suspect a lot of the evil view comes when your a pile of dead bones moving around with rotting flesh - few good honourable people wander around like that ;) Couple that with their failed oath and the fact that they are "wildmen" from the mountains and stories of their evil would most likley be widespread.

    As for failing to honour the oath - the armies of Mordor in the first war were far larger and the power of Sauron greater - thus he could probably sway many a leader into considered that he (sauron) would win over all and that you better be on his side or be crushed (along with your wife, children and all the rest)
     
  17. The4thMusketeer

    The4thMusketeer New Member

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    Ahh, but if you're a noble, heroic individual you're supposed to die anyway, secure in the knowledge that you fought the good fight. The fact that your family might be slaughtered after you're dead is a mere trifle...(not that I'm cynical or anything).:)
     
  18. Thy Fearful Symmetry

    Thy Fearful Symmetry New Member

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    I don't think we know enough about the character to judge whether he was truly evil or not. The land of Middle-earth is a place of moral absolutes, and therefore he was damned for his oath-breaking, but we can never now know his reasons. It may have been cowardice, or something slightly more noble, such as concern for his people should he partake in the war. I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.