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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Not much is lawful...

Mim
The Shire

Dec 29 2012, 5:19pm


Views: 242
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Not much is lawful... [In reply to] Can't Post

I struggle to think of good characters that are actually lawful. The only ones that really seem to be truly lawful, are the ones that are in the position to be making the laws which gives them something of an advantage. Can a King ever really be anything but lawful when he can change the laws pretty much on a whim? I mean none of the cultures in The Lord of the Rings seem to have any structures that can challenge the power of the king. Unless you count Gandalf. So Denethor and Theoden are lawful because they are the law. Though I suppose there is something to be said for the traditions that are sometimes mentioned as binding the lawmakers decisions, but does disobeying tradition really make you unlawful?

As for characters like Galadriel, I struggle to call her lawful because I don't really see her ever obeying anyone if she didn't want to. Or rather, I don't think she would ever really think anyone knew better than she did, therefore any obedience she might show would only ever be to things she agreed with not because they were the law. I don't know that we ever see an example of her behaving contrary to her own inclination because of some kind of law.

The Hobbits are the closest to properly lawfully good characters that we see, but they are only really lawful when they're in the Shire. They break the laws of all the other lands they visit fairly universally. Attending secret councils they're not invited to (Sam in Rivendell), abandoning their posts (I'm pretty sure Pippin disobeys some direct standing orders during the siege), going into battle when they've been specifically ordered to stay back (Merry). They're also pretty unlawful when they get back so actually in the cause of this paragraph I've convinced myself they're not actually lawful at all. They only obey when the law they're obeying matches their own inclination.

In that respect, I think the only truly lawful characters are actually the Orcs because they, generally, do as they're told even when they don't want to. I'm not sure there's much Orcs want to do aside from eat and cause havoc so the fact that they every actually do anything else, even if they need serious persuading to do it, probably makes them more lawful than anyone else.

My other question is, does one act undermine your entire alignment? Farmair breaks the law in letting Frodo go, but its fairly exceptional circumstances and he dithers about it so can we actually imagine him doing that again? So is he lawful, with one minor deviation or does that deviation actually change his underlying lawful character?

Subject User Time
Discuss the "Allignment" of various characters (might be fun) noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 28 2012, 7:21pm
    Wrong! Wrong! (just kidding) CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 28 2012, 10:09pm
        Movin' up, movin' down noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 28 2012, 10:44pm
            Rating the Ring and Boromir CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Dec 28 2012, 11:44pm
        Regular elvish trick noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 28 2012, 10:56pm
        My RP background is not D&D Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Dec 28 2012, 11:48pm
            Which law? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 29 2012, 9:06am
                Rulers? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 29 2012, 10:35am
                Law and culture Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Jan 1 2013, 8:05pm
                    Such as the Mafia CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jan 1 2013, 9:01pm
    Not much is lawful... Mim Send a private message to Mim Dec 29 2012, 5:19pm
        How awful to be lawful? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Dec 29 2012, 10:17pm
            Not totally convinced Mim Send a private message to Mim Jan 1 2013, 7:55pm

 
 
 

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