: You know, Krys, here is another thought about Zakiyah's picture
: (and this is a shout out to Rana Kane as well.) When comparing
: Venger to Voldemort, what Caitlin Grayson did would only have
: been possible against Venger. But not because he is in any way
: "weaker" than Voldie.
: When Rana was assisting me with "Portkey to the
: Realm," we discussed the differences between the two dark
: wizards at some length. The main difference, we decided, was
: that Venger has a Code of Honor, whereas Voldemort does not.
: And because Venger was honor bound by his word to not harm
: Caitlin, he would not harm her while she was his hostage. Of
: course, Voldie would have killed poor Caitlin outright for
: simply being a muggle (but right after killing Presto for being
: a "mudblood.")
Okay, if anyone here has not read either the Harry Potter books, or either of my D&DC fanfics "In the Hands of a Child" or "Dastirum," then I feel like I should put this disclaimer here:
* * * * SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! * * * *
There, I've done my duty.
Yes, I agree that Venger definitely had a code of honor that Voldemort did not have. Voldemort always seemed to hold even his own Death Eaters in extreme contempt, no matter how loyal they seemed, and he was perfectly fine with throwing them to the wolves (with the possible exception of Bellatrix). He'd break any law, tell any lie, and not even think twice about it. He was above such silly little things as morals and ethics.
Venger, on the other hand, when he gave his word, he was good for it, though he was certainly a master of equivocation and had some sublime ways of saying one thing while implying something else entirely. I did have some fun exploring that particular code of honor in the scene you're describing in ITHOAC. I imagine that when Caitlin was throwing that tantrum and yelling and screaming and kicking him in the shins, he was pretty frustrated with himself for promising that she'd be returned unharmed, when all he really wanted to do was just smack her once to get her to shut up. The thing is, at that time, there would have been no witnesses. No orcs, not even Shadow Demon. He probably could have given her one solid slap that she would have recovered from long before she was supposed to be exchanged for the Gem, and no one would have been the wiser. But VENGER would have known that he hadn't kept his word, and that was unacceptable.
Funny how he's fine with the thought of beating a six-year-old child, but his conscience, such that it is, won't let him get away with breaking a promise.
One of the other major differences that I see between Venger and Voldemort is Voldie has a complete superiority complex that spills into the territory of utter arrogance. Harry Potter, to him, is just some second-rate nobody, whose only "gift" was not even innate - it was the protection afforded by the fact that his mother sacrificed herself to save him. To his detriment, he completely discounts Harry's and everyone else's powers, abilities, and intelligence because *obviously* they are far inferior to his own. How quickly he forgot or rationalized away how Harry beat him in an attempt to find the Philosopher's Stone, or destroyed the basilisk and the shade of Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets, or beat him in a duel of wands ... well, you get the idea. Despite all evidence to the contraty, Voldemort was incapable of seeing anyone, Harry included, as a worthy opponent, and that arrogance cost him dearly in the end.
Venger, on the other hand ... yes, he's got a superiority complex. But Venger also knows his enemies, and can admit when they are smart and clever enough to earn his respect. Sure, there were a few times when he just outright attacked them, but I'm pretty sure that some part of him knew that wouldn't work. I think that's why such a powerful being as he was often forced to resort to more subtle ways of getting at them: separate them, turn them against one another, turn other people against them, infiltrate their group and try to earn their trust, attempt to completely obliterate history so they're never born, etc.
More importantly, Venger was able to recognize his enemies' strengths well enough to use their abilities for his own aims - The Treasure of Tardos is an excellent example of this, and so is the ending of Dungeon at the Heart of Dawn, though he often piggy-backs his own aims on the kids' efforts. For example, he's smart enough to listen to Presto rather than incinerate him on the spot, thus learning about Kelek and the unicorn horns. This unusual willingness keep his enemies alive so he could exploit their abilities is what I tried to explore in both my fanfics. In ITHOAC, Venger *could* have just attacked and destroyed all of them in those brief few minutes after he'd lured them back to the Realm but before their Weapons were returned to them, then just sifted through the ashes until he found the Gem of Shahvin. The problem was, he didn't know exactly where to take the Gem once he had it. Oh, he probably could have figured it out, but why go to that effort when he knew exactly what to to do manipulate the gang into doing the work for him? Or in "Dastirum" when he realizes the kids are about to confront the Duke of Darkness. He is rather pleased with this turn of events because he knows he's barely going to have to lift a finger to see this long-standing thorn in his side eliminated. He even anonymously pitches in and nudges circumstances into a design that helps his enemies because at that moment, the smug satisfaction of seeing the Duke defeated is more important to him than capturing the gang's Weapons.
So I guess what I'm saying is that as evil as he is, Voldemort is pretty much a one-trick pony, basically a two-dimensional bad guy who is evil just for the sake of being evil. Venger, on the other hand, has a rich depth of character that we just don't see in Voldemort.
By the way, Model Builder - I don't think I ever said anything to thank you when you left your review for me on ITHOAC. I really did take it to heart. Since this was a topic you were personally very close to, I took your advice and went back to make a few revisions in the first couple of chapters. Nothing that changed the basic thrust of the story, but I tried to emphasize that reality is a little harsher than I made it. I hope it comes across a little more plausibly now.
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