History HonorBeforeReason / Literature

19th Feb '17 8:21:55 AM Derkhan
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* In the ''Literature/DreambloodDuology'', Ehiru's main flaw is his by-the-book adherence to Hananja's Law and refusal to acknowledge the possibility of corruption within the priesthood, making him susceptible to being easily manipulated by those with less scruple about these things.
20th Jan '17 4:01:53 PM SimiOfDoom
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* If the Seguleh from ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' think you might be tough, they will challenge you, no matter where or when. And they'll make it a fair fight, too. All three warriors of the Punitive Army challenge Tool over the course of ''Literature/MemoriesOfIce'', which forces Lady Envy to magically knock out Mok, because they just 'would not stop fighting' even while facing an enemy army.

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* If the Seguleh from ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' think you might be tough, they will challenge you, no matter where or when. And they'll make it a fair fight, too. All three warriors of the Punitive Army challenge Tool over the course of ''Literature/MemoriesOfIce'', which forces Lady Envy to magically knock out Mok, because they just 'would ''would not stop fighting' fighting'' even while facing an enemy army.
20th Jan '17 4:01:35 PM SimiOfDoom
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* If the Seguleh from ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' think you might be tough, they will challenge you, no matter where or when. And they'll make it a fair fight, too. All three warriors of the Punitive Army challenge Tool over the course of ''Literature/MemoriesOfIce'', which forces Lady Envy to magically knock out Mok, because they just 'would not stop fighting' even while facing an enemy army.
16th Jan '17 7:59:16 PM DustSnitch
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16th Jan '17 7:59:15 PM DustSnitch
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** Brienne of Tarth aspires to a knightly honour code, and is keenly aware of this trope when she sees that defending a group of war orphans will mean taking on six armed bandits by herself. [[BadAss She tries it anyway]], to the internal monologue of ''No chance, and no choice''.

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** Brienne of Tarth aspires to a knightly honour code, and is keenly aware of this trope when she sees that defending a group of war orphans will mean taking on six armed bandits by herself. [[BadAss She tries it anyway]], anyway, to the internal monologue of ''No chance, and no choice''.
12th Jan '17 8:18:09 PM Fireblood
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* Ward of ''Literature/{{Hurog}}'': When two men come to his estate and explain that they're after a slave who went to Hurog because he heard a story about there being no slavery in Hurog (a long-forgotten law that hasn't been enforced for a long time), and they now expect Ward's help in getting that slave recaptured, Ward calmly states that "[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome There are no slaves in Hurog]]". His uncle then explains that the ancient law of the land is that a slave, once in Hurog, is not a slave any longer. The men are not pleased, and they work for the king. No one wonders, as Ward has been ObfuscatingStupidity for some time, and no one expects him to make ''intelligent'' decisions, and he is known for his love of ancient ballads. The decision turns out to work in Ward's favour, as he has to flee the castle anyway (the men have also come to take him to an asylum because he's seemingly insane), and his own, magically bound slave Oreg (whom he cannot free) is ''very'' favourably impressed by the decision. Ward does not adhere to a concept of honour where you don't run away - he happily does so, in order to protect the people on his land, who would die if forced to fight the king's army.

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* Ward of ''Literature/{{Hurog}}'': When two men come to his estate and explain that they're after a slave who went to Hurog because he heard a story about there being no slavery in Hurog (a long-forgotten law that hasn't been enforced for a long time), and they now expect Ward's help in getting that slave recaptured, Ward calmly states that "[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome There are no slaves in Hurog]]". His uncle then explains that the ancient law of the land is that a slave, once in Hurog, is not a slave any longer. The men are not pleased, and they work for the king. No one wonders, as Ward has been ObfuscatingStupidity for some time, and no one expects him to make ''intelligent'' decisions, and he is known for his love of ancient ballads. The decision turns out to work in Ward's favour, favor, as he has to flee the castle anyway (the men have also come to take him to an asylum because he's seemingly insane), and his own, magically bound slave Oreg (whom he cannot free) is ''very'' favourably favorably impressed by the decision. Ward does not adhere to a concept of honour honor where you don't run away - he happily does so, in order to protect the people on his land, who would die if forced to fight the king's army.



** While Ned puts honour before expedience in [[spoiler: giving Cercei a chance to flee before going public with the news of her children's real parentage, and mistakenly trusts that everyone will honour Robert's final decree]], he sacrifices his own honour to protect his loved ones at least twice: [[spoiler: first, he creates the story of Jon being his bastard son instead of (unconfirmed, but widely speculated) his sister's son by Rhaegar Targaryen. Second, he confesses to crimes he didn't commit in an attempt to protect Sansa.]]

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** While Ned puts honour honor before expedience in [[spoiler: giving Cercei a chance to flee before going public with the news of her children's real parentage, and mistakenly trusts that everyone will honour honor Robert's final decree]], he sacrifices his own honour honor to protect his loved ones at least twice: [[spoiler: first, he creates the story of Jon being his bastard son instead of (unconfirmed, but widely speculated) his sister's son by Rhaegar Targaryen. Second, he confesses to crimes he didn't commit in an attempt to protect Sansa.]]



** The Karstarks (actual distant relations) are just as bad, if in a different way. They have honour, and are prickly about maintaining the letter of it. To the point of [[spoiler: taking umbrage when Robb has to execute one of their members for, frankly, being a grief-stricken, convention-breaking idiot]] which causes most [[spoiler: to turn coat]] instead of acknowledging the whole "stewardship of the North" thing the Starks have going on may occasionally lead to conflicts of honour like this. The insanity snowballs towards [[spoiler: a major in-family fight over who will inherit their own titles, let alone anything else]], at a point in time when the bigger seasonal picture is not that healthy for anybody not being able to pull together as a whole. Well done, Karstarks: you can shoot yourselves in the feet about as well as Starks can.
** Subverted in the case of House Arryn. Honor is a trait of House Arryn and it's heavily implied that the only reason the Starks are so honourable is because Ned was fostered with Jon Arryn, but by the beginning of the series the only Arryn's left are crazy Lysa and her sick five year old son.

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** The Karstarks (actual distant relations) are just as bad, if in a different way. They have honour, honor, and are prickly about maintaining the letter of it. To the point of [[spoiler: taking umbrage when Robb has to execute one of their members for, frankly, being a grief-stricken, convention-breaking idiot]] which causes most [[spoiler: to turn coat]] instead of acknowledging the whole "stewardship of the North" thing the Starks have going on may occasionally lead to conflicts of honour honor like this. The insanity snowballs towards [[spoiler: a major in-family fight over who will inherit their own titles, let alone anything else]], at a point in time when the bigger seasonal picture is not that healthy for anybody not being able to pull together as a whole. Well done, Karstarks: you can shoot yourselves in the feet about as well as Starks can.
** Subverted in the case of House Arryn. Honor is a trait of House Arryn and it's heavily implied that the only reason the Starks are so honourable honorable is because Ned was fostered with Jon Arryn, but by the beginning of the series the only Arryn's left are crazy Lysa and her sick five year old son.



* In the writings of Creator/{{Plato}}, this is a central aspect of Socrates' philosophy: since the soul is more important than the body, nothing can ever justify acting dishonourably, even to save one's own life.

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* In the writings of Creator/{{Plato}}, this is a central aspect of Socrates' philosophy: since the soul is more important than the body, nothing can ever justify acting dishonourably, dishonorably, even to save one's own life.life. Therefore he didn't escape from prison like his friends planned, but obeyed the law, drinking hemlock as the means to carry out his death sentence.
* ''Literature/KnowledgeOfAngels'': Palinor refuses to pretend he's repented his atheism even when the cost would be death, saying he would lose his integrity.
2nd Jan '17 7:32:18 AM SpiritStoner
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* Eddard "Ned" Stark from ''[[Lilterature/ASongofIceandFire A Game of Thrones]]'' is such a classic example, this trope could easily be called 'The Ned Stark Mindset', hence the comic on the main page. The series being highly [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical in outlook]], this is a tragic flaw which leads directly to [[spoiler: his own death, his daughter's captivity, and his son's armed rebellion.]]

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* Eddard "Ned" Stark from ''[[Lilterature/ASongofIceandFire A Game of Thrones]]'' is such a classic example, this trope could easily be called 'The Ned Stark Mindset', hence the comic on the main page. The series being highly [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical in outlook]], this is a tragic flaw which leads directly to [[spoiler: his own death, his daughter's captivity, and his son's armed rebellion.]] However, the series plays with the trope quite a lot:
** While Ned puts honour before expedience in [[spoiler: giving Cercei a chance to flee before going public with the news of her children's real parentage, and mistakenly trusts that everyone will honour Robert's final decree]], he sacrifices his own honour to protect his loved ones at least twice: [[spoiler: first, he creates the story of Jon being his bastard son instead of (unconfirmed, but widely speculated) his sister's son by Rhaegar Targaryen. Second, he confesses to crimes he didn't commit in an attempt to protect Sansa.
]]



** The Night's Watch must defend the realm from anything beyond the wall and stay out of any political entanglements. [[spoiler:Jon Snow tries to mobilise the Watch to rein in the warring kingdoms before the Others return, and gets stabbed for it.]]
** Stannis Baratheon, too. He doesn't even ''want'' to be king, but he's going to fight for it because to his way of thinking, he's the rightful king whether he likes it or not. For the same reason, he refuses to ally himself with competing kings Renly or Robb Stark even though he badly needs allies against the Lannisters.

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** Much like Jaime, former Kingsguard Ser Barristan Selmy is shown to struggle with his guilt at putting HonourBeforeReason and standing by throughout Aerys' reign.
** The Night's Watch must defend the realm from anything beyond the wall and stay out of any political entanglements. [[spoiler:Jon Snow tries to mobilise the Watch to rein in the warring kingdoms before the Others return, and gets stabbed for it. That said, PoorCommunicationKills is also at work here, because as far as his Watchmen can tell, he's not only picking sides but backing long-shot underdog Stannis, whose expected defeat would leave the Watch open to retribution.]]
** Stannis Baratheon, too. He doesn't even ''want'' to be king, but he's going to fight for it because to his way of thinking, he's the rightful king whether he likes it or not. For the same reason, he refuses to ally himself with competing kings Renly or Robb Stark even though he badly needs allies against the Lannisters. Learning to compromise and put aside his personal grievances for the good of the realm is his main character arc, but his stubborn commitment to honour remains constant.


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** Late-game POV character Jon Connington comes to the conclusion that he put HonourBeforeReason in giving Robert Baratheon time to escape in the Battle of the Bells instead of [[KillEmAll burning the whole town down]], and resolves to be more ruthless in future. The reader is left to draw their own conclusion as to whether he is right.
** Brienne of Tarth aspires to a knightly honour code, and is keenly aware of this trope when she sees that defending a group of war orphans will mean taking on six armed bandits by herself. [[BadAss She tries it anyway]], to the internal monologue of ''No chance, and no choice''.
12th Dec '16 3:08:48 PM ading
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* In the writings of Creator/{{Plato}}, this is a central aspect of Socrates' philosophy: since the soul is more important than the body, nothing can ever justify acting dishonourably, even to save one's own life.
7th Dec '16 4:05:08 PM SaraJaye
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* [[Literature/AmericanGirls Felicity Merriman]]'s parents exercise this when they learn Felicity has tamed Jiggy Nye's abused horse and intends to rescue her. Despite knowing Nye is a hateful abuser, they tell her that the horse belongs to him and that the right thing to do is give her back. [[spoiler: Subverted when Ben stands up for Felicity and Mr. Merriman offers to ''buy'' the horse, but it does little good when Felicity is forced to give the animal back and runs away in tears.]]
22nd Nov '16 4:54:52 PM Adeon
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** [[Spoiler:When Duchairn and Maigwair ask for their help with a revolt against Clyntahn, Merlin points out that while this is good for Charis as a country, it actually hurts the long term goals of the Inner Circle since it leaves the Temple with an intact (if reduced) power base and a leader who enjoys actual popular support which hurts their long term goal of breaking the MedievalStasis. In the end they decide to help them anyway since they can't justify the huge number of people who will die if Clyntahn forces the Temple armies to fight to the bitter end.]]

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** [[Spoiler:When [[spoiler:When Duchairn and Maigwair ask for their help with a revolt against Clyntahn, Merlin points out that while this is good for Charis as a country, it actually hurts the long term goals of the Inner Circle since it leaves the Temple with an intact (if reduced) power base and a leader who enjoys actual popular support which hurts their long term goal of breaking the MedievalStasis. In the end they decide to help them anyway since they can't justify the huge number of people who will die if Clyntahn forces the Temple armies to fight to the bitter end.]]
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