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"You lied by omission to one of us and got mad when we repeatedly resurrected and killed your lover, so we are going to place a curse on you that will force you to forever live in despair. Don't worry though, we will take it off if you accept our nonsensical philosophy that we can't be bothered to follow ourselves."
Yeah, the Brother Gods are so understanding. Not villainous at all.
Nonsensical? Learning why the Balance between Life and Death was Important is a tragic but fairly Simple thing.
I'm not saying the Gods were completely justifed(resurrecting and killing Ozma a few times) but Salem could have just tried to Learn the lesson, she refused to and Blamed everyone else for it.
It's difficult to think rationally under the strain she was put at the time.
She did, however, have quite some time to think on this - to a point where she tried every single method of killing herself - so the fact that her response was to gather an army and forcefully dethrone the Gods speaks well enough. Naturally, the Gods then one-up her by exterminating the entire human race, fucking off and then throwing the monumental task down Ozma's shoulders.
Edited by FergardStratoavis on Mar 12th 2019 at 9:32:35 AM
Yeah I can't really take the side of the gods here. Would it have really killed the God of Light to sit down and explain things to anyone? Even the whole reason for cursing Salem (causing the two brothers to fight each other) came about because he didn't feel like explaining himself before undoing his brother's work.
All of the conflict playing remnant in the present day can be traced back to the two brothers screwing up and then passing the buck onto others.
I could launch into a long rant about how all the talk about the "Importance of Death" is a bunch of bollocks motivated purely by Sour Grapes, but I don't want to start a philosophical discussion here. Let me just say that, even if there is a reason to believe that the inevitability and irreversibility of death is a good thing, the Gods never gave Salem that reason. They showed that they are capable of resurrecting the dead and making people immortal without any visible drawbacks, but they purposefully choose not to. Not that it stops them from utilizing immortality for themselves though. They are the worst.
Edited by Tharkun140 on Mar 12th 2019 at 9:56:54 AM
So, a thought.
What if Salem manages to gather all four Relics in one place - and then nothing happens? The Gods do not bother to come back, likely having found something more interesting to do than some lady holding a grudge. Presumably they had plans for returning, but lost interest over time and just went on with their lives?
What if they do this one slight to everyone by making the whole shadow war between Ozpin and Salem utterly pointless? I can't imagine neither of them taking it well.
@Fergard that would be interesting
I'm not really saying the Gods were justified. And I actually think it'd be cool if either or both of them were the final villain, it's just Salems response was far from Mature. Basically the Gods were Wrong and Salem was super wrong.
I would put the Gods as the super wrong side since their response to people rising up against them was complete genocide. Given that there is no indication humanity could even harm them it's completely indefensible.
Well then neither of them are really better then the other.
I'm inclined to see Salem as more in the wrong personally. Nearly all her suffering from Ozma's death onward is her own damn fault and the gods' genocide would never have happened had Salem not manipulated humanity into being Too Dumb to Live (Seriously, trying to fight divine being with powers they gave you in the first place, how else did you think that was that gonna end, humanity 1.0?)
No, she wasn't childish. She was grieving and people do all sorts of things when they're grieving.
If they felt they had to make her immortal to teach her a lesson about the balance of life and death, 'simple' isn't what I'd call the issue.
Since we don't actually know why the gods feel it's such an important lesson to learn, we don't know how simple it is.
What is important is what the God of Light said to Ozma about giving him a form of immortality that will ensure he is never alone. It suggested the God of Light knew damn we'll that they had screwed up, and that Ozma was being used as the 'fix'.
That said, none of this changes the fact that Salem has a Never My Fault personality, made some bad decisions, doubled-down on them, and then crossed the line.
This still doesn't address what I said about the five stages of grief that people commonly go through when someone they care about dies. This is recognized as a real thing that people go through. She tried bargaining, and experienced anger, and went through the other stages too.
So yeah, she was wrong to lie to people, but she obviously thought there was a real chance of beating the gods. She came to this conclusion because she was able to successfully deceive the one god, even if only briefly. Which proves they aren't all knowing, and therefore are imperfect, and can potentially be beaten.
The fact that they were willing to commit global genocide (men, women, and children) including people who had nothing to do with the rebellion shows that she was right about them needing to be overthrown, even if she went about it the wrong way. I don't see how anyone can say Salem is worse than the gods. At most she is the lesser of two (well three) evils.
Edited by Neveratall on Mar 12th 2019 at 7:37:31 AM
@Wyldchyld: I don't think the God of Light realized he screwed up*; rather he can't stand things not going his way, and can't let go of the past. IMO he's Also a kind of Never My Fault character, and rather manipulative as well**; the lack of his brother's presence is incredibly suspicious given that he's talking for both of them, and his executive summary to Ozma of what befell Remnant completely leaves out GoL's own missteps while shifting sole blame to his brother for the "tragedy" which he threatens to repeat if Ozma fails him. Then there's the matter of how vague he is about what became of Salem, and his reaction to Ozma abruptly accepting his offer after being told Salem isn't in the afterlife. I think he's hiding something about why he chose to bring Ozma back.
* Or at least he's not willing to admit it, and consequently his attempts to "fix" his mistakes end up failing; Ozma's immortality has ruined a lot of lives, and it failed to stop him from becoming every bit as alienated from humanity as Salem is.
** He initially tries to lie to Salem about being unable to raise the dead before falling back on the "balance of life and death" thing, and during his confrontation with his brother I got the distinct impression that Salem accidentally exposed a deeper underlying disagreement between the brothers, which GoL papered over by deflecting the issue to Salem's lie of omission.
Edited by CaptainCapsase on Mar 12th 2019 at 8:10:00 AM
I wouldn't say the gods are any better considering dark brother was fine with bending the rules before he found out Salem came to him second and he essentially eradicated humanity based on what only some of humanity did.
With Salem my guess is she never had a chance to to properly understand loss or grief. So when it happens it probably hit her harder than most.
So to change to a less worn out topic, what's everyone's guess for the function of the relic of choice? That's really the odd one out, and Ozpin mentioning he's taken special precautions with that one suggest it's the most dangerous, or at least the most important to Salem.
If it turns out that Salem is actually stuck in Evernight, and that "if you want something done right, do it yourself" bit from The Stinger is a Red Herring, then this becomes a lot stronger, but my own theory is that it's got an Ironic Name, and functions like a cross between an Apple of Eden and a Geass, allowing the user to give a single inviolable command to people who can see and hear them, with a limit of one command per person. Ozpin used it at some point to confine Salem to the Grimlands, and at the end of the great war used it to force the leaders of the other kingdoms to go along with his plan to radically restructure society, but he's been very reluctant to actually make full use of the relic of choice because of how strongly doing so goes against his core beliefs. (My thoughts are that it does that because the God of Light's hidden agenda, I think he's testing whether "choice" aka free will was the reason their creation failed, and he's 100% correct about that.)
Edited by CaptainCapsase on Mar 12th 2019 at 8:53:35 AM
I felt like the Salem origin story was your pretty typical old-school legend involving divine figures, where the only real moral lesson is "don't fuck with the gods". She Rage Against the Heavens, the Heavens punish her for it. Whether they're right to do so or where their moral authority to punish mortals for supposed transgressions comes from isn't the point — the point is that they're gods, so don't fuck with them, end of story.
Where that went off the rails is when they gods killed everyone, rather than just the people who attacked them and referred to the whole thing as an experiment.
That just raises so many more questions and there are no answers forthcoming. Possibly the answers were trampled to death by the stampede of additional questions like "wait how did humanity come back after they were destroyed?" and "wait if humanity is back again what was even the point of destroying them in the first place?" and "wait fanus are just here now too I guess???" and etc.
"Whether they're right to do so or where their moral authority to punish mortals for supposed transgressions comes from isn't the point — the point is that they're gods, so don't fuck with them, end of story."
Except there are various fictional stories where the god(s) are ultimately evil and need to be fought by the heroes. Maybe that will be the case here. Or at least maybe it should be.
I think that's where the "old-school" legend comes in. Most old mythologies the gods are assholes and you don't mess with them if you can help it.
On a side note, the posts recently gave me a thought about the gods: They punished Salem by making her the sole survivor of humanity, of leaving her entirely alone. When the God of Light resurrected Ozpin, he did it in a way that makes sure he's never alone. The gods' entire motivation in creating the world that would become Remnant was to create something together.
That makes me wonder if the gods consider loneliness the single worst thing in the universe.
Edited by sgamer82 on Mar 12th 2019 at 9:58:35 AM
From a meta standpoint though, I think it would be more satisfying to the viewers to see the gods as the ultimate antagonists that RWBY have to fight. At this point Salem has been shown to be emotionally vulnerable, and even sympathetic in some ways, so a victory over her likely wouldn't be as satisfying, especially if it involves simply talking her down like some people think will happen.
A big battle against the gods as the grand finale would arguably make for a better conclusion.
Yeah, I wasn't really commenting on its quality as a narrative in RWBY, just pointing out that it seemed to have a very similar flavor to various Greek myths involving mortals and the gods.
For example, the story of Orpheus (who was actually the son of Apollo so a demigod, but close enough). Orpheus was really good at music, so much so that even the gods were impressed. His wife Eurydice died, so he went to the underworld to visit her. Normally this would mean dying himself, but the gods loved his music so much that they protected him while he was in the underworld. He made a deal with Hades that he could bring Eurydice back to the land of the living with him, on the condition that he let her follow him out of the underworld without looking at her until they were back. He doesn't make it and looks back to make sure she's still following just before leaving the underworld, so she's lost to him forever.
Why did Hades put that condition on returning Eurydice? Was it unfair of him to do so? Was it unfair of him to grant Orpheus's request (even conditionally) but not anyone else who wanted their loved ones back from the dead? The story doesn't go into it. The story doesn't care. The point of the story isn't to question the motives of the gods, it's to say "don't fuck with the gods, they don't play around". (In some versions of the story, Zeus strikes Orpheus with lightning immediately after he emerges from the underworld in order to keep him from telling mortals about it.)
Salem's backstory feels very similar in that vein. It's not about whether the gods are right or wrong, it's about "the gods are gods and you're not, so don't mess with them or you'll regret it". Aaaand then the god brothers kill everyone (even those not defying them) and declare the whole "humanity" thing a failed experiment and it's just like "wait, what? Where did that come from?".
The authors and original recipients of these kind of stories had little notion of morality other than "The gods say so" or "The tradition says so". In modern era, the audience tends to judge characters' morality regardless of the power level they possess. The Brother Gods did some seriously messed up things and announced they will return one day to either rule humanity again or outright destroy it, so it would make sesne for the heroes to oppose them.
That's not what he's saying, he's saying it felt like your standard old-school myth in that vein until the point where the Gods commit genocide, declare the planet a failed experiment, and fly off into deep space. It almost makes me wonder if they're actually some sort of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and/or something along the lines of the Gnostic demiurge where they aren't the real creators of the universe.
I think it may have been an intentional subversion of the traditional And Man Grew Proud myth. Of course, if we weren't intended to see it like that there should have been some mention of how messed up the Gods were from the characters, but OTOH the show has a bad habit of kicking stuff like that down the road, ie inquiring about what the relics do or asking for more details about Ozpin's past, the nature of the Gods, and so on. I'm hoping it comes up when they start discussing what to do next, assuming volume 7 lets them complete their mission.
Edited by CaptainCapsase on Mar 13th 2019 at 12:36:34 PM
I mean, that aside, Orpheus didn't honor his part of the deal, so that's on him. Hades is arguably the most lenient and easy-going of Greek Gods, but trying to swindle any deity like that is likely to end in tears. Also, I thought he was torn apart by maenads some time later after he refused to participate in festivities.
So, in that vein, Salem tried to swindle God of Darkness after God of Light refused to humor her plea. God of Darkness is, I believe, weaker than his brother so even if he had some hiccups about being denied a pleasure of helping a mortal, he had little choice but to fall in line, at least back when they were cursing her with immortality.
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