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4-16-2008 @ 8:14PM
"A -good- prince, and more importantly, a good PALADIN would've tried his best to save those who could be saved. Arthas chose the easy way out by condemning the entire city to death. He betrayed his people and his oath to the Silver Hand and damned himself all in one fell swoop."This is where I would politely disagree. :) If you play the Arthas story thoroughly from the beginning, you save a young boy named Timmy. Later, you see this same Timmy as a ghoul after you bash one of the cages open (I believe)... Arthas sees it too. This Timmy is immortalized in the current Stratholme in the game. He saw a completely innocent boy turn into a rampaging murder. He knew the power of what the grain did, and Stratholme was a city of considerable influence and size. I think an argument can be made that if Stratholme had fallen (as Malganis intended) it would have doomed Arthas' kingdom entirely... and anyone left alive in the city would have been killed by their ghoulish counterparts. There's a rather meaningful image in the Eastern plaguelands that was featured here on Wow Insider just a few weeks ago of an adult and child skeleton lying together.. one knifed and one holding poison. This was the extent people took to try to avoid becoming scourge when it was realized what was happening. Killing their own children. This is something Jaina and Uther did not see to a large degree because they were not present for quite a bit of the turning scourge... and in WCIII, the peasants actually DO turn scourge after you attack their houses. They are 'asleep' and then they turn dark. Uther and Jaina were being idealistic- they hoped there was another way. Arthas had seen what the plague did, and knew that there was too strong a liability if infected people got turned... and Malganis was taking people as well. What time was there to analyze who was infected or not? Could the risk be taken that all of his men would brutally killed from behind from peasants they THOUGHT were not affected? What sort of analysis could Arthas have done? I do not view the choice to 'cleanse' Stratholme as Arthas' snapping point... but I do believe the guilt from his own decision led him to his snapping point where he burned his men's ships and then had them kill the mercenaries he, himself, had employed. That was the snapping point. Stratholme was done in desperation to save the rest of his people, to avenge them, and to prevent them from horrific death and from them becoming monsters that would kill their own families. A noble decision? No. It wasn't. But what time -was- there to think of a different plan? If Uther believed so strongly in what he was saying, he would have gone in and implented a plan himself- If Jaina truly believed the people could be saved, why did she not step forward and attempt it? They both left. They chose to leave. In their inaction, they proved themselves hypocrites. And I say this as a person who deeply likes Jaina as a character. If there was another way...they chose not to implement it and left Arthas to his own doom. Sadly, however, I'm not sure there was another way that would not lead to more bloodshed and death than took place in Stratholme. If there was another way... Uther did not try it. So was he truly being a good paladin either? And the Paladins who left with him? He defies Arthas' right to order him, and still does not attempt to save the citizens. Why? I think because he knew, too, that 'another way' was idealistic nonsense and there was no time for it. Either way, if he had something in mind, he didn't choose to do it, and in my mind, that makes him just as responsible.
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