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11-04-2010 @ 7:08AM
In my view both Jania and Uther are just as guilty of the slaughter as Arthas. They both were there, had a strong suspicion of what he was going to do, had legal, religious and command responsibility to those people in the town, but chose to abrogate those responsibilities and allow Arthas free reign. Their crimes are crimes of inaction. In the US there are crimes of inaction. For instance if you see someone drowning and do not attempt to help them (and they die), or if you block an ambulance's path (and someone dies as a result) you can be charged with manslaughter. Your inaction or carelessness directly resulted or materially contributed to the death of someone. This is very much the type of argument used to prosecute Charlie Manson, who never raised a hand against anyone he /caused/ to be killed. While I can cut Jaina some slack, there is no reason Uther should have walked away. Putting entirely aside his religious obligations as a Paladin, he had a military obligation. There are rules to warfare and the treatment of civilians in war- and peacetime. If an officer suggests killing a civilian for no good reason, you are obliged to remind them of the UCMJ and the current rules of land warfare. If they do indeed directly kill a civilian (non-uniformed non-combatant) who is not posing an immediate threat or immediately contributing materially to an ongoing threat/engagement, it is your responsibility to relieve them of their weapon and keep them under confinement. Now, those are the rules that are agreed on in a nice office far away from the actual battlefield. Things happen - you have to use your best judgment on what to do when. At the time though, Arthas pretty much stated 'I really want to do this', both Jaina and Uther disagreed, Arthas pulled rank in some odd fashion (by his FUTURE right as king... i.e. he didn't have the authority at the time), and they both allowed him to do it. There was no immediate threat, no battle, no confusion. Their knowing and willing indifference was tacit approval - they were his accomplices. Their duty at that time was to protect those people. If that included forcibly disarming and arresting Arthas, then that is what they should have done; not walked away to leave them to their fate. Yes, yes. I know, it's a game (hey, we're talking about Undead and Paladins), but I found the whole thing very unrealistic. If Jaina and Uther weren't there and it was just Arthas and his subordinates, I could see that happening. I'm glad to see though that Jaina has moved from 'you should not, but I won't stop you' to 'you will not - and I won't let you' after the retaking of Undercity/Wrathgate event. As a character, she needs to grow some teeth and do a few things other than lecturing on proper behavior.
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