A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Why hasn't Nale gone to see his fiendish ladylove yet?
    Because showing him doing that would break the pacing of the last few scenes. Now that Tarquin's firmly over the side of the Mechane, there is an opportunity to show what's going on with Sabine.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by marq View Post
    I'm surprised he kept him in just because forum users like him.
    I'm pretty sure that's the only one Rich ever actually said (in Book 1's commentary). The rest of that post might be..."performance art."
    THE SCRYING EYE AT THE END OF STRIP #698 WAS ZZ'DTRI'S (SOURCE)

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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    No, I remember Rich saying it roughly around the time that the arena fight happened (or a little before). It's been a few years, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
    You are presuming that Ridureyu is trying to be a troll.

    I tend to think of him more as a Performance Artist, myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridureyu View Post
    No, I remember Rich saying it roughly around the time that the arena fight happened (or a little before). It's been a few years, though.
    Considering this board's tendency to archive everything he says, I'd think such a post would get frequently linked to in Thog discussions if it actually existed.
    THE SCRYING EYE AT THE END OF STRIP #698 WAS ZZ'DTRI'S (SOURCE)

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ridureyu View Post
    Understand, a lot of people were arguing that Thog was not evil at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by marq View Post
    Yeah, I can see that. But I'm shocked that "he didn't like writing the character and only kept him in because people liked his jokes."

    I'm surprised to hear that he didn't like writing the character. I'm surprised he kept him in just because forum users like him.

    And I'm most surprised he was puzzled over how popular the character was.
    Regarding Thog, I think that I read in one of the Author Commentaries that Rich found writing him to be enjoyable. One of the problems with Thog is not how The Giant presents him (i.e. funny as Baator), but in the way some fans react to Thog. Thog is a Chaotic Evil Barbarian first, and a lovable goofball who likes puppies and ice cream second. If Thog were ever to be given a real puppy, odds are that he would not treat it better than the blacksmith he tortured. And his ice cream addiction is even worse: he gets on a sugar high and then becomes uncontrollable. So long as Nale and Sabine were plying him with ice cream, he could be kept from killing people. (Or at least killing people whose deaths weren't essential to Nale's plans.)

    In terms of Thog returning, that depends on whether he's survived the collapse in the arena, and whether Sabine can break him out.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Personally, I am mainly convinced Thog is still alive for two reasons. First being that Thog was barely hurt when Roy dropped the building on him. Even if it pinned him under the mass of rubble, there's every chance he simply ate the damage and was either unconscious or simply pinned. Also, it's worth noting that Sir Scraggly was knocked unconscious near Thog. Giving him said dog would be a perfect sendoff for the character, allowing him to get what he's wanted all along and then never to see him again (since without Nale around, there's no reason for him to oppose the Order). Honestly, I think Thog and Scraggly walking off into the sunset would make a nice last page or penulimate page for this book. But maybe that's just me.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    There is no reason for Thog to be alive now as everyone has said.

    I wouldn't mind seeing a minicomic series of thog carting around the rotten bodies of Z and Nale trying to get them raised. That would be awesome!

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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    The real question, I think, isn't whether Thog is alive, but rather if he will be returning to the story in any meaningful way. After all, it's not necessary to kill off a character to remove them from a story, and he could be kept alive to make it uncertain whether he is returning or not.


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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxzan Proditor View Post
    The real question, I think, isn't whether Thog is alive, but rather if he will be returning to the story in any meaningful way. After all, it's not necessary to kill off a character to remove them from a story, and he could be kept alive to make it uncertain whether he is returning or not.
    Exactly so. The Giant has allowed Leeky, Pompey, and The Unnamed Cleric of Loki to all walk out of the story with their lives intact.

    I don't know if Thog will get/has gotten the same grace. Time may tell.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Quote Originally Posted by marq View Post
    And I'm most surprised he was puzzled over how popular the character was.
    He wasn't.

    What was actually said (to the best of my recollection) was that he was astounded by the number of people who honestly argued that Thog wasn't evil.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FujinAkari View Post
    He wasn't.

    What was actually said (to the best of my recollection) was that he was astounded by the number of people who honestly argued that Thog wasn't evil.
    So what everyone is saying is that Ridureyu was lying/wrong?

    Okay then.

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    Orthat my memory might be off since it's been a few years. There's that possibility.
    Quote Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
    You are presuming that Ridureyu is trying to be a troll.

    I tend to think of him more as a Performance Artist, myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FujinAkari View Post
    He wasn't.

    What was actually said (to the best of my recollection) was that he was astounded by the number of people who honestly argued that Thog wasn't evil.
    I loved Thog, but you have to be blind not see that he was evil.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesecake View Post
    I loved Thog, but you have to be blind not see that he was evil.
    You do know which forum you're on, right? The one where people argue that Tarquin is a loving father, Redcloak is morally justified, and Miko is a reasonable, sweet-natured person?
    Quote Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
    You are presuming that Ridureyu is trying to be a troll.

    I tend to think of him more as a Performance Artist, myself.

  15. - Top - End - #45

    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesecake View Post
    I loved Thog, but you have to be blind not see that he was evil.
    If you're blind, I don't think you'd see anything.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridureyu View Post
    You do know which forum you're on, right? The one where people argue that Tarquin is a loving father, Redcloak is morally justified, and Miko is a reasonable, sweet-natured person?
    Well, except for Miko, I think you could make those arguments. Doesn't necessarily mean you're right, but I think you could make them.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    I think the "interesting" comment had more to do with the fact that he would betray Sabine to get ahead than the commentary on his alignment. (Interesting because Sabine clearly loves him and, even being a literal incarnation of evil and sex, would be loathe to do the same.)

    Betraying Sabine though does not make him non-Lawful. By that logic, no LE villain would be lawful despite all of them being capable of treachery; devils, efreet, rakshasa etc. Rather, he never gave his word to never turn against Sabine that we could see; perhaps she made such an oath to him, but I doubt the reverse.

    ...And now I really want that Linear Guild prequel book.
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Thog's popularity with the fans is the only reason he survived the first Linear Guild encounter, when Rich was planning the Linear Guild's core to be Nale and Sabine and all the others to be replaced each time they were encountered: True, confirmed by book commentary.
    Rich has said he doesn't like writing Thog: False, as far as I know.
    People have argued that Thog is not evil: True.
    People have argued that Redcloak is morally justified: True.
    People have argued that Miko was sweet-natured: False, as far as I know.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Kish, remember the Great Miko Wars? The "morally justified" threads got backed up with people calling her sweet and kind. I distinctly remember at least one poster talking about how there were tears in his eyes when Miko was set on fire, because "the thought of such a sweet and beautiful woman screaming in agony as her hair burns" (paraphrase from 7 years ago) was too much for him. And there was fan art of her all happy and peaceful and romantic, and... wow.
    Quote Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
    You are presuming that Ridureyu is trying to be a troll.

    I tend to think of him more as a Performance Artist, myself.

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Thog's popularity with the fans is the only reason he survived the first Linear Guild encounter, when Rich was planning the Linear Guild's core to be Nale and Sabine and all the others to be replaced each time they were encountered: True, confirmed by book commentary.
    Can you point me to that? I have all books, but can't remember reading that.

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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianSt View Post
    Can you point me to that? I have all books, but can't remember reading that.
    Book 1, Round 3 commentary.
    THE SCRYING EYE AT THE END OF STRIP #698 WAS ZZ'DTRI'S (SOURCE)

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Pretty sure it's Dungeon Crawling Fools, but can't swear to it.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Z is going to make a deal with a Guardinal, an Eladrin, and an Aasimon; named Ecgtheow, Elgin, and Engelbert.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    I just don't see the point of Thog being alive. At all. We're nearing the home stretch, Rich (I assume) wants to start streamlining, not adding complications.

    Thog doesn't have the nous (or, I think, desire) to find his way to the Order without Nale guiding him. And Nale's very dead. As is Z. And I don't see Sabine gathering up Thog for some revenge attack on the Order; clearly her sights are set on Tarquin.

    As for Tarquin's lose cannon comment, I don't think it necessarily indicates that Thog is alive, so much that Tarquin is smart and saying 'Oh yes, I got your friend killed, but I'm taking his place, so it's fine' isn't really the best way to build team coherence.

    Finally, people have said very often that we haven't seen the Xs in his eyes, so he can't be dead. But 'they're not dead unless you see the body' is such a cliche, and Rich enjoys playing with that sort of thing and going against expectations, so I'd personally like it if the outcome was just 'of course he's dead, a roof fell on him'.

    If Thog does come back (for more than single-panel joke), I'm sure Rich will do it justice. But personally, I'd be happier if he never did.
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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    My guess: Thos is alive, and Sabine will bust him out. Then, they will make one last appearance, but that will interfere in a life-death battle for someone, possibily Elan.

    And then, their interference will help Elan out, someway.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ridureyu View Post
    Can't you actually see the X's in Thog's eyes when he gets squashed? It's hard to spot, but you can see a couple of pixels that do not look like normal eyes.

    Either way, Thog is out. Aside from all the pre-planning for this arc, the Giant had expressed puzzelement at how many fans Thog had despite his murderous behavior, and said that he didn't like writing the character and only kept him on because people liked the jokes. And then these sentiments got echoed really directly in the fight comics (including Thog killing one of his fans, albeit by accident). SO yeah, point taken.
    Quote Originally Posted by marq View Post
    Yeah, I can see that. But I'm shocked that "he didn't like writing the character and only kept him in because people liked his jokes."

    I'm surprised to hear that he didn't like writing the character. I'm surprised he kept him in just because forum users like him.

    And I'm most surprised he was puzzled over how popular the character was.
    The reason it's shocking is because I never said all of that.

    I did say that I kept Thog around because he was popular, but keep in mind this was around strip #70, when I had been posting OOTS for less than six months. I had no concept at all of what would or would not be popular at that point; it was my first experience writing for an audience larger than the six players at my D&D table. It wasn't that I wanted him gone and decided to keep him begrudgingly due to reader pressure, so much as I was running a lot of ideas up the flagpole and everyone saluted that one, so I changed my plan gladly. But this was so early that I had not come up with the idea of the Gates or the Snarl yet; I hadn't even decided whether or not they would ever get out of the dungeon! There was no real plan beyond the next 10-15 strips anyway, so why not change it?

    Because I love writing Thog. He's a comedy goldmine and can make any scene funnier just be being involved. I won't comment on whether or not he's dead right now, but rest assured that if he doesn't show up again in the main story, it won't be because I didn't like writing him. And you should totally expect him to keep showing up in the ancillary materials (like in the recent Haleo & Julelan story).

    What I found odd was that people tried to claim that he was not Evil because he was lovable. I don't understand that. I've never understood the need of some people to rationalize that a character they like is somehow less Evil just because they like them. Thog is Evil; Thog is lovable. Those two facts do not need to be in opposition. I don't understand treating his lovability as overriding his Evilness, nor his Evilness overriding his lovability. Because he's a fictional character and it's not necessary that we pass a binding absolute judgment on how we feel about him. We can simultaneously appreciate his comedy in this corner of our brain while condemning his evil in that corner.

    Apparently, though, that's not how some people see it, and that's what continues to baffle me. I don't see how one could appreciate fiction on any serious level if every character has to boil down to a single LOVE/HATE toggle switch.

    (The Thog fan getting killed in the arena fight was just a poke at the people who seem to think that he's blameless for his actions just because he's dumb and funny—not some statement that I hated the character and didn't know why anyone liked him.)
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  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Thank you for the clarification! I'm sorry that I remembered it so badly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
    You are presuming that Ridureyu is trying to be a troll.

    I tend to think of him more as a Performance Artist, myself.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Apparently, though, that's not how some people see it, and that's what continues to baffle me. I don't see how one could appreciate fiction on any serious level if every character has to boil down to a single LOVE/HATE toggle switch.
    Especially considering the example of character that we know that functions based on LOVE/HATE toggle switches :)

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    I won't comment on whether or not he's dead right now
    ... you know, I was quite sure that Thog was dead, but the lack of confirmation at this point in the story has suddenly opened me up to doubt.
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    Default Re: Thog, Z and Nale's whereabouts.

    Nale: NE afterlife. He is NE, not LE or CE. He claims to be L and tries to be it and uses a lot of Lawful methods (his plans) and might even think of himself as Lawful, but he is not, in all the things mentioned he is as chaotic as it can get. His plans are complicated, he only tries to be L because his father is and he must be better, he's easy to anger, he does not seem to have really solid mortals or a code of conduct beyond "Make it complicated!"
    Curiously, the question if Nale is LE or NE is the same if Roy is LG or NG. They're very similar but while Roy maintains his L I doubt that Nale can, as he has much stronger chaotic tendencies that are also rooted much deeper in his character and his actions. When Roy barely makes it into L, I strongly doubt Nale is everyhing but N. Nale is not C, for the same reason he is not L: His lawful tendencies are simply too strong for that.

    Thog: CE Afterlife or Tarquin's Dungeon. There's no question about his alignment, just the one of Tarquin dug him out alive or dead. If there is some orcish afterlife he probably would be very happy there, he's much more orc than human after all. But I go for CE (as he is a normal player race and Half-Orcish Pantheons do not exist).

    Zz'dtri: Do we know his alignment? If no, he strikes me as LE or NE, but putting him in some drow-afterlife does also not seem far fetched. So I go for racial Drow-Afterlife (an evil one, if they are split up by gods/alignments as well).
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