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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

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    d6 Crappy parent = man

    V is Male due to horrible parenting.

    As witnesses I call forth

    Haley's father chaotic and kill all feeling

    Roy's father I have no time for feels like V can understand this.

    Elan and Nales father be my unthinking pawn. Where did she think all that great fertilizer came from how dare she tell to quit killing men who slap her bottom. (Possibly Anel's father as well)
    Last edited by denthor; 2020-01-03 at 09:29 PM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Counterpoint: V is female to bring some balance to the terrible parenting.

    Seriously though I like to imagine V as female in large part because doing so balances things out more and V has a lot of plot lines and character stuff of the type female characters just don’t usually get. When I first read the comic I assumed V was male based on the art.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
    Peelee's Avatar

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Counterpoint:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Actual literary analysis is so rare around here that I feel compelled to respond to this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama
    Parents in a story like this are either in conflict with their children somehow, or not present somehow.
    This is probably the most accurate statement regarding my intent. The only reason for the parents of any of the characters to participate in the story at all is to create internal conflict for the main character. So if the parent is going to appear in more than a handful of panels, there needs to be some sort of unresolved issue with their offspring. Otherwise, I would do what I did with the nonhuman parents, which is simply not bring it up. (I also avoided using the nonhumans that way because I didn't want to delve too deeply into differences in maturity and/or child rearing between species.)

    The reason it's only one parent per child is twofold. One, having both parents be in conflict triples the amount of time I need to spend dealing with it, because you need to examine the father-child, mother-child, and father-mother relationships instead of just one parent-child relationship. This is further compounded for every sibling that appears in the story. Family issues already take up a fair amount of space, so anything I could do to streamline them is a good idea. And two, the main characters ultimately turned out OK. Thus, they needed to have at least one stable loving parent in order to not be total basketcases. (Haley, whose stable parent died early, is also the most screwed-up, psychologically.) Therefore, the first parent who was given definition in the story became the one that would be more prominent, and thus the one that caused conflict. Which leads us to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama
    Why this distinction is evenly divided between male and female parents for Roy, Elan, and Haley, I'm not sure though.
    I wish I could claim that this was some sort of statement about men and fathering and such, but the fact is it just sort of happened that way. The roles of the three human characters' parents were decided within the first 50 strips, long before I had even conceived any of the plots that are happening now (or even the main Gate plot). Haley told us that her father was a thief back in #8 in what was a throwaway joke; Roy's dad showed up just seven strips later. I have no idea why I used fathers for both, but it didn't matter at the time. There was no plot, no inner turmoil, just a bunch of D&D characters out to fight a lich.

    Then Elan finds out his dad is an evil warlord in #50, but even then, it was intended simply to explain the differences between Nale and Elan. I suppose I could have made Elan's father the happy-go-lucky waiter and his mother the warlord, but that didn't feel right. Not so much because of Elan, but because of Nale. Nale has the sort of damaged ego that would force him to try to surpass his father at all costs, which of course would fail and thus lead to his presence in the dungeon. If Nale had been raise by an evil mother, I think he would have been more of a "corrupt prince" sort of character rather than an angry rebel looking for a magic doodad to go back and seize power. In this case, plot dictated characterization.

    I didn't get the idea that Tarquin would ever appear on camera until much later, when we saw Haley's ransom note in #131. At that point, it needed to be Haley's father that was imprisoned simply because if it were anyone else in her family, her thief father would be the one trying to save them instead. In fact, that was the case for all three sets of parents: if both were active and present, then it would have been their spouse dealing with their issues rather than the child. Since it's the child's story, the spouse must be absent or otherwise incapable of acting.

    All other examples are apophenia. Redcloak's parents are irrelevant to the story; his father could have been a saint for all we know, but he wasn't killed by the Sapphire Guard. Kubota and Therkla had a teacher/student relationship; she was raised by her loving parents. Shojo did not raise Hinjo from childhood, so the relationship was never truly parental. I guess a case could be made for Miko, but I see that as more of a "bad child" situation than a bad father one. Miko was Miko long before Shojo started lying to her; his ruse started only a few years ago but Miko was 28 when he said that.

    So, I'm afraid that any connection is simply an emergent property of the fact that I started the comic without any sort of plan for where it would go. That doesn't mean that you can't analyze it if you want though, if you're a "Death of the Author" sort of critic. Just please don't speculate on my family life in the process.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    I'm betting against Rich writing to cheap gender stereotypes (anymore).

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    I'm betting against Rich writing to cheap gender stereotypes (anymore).
    Indeed.

    Moreover, the mere fact that 3 of the fathers we've seen have had issues (putting it mildly) doesn't mean every father figure is a terrible father, or, conversely, that every awful parent is going to be a father.

    Daigo, for example, seems to be filling the role admirably, for the little we've seen of him (and from what I remember of Good Deeds Gone Unpunished)... so right there we have a counter-example of a good father.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Also, everything Darth Paul just said.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    And we must remember that against an evil father figure, the best thing to do is to look for a good father figure!
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    Eyyy, I'm-a shiftin' da shapes and-a helping my amico Signore Stiffliano escape! Easyducio! Bada bing!

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Only seen that way because "Absent parent = woman" was a thing.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Counter counterpoint
    Rich says he didn’t know why he chose father’s in those 2 cases
    And earlier said he wished it had been to highlight bad fathers
    So conjecture - unconsciously he was biased
    'Utślie'n aurė! Aiya Eldaliė ar Atanatįri, utślie'n aurė! “The day has come! Behold, people of the Eldar and Fathers of Men, the day has come!" And all those who heard his great voice echo in the hills answered, crying:'Auta i lómė!" The night is passing!"

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Controversial opinion: "crappy parent = man" is not a statistically unfair generalization.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    Where did she think all that great fertilizer came from how dare she tell to quit killing men who slap her bottom. (Possibly Anel's father as well)
    What on earth are you talking about.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    V is Male due to horrible parenting.
    Please provide evidence that V is a bad parent.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Uh, Vaarsuvius abandoned their family and then, when given the choice between power and family chose power and didn't actually accomplish anything with it? (or at least nothing that couldn't have been done without the power)

    Also now that I think about it, where did this idea that Roy, Haley, and Elan's mothers are saints come from?
    We literally know nothing about Haley's mother other than that she's dead. She could have been a terrible parent for all we know.
    All we know about Elan's mother is that she was okay marrying Tarquin. That doesn't scream "saintly", it screams "makes terrible life choices". And she abandoned one son with Tarquin and hid Nale's existence from Elan. Abandoning one child while keeping the other is the opposite of a good parent.
    Roy's mother isn't great either. Compared to Eugene, sure, but she still continued having children with him after getting pregnant by accident, and left them in his care despite knowing he wasn't capable of watching them, resulting in a dead baby.

    I'm not saying they're just as bad, but let's not pretend they're perfect.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Quote Originally Posted by NerdyKris View Post
    Uh, Vaarsuvius abandoned their family and then, when given the choice between power and family chose power and didn't actually accomplish anything with it? (or at least nothing that couldn't have been done without the power)
    He wasn't actually given that choice? He was given the choice of gaining ultimate arcane power and rescuing his family with it, or else sending a message to his old master and asking him to rescue his family instead. Either way, the choice involved rescuing his family. Yes, there were no doubt other ways V could have gone about things, but to categorise him as choosing power over family when his very first action with his new power was to rescue his family from the ABD is simply not borne out by the facts.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    I meant after the ABD was defeated, when told to give up the power now that the threat was gone, Vaarsuvius chose to continue wielding it.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Quote Originally Posted by NerdyKris View Post
    We literally know nothing about Haley's mother other than that she's dead. She could have been a terrible parent for all we know.

    All we know about Elan's mother is that she was okay marrying Tarquin. That doesn't scream "saintly", it screams "makes terrible life choices". And she abandoned one son with Tarquin and hid Nale's existence from Elan. Abandoning one child while keeping the other is the opposite of a good parent.

    Roy's mother isn't great either. Compared to Eugene, sure, but she still continued having children with him after getting pregnant by accident, and left them in his care despite knowing he wasn't capable of watching them, resulting in a dead baby.
    In the only glimpse we have of Haley's mother, her death, she tells Haley and Ian, "Be better than this place" (Greysky City). From this, I think we're meant to infer that she was the moral center of the family, and after her death, Ian became more paranoid and distrustful of everyone except his family, especially Haley. It may be a stretch to infer all this from one speech and their subsequent characters, but they obviously are saddened over her death in the scene, which one wouldn't associate with a bad parent.

    We've seen Tarquin's methods of persuading a fiancee, so the fact that Elan's mom married him may not say as much about her as you think. That she was able to get out of the marriage alive, and take a son with her, may speak for considerable strength of character. As for hiding Nale's existence- she knew as well as anyone that when there are identical twins, and one is the son of an evil overlord, they're bound to come into conflict eventually, so she may have been trying to protect Elan from this by preventing him from running off to an early confrontation.

    Blaming Sarah for Eric's death is- unique. That's saying that a mother should keep her child with her 24/7 and not trust the father alone with his child one moment. Eugene was absent-minded- a lot of dads are. His tendencies likely didn't manifest as dangerous until the accident, or he assured her (she wasn't a wizard, after all) that it was perfectly safe- and we want to trust our spouses, after all. Hindsight is 20/20.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Also, everything Darth Paul just said.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Quote Originally Posted by NerdyKris View Post
    What on earth are you talking about.
    Qouting tarquin qouting Elan's mom complaining about his evil actions

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Quote Originally Posted by NerdyKris View Post
    I meant after the ABD was defeated, when told to give up the power now that the threat was gone, Vaarsuvius chose to continue wielding it.
    to be fair on V while the original goal of the transformation had been accomplished there was still the possibility of using the remaining power to eliminate xykon

    at that moment V still only had respect of the arcane arts, only that could defeat xykon, not roy's blade, not durkon's faith, just raw arcane power could seal the deal
    and thus V had to choose between family and the world and while a large amount of pride would be involved (after all V thought that only (s)he could save the world) he still chose to put what (s)he had to do over what (s)he wanted to do

    edit: to make a long story short: without xykon or any other great threat to deal with I think V would have given up the power
    Last edited by a_flemish_guy; 2020-01-04 at 01:11 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Orc in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Excuse me, but we've seen a couple of very decent fathers.

    Durkon's Pa seemed like an extremely noble person who was willing to sacrifice himself to save his entire clan.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Does this mean V is a Human in stead of an Elf?

    Quote Originally Posted by Precure View Post
    Only seen that way because "Absent parent = woman" was a thing.
    So V is actually a women as well?
    Last edited by BaronOfHell; 2020-01-04 at 02:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Quote Originally Posted by a_flemish_guy View Post
    to be fair on V while the original goal of the transformation had been accomplished there was still the possibility of using the remaining power to eliminate xykon

    at that moment V still only had respect of the arcane arts, only that could defeat xykon, not roy's blade, not durkon's faith, just raw arcane power could seal the deal
    and thus V had to choose between family and the world and while a large amount of pride would be involved (after all V thought that only (s)he could save the world) he still chose to put what (s)he had to do over what (s)he wanted to do

    edit: to make a long story short: without xykon or any other great threat to deal with I think V would have given up the power
    I think you're completely misreading V's motives to hold onto the soul splice AND to fight Xykon. It wasn't about saving the world, it was about solving every problem and defeating Xykon personally. V didn't put what they had to do over what they wanted to do - they simply did what they wanted to do, paying no heed to what their loved ones wanted.
    Last edited by hrožila; 2020-01-04 at 02:51 PM.
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    There is a slight problem V would have had if he'd followed Inkyrius' demand he give up the power, though--he can't teleport himself, so he'd be stuck in the middle of Elven lands, thousands of miles from the rest of the party. He would also have been unable to teleport the party over to the Azurite remnants in #649, so their arrival on the Western Continent to chase Xykon would have been significantly later than it was. Given that, we ought to be rather thankful he made the decision he did.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronOfHell View Post
    So V is actually a women as well?
    Either that or a twist like Durkon's parents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrožila View Post
    I think you're completely misreading V's motives to hold onto the soul splice AND to fight Xykon. It wasn't about saving the world, it was about solving every problem and defeating Xykon personally. V didn't put what they had to do over what they wanted to do - they simply did what they wanted to do, paying no heed to what their loved ones wanted.
    It's not as black and white as all that. Yes, V probably was a little drunk on the arcane power at the time, but it can't be denied that there were problems that really did need fixing, like the Azurites needing to be somewhere where they could survive, Haley needing to be found (or at least, so V thought) and the horrifically evil undead sorcerer Xykon needing to be vanquished.

    At the time, V believed that they had the power to accomplish those things, and although part of that decision was likely the opportunity to once again exercise ultimate arcane power, part of it was probably also the fact that those things needed doing, and as the one with the power to do them, it would frankly have been irresponsible for V to drop all of that, things that literally concerned the fate and welfare of nations and the world, just to keep their family together.

    Look at V's expression in the pages where this happened. Do you truly think V wanted to leave a family that, for all their inadequacies, they probably loved more than anything else in the world? Yes, a competing want won out over the want to stay with their family, but it would be impossible to say that that competing want was not helped tremendously by the fact that in a very real way, V did have to do all the things that they tried to do at that time, much more than they had to stay.

    What was it again? 'All that is required for Evil to triumph is for Neutral elves to do nothing.'

    Say what you like, but at least in that scenario, V didn't do nothing. Even Durkon, later on, admits it, and although it doesn't mean that what V did was all good (far from it), he had a point.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Your argument would hold together better if V had taken the 6 seconds needed to cast limited wish to rebuild the house. V really didn't show any devotion to V's family, just to making sure that they were seen as too powerful to mess with. See also the attack on Xykon.

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    But your argument has less weight because attacking Xykon was not V's first instinct after leaving his family, reuniting the party was. Also, how do you know he could cast Limited Wish? He'd lost Haerta at that point so he only had the spells available to the other two splices, one of whom is a wizard and might not have prepared the spell and one who is a sorcerer who simply might not know it. (AFAIK V himself was too low a level to know the spell at that point).

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Quote Originally Posted by hrožila View Post
    I think you're completely misreading V's motives to hold onto the soul splice AND to fight Xykon. It wasn't about saving the world, it was about solving every problem and defeating Xykon personally. V didn't put what they had to do over what they wanted to do - they simply did what they wanted to do, paying no heed to what their loved ones wanted.
    I agree with factotum and NontheistCleric (although I guess I'm not sure V "loved [hir family] more than anything else in the world"). V was certainly expressing far less empathy and love than s/he should have, yes. And the desire to fight Xykon was absolutely about pride and being drunk with power as much as it was about being genuinely pragmatic. But I don't believe that V actually preferred holding on to the soul splice over staying with hir family at that point. S/he is clearly enormously stressed about every single moment that hir soul remains indebted to the fiends, and clearly wants to absolutely minimize the size of hir debt to them. Without a very, very compelling reason indeed, I very much doubt that s/he would have held on to the soul splice one round longer than necessary to protect hir family and punish the dragon.

    Also, I don't buy that it wasn't about saving the world at all. V isn't a psychopath like Belkar; s/he doesn't kill unprovoked (I say "unprovoked" because Familicide was about a wildly disproportionate response to an actual threat, not the sort of random massacre that, say, Xykon might have begun. I say this to clarify the specific motivation for Familicide, not to say that this makes it any better, morally speaking). V is all about overcoming obstacles through the application of arcane power - if Xykon wasn't an obstacle in the sense of being a threat, V wouldn't have wanted to kill him.

    Basically, I don't see the idea that "it was about saving the world" and "it was about solving every problem and defeating Xykon personally" as in tension with one another. My read on someone like V is that s/he has both pragmatic instincts and personal desires, and hir instinct is to try to satisfy the latter by following the former. Maybe I'm projecting a bit, because that's similar to how I tend to operate, but that's my take on hir character, anyway.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Your argument would hold together better if V had taken the 6 seconds needed to cast limited wish to rebuild the house. V really didn't show any devotion to V's family, just to making sure that they were seen as too powerful to mess with. See also the attack on Xykon.
    You mean apart from saving their family from certain death? Because I think that could reasonably be construed as some level of devotion.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But your argument has less weight because attacking Xykon was not V's first instinct after leaving his family, reuniting the party was. Also, how do you know he could cast Limited Wish? He'd lost Haerta at that point so he only had the spells available to the other two splices, one of whom is a wizard and might not have prepared the spell and one who is a sorcerer who simply might not know it. (AFAIK V himself was too low a level to know the spell at that point).
    IIRC you don't need to be able to cast a spell to copy it to your spell book (and V can cast lvl 7 spells at this point anyhow) however we don't know if V learned it. But I don't think the exact spell/method really matters for the argument.

    Also taking their word at face value seems rather iffy in this context and I'm not sure what them not immediately going off to attack Xykon has to do with the argument in question.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    I remember when the comic began and I went to read the forum threads from the beginning. V's ambiguity began with two thread comments bringing the question up. One assumed male and the other assumed female and Rich decided it was fun to keep us guessing. :D

    In Rich's comment quoted earlier he said one had to be the stable parent. Stable doesn't mean better. Stable means they showed up for the child but they still had their own quirks and flaws as shown by Nale getting his desire to create unnecessarily complicated plans from his mother's side.

    When I re-read the story-line with V getting arcane power, I saw it as a major flaw being revealed, namely, pride (Dun-dun-DUN). V became obsessed with magic solving the problem but Rich also reveals that V is suffering PTSD from the war experience. This is why V refuses to meditate or rest in the usual Elven way. If s/he rested s/he would re-live the trauma of watching other people suffer and magic failing to be "enough" to save them. V clearly has spent no time or energy in any other devotion as much as magic. So magic failing was the biggest hit to V's pride. V was trying to prove that magic would succeed to cure the PTSD. It was all about punching V's buttons when the temptation showed up and promised that V could succeed another way but to point out that if s/he chose the alternative route (suicide and sending head with a note) it meant that V's magic was not powerful enough again.

    V is not a crappy parent because of that moment with the family. V also refused to let go of the magic again because of pride and the desire to continue solving all the dilemmas that had been blocking V from progress to that point. Hence, moving the fleet, and defeating Xykon. V was clearly angry when denied the chance to reunite the group with magic. It was another punch to V's pride, hence the desire to prove that magic was better and going on to eliminate Xykon.

    V was revealed to be self-centered again when Rich showed a memory that clearly V wanted to use quiet time without the kids to eat alone and study more magic. Blackwing pointed out that V's sincere apology to himself probably would have helped for the marriage when V got served the divorce papers. V chose to sign the papers not because V was a bad parent but because V started recognizing this flaw of Pride and what priorities were getting in the way of family life. I fully believe that V is making good progress in the story on changing and becoming more humble and will be able to decide what kind of parent to be to in future.

    I also believe that Rich will probably never reveal V's gender to us because it is too much fun to keep us guessing. :D
    Last edited by Starla; 2020-01-05 at 10:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Crappy parent = man

    Evidence that some men in the story have been bad parents does not prove that any other bad parent that exists must be a man. That is some seriously faulty logic.
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    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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