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Vengeance vs. Forgiveness

I've been reading recent threads on MacLeod, and the question of whether he judges others. My own question, inspired by a vid idea that is eating my brain, has to do with vengeance.

I'm not concerned with MacLeod killing Immortals for being a threat to Mortals right now. I want to look at his response when another person has harmed him or people he cares about. I welcome any form of response and discussion, up to pelting with gummy bears. But I'm going to start the conversation with a simple list of cases in which it seems to me he responded with vengeance, and times he did not.

Vengeance on:
Kanwulf for the death of Ian MacLeod
Earl of Rosemont for the massacres after Culloden
Kern for the death of Little Deer
Xavier for killing Hamza El Kahir

Forgiveness of:
Kage with personal betrayal and the deaths of the nuns and orphans
the Mortal boy who killed Tessa
possibly Methos ("I want him to live!")

a bit of both for:
Haresh Clay for the killing of Graham Ashe

Ideas? Comments?


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 16th, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC)
Ooh, cool idea.

Right off the bat, I'd question whether challenging Xavier is vengeance. He was a clear and present danger to Tessa -- he tried to kill her. He was using unfair tactics to kill other Immortals, with help, and guns. Yes, I think Duncan hated Xavier, but I never got the sense that he was primarily motivated by hate or anger. Xavier was a rabid dog that had to be put down. Not to mention, he really didn't like Duncan, and would have gladly hurt anyone Duncan cared about if given the chance.

Kern, you might look at the same way, but I think it's very clear Duncan isn't thinking of the people he might hurt -- he's thinking of the people he did hurt. So, yes, vengeance.

Also, re: forgiveness -- Gregor, David Keogh (and what the hell were you thinking, Mac??), and Warren Cochrane.
Jun. 16th, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC)
Although, I suppose not Warren, sorry. He hadn't hurt anyone Mac cared about. But Gregor and David.
(no subject) - keerawa - Jun. 17th, 2006 04:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - killabeez - Jun. 17th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - killabeez - Jun. 17th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gryphonrhi - Jun. 22nd, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 16th, 2006 02:32 pm (UTC)
very excellent discussion!

And I'm not totally clear on the facts of the ep, but does Grayson fall into the vengeance category? I know he's one of HL's more popular villains (or is that possibly simply one of the more popular guest stars?), and I thought he was after MacLeod and threatening those he loved, starting with Darius, who warned Duncan. But as I admitted, my facts are limited and, unhelpfully, MacGeorge's episode summaries don't include season one yet. (yeah, blame it on MacG...)
Jun. 16th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
I think, if I remember correctly, Grayson was an immediate threat to mortals.
(no subject) - beccadg - Jun. 16th, 2006 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beccadg - Jun. 16th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 16th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC)
interesting thread. Sometimes the line between vengeance and killing an immediate threat is blurry. As with Xavier. I guess you might include Luther, who took Rebecca's head. Haven't watched the episode in awhile but if I remember he wasn't an immediate threat to anyone (maybe Amanda)? But he had killed mortals in his quest for the stone?
Jun. 16th, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC)
He'd killed Rebecca. But yeah, I think Duncan's motivation was to keep Amanda alive. It didn't strike me as revenge for anything. I don't think he even hated Luther.
(no subject) - amonitrate - Jun. 16th, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beccadg - Jun. 16th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keerawa - Jun. 17th, 2006 04:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - killabeez - Jun. 17th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 16th, 2006 09:03 pm (UTC)
Well lets not forget: Horton. Vengeance definitely for killing Darius.

And how about Kalas? Killed Fitz - Killed Paul - hurt Anne and killed her friend. And an immediate threat to Duncan and someone else very special - Adam Pierson
Jun. 17th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
Good point about Horton!

He, along with Xavier and Kalas, were both good vengeance targets and an immediate threat.

But killing James Horton ... the first time Mac "killed" Horton, he was willing to show mercy, at least for his daughter's sake. By the last time, it was well and truly PERSONAL.
(no subject) - killabeez - Jun. 17th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beccadg - Jun. 18th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 16th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
And how about Durgan who killed Joe's girlfriend. Didn't Joe ask Duncan to help him get revenge?
Jun. 17th, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
I believe that initially Joe asked Duncan for help in finding the guy who killed Lauren. So he could take it from there, if the police were going to be ineffective. Even after he found out Durgan was Immortal, Joe was going to go after him. Duncan convinced Joe to leave the comeuppance to him, and planned with Amanda to steal the Cross of St. Antoine. It didn't come to swords until after Joe was abducted. And Durgan did have a track record of murdering mortals, beyond Lauren--the priest, the schoolteacher.

This encounter might weigh in more on Protector!Duncan's side than Vengeful!Duncan.
(no subject) - keerawa - Jun. 17th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 17th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
I am not a hundred percent sure that Duncan actually forgave Methos - their relationship was strained and never the same from the Horsemen on.....maybe it was more a certain acceptance of the eternal enigma that is Methos than straight out forgiveness?
Jun. 17th, 2006 04:33 am (UTC)
That's the interesting part, isn't it? Certainly Mac's response was closer to forgiveness than to vengeance. But did he ever, and could he ever, forgive him?

OK, now I HAVE to go vid.
(no subject) - killabeez - Jun. 17th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 17th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
As for vengeance seeking Duncan--how about the politician MacLeod threw out the window?

*Sigh.* My hero.
Jun. 17th, 2006 04:25 am (UTC)
Yes! I just saw that ep again. I'd forgotten how much it reminded me of the Magnum P.I. ep 'Did You See The Sunrise?" Most excellent!
Jun. 17th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
Oh, and how could I forget Cord? The bastard killed Charlie!
Jun. 17th, 2006 09:37 am (UTC)
When I think of Duncan and vengence, the first thing that comes to mind are his multiple killings of mortals during the aftermath of Culloden. Duncan was not taking revenge for the lost battle, but for the actions of the English in retaliation for the Scottish rebellion. That weighed heavily on his mind.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
I don't want to sound bitter or start anger, but: like all "heroes" with a Chosen One / champion syndrom, he gets to decide who's wrong and who's right, who gets forgiveness and who gets dead. It's one of the traits that annoy me most in heroes and Good Guys, and the reason why normally I dislike that type - Duncan being the exception, because I do like him despite this behaviour.
Jun. 23rd, 2006 03:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, "The Judge" can get very ugly. My favorite "Good Guy" archetype is what my partner and I call "The Paladin". The paladin strives to do the right thing in complex situations and inspires others to be better by his or her presence and example.

I look for them in books and shows. MacLeod in Highlander, Creighton in Farscape, Paksenarrion in Sheepfarmer's Daughter, etc.
(no subject) - sparklebutch - Jun. 23rd, 2006 03:33 am (UTC) - Expand
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )