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View Poll Results: Fate/Zero - Episode 11 Rating
Perfect 10 87 51.18%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 53 31.18%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 14 8.24%
7 out of 10 : Good 7 4.12%
6 out of 10 : Average 3 1.76%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 3 1.76%
4 out of 10 : Poor 1 0.59%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 2 1.18%
Voters: 170. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-01-03, 15:12   Link #341
Grey
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Originally Posted by Thess View Post
So what? It's sad, it's a tragedy, there's no deny that makes her plight sympathetic, but no less villainous if it happens. The world doesn't have to bend backwards because an agonizing idealistic ruler can't move on from her own, past failures. It's incredibly disrespectful of her to undo the past efforts and suffering of many, including her own people, because she can't deal with this.

If you've read the Fate route you know is a big flaw of hers (and those who don't and don't want to play the VN here, read it. Iskandar would have been proud of her in that scene). Which is what makes Saber actually a layered character: her huge mistakes.
That scene isn't about mistakes. It's more like drawing a distinction between weighing value by consequences or instead weighing it by efforts, and then moving from the former to the latter.

Saber felt heavy responsibility as ruler, and regretted her rule ending poorly; consequence-based thought. Of course, as F/Z Gil rightly said, this is a massive burden to bear. Because people don't have perfect control over the consequences of their actions.
In that scene, she shifted to effort-based thought; if she strived with all her might to fulfill her responsibility to her people, that is sufficient and something to be proud of.
There's no logical error in either line of thought. It's merely what one places value on.

Edit: And thanks for the link, Thess. I wanted to re-read that scene a while ago but I don't have F/SN with me.


Regarding Rider. If everyone got drafted because Rider pulled everyone into a world war, do you really think we'd praise him? You think everyone would be satisfied that his motivation is, "I'm greedy"? That this is a good example of how a person should behave?

His diplomacy was useless in the Grail War and would be useless in an international context too. The major powers aren't going to say, "Oh, you want to conquer the entire world? Because you're greedy? People should sacrifice themselves for their King? Okay."

People losing friends and family because some guy said, "Hey, I'm greedy. Let me rule over the world or it's war" isn't going to cut it. Charisma Rank A doesn't change his basic motivation or the consequences.

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Originally Posted by Kokukirin View Post
You need to resist applying today's moral standard to ancient figures. The values we take as norm today has a fairly short history. And even today, people are still proud of their warring heroes in history, like the French for Napolean and the Germans for Frederick the Great.
The Grail War means he existed in the modern world and planned to conquer the modern world. So I applied modern standards to him and his plans.


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Originally Posted by Thess View Post
Lol. Couldn't be more far from what happens. It's the opposite, actually (episode 13 didn't adapt the dream fully, but this is what Waver sees in his contract link):

Spoiler for Waver's dream. People flocking to Rider to share his dream:
Hmmm. Interesting. But it doesn't quite work. Does he merely want to see the unknown edge of the world? Conquest isn't necessary for that in the Grail War's modern world. Does he want to leave a footprint on history by defeating everyone's military? That's still merely selfish violence. He says he doesn't want their countries. But then if everyone "surrendered" then it would become no different than just traveling around the world. So again, it wouldn't be conquest, and conquest wouldn't be necessary.

As I'd expect, the LN gives more characterization. I'll have to look at it to see if they ever give Rider more complete and consistent actions/motivations than this.

OH SHI-! Right, F/Z isn't over yet. I'll just have to wait until the next season and the anime finishes.

Last edited by Grey; 2012-01-03 at 15:34.
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Old 2012-01-03, 15:18   Link #342
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Originally Posted by Grey View Post

Regarding Rider. If everyone got drafted because Rider pulled everyone into a world war, do you really think we'd praise him? You think everyone would be satisfied that his motivation is, "I'm greedy"? That this is a good example of how a person should behave?
i think it would depend on 1. how well he can sell the war and 2. how long it takes.

i think you would be in a very rude surprise at how well someone who have good oratory skills (Alex was train by one of the best) at whipping normal people into the frenzy of war.
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Old 2012-01-03, 15:39   Link #343
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i think it would depend on 1. how well he can sell the war and 2. how long it takes.

i think you would be in a very rude surprise at how well someone who have good oratory skills (Alex was train by one of the best) at whipping normal people into the frenzy of war.
Hahaha, I can't argue with that! We've seen that he can come across as a really friendly guy. And to be fair, the anime may have made him look worse than he is with those lines.

Maybe, because it was a conversation with Kings, he was blunt and honest. So he looked his worse, because we saw his real, simple, base motivation. But with Charisma A I'm sure he could sell his goal as a great dream to a lot of people.
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Old 2012-01-03, 16:18   Link #344
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That scene isn't about mistakes. It's more like drawing a distinction between weighing value by consequences or instead weighing it by efforts, and then moving from the former to the latter.
The wish was wrong. That was the realization. Regretting all that was wrong. Ironically, it's exactly what Rider told her before the moral element came to play.

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Originally Posted by Grey View Post
Saber felt heavy responsibility as ruler, and regretted her rule ending poorly; consequence-based thought. Of course, as F/Z Gil rightly said, this is a massive burden to bear. Because people don't have perfect control over the consequences of their actions.
And the others didn't?

Rider pretty much stated aloud they were responsible for their kingdoms, including their fall. They mourned and grieved, they could be sad, but they could never regret and do something as stupid as redo history. He's completely right in this. How exactly isn't the same?

Because is a massive burden to bear is why Rider feels sorry about Saber who seems crushed and unhappy under it. Foolishly, because like I say he's way way waaaaaaaaaaaay too nice to the point it's a friggin flaw, he wants to save her. He's not doing it because he's mean, but he's concerned about her well-being. He's like the ultimate big brother figure.

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Originally Posted by Grey View Post
In that scene, she shifted to effort-based thought; if she strived with all her might to fulfill her responsibility to her people, that is sufficient and something to be proud of.
There's no logical error in either line of thought. It's merely what one places value on.
I never said her way to rule was wrong. It was her wish that was wrong and would be a massive history-screwy thing to do, you know? That's equally as potentially villainous as Rider's 'world conquest' (which isn't the way it seems to be, like it's elaborated later).

Go read what I posted about light novels, an omitted exchange where is Saber the one who is narrow-minded about different way of kingships (SHE is the one who started the entire argument then got butthurt she lost it) back in what would be episode 5 (in other words, she was asking for it for a long, long time). Rider was chill about it, even accepted the differences, and only disowned Saber's after a the discussion (in the banquet) that led him to believe that being a King was a curse to her. Because of her regrets and wish were the results of it (If this was fate end route Saber, he would be pretty chill). He was rightfully attacking those (that are wrong) but Saber derailed the whole conversation (as you can see in Feast of Kings) with the whole my morals are better and you never cared about your people!1! She inserted her foot into her mouth because she discovered his followers were his greatest treasures and he accomplished what she tried with 'righteous' ideals and couldn't.

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Originally Posted by Grey View Post
Edit: And thanks for the link, Thess. I wanted to re-read that scene a while ago but I don't have F/SN with me.
You're welcome.

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Originally Posted by Grey View Post
Regarding Rider. If everyone got drafted because Rider pulled everyone into a world war, do you really think we'd praise him? You think everyone would be satisfied that his motivation is, "I'm greedy"? That this is a good example of how a person should behave?
Uh, no. Do you think Rider needlessly starts conflicts? Watch his attitude in the War. He's pretty much the one who wants to conclude and end them.

Also, you're mistaking what is the 'greed' he talks about, but I'm not surprised, because it has unfortunate religious connotations right now and is missed. Rider's greed and lust is for life itself. For adventure. For prosperity. That's what he is all about. To conquer the glory that lies beyond yourself. He's pretty idealistic too.

While Saber denies herself to the point she stops being human, Rider embraces and indulges his whole humanity to the max. They are foils for each others, because in the end, they want the same (which is ironic), but they go about their ways in an opposite direction. That's why Saber (after realizing she was wrong about him being someone selfish who didn't care about his followers, quite the opposite) wanted to speak to him while she ignored Gilgamesh (because he's absolutely departed from her mentality). That's why Rider still likes her as person, even if he doesn't see her as king (for her own sake in his mind. I do think he's wrong in this, but I can't blame him because of her own turmoil in this stage. She faltered too much in the discussion), while he doesn't like Gilgamesh but he respects him as king. He acknowledges her as Saint, Savior and Martyr, but not necessarily as a leader (and mostly he was angered of how she was about to step on her followers' deaths, suffering and efforts by wishing all go away).

He wants to conquer the world, but don't forget his way of conquest is not about humiliation or destruction (once again refer to episode 3). He's going to take on the whole world, reach his Oceanus (which is his actual dream). What is Oceanus really is a spoiler for the last novel, so I can't talk more about that

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His diplomacy was useless in the Grail War and would be useless in an international context too. The major powers aren't going to say, "Oh, you want to conquer the entire world? Because you're greedy? People should sacrifice themselves for their King? Okay."
Lol. And Saber's and Gilgamesh's methods are 'useful' in a modern context? Give me a break. Look, the three of them are fictional and extreme and none are applicable to modern politics. No one is a fully robot ideals machine like Saber. No one is a living god like Gil. Etc.

The point is that Rider, unlike Saber or Gilgamesh, is actually capable of dialogue and negotiation, because he IS the embodiment of a human-like ruler. He is always empatethic (which like I say is an unfortunate flaw, had he been an asshole, he would have got the rid of Lancer, Saber and Berserker) and of course, he's selfish too (because is human), but at the same time he's kind to the extreme.

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People losing friends and family because some guy said, "Hey, I'm greedy. Let me rule over the world or it's war" isn't going to cut it. Charisma Rank A doesn't change his basic motivation or the consequences.
Did you ever see his dialogue to Waver to confront loss in episode 9? You're making up stuff about him and missing the complete point of his personality.

Rider is empathetic. He's not Saber or Gilgamesh.

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Originally Posted by Grey View Post
The Grail War means he existed in the modern world and planned to conquer the modern world. So I applied modern standards to him and his plans.
And Saber's wish would mean undoing what we know about modern world. Who knows if you would have been born just because she wanted to change history.

And Gil thinks the whole modern world belongs to him and he would kill you if you don't meet his standards.

What's your point?

Between those three, I pick Rider.

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Originally Posted by Grey View Post
Hmmm. Interesting. But it doesn't quite work. Does he merely want to see the unknown edge of the world? Conquest isn't necessary for that in the Grail War's modern world. Does he want to leave a footprint on history by defeating everyone's military? That's still merely selfish violence. He says he doesn't want their countries. But then if everyone "surrendered" then it would become no different than just traveling around the world. So again, it wouldn't be conquest, and conquest wouldn't be necessary.

As I'd expect, the LN gives more characterization. I'll have to look at it to see if they ever give Rider more complete and consistent actions/motivations than this.
Rider wants many things. His greatest wish is Oceanus and to share it with his followers (who are always with him), which understanding the meaning behind this is spoilery.

You still don't realize 'conquest' for Rider isn't 'warring', it's about inspiring people to follow him in this share dream. To enjoy life. To get the rid of the shackles of mediocrity. The basis of his power is flawless cooperation. He (as you can see in that stuff) gave back the lands to the local nobles to rule.

Of course he was selfish and of course he was kind. He's not without shortcomings, but he's the pinnacle of human as a ruler.

As Waver thinks (this is technically episode 13, during their confrontation/conversation):

Spoiler for novel excerpt (not a spoiler):
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Old 2012-01-03, 17:23   Link #345
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Sounds like Rider's portrayal has been quite incomplete and misleading. Conquer almost necessarily means warring when we're talking about Alexander. All that other odd stuff doesn't come out at all. Eh, we'll see how that goes.

You've got me curious about Oceanus now. I'll have to see how his character looks in light of that. Eventually. If his portrayal is as misleading as it seems...I'm not sure who has it worse. Rider, or Kariya who barely showed up at all.

I guess Tokiomi didn't get much air time either really. I'll have to read the LN up to 13. See all the minor character development that's been cut out.
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Old 2012-01-03, 17:53   Link #346
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I don't think it's misleading. Incomplete, perhaps, but I've felt the same way toward him that Thess has and I haven't read the novels yet (like you, I'm waiting until after the anime ends). I think you've just forgotten his characterization from earlier episodes (or missed it in the first place).
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Old 2012-01-03, 18:02   Link #347
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I don't think it's misleading. Incomplete, perhaps, but I've felt the same way toward him that Thess has and I haven't read the novels yet (like you, I'm waiting until after the anime ends). I think you've just forgotten his characterization from earlier episodes (or missed it in the first place).
I thought the same. Even without the helpful introspection. We see him blatantly cling into life and the wonders the world offers. We never see him go stomping violently unless they are things that disgusts him (like Caster) or are a truly aggressive force (like Assassin). Hell, he was very polite when speaking to Saber until she went fully rude on him and said nothing but rubbish (yeah, it lacked the foreshadowing that should be present in episode 5, but he was just quietly sipping on his wine when she went super self-righteous on him and got told as result. Although I understand why she did this, she is so insecure about her ways at this point and filled with guilt, she only has her ideals to cling to). He's been the one who has tried to be more reasonable. While Gilgamesh and Saber were completely convinced that their Way is the Only One. Until they met Rider, that is.

Although it fits their alignments:

Gil's Chaotic Good. Saber's Lawful Good. While Rider is Neutral Good.

His relationship with Waver is an example of his way of conquest. Nudge. HintHint.

Make no mistake, he puts himself over the kingdom, but because only him would lead them. That's why it's a complete paradox of Saber's views. He's a tyrant who is as devoted to his people as they are to him. His wishes are their wishes. Because they are. They share a common ideal, you know? They want Oceanus too. In the end, the followers and the king are the same. I could continue this line of explanation, but it'll be spoilery. For Saber, to be responsible is to sacrifice herself for them. For Alexander, is to live on. Yet their hearts are in the same place. They are good people, both of them. Opposite views. Opposite 'ruling' aims. But what they cherish boils down to the same. He can fight if necessary, but only if it's absolutely necessary.

Which is the same for Saber.
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Last edited by Thess; 2012-01-03 at 18:33.
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Old 2012-01-03, 18:28   Link #348
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I don't think it's misleading. Incomplete, perhaps, but I've felt the same way toward him that Thess has and I haven't read the novels yet (like you, I'm waiting until after the anime ends). I think you've just forgotten his characterization from earlier episodes (or missed it in the first place).
I considered primarily his words during the Grail Dialogue and the historical times. Greedy, tyrant, people sacrificing themselves for the king and the king sacrificing nothing, and "I want to conquer the world" are the key parts that came to mind.

Of course, since it's Nasu I guess I shouldn't have considered Alexander the Great's actual history at all. It's true, I think I didn't seriously believe some of Iskander's words because I was thinking of how soldiers and tyrants would have actually behaved during those times. Like, that stuff about mastery and conquest without humiliation or destruction.

Actually, I think that's the major reason I've been skeptical about Iskander and his words. I've never quite separated Nasu's Iskander character from his real world counterpart, his motivations, and his armies.

Last edited by Grey; 2012-01-03 at 18:42.
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Old 2012-01-03, 19:13   Link #349
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I considered primarily his words during the Grail Dialogue and the historical times. Greedy, tyrant, people sacrificing themselves for the king and the king sacrificing nothing, and "I want to conquer the world" are the key parts that came to mind.
He is greedy, he is a tyrant and he doesn't sacrifice himself for the kingdom (not necessarily anything). Yet none of this is necessary evil. He's Neutral Good for a reason. It's a twist in this.

See that was Saber's misconception and narrow-mindness. Even if he had saved her life twice, spared her in honor. Since he didn't fit the chivalrous set of lofty ideals she was, she dismissed him as barbaric, hot blooded who can't touch her purity shoes. In fact, she keep mistaking his way as super-violent and ideal-less because she just can't see beyond her own chivalrous morals. Surprisingly, he is really idealistic.

To be ambitious is actually healthy for life. If you don't want anything for yourself, then you're pretty much a mentally unhealthy person. Period. Be greedy to Iskandar means "Glory lies beyond the horizon". Beyond yourself, like he says to Waver.

He is a tyrant. But not in the way tyranny is understood by modern standards. Remember Aristotle was still his mentor and, as you see in the dream, he let the local governments rule themselves while he renewed his quest and marched on. Those he had defeated him, joined him sooner or later, without him forcing them.

You're also missing his discourse which is in the anime. He was sad to hear Saber was living as a joyless being in a path of thorns. Wasn't he cast downwards and sipping his wine, musing "That's not how a human being should live"? Even in the anime he's explicitly saying that way of kingship is a curse, his farewell is all very solemn and sad. Rewatch, you're missing he was angry when he heard her wish and specially shouted about the followers' part. He was even remarking about her people and their suffering would be in vain by the mockery of the wish. But because she assumed that he didn't give a damn about them, she clung hard on her Only Right Way. Heck, he lost his temper only after she began with her mistaken accusations of not caring about his people.

Then she stared at his NP, the shared power of flawless collaboration she tried to do in life as example of ideal chivalric virtue and was crushed. The wish and the dream of the king are shared. She also tried to be an example, but failed because no one understood her.

This doesn't mean her way is wrong, though. It's the regrets she carries and her wish that are, IMO. Those were the first things he criticized and, only after her accusations and judgment, he torn her apart verbally. Bits of the novels I liked:

Spoiler for feast of kings:


Both of them fight and sacrifice others for an ideal too... Wasn't Saber's ideal peace? Didn't she personally condemn villages to save her country according to Fate? Same with Rider's ideal stomp on the occasional life, IMO. It's not as if her hands are bloodless in this.

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Of course, since it's Nasu I guess I shouldn't have considered Alexander the Great's actual history at all. It's true, I think I didn't seriously believe some of Iskander's words because I was thinking of how soldiers and tyrants would have actually behaved during those times. Like, that stuff about mastery and conquest without humiliation or destruction.
If Nasu wanted to be "accurate", Gilgamesh would act and look more like Iskandar. Iskandar would act and look more like Gilgamesh. And Arthur wouldn't be an idealistic 14 years old girl who wants to redo history.

No, Iskandar's too honest to lie about something that matters. He has no need to. He's pretty much so straightforward that most people can't believe just how good he is. Like I said, he and Waver are the "human element" in fate/zero.

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Actually, I think that's the major reason I've been skeptical about Iskander and his armies. I've never quite separated Nasu's Iskander character from his real world counterpart, his motivations, and his armies.
It's understandable. Saber herself has a very biased perception of him because, partly she can't accept it without really destroy her way to see things. While that narrow-mindness is a flaw, it's fitting and necessary for her.

Rider's not without his mistakes in handling her, either. He thought her ideals were weak and he was wrong.

It's a shame, because they are more alike beneath the package than they realize. But even the best people commit mistakes.
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Old 2012-01-03, 20:13   Link #350
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Hahaha, yeah, Nasu doesn't care about accuracy. He just grabs what he likes from history and legend.

I even said that earlier so I'm surprised. I always measured Iskander against the real Alexander without even thinking about it. And automatically ignored the parts about Iskander that didn't fit.

He's the only character I did that with. Weird! I need Gil to come psychoanalyze me or something.
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Old 2012-01-03, 20:31   Link #351
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Hahaha, yeah, Nasu doesn't care about accuracy. He just grabs what he likes from history and legend.

I even said that earlier so I'm surprised. I always measured Iskander against the real Alexander without even thinking about it. And automatically ignored the parts about Iskander that didn't fit.

He's the only character I did that with. Weird! I need Gil to come psychoanalyze me or something.
Maybe it's because you know more about Alexander the Great than the other servants? Which makes it more difficult to ignore what you already "know" about him?

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Old 2012-01-03, 20:33   Link #352
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You weren't the only one, actually. I've seen in blogs and stuff people try to analyze the 'real' Alexander with Rider... And in episode 13 itself, you see Iskandar laughing off the historical portrayals. Nowhere as complete at the novel, but if they got it wrong about his height, imagine the rest.

Spoiler for novel episode 13 bookstore scene:


The scene is a bit longer in the novel.

There are bits of Iskandar taken from history and the legend (the whole bulls of Zeus, the Oceanus, how easily he assimilates and spreads culture. He takes on the local customaries as we see how he easily adapts to the modern world, wishing for pants, world conquest -but what this means and how is unique, etc), but his characterization like Gilgamesh's and Arturia's is something Nasu (and Gen, since he wrote him) re-created. The three of them follow a path of kingship that encompasses universal like archetypes.
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Old 2012-01-05, 00:26   Link #353
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Just saw the uncut version. It clarifies things quite a lot of non-novel reader like me. Gilgamesh absolutely killed it with his one-liners.

Other works are indeed derivative of his tale, including the pornographic films about virgins with anguished faces while they're deflowered in bed.
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Old 2012-01-11, 08:41   Link #354
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I recently watched the updated episode, the extended dialogue added to the depth of the scenario from the perspective of the masters whilst in other ways reinforced the limited nuances of the heroes. I suppose the format limits how much can be plausibly condensed but at times characters do come across more static than any of them need to be.


regarding previous discussion, it is too extensive for me to wish to discuss at length presently but I think some points being central to most other ideas could be briefly touched upon.

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Originally Posted by Thess
You still don't realize 'conquest' for Rider isn't 'warring', it's about inspiring people to follow him in this share dream. To enjoy life. To get the rid of the shackles of mediocrity. The basis of his power is flawless cooperation. He (as you can see in that stuff) gave back the lands to the local nobles to rule.
if Iskander's reasoning is to be followed, then in so far as others are used to further 'kingly' ends through war and conquest there is, as with any other ambition, no compunction. Hence the 'kings are tyrants' exposition and the emphasised juxtaposition with Saber's ideals. I'll include the second sentence on this point -


Quote:
Uh, no. Do you think Rider needlessly starts conflicts? Watch his attitude in the War. He's pretty much the one who wants to conclude and end them.

I can presume how you would see Iskander in this way but there are conflicts with his character as established through the historical narrative (the dream dialogue quoted) and the aforesaid justification of tyranny. Concerning the dialogue quoted, the most explicit examples are the usurping of ruling powers and allowing misunderstandings to run a course that consequentially leads to (evidently needless) war.


whatever ideal he might envision and wish to 'share' would at some level of comparison require reconciliation with what is generally associated of Iskander's character. That said, there does appear to be a noticeable distinction in parity between Iskander's interpersonal style and that of his kingship ethos. And I think this difference is an unevenness resulting from discontinuity in character conception and/or the original writing. Which means whilst it would appear inconsistent I don't think your interpretation of Iskander is all that inaccurate, however some level of confusion will occur when the interpersonal and kingship ethos aspects are conflated. A significant point in itself which in my view has produced flawed interpretations of other related subjects.
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Old 2012-01-12, 02:49   Link #355
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if Iskander's reasoning is to be followed, then in so far as others are used to further 'kingly' ends through war and conquest there is, as with any other ambition, no compunction. Hence the 'kings are tyrants' exposition and the emphasised juxtaposition with Saber's ideals. I'll include the second sentence on this point -
Re-watch episode 3 to know what Iskandar means as conquest. It seems many have forgotten this. You're also misunderstanding ambition as a bad thing. It's only a bad thing in hands of a bad man. Iskandar's a Neutral Good character, officially.

The emphasis was made for Saber to draw the wrong conclusion about him (not caring for his people which is what ultimately gets him angry at Saber) and get ultimately told when he reveals that his greatest treasure are his people. His way of kingship is one that the followers and the king share one goal. One of her flaws, in particular in her novel portrayal, is her self-righteousness and her inability to click with people unless they share the same set of morals or regrets (like Shirou or EMIYA Archer). She can't get them.

Like that knight said: King Arthur doesn't understand human feelings. Heck, her downfall came because she hurt her son's feelings... misinterpreting them...

Iskandar is raw emotion. He's completely alien to her. She realizes this in what would have been episode 5, but was cut and modified by making her friendly to him instead of curt, ungrateful and rude as she was in the novels. She just didn't know why he saved her since he didn't have an obligation (like Lancer), he just saved her because he wanted to.

Yes, he's a tyrant who puts his desires over the others. But this doesn't affect his people because they share the same desire: he follows their wishes as much as they follow his, they are one entity that walk together to the same goal. It floors Saber that such thing even exist, because her narrow-minded rigidity never saw was possible. That flawless cooperation is considered a Noble Phantasm because is a crystallized miracle.

Saber feels Gilgamesh as someone who is her natural enemy, but she realizes Rider isn't (she misjudged him), and feels very stung by his words in the end.

As for warring kingly ends? Saber destroyed her own villages to support her armies in order to fight the upcoming invasions. So let's not pretend she's never sacrificed her people for her ideals. She and Kiritsugu share more in common than they would be comfortable with.

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Originally Posted by Edict View Post
I can presume how you would see Iskander in this way but there are conflicts with his character as established through the historical narrative (the dream dialogue quoted) and the aforesaid justification of tyranny. Concerning the dialogue quoted, the most explicit examples are the usurping of ruling powers and allowing misunderstandings to run a course that consequentially leads to (evidently needless) war.
The plot establishes him as the one single character who is avoiding needless bloodshed. He stops Lancer and Saber, offers them an alliance. He saves Saber from being killed, forcing Berserker and Lancer to retreat. He proposes a dialogue instead of a War between Kings. He's being really diplomatic about the whole deal and this is a war to obtain what he wants. Episode 13, he's the one who brings Lancer over and proposes an alliance to fight Caster. He also tells Saber he wants her as one of his Servants (which is, in his mind, the only way he can save her from her curse loneliness and thorny path she calls kingship. So she can enjoy all fun in life she has been missing with all eternal companions bros).

The only times he is fighting is when is absolutely necessary. Caster's crimes disgusted him. Assassin is threatening his Master (once again more evident in the novels) and turned his offering of peace.* He understands he has to fight Gilgamesh, but... I can't say no more of this because is a spoiler.

As for usurping the power from the rulers: He gave it back to them in the dream-flashback. They left by their own accord, following his disappearing back on the horizon, when they realized what kind of a great man he is with a great vision he has.


(*There's even a ditched subplot where he and Waver adopt the amnesiac Loli!Assassin out of complete and utter good will until the tragic night the command seal is enacted ).

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Originally Posted by Edict View Post
whatever ideal he might envision and wish to 'share' would at some level of comparison require reconciliation with what is generally associated of Iskander's character. That said, there does appear to be a noticeable distinction in parity between Iskander's interpersonal style and that of his kingship ethos. And I think this difference is an unevenness resulting from discontinuity in character conception and/or the original writing. Which means whilst it would appear inconsistent I don't think your interpretation of Iskander is all that inaccurate, however some level of confusion will occur when the interpersonal and kingship ethos aspects are conflated. A significant point in itself which in my view has produced flawed interpretations of other related subjects.
I do understand the academical temptation to resort on historical records to analyze the characters or known legends, but you have to judge it for its merit in the Nasuverse (also known as the place where Emperor Nero is a lovable, hot girl who wears a transparent skirt). The three kings are clashing to their usual portrayals. That Iskandar is a giant guy with facial hair, instead of a short, clean-shaven bishounen as he was described in history should give anyone an anvil-sized clue that they aren't really concerned about historical accuracy. They do incorporate some stuff from it (like his love to learn from cultures as he soaks up and adapts quickly to them; or his preference for simplistic methods to accomplish something great instead of overcomplicated ones). However, he's not to be expected to resemble his historical figure... This is Fate/Insert Cool Stuff here, I expect to find out what did 'history got wrong' about him as it got wrong about the other Servants (Cuchulain seems in love with his mentor, rather than Emer, as another example).

Saber is already the opposite of King Arthur. King Arthur, in general, is portrayed as male, inspiring to be an ideal but failing for his human lusts and flaws that brings the downfall of his kingdom. Arthuria is the opposite, she strips herself from humanity to become the chaste ideal they want to the point there's a wall between her and her kingdom. They resent the ideal king and backstab her.

Gilgamesh in Nasuverse destroyed his own kingdom. Totally unlike the wise, benevolent ruler he became after he met and lost Enkidu. He was more like a father to his men (I do think Gilgamesh and Alexander were pretty swapped in personality and designs when we take into account that).

As for Iskandar and his ideal. How to put this on without spoilers. If Saber were born to this age, she would probably be a judge or a lawyer... while Rider would lead an astronaut expedition to Mars or the Moon or the Beyond!
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Last edited by Thess; 2012-01-12 at 03:43.
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Old 2012-01-12, 16:41   Link #356
Grey
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Actually, we only see that Rider and his army are close. IIRC, the army wouldn't be the totality or even majority of "the people," so we do not see that his treasure is his people. The answer to that would be in his treatment of the peasantry. Of course, he's crazy idealized--except for the bit where his empire collapsed--so it wouldn't surprise me if he somehow treated the peasantry wonderfully and they all adored him.

Unless all the nobles of the conquered nations were themselves good and just rulers, or like the idealized Rider in their relation to their people, giving control back to local nobles doesn't necessarily say much in Rider's favor.

Rider wanted Saber and Lancer for his army. That hardly fits with the idea of him wanting to avoid violence. It's more like he wanted them for future conflicts.
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Old 2012-01-12, 17:07   Link #357
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Rider has the Cult of Personality. It even works on the viewers of the anime. Empires based on such things generally fall or are never quite what they once were when the Personality dies, unless another one manages to replace him or her, or the government can manage to maintain the Cult of Personality even if the original is dead. Either by legends that they will return, suspected animation, or preserved in statis for all to see.

I tend to think Soviet Union on those last few with Lenin and Stalin. Lenin was keep preserved for decades. Uncle Joe was beloved by the people.

But it isn't limited to tyrants or military leaders. A democratically elected ruler can have a Cult of Personality (it tend to be what gets them elected by a majority...sometimes a large one at that).
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Old 2012-01-12, 18:11   Link #358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey View Post
Actually, we only see that Rider and his army are close. IIRC, the army wouldn't be the totality or even majority of "the people," so we do not see that his treasure is his people. The answer to that would be in his treatment of the peasantry. Of course, he's crazy idealized--except for the bit where his empire collapsed--so it wouldn't surprise me if he somehow treated the peasantry wonderfully and they all adored him.

Unless all the nobles of the conquered nations were themselves good and just rulers, or like the idealized Rider in their relation to their people, giving control back to local nobles doesn't necessarily say much in Rider's favor.
See the ED picture. Everyone seems to be cheering and glowing in Happiness.

While Poor Saber got the MISERY WAR one. Sure, it's famous portrayals of them, but it tells you what you need to know, right? A defining trait.

There is little mention of details about the peasants beyond that he let the local rulers administrate as he continued. Nothing changed, pretty much, except for the fact the rulers and generals and soldiers fell compelled to join him in his quest for Oceanus.

Just like with Saber, there's only a small reference of villages that fell. But the vast majority seems good. Peasants are pretty much ignored in the Kings' stories, including Saber's (since she wanted to bond with her followers like Rider did and failed; that's why the NP hit her so much. It left her shaken he could accomplish this with his methods; the very thing she wanted so badly. I felt so bad for Saber). However, I doubt Rider would treat anyone badly on purpose. Look at how he interacts with the old couple, with the mail man, with Waver and bonus, teenage Fuji-nee (in a special meeting of the CD drama). Irisviel even finds trouble to deny any request from him:

Quote:
Irisviel was similarly befuddled.

She was angry at the destruction of the forest’s bounded field, but there’s no way she’d manage to continue to hate him once she saw his grinning face.
The defeated rulers, soldiers, etc just were in disbelief about the kind of man he was... because he seemed pretty much surreal to exist.

It's as Ithekro says. Rider has the highest charisma achievable by men and its portrayed correctly to even charm the readers/viewers (heck, he's conquering the polls in Japan, where only angsty bishies are the most popular male characters. He's that good). His empire fell apart after he died. Gilgamesh's kingdom was destroyed by him (in Nasuverse). The destruction of Saber's kingdom came in her lifetime and it slain her. Saber feels that, in a way, Rider can't understand her because he never saw his kingdom crumbling before his eyes and he was loved so much by his followers that they would defy the rules of the World and join him after their deaths, IMO. He died on his prime (which is another tragedy). That's why Rider's message to her isn't effective, even if he doesn't tell her anything different than Shirou first. Saber can't 'click' with him, because his life is enviable.

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Originally Posted by Grey View Post
Rider wanted Saber and Lancer for his army. That hardly fits with the idea of him wanting to avoid violence. It's more like he wanted them for future conflicts.
Oh dear... He is supposed to fight and kill them. It's a war. The Servants must die. Rider stubbornly tries to avoid that (he's filling Shirou's role in a way, only less obnoxious? I can only imagine what would happen if those two team up). He even was going to adopt Assassin (the loli one) in a ditched subplot, just to tell you how deep his big brother instinct runs. The only one who grated him since the beginning was Caster because of his gross actions.

Of course they are soldiers and fight. But Rider doesn't wish to destroy or humiliate...Unless he can avoid it, he won't do that. Which is a horrible flaw he has in a cutthroat battle like the Holy Grail War. Like I said in earlier posts, saving Saber in episode 5 and not taking advantage of killing her, Lancer and Berserker was a mistake. Noble, yeah, but isn't helping to achieve his wish, is it?

The rest are out to kill each other, including Lancer and Saber who get along pretty well.

And this is why Iskandar should be summoned in the Ruler class, IMO. Since he's pretty much being the Arbiter in the war and doesn't really seem to be interested in killing Servants unless they cross a Line.
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Old 2012-01-13, 07:42   Link #359
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You said he wanted to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. But now you're saying, "Of course he's a soldier and they fight?" He's a man who wanted Saber and Lancer for his army, and he wanted to become flesh and blood so he could properly conquer the world. However you spin it, those aren't the actions of someone who is aiming to avoid conflict, violence, or bloodshed. Those goals and actions will naturally lead to conflict and bloodshed. Otherwise he wouldn't need an army in the first place.

When you boil it down, he sheds blood when it fits with his desires. The only difference is in their desires, and when it calls for them to shed blood.

Of course, the LN may spin the whole "conquest" thing as aiming for a greater good, like the anime suggests with Kiritsugu. So it would be "bloodshed for a good cause." But IIRC, they haven't explicitly developed that as a goal of Rider's conquest yet. And I still haven't read the LN up to where the anime ends.
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Old 2012-01-14, 04:18   Link #360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thess
Re-watch episode 3 to know what Iskandar means as conquest. It seems many have forgotten this. You're also misunderstanding ambition as a bad thing. It's only a bad thing in hands of a bad man. Iskandar's a Neutral Good character, officially.

having been sometime since I last watched this episode it was a welcome reminder of the season's early strengths in the outline of characters (Irisviel and Saber's discussions) and the sense of eventuality (Lancer's introduction), which was not so imminent after all. As with the added content of episode 11 I founc the use of dialogue and scenario to explain and clarify integral or underlying meaning was better structured in the start of the season. In the latter part the loquacious dialogue with little addition to character or concept attenuated progression.

anyway, regarding scenes with Iskander, though it is certainly possible I missed the detailed alluded there was a discussion with Waver where Iskander deliberates on whether purchasing modern war machines (ten stealth bombers) or the country itself would be more advantageous. From this outline it would be sound if rather necessary to infer accordingly that war is at least as much a part of Iskander's methodology as any other. There is nothing wrong with ambition per se, inasmuch as pursuits are suitable and tempered in principled balance to other matters.


Quote:
The emphasis was made for Saber to draw the wrong conclusion about him (not caring for his people which is what ultimately gets him angry at Saber) and get ultimately told when he reveals that his greatest treasure are his people. His way of kingship is one that the followers and the king share one goal. One of her flaws, in particular in her novel portrayal, is her self-righteousness and her inability to click with people unless they share the same set of morals or regrets...this doesn't affect his people because they share the same desire: he follows their wishes as much as they follow his, they are one entity that walk together to the same goal.

although having suggested some departure from the material as a cohesive whole that is not to say Iskander's kingship speech is in fact contrary to the ethos he was intended to represent. Without dwelling too much on these differences, inasmuch as Iskander's (specifically: kingship) ideas are taken to portray this dimension of character it would follow the reason his war party (also specifically for this category of ideas: the army is not his "people" in the fullest sense) is treasured is because of its serviceability. To draw some contrast, if Iskander placed his people above all else then his wish would be similar in kind to Saber's endeavour, yet for any likelihood they might have it will be on this one point they are wholly distinguished.


Quote:
Like that knight said: King Arthur doesn't understand human feelings. Heck, her downfall came because she hurt her son's feelings... misinterpreting them...

I imagine that aspect would be defining of Saber's known identity but would differentiate between necessary and sufficient causes for the outcome. In other words, I would suspect there is a dualistic process where, originally, at the end of the day the kingdom withdrew from Saber rather than Saber failing the the kingdom. As above these are wholly different matters that are best clearly demarcated. Presumably there is to be a qualitative difference between "destroying villages" and "sacrificing people" to be further edified with respect to Saber's code. The other comparable facets between Iskander and Saber mentioned could be interesting in themselves which if their immediate relevance in tangential could at this time be left aside for other discussions.


Quote:
The plot establishes him as the one single character who is avoiding needless bloodshed. He stops Lancer and Saber, offers them an alliance. He saves Saber from being killed, forcing Berserker and Lancer to retreat. He proposes a dialogue instead of a War between Kings. He's being really diplomatic about the whole deal and this is a war to obtain what he wants. Episode 13, he's the one who brings Lancer over and proposes an alliance to fight Caster. He also tells Saber he wants her as one of his Servants (which is, in his mind, the only way he can save her from her curse loneliness and thorny path she calls kingship. So she can enjoy all fun in life she has been missing with all eternal companions bros).

in these instances it is apparent Iskander is firstly interested in whether he can influence outcome independent of battle. This is not for the furtherance of peace but the expediency of avoiding conflict by the same degrees to what can be accumulated without expending force. The strategy is obvious and it is not surprising that everyone has refused the offer of allowing them to forgo their aims to advance Iskander's.

across examples of past and presen events Iskander has either actively or passively facilitated conflicted where it serves purposes or when diplomacy in direction with his objectives are not to be met. The usurped kingdoms were retained (with Iskander as king) being the foundation of his empire, the lands h gave back were already conquered, those who joined him thereafter had no more to gain than to side with the one who had taken away (to belabour a point you have made - reorientated...) their previous (...notions of...) existence.

as it is however, just about any interpretation of these events and their causes will be determined in relation to Iskander's expressed intention. Though there i some room to interpret otherwise doing so has to ignore a rage of statements concerning long-term intentions and possible procedures to those ends. But whilst I don't think it is feasible to derive a consilient view of Iskander's character it does seem plausible to finely qualify his persona so that it won't be obscured by generalised identity. To put it into your words, the world could always use more onii-chans of this sort; regrettably the writing is promiscuous (a pervasive flaw of anime in my estimation - ideas, metaphor and symbolism are often used in a fickle halfhearted way) so that the various disparate elements delimit observation of interpersonal character as shown towards others with understanding and sympathetic mindset from a relatively unit perspective.


Quote:
I do understand the academical temptation to resort on historical records to analyze the characters or known legends, but you have to judge it for its merit in the Nasuverse.

there is certainly some difficulty in knowing what to assume of a heroes' identity as it pertains to their purported history and their historical namesake. The issue is probably further confounded because different heroes share approximation with the historical figure to varying degrees of relevance. In some cases semblance would appear to be limited to periods of their known identity, whereas in others it is the tradition and mythos which the hero personifies.
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