Does anyone get a sense of Smaug and Lake-town from this? A small, quiet town that is suddenly set upon by a fire-breathing dragon that attacks without any real provocation on the part of the town, and a lone individual that is perhaps the best individual to go after the dragon after losing everything, is a great story that was nestled into another epic in The Hobbit. But unlike the tale of Bard and his family, who weren’t lost when Smaug attacked, Ethan loses his heart and his family, and as he goes along, battling anything and everything in his way, he begins to lose his very humanity as he seeks the kind of vengeance that is known to consume a person from the inside out, turning them into the monster they sought to eradicate. It’s kind of like something Deadpool would say, it’s not often that a dude skull-stomps your sanity, which is too accurate in this story since Ethan is all about vengeance and getting back at the dragon that killed his family since, well, that’s what a caring individual can be pushed to when it comes to losing everything they had to care about. Along the way, it does appear that he’s going to run into a few people that could help him along his quest, and will be challenged more than a few times when it comes to the simple matter of survival, but the dragon is his ultimate goal, and the reason he continues to survive since his need for vengeance is just too great to deny.
This kind of story is great since unless the goal is to offer exposition the intent is usually followed through as the main character will follow the path that they feel is the right one towards their final goal without much deviation. Obviously it’s going to happen that the main character will find that they need to knock down a few obstacles along the way, but it’s also easy to think that exposition might be on the menu since a lot of people want to go deep into the idea of what it takes to make a human being and what it is that makes us human and so on and so forth until we get the point multiple times that yes, we’re human, and seeking vengeance can make us less so. It’s a moral thrill ride along a path that a lot of people have taken when telling a story since the measure of humanity isn’t always linked to one thing that unifies all of us, but instead, a set of ideas that keeps us from thinking of ourselves as animals or monsters that have no purpose other than to exist, to destroy, and to get from one day to the next. The quest for vengeance is one that has been seen to destroy a number of characters over the years, and it’s one that people pay handsomely for when it comes to seeing it in the movies and on TV since like it or not, it’s a thrill that a lot of us will never know.
For those that don’t always deny their more primal side, it’s a feeling that might be somewhat familiar since whether people want to admit it or not, that side exists in everyone, and seeing it represented by a fictional being is something that manages to excite that spark in a very telling way. It’s why we enjoy action, suspense, thrills, and the like, and it’s why we don’t run screaming from the type of content that might otherwise be seen as controversial and even disturbing since it invites mayhem and madness in a way that might have been condemned in the old days. In a sense, Dragon’s Dogma, based on the 2012 video game, is just another way for many people to live out what might be a secret desire or simple admiration for those that can see the value in vengeance and also the inherent danger that comes with it. Like it or not, vengeance does carry a huge price tag since it does tend to strip people of everything over time as the need to avenge those that were wronged becomes a sickness, a madness that some might think has no cure, but others might argue can be cured, only through time and only if it’s reached in time. The trick about such madness is that once it takes firm hold it doesn’t let up easily, and it takes a monumental effort to bring someone back from the brink. Coupled with vengeance, madness can become an incurable malady that in a sense makes someone not unlike a living weapon that’s best to be pointed at the enemy in the hopes that they survive and are cured or are at least given the chance to reap their vengeance and find some semblance of peace.
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