okay like I have a really difficult time understanding why people find Chaol’s character to be interesting /at all/. I find him to be so annoying because he’s like that moderate liberal white boy who thinks women should be allowed to have abortions but also wants a wife who stays home in the kitchen. Where she belongs. He’s like, a total Dean from Gilmore Girls. He’s /so/ convinced that he’s a nice guy who knows what the right thing to do is all the time.
Like even in Tog and CoM he’s that textbook guard character who is bound by some unrealistic sense of honor and duty and thinks he understands the ins and outs of morality. But of course that honor doesn’t allow for things driven by emotion. That honor doesn’t allow for survival unless it plays by his rules. That honor doesn’t allow for power in the hands of women. And that honor doesn’t allow for killing those who have wronged you. Chaol is like…the least likely character to succeed in a zombie apocalypse. He holds everyone to some moral code, and damns them when they don’t live up to it (he does this with Celaena in CoM and basically all of QoS). Inflexible morality and honor inevitably leads to problems because it doesn’t allow for understanding of emotional conflicts, nor does it allow for forgiveness when those emotions drive people to do bad things. Chaol damns Celaena for killing Nehemia’s murderers. Rowan just accepts it and is like “good.” Chaol thinks Aelin’s power makes her a monster. He thinks less of her because she is fae. Rowan is like “okay you’re fae. whatever. show me what you’ve got.” Rowan is infinitely more interesting than Chaol, as a love interest, and a man, because where Chaol’s sense of honor is based on some hard lined Moral Code™, Rowan’s sense of honor is based on protecting those close to him. Once he claims Aelin, its clear that his moral compass now has one direction: protect and help and love and serve Aelin Galathynius to the best of my abilities, and the rest of the world be damned. Chaol’s love for Aelin is bound by his inability to reconcile her past as an assassin and her fae heritage with his immovable and someone flawed moral code.
In the end, it becomes clear that Chaol is just pissed that Aelin is so much more than he is. Greater than anything he will ever be. Rather than supporting her and attempting to help her, he pushes her away, damning her for not fitting into his carefully crafted view of the way humans are supposed to act.
Maybe some ppl like Chaol and his sense of honor, but I’ve read enough books on medieval chivalry to know that that bullshit ain’t for me.