“Is there really any difference between what the heroes are willing to do and the villains???” is virtually always lazy and facile, but particularly when the villains are genuinely and profoundly evil.
You can have the heroes doubt themselves, or recognize the moral dubiousness of their actions, without suggesting that what they do is morally equivalent to the villains. It can be acknowledgment of the heroes’ questionable actions, or of the price of the fight. But if we’re talking about villains with world-changing power vs a given individual, there are vanishingly few cases where anyone with a trace of heroism is even remotely comparable.
And, in most cases, it seems very improbable that the character themselveswould ever see it that way. It’s often framed as a real epiphany—the clear suggestion is that they’re right to uncritically equate their crimes/misdeeds with the villain’s, that they’ve become truly self-aware. But with few exceptions, that’s both an incorrect and an easy narrative.
Personally, I think a much more interesting quandary is this: where do you draw the line in fighting the real and present evil of the villains by questionable means, even though nothing you do will ever be remotely as bad? Is there anything so intrinsically wrong that it can never be justified by the ends, however insignificant next to the villains? Is it ethical to draw that line at all—to put personal scruples ahead of fighting their immeasurably greater evil with anything less than your entire ability? Does it all come down to circumstances: what is the situation, what is the goal, what is achieved?
How far can the ends justify the means is both an eternal and deeply personal quandary. It’s one where a lot of easy answers are provided, but few that really satisfy. It’s very much worth exploring. And heroes don’t have to be forced into false and unlikely equivalences to wrangle with it.
For those few who have no idea what’s going on today at Ghost’s show during Monstrance Clock Papa iii was pulled offstage, presumably being arrested, and papa 0 walked out, spoke in italian basically introducing himself and welcoming the middleages apparently? (I just read a rough translation) Anyways, i have a theory for papa iv.
Let’s be honest, there is no way Papa 0 is the new Papa iv, the evil grandad could hardly breathe and stand onstage, his time as a preforming pope is up.
Typically when they introduce a new Papa it’s after their hiatus and the first show they play in Linköping, Sweden in a smaller venue. I have a feeling that Papa 0 will come onstage, possibly say a few things, then give the Papacy to Papa iv who will be introduced that night and preform with his ghouls.
Now who is Papa iv? Who knows. As much as i love the theory that it would be Papa ii, i kind of doubt it. I think they’ll be introducing a younger, yet more serious Papa. Maybe he acts more like Papa ii? Possibly even more cruel than he was? I have no idea.
All i know is that i am so ready for this new era and to see what Tortalinie Filibuster has in store for us.
How about some afternoon angst. I got inspired after the events of episode 17 and made an
scenario. @eldaryastuffs you asked me to tag you when i finished so here it is, enjoy! (under-cut because it’s pretty long)