JessK

Am I the only one who doesn't hate Moash?

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(ROW spoilerish discussion) Moash is not my favorite character, but he's not super hateable to me either. I have noticed a lot of people hate him, but honestly if a king left my grandparents to die in jail for no good reason, that would probably be my villain origin story too, lol.

Edited by JessK
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Even after RoW I still kind of feel bad for Moash. He’s absolutely hatable and I definitely don’t want him to win, but it would be nice if he took the time to maybe sit down and talk about his feelings?? 

 spoiler for RoW kinda 

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On 2022-10-10 at 9:52 PM, Shallan Stormblessed said:

Have you finished the series?

I have, lol. RoW spoilers:

Spoiler

The only moment where I really hated him was when in ROW when he was baiting Kal to do what he wanted to do at the beginning of Way of Kings.

 

Otherwise, logically I know he's betrayed Kal and Bridge Four and he's done some pretty terrible things, but yeah, I don't know why, I still just don't hate him, lol. Maybe because he's a direct foil for Kaladin and I see a lot of what Kaladin could have been in him.

 

On 2022-10-10 at 9:57 PM, Odiumiumium said:
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Even after RoW I still kind of feel bad for Moash. He’s absolutely hatable and I definitely don’t want him to win, but it would be nice if he took the time to maybe sit down and talk about his feelings?? 

 spoiler for RoW kinda 

Yes, same!! All of the characters in these books could benefit so much from therapy, haha. 

Spoiler

Good thing Kaladin's working on that :lol:

RoW mild spoiler

Edited by JessK
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"Hate" is always a tough word to apply to a fictional character, in my view. They are very rarely rounded enough to be more than a handful of events, plus whatever a given reader wants to project onto them.

I don't hate Moash. But I do despise him. I'm not saying that his life wasn't filled with tragedy, difficulty, and sorrow (it was). A tough but enjoyable life for him was ruined by caprice at the hand of a careless tyrant. But his reactions to those things were wicked in my view.

His motivations for the plot in Words of Radiance were entirely self-centered, and even if he pretended (even to himself) that he cared about Alethkar being a better place or something like that I think that he would have pursued his vengeance under any circumstances and at any cost to anyone and everyone else. And, consequently, the whole point of everything he did would only have been to satisfy himself. Not a hero. Not a good guy. Not even a decent or passable guy. Just someone who doesn't care what price you pay, or the world pays, as long as he gets the thing he wants, and that thing is really just his personal satisfaction anyhow. And that's not even the worst part (I'm spoiler tagging this because others in the thread have done so, but I think it's OK to spoil on one of the series-specific subforums, isn't it?):

Spoiler

When Moash confronts the ruins of his plans after the failed assassination he can't handle it. Instead of trying to become even a marginally better person he casts off his guilt, anguish, and shame by selling them to Odium. That's not impossible to understand in itself. But in exchange for that he knowingly becomes an active agent of a force that is pretty bad and which leads him to engage in the same sorts of vile acts which he couldn't handle in the first place-- including betraying Kaladin. He chooses to be even more of a villain just as long as he, himself, doesn't have to suffer any consequences.

My feelings on Moash are that he continuously chose to do bad things for bad reasons, couldn't handle that he'd done it, and then committed himself to an indefinite future of doing more of those same types of things in exchange for magically not feeling bad about any of it any more (or feeling anything, but that's tangential). People who have suffered tragedy can also be bad people, just like anyone else, and being able to sympathize with the fact that he was a victim of severe injustice doesn't justify or excuse his future choices.

He could have become a better person, and still might, and that might change how I feel about him. But so far he's actively refused to do that, at all, and instead has constantly made choices in the opposite direction. He's a bad guy, and he chooses to be a bad guy, and I don't like him. I don't see anything redeeming in him, nor do I think that his grandparents' fates excuse anything he has done or become.

Edited by Returned
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10 minutes ago, Returned said:

"Hate" is always a tough word to apply to a fictional character, in my view. They are very rarely rounded enough to be more than a handful of events, plus whatever a given reader wants to project onto them.

I don't hate Moash. But I do despise him. I'm not saying that his life wasn't filled with tragedy, difficulty, and sorrow (it was). A tough but enjoyable life for him was ruined by caprice at the hand of a careless tyrant. But his reactions to those things were wicked in my view.

His motivations for the plot in Words of Radiance were entirely self-centered, and even if he pretended (even to himself) that he cared about Alethkar being a better place or something like that I think that he would have pursued his vengeance under any circumstances and at any cost to anyone and everyone else. And, consequently, the whole point of everything he did would only have been to satisfy himself. Not a hero. Not a good guy. Not even a decent or passable guy. Just someone who doesn't care what price you pay, or the world pays, as long as he gets the thing he wants, and that thing is really just his personal satisfaction anyhow. And that's not even the worst part (I'm spoiler tagging this because others in the thread have done so, but I think it's OK to spoil on one of the series-specific subforums, isn't it?):

  Hide contents

When Moash confronts the ruins of his plans after the failed assassination he can't handle it. Instead of trying to become even a marginally better person he casts off his guilt, anguish, and shame by selling them to Odium. That's not impossible to understand in itself. But in exchange for that he knowingly becomes an active agent of a force that is pretty bad and which leads him to engage in the same sorts of vile acts which he couldn't handle in the first place-- including betraying Kaladin. He chooses to be even more of a villain just as long as he, himself, doesn't have to suffer any consequences.

My feelings on Moash are that he continuously chose to do bad things for bad reasons, couldn't handle that he'd done it, and then committed himself to an indefinite future of doing more of those same types of things in exchange for magically not feeling bad about any of it any more (or feeling anything, but that's tangential). People who have suffered tragedy can also be bad people, just like anyone else, and being able to sympathize with the fact that he was a victim of severe injustice doesn't justify or excuse his future choices.

He could have become a better person, and still might, and that might change how I feel about him. But so far he's actively refused to do that, at all, and instead has constantly made choices in the opposite direction. He's a bad guy, and he chooses to be a bad guy, and I don't like him. I don't see anything redeeming in him, nor do I think that his grandparents' fates excuse anything he has done or become.

Okay, that's fair. It's interesting how while in desire for vengeance he was a foil to Kal, in terms of dealing with guilt he is Dalinar 's foil. (Of course Dalinar did his fair share of trying to avoid avoid facing his guilt too, through his bargain with the Nightwatcher and through his drinking, but ultimately he does decide to acknowledge them and work through them and become a better person rather than handing them over like Moash.)

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13 hours ago, Returned said:

 (I'm spoiler tagging this because others in the thread have done so, but I think it's OK to spoil on one of the series-specific subforums, isn't it?)

Spoilers are allowed as long as the spoiler period is passed and unless the OP asks to avoid spoilers (such as the "Reading first time thread") I think the initial tag was because @Odiumiumium was posting before the OP answered if he had finished through Book 4 yet.

14 hours ago, JessK said:

(ROW spoilerish discussion) Moash is not my favorite character, but he's not super hateable to me either. I have noticed a lot of people hate him, but honestly if a king left my grandparents to die in jail for no good reason, that would probably be my villain origin story too, lol.

These three threads have a lot of dialog on what people think of Moash and why. 

I'll re-iterate what I said before:

Moash (Vyre) is a depiction of the Nietzsche quote:

Quote

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

I think Moash's arc is well conceived and executed. He's just a moral sinkhole who has decided to avoid any responsibility for his own choices and actions through excuses and escapism.  Any chance he had at redemption, I think went out the window when he killed Teft and Phendorana.

Edited by Treamayne
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24 minutes ago, JessK said:

Okay, that's fair. It's interesting how while in desire for vengeance he was a foil to Kal, in terms of dealing with guilt he is Dalinar 's foil. (Of course Dalinar did his fair share of trying to avoid avoid facing his guilt too, through his bargain with the Nightwatcher and through his drinking, but ultimately he does decide to acknowledge them and work through them and become a better person rather than handing them over like Moash.)

I agree, I think that Moash is a very interesting contrast to other characters. His arc gives a really valuable perspective on Kaladin's and Dalinar's, though now that he's Vyre that may fizzle out (though may also give rise to another dimension for him, which could be interesting). I think along the same lines as @Treamayne, that Moash has been a good character narratively, but primarily through becoming a terrible person. He's always been the anti-Radiant.

And honestly, I think that a lot of people's feelings about Moash are heavily influenced by his betrayal of Kaladin. Kaladin is a pretty clear hero, a "good guy" and also someone who struggles to be a good person, a fan favorite, and the one who pulled Moash back from the abyss and death while also trusting him deeply. When you love and respect Kaladin, the person who betrayed him so deeply and completely is generates some strong, negative feelings.

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1 hour ago, JessK said:

Yes, same!! All of the characters in these books could benefit so much from therapy, haha

Now i need a fanfic of Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, Moash, and the rest of the cast sitting down for therapy time. Someone please write a therapy themed medical drama fanfic for these guys!

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44 minutes ago, Treamayne said:

Spoilers are allowed as long as the spoiler period is passed and unless the OP asks to avoid spoilers (such as the "Reading first time thread") I htink the initial tag was because @Odiumiumium was posting before the OP answered if he had finished through Book 4 yet.

These three threads have a lot of dialog on what people think of Moash and why. 

I'll re-iterate what I said before:

Moash (Vyre) is a depiction of the Nietzsche quote:

I think Moash's arc is well conceived and executed. He's just a moral sinkhole who has decided to avoid any responsibility for his own choices and actions through excuses and escapism.  Any chance he had at redemption, I think went out the window when he killed Teft and Phendorana.

A moral sinkhole, haha. That's an awesome description.

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I doubt you're the only one, but I think you're in the minority

Every time he appears "on screen" in the books since WoR I want him to go down hard, and I get disappointed when he keeps not. Especially in Oathbringer and at the end of RoW.

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I don't either, but I am wierd in the sense that I almost never hate villains or characters who are firmly on the bad side. I still don't get the vitriol for umbridge in harry potter.  I usually get very angry with heroes for making poor or stupid decisions, but with villains, they are supposed to do horrible things, how can I hate them?

Moash also starts out with a genuinely sympathetic motivation. He wants to kill the person who killed his grandparents. So till Oathbringer he was pretty sympathetic to me. Then ROW happened, he is very boring now in his characterization, i barely care about him.

I would loove for him to get a redemption arc precisely because everyone seems to hate him so much. That would be awesome , but it will never happen at this point. That will be too bold for even Brandon I feel.

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10 hours ago, JessK said:

I have, lol. RoW spoilers:

  Reveal hidden contents

The only moment where I really hated him was when in ROW when he was baiting Kal to do what he wanted to do at the beginning of Way of Kings.

 

Otherwise, logically I know he's betrayed Kal and Bridge Four and he's done some pretty terrible things, but yeah, I don't know why, I still just don't hate him, lol. Maybe because he's a direct foil for Kaladin and I see a lot of what Kaladin could have been in him.

It is something Kaladin sees in Moash as well - that in some way, with only a little bit of difference in their lives, he might have come out the way Moash did.

Which conversely, means that Moash could have come out the way Kaladin did. Which is the point of the "shadow" that Moash saw at Hearthstone, the Moash that was not full of despair, that stood a little taller, with a blue Bridge Four coat, a Windrunner defending instead of killing helpless villagers, blazing with Stormlight, Shardspear in hand...

And even now, it hurts Moash to think that that's what he could have, should have been.

But his reaction is to go even harder in the other direction, because it's too painful to consider his mistakes and in any way to try to atone or to make amends for them. That is despicable. And by now he's gone too far.

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I've never felt any hatred for Moash.

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10 hours ago, KaladinWorldsinger said:

I don't either, but I am wierd in the sense that I almost never hate villains or characters who are firmly on the bad side. I still don't get the vitriol for umbridge in harry potter.  I usually get very angry with heroes for making poor or stupid decisions, but with villains, they are supposed to do horrible things, how can I hate them?

Moash also starts out with a genuinely sympathetic motivation. He wants to kill the person who killed his grandparents. So till Oathbringer he was pretty sympathetic to me. Then ROW happened, he is very boring now in his characterization, i barely care about him.

I would loove for him to get a redemption arc precisely because everyone seems to hate him so much. That would be awesome , but it will never happen at this point. That will be too bold for even Brandon I feel.

 

Sorry, I don't know how this wound up in here! I am terrible at formatting, lol.

To be honest, halfway through my first read-through of Way of Kings, I saw a fan made t-shirt with all the names of Bridge Four members listed with Moash's name crossed out. So I was like, "Oh, I guess he's going to do something awful." Maybe I didn't feel the same sense of betrayal as other readers because I was just always expecting him to eventually do villainous things. (And I am the kind of fan who was thrilled when, for example, Darth Vader was brutal in Rogue One and Kenobi. If a character is going to be a villain, I like them to live up to their reputation, lol.)  Maybe if I'd been blindsided by his betrayal of Bridge Four, I might have felt more strongly about him, but as it happened, I can't really hate him. What he did was morally inexcusable regardless of stemming from a sympathetic backstory, but that's Villainy 101, lol.

And I agree with you. He's not as interesting of a character to me since he became Vyre. I feel like his dynamics with the others now are a little cliche. He could just disappear after book 4 with no further mention of him and I wouldn't be particularly curious or unsatisfied. Part of that is probably just because there are so many other antagonists in Stormlight Archive and there were others in RoW who just held my attention more. It's hard to compete with the greater look we get into the nuanced characters of some of the Returned and T literally becoming the new Odium.

Edited by JessK
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2 hours ago, Adamkarma said:

Short answer: yes

Lol :lol:

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On 11 October 2022 at 5:30 AM, JessK said:

 

Maybe because he's a direct foil for Kaladin and I see a lot of what Kaladin could have been in him.

 

 I see this sentiment a lot, but there is a fundamental difference between the 2 of them - Kaladin is a highly empathetic person, while Moash has always been extremely callous and self-centered. He didn't and doesn't actually care about the Darkeyes, just about how their situation affected himself. Otherwise he is A-OK with them being enslaved or killed. So no, I don't see even a dark vengeful Kaladin being like Moash.

 

On 11 October 2022 at 10:09 AM, KaladinWorldsinger said:

 

Moash also starts out with a genuinely sympathetic motivation. He wants to kill the person who killed his grandparents. 

 

Except that this person was Roshone. If Moash had tracked him down to Heartstone and killed him, I would have been sympathetic. Ehlokar was only guilty of negligence and Moash  fixated on him out of sense of self-aggrandizement, IMHO. And possibly because he was right there.

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On 10/12/2022 at 5:29 AM, Isilel said:

 

 I see this sentiment a lot, but there is a fundamental difference between the 2 of them - Kaladin is a highly empathetic person, while Moash has always been extremely callous and self-centered. He didn't and doesn't actually care about the Darkeyes, just about how their situation affected himself. Otherwise he is A-OK with them being enslaved or killed. So no, I don't see even a dark vengeful Kaladin being like Moash.

 

 

Except that this person was Roshone. If Moash had tracked him down to Heartstone and killed him, I would have been sympathetic. Ehlokar was only guilty of negligence and Moash  fixated on him out of sense of self-aggrandizement, IMHO. And possibly because he was right there.

Moash did eventually murder Roshone too though, didn't he? Yes, what Roshone did was horrible, but I can understand why Moash was more demonstrably disappointed in Elhokar than Roshone. I see it as being similar to Kaladin seeing lighteyes in Alethkar (in fact, the very same Roshone being one of them) and thinking, "The light eyes on the Shattered Plains would never do this, they would fight with honor." That kind of thinking is naive and unfounded perhaps, but regardless the higher the expectations, the more disappointing it is when people fail to live up to them. Elhokar is the king; he is supposed to be better and he sets the precedents and the tone for the nation. He is much more visible than Roshone; he is making a statement to Alethkar about the indifference and callousness of the lighteyes by killing Elhokar that he would not with Roshone, so politically it makes sense.

I appreciate that Elhokar was trying to better himself at the end and I do think it is sad that he was killed before he could get further on that journey, but I don't think he really started out as a GOOD person. He had quite a lot of personal improvement to do. Dalinar can say he was deceived by Roshone, but the fact of the matter is that he still forgot two elderly people and left them to languish in jail. His negligence was an abuse of power and a miscarriage of justice. He is the leader of an entire nation, and negligence is not acceptable. I work in healthcare, and it feels to me that it would be similar to one of my coworkers abusing a patient and a supervisor not only allowing the abuse but making it possible and giving that person the avenue for that particular form of abuse. That supervisor, even if they themselves did not do it directly, had that person under their authority and do bear guilt for knowing and letting it happen...and caring so little that they just straight up forgot to resolve the situation or make any true amends would make it so much worse. It is so insulting that he just...forgot. I'd be furious with him too.

Not that I do condone him killing Elhokar (and even more so I do not condone turning on people who had once loved you and given you hope when you had), but I can understand the anger that triggered Moash to become a villain. Did he then take that anger too far? Yes, but he's a villain so villainous actions are expected. When in Rome, I guess? Lol.

 

 

Edited by JessK
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Moash just makes me feel really sad. I like reading his parts bcause there's just so much going on with him, and obviously I dislike him. I'm not sure I hate him though, just because he's so interesting.

Edited by The Sibling
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On 10/12/2022 at 0:41 AM, Adamkarma said:

Short answer: yes

I was going to put something to this effect, but you beat me to it. Haha.

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I really enjoy him. Most stories would start you out with how he was in RoW. With a newly introduced villain that is already ruthless and emotionless, so actually getting to see how Moash got there in so much detail was fascinating. He's also really fun to read right now. The edginess, the cold behavior, his twisted train of thought and the way he still justifies his actions (as despicable as what he did in Hearthstone was, what's really interesting to me is that he genuinely thought he was helping Kaladin back then). He's just a really cool villain at this point.

As for the future, well, I think whatever happens is fine. If he ever gets a redemption arc, I won't exactly be forgetting but I for one would forgive him as soon as he changes, like, actually change. On the other hand if he just keeps going down becoming the biggest stone in the Radiants' shoes, then that's cool too. I would look forward to the final showdown between him and Kal in that particular case.

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I don't hate him; RoW is where he went so cartoonishly evil that it was hard for me to take "Moash is evil" seriously anymore. Like Brandon wrote him to be SO bad that it rolled around in a circle into me thinking, okay, he can't actually be that bad. I am watching and waiting for what happens in SA5 with a lot of bated breath and suspicion. It was him being blinded at the end of RoW that made me think something interesting might happen. If he stays flat and evil just because in SA5, that would be just such a waste. Keep it interesting, Sanderson!

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I love Moash!

Did he make bad decisions early on?  Sure.

But none of his actions in RoW are really his.  It’s pretty clear that Odium is actively suppressing his emotions.  And while he may have initially chosen to embrace this state to avoid pain, shame, guilt, and remorse I don’t think he realized how drastically this would alter who he is and what he is capable of doing.  

I see Moash like a drug addict.  When he gets a moment of clarity he is overwhelmed by what he did, overwhelmed by pain, shame, guilt, and remorse.  And he desperately seeks out Odium to get another “hit” to take away the pain.

You should consider Vyre as being Moash on drugs.  Capable of doing terrible things he normally wouldn’t. 

Moash should be pitied, not hated.

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