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Elantris (Elantris, #1)
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2011 Reads > Elantris: Sympathy for the Devil [Spoilers]

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Shawn (Zaklog) | 10 comments I've always admired authors who can make even their villains believable, sympathetic human beings. You may not agree with them or their ends, but you understand them to some extent. From the beginning, I basically considered Hrathen a villain and mostly disliked him. However, I was actually growing to sympathize with him, understand his perspective . . . until he poisoned Sarene. I don't know what it was about that particular action, but that finished it for me.

There's also his unfortunate tendency to make everything a story about him. What's the most important consequence of the revolution in Duledan? The burden his conscience must bear. Nevermind that thousands of people were killed and a republic was replaced with tyranny, it's the weight on *his conscience*.

I haven't finished the book yet, so I still have time to hope he dies painfully.

Mike Thicke (MikeThicke) | 70 comments But your conscience is what makes you feel bad for hurting others. It seems a little inconsistent to claim that he only cares about himself while also claiming that he is burdened by his conscience.

Shawn (Zaklog) | 10 comments I guess it's his air of martyrdom over the whole thing that bothers me so much. He seems to consider his troubled conscience a sacrifice to Jaddeth, which therefore makes him even holier.

Shawn (Zaklog) | 10 comments Considered a little further, it's clear that he feels noble for feeling bad about what he's done, that he's somehow a good person for taking pity (in retrospect) on his victims. His "conscience" is just another way of pumping up his ego.

Mike Thicke (MikeThicke) | 70 comments Yeah, ok, that makes sense. To play Devil's advocate (ha!), with respect to poisoning Sarene, Hrathen would argue that he was harming her to save the populous from much greater harm.

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