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What is up with Banion?
Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:16 am
Banion is a snake, but a complex snake and I'd love to decode him.
I'm a little stumped at his ending with an infertile Elodie, though. His behavior is both in line with how we see him IG and not - distant, when in most endings he went out of his way to play the adoring groom? Defering to Elodie for EVERYTHING in public, why keep up a facade that far?
Banion being the plotter he is, I'm guessing he likely sniffed out the fact that Elodie can't have kids during the few years' delay. Is he distant because he wants kids even more than he wants power and is disappointed efforts won't bear fruit there? Is he being deferential because he genuinely feels sorry for an orphaned Elodie? Considering his reactions to Bennett and a Brin-murdering Elodie he clearly cares about family, could he actually be showing some empathy here? I really want to figure this guy out!
Re: What is up with Banion?
Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:37 pm
I always thought he wanted power not just in the "rule the kingdom" sort of way, but in the "sire a dynasty and leave a strong legacy" way too. But if Elodie cannot produce an heir, his (legitimate at least) family line ends there and he goes down in history as just the forgotten husband of Queen Elodie. Probably not the ending he was hoping for after scheming his way into marrying the queen...
Re: What is up with Banion?
Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:28 pm
Banion strikes me as ruthless and detached to everything but family. He clearly related to Elodie losing her parents, just as he lost his own. While his condolences were mostly just etiquette, the most effective lies are those who have some truth in it. Using her for the title and political power is impersonal, business and nature/part of the political game. If Elodie falls to his schemes, it is her fault for not catching up and playing the political game. But she had no control over her parents death and he isn't going to insult her in a personal and emotional way. He always distinguishes it, none of his attacks and schemes are personal, even the affair has nothing to do with emotions and love, rather it is another strategy to outplay Arisse's family, who just outplayed him.
If he is beaten, he acknowledges it instantly without any needless struggle, he accepts those rules, he breathes them. When he found out that Elodie is infertile, this is just another instance of simply acknowledging he placed the wrong bet (it was the correct decision to marry the most powerful person, he couldn't know it wasn't the right one). By contrast, Talarist plays the game as well, but he is much more bounded by the rules and duties, while Banion neglects the rules as soon they aren't convenient: Talarist refuses to marry a charmless woman that doesn't match up the proper court standard and he obeys his duties and his peoples expectations and produces an heir. This is also the proper way, he isn't having illegitimate children like Banion does. I also buy him not having a hand in the assassination, as it isn't morally right. Unlike Banion, who does it only because Elodie was the one who made it personal by killing his sister.
Nobility trying to strike a balance between family and sacrificing everything on their quest for power is a big struggle for many, if not all characters in this game. Their actions are contrary, just how Banion is usually using Elodie and suddenly comforting her. Because humans are contradictory and not purely logical in their behavior.