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aventador577

Is it evil when Bran wargs into Hodor's mind?

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5 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

To mate as wolf with wolf?  Really? 

To eat of human flesh as an animal?   Really? 

Neither of these strike me, a vegan for all it's worth, as particularly abominable acts.  

No, I don't think either of those things are all that bad, but there is a reason not to do them. Haggon seemed fond of saying things were abominable, but perhaps that's simply how he was taught. Anyway, a wolf eating human flesh isn't a bad thing. A wolf mating with a wolf isn't a bad thing. These are things that would come naturally for a wolf. But for a human? No. Humans don't tend to mate with wolves. Humans don't tend to eat human flesh. Some do, sure, but most don't (which goes for Varamyr and Bran).

Jojen teaches Bran to do things that aren't naturally wolfish when he's in Summer; scratch trees, catch rabbits without eating them, push rocks in a line. Things a wolf wouldn't do on it's own. This is to keep separate from Summer; Bran the boy and Summer the wolf. Perhaps this is what Haggon is trying to teach, just somewhat poorly. Perhaps it's not the actions that are abominable, exactly, but that doing them will turn the Skinchanger into an abomination, more animal than man.

About what Bran is doing with Hodor, however, yes, it's horrible. Whether or not you'd consider it evil is a matter of semantics; the act isn't a nice one. Bran even knows this; he can feel that Hodor hates it when he does it, but he simply doesn't care. There are situations when it was necessary; still horrible, of course, but perfectly understandable. But when he's just walking around the caves in Hodor, that's just disgusting. He's old enough to realise that it's wrong; he even thinks to himself that he has to keep it a secret (which he wouldn't think he'd need to do, if he didn't think it was wrong (or, at least, if he didn't know that Jojen and Meera would think it's wrong)).

He may not be malicious, but that hardly matters, it's still horrible. He likes the way it makes him feel, so he continues to do it, regardless of Hodor's wishes. Bran is, in my opinion, a terrible, terrible person. Hardly the worst of the series, but he's up there.

6 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I'm not convinced that's a seizure so much as a borrowing.   Still Bran thinks to himself that no one must know.  Is it the creep factor or Martin giving this broken boy the opportunity to be the knight he dreamed of being?  Or just another grey character with mixed motives and actions? 

Borrowing? Seriously? So, say someone steals your car, wears out the tires, spills drinks on the seats, scratches the paint and wastes most of the fuel; does returning your car somehow make it all better? You had to go all day without your car, you couldn't get to work, you spent most of the day worried, on the phone with the police, and when you get it back, it's in worse condition than when you left it, but it's okay, because they only "borrowed" it? I don't think so. You have to ask to borrow something, and Bran doesn't.

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1 hour ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Borrowing? Seriously? So, say someone steals your car, wears out the tires, spills drinks on the seats, scratches the paint and wastes most of the fuel; does returning your car somehow make it all better? You had to go all day without your car, you couldn't get to work, you spent most of the day worried, on the phone with the police, and when you get it back, it's in worse condition than when you left it, but it's okay, because they only "borrowed" it? I don't think so. You have to ask to borrow something, and Bran doesn't.

And all day long, you are stuck in the trunk of the car, scared and afraid, praying that you will get your car back.

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6 hours ago, Jango said:

In most cases, it would be considered pretty cruel. And in most of the cases that we see on screen, and read in the books, Bran warging into Hodor is horrible. Hodor is consciously aware of what's happening and exhibits clear signs of resistance, out of not wanting to be warged into. Sometimes when Bran wargs into Hodor, its even in rather dangerous situations in order to ensure his own safety over Hodor's own safety. So, yes, without any exceptions, it is a cruel thing for Bran to do.

Minor nitpick: warging is used exclusively for wolves, for any other creature including humans it's skinchanging. :) 

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Is it evil when Bran wargs into Hodor's mind? 

Yes when it's done for his own amusement.  Like following Meera around.  It's creepy.  Bran is becoming the voyeur that Bloodraven is.  Except Bran does it for his own pleasure rather than serving the interest of the realm.

 

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9 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Well said.

:agree:

 

Agree again, and ditto - even though at the mo I'm just a vegetarian! :P

I would, and again, vegetarian. 

I've said it before, but will repeat myself: Bran will need to know how to skinchange into a person, and soon. 

Ah I love finding a sister in the style.  Vegan, vegetarian whatever.   We have an aversion to flesh food.  Rock on with your bad self.   As to learning to skinchange into a person, these are Bran's baby steps in the progress.   I personally believe Bran has already attempted to invade Meera unconsciously.   He's got tremendous power to get a handle on.   And he's still just a little boy.   That said I think we are in complete agreement.   

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9 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

Ah I love finding a sister in the style.  Vegan, vegetarian whatever.   We have an aversion to flesh food.  Rock on with your bad self.   As to learning to skinchange into a person, these are Bran's baby steps in the progress.   I personally believe Bran has already attempted to invade Meera unconsciously.   He's got tremendous power to get a handle on.   And he's still just a little boy.   That said I think we are in complete agreement.   

Evolution, baby! :cheers:

As to the bold, very interesting! Care to elaborate a bit? I also agree that Bran's incredibly powerful, and maybe even BR doesn't realise how much yet. 

And the instances we get on skinchanging into people, like with Varamyr's memories and Thistle, and Bran, well, they're there for a reason. And that reason isn't just to freak out everyone! :P

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Can we even considered Hodor a person of sound and able mind? Now I might get called out on this but people of Hodor's mental capacity normally are not in control of their own lives because they are not capable of complicated thought processing and from what I know don't exactly have a sense of self actualization. In any case can we really say that Bran using Hodor's body as a vessel is any worse than him mind jacking Summer or any other animal?

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13 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

Minor nitpick: warging is used exclusively for wolves, for any other creature including humans it's skinchanging. :) 

Yeah. That annoys me too.

13 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

Is it evil when Bran wargs into Hodor's mind? 

Yes when it's done for his own amusement.  Like following Meera around.  It's creepy.  Bran is becoming the voyeur that Bloodraven is.  Except Bran does it for his own pleasure rather than serving the interest of the realm.

 

A voyeur is peeping tom; someone who watches others for their own pleasure.

Bloodraven a greenseer whose job is to protect the world from the Others using knowledge found within the weirnet database, and train his successor in case he doesn't live long enough to save the world himself.

See the difference?

Bloodraven is fully trained and has an unnaturally long life-span's worth of experience. Bloodraven knows the rules.

Bran has very little training, and what he has is concentrated on the weirnet. He does not know the rules.

See the difference?

To do evil requires that one know that what one is doing is evil. 

13 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

Ah I love finding a sister in the style.  Vegan, vegetarian whatever.   We have an aversion to flesh food.  Rock on with your bad self.   As to learning to skinchange into a person, these are Bran's baby steps in the progress.   I personally believe Bran has already attempted to invade Meera unconsciously.   He's got tremendous power to get a handle on.   And he's still just a little boy.   That said I think we are in complete agreement.   

Wha? Huh? Do you mean attempted it without knowing it, or while Meera is asleep?  And why do you think that? 

1 hour ago, Kaibaman said:

Can we even considered Hodor a person of sound and able mind? Now I might get called out on this but people of Hodor's mental capacity normally are not in control of their own lives because they are not capable of complicated thought processing and from what I know don't exactly have a sense of self actualization. In any case can we really say that Bran using Hodor's body as a vessel is any worse than him mind jacking Summer or any other animal?

Not calling you out per se, but we don't know what Hodor's mental capacity is. We don't know how much thought he's capable of, or how complicated said thought gets. So it's impossible to make that determination.

And yes, we can make a distinction between the animal and the human. Humans and animals are different. Not sure why there are people in the world who don't understand that. How can you make a distinction between Hodor and people of "sound and able mind" but not between people and animals? Everything you said about Hodor could be applied to most animals. 

Given the opportunity, I have no doubt the direwolves would love to try walking around in their owners' bodies.

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I'm not sure Bran has yet *chosen* to eat human flesh as a wolf, rather than just happening to be in Summer's mind, possibly even involuntarily, when Summer has done so.

(I'm leaving the whole "Jojen Paste" theory aside, since whether or not Jojen's body or blood is an ingredient of the paste, Bran does not know either way - the only question is, if it isn't, then where on earth IS Jojen now, and come to think of it, where's Meera?)

However... taking control of Hodor's body just for kicks, just for exploration, is definitely not okay. It was excusable when needing to silence Hodor at a time when discovery would have meant death for both himself and Hodor: perhaps again so during the fight outside the cave: but certainly not when inside the cave, safe, and just exploring for the hell of it.

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13 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

As to the bold, very interesting! Care to elaborate a bit? I also agree that Bran's incredibly powerful, and maybe even BR doesn't realise how much yet. 

 

 

11 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

Wha? Huh? Do you mean attempted it without knowing it, or while Meera is asleep?  And why do you think that? 

 

I've been writing all day to try to explain my position so as not to derail this fine conversation.   Will let you know if I ever post the topic.  But I would be delighted to discuss this with both of you in a more pertinent topic.   This is about evil and it's been a really good discussion.  

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7 minutes ago, JLE said:

I'm not sure Bran has yet *chosen* to eat human flesh as a wolf, rather than just happening to be in Summer's mind, possibly even involuntarily, when Summer has done so.

(I'm leaving the whole "Jojen Paste" theory aside, since whether or not Jojen's body or blood is an ingredient of the paste, Bran does not know either way - the only question is, if it isn't, then where on earth IS Jojen now, and come to think of it, where's Meera?)

However... taking control of Hodor's body just for kicks, just for exploration, is definitely not okay. It was excusable when needing to silence Hodor at a time when discovery would have meant death for both himself and Hodor: perhaps again so during the fight outside the cave: but certainly not when inside the cave, safe, and just exploring for the hell of it.

Bran even thinks to himself that no one must know about these adventures in Hodor.  Now I don't know how he got that idea, but I sure don't remember reading it anywhere for Bran.  Then again, I don't remember Summer eating any human flesh either.  I do remember Bran being suspicious of the meat Cold Hands BBQs for him and the gang, though.   In fairness, they were starving.  

Yah, let's leave Jojen paste out of this.   I think Jojen will tell us when his day comes. 

I'm not so sure Bran enters Hodor "for kicks" so much as he's just little and so terribly handicapped.  I don't cheer for Bran so much as I pity his errors in judgement.  I have to keep in mind that he is a Lord and all his people are subject to him.   Yes, I know that's very lame, but I do try to get into Martin's mindset in confronting the reader with this abomination.  This could be no more than the unfairness of feudalism.  However, Bran's is our horror story in this tale and I think we are supposed to feel a creep factor in the non-essential visits in Hodor.  No matter how many arguments I read for and against this practice I still come back to Bran is only a broken little boy with power he can't yet understand.  If this were real life and you were Bran, would you skinchange Hodor just to feel legs again?  

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I wouldn't call it evil in Bran's case because he doesn't know it's an abomination. Unlike Varamyr he hasn't been trained to know the "rules" of warging. However, I do think on some level Bran knows it's wrong. He expresses this feeling in Dance when he describes how Hodor reacts when he wargs him. So I would say in Bran's case he's wrong but it's not evil because of Bran's knowledge.

19 hours ago, KingMance said:

The amount of people saying it's fine, and would fuck wolves, and eat human flesh is mind boggling. The only time I feel like it's "OK" is to save their lives (the tower and outside BR's cave come to mind). When Bran just wants to explore caves or walk? Insanely selfish. I don't buy the argument he's 8 and doesn't know better; Hodor let's him know every time he's miserable being mind raped. Bran wants to walk around and be strong, great. I'm sure Hodor would like to say some new words. 

I agree that Bran warging Hodor in the caves is insanely selfish. But there's still a part of me that, I don't know, on some level understands and doesn't blame him. With what this kid has been through I just to bash him for wanting to be strong and wanting to be able to walk and wanting to console Meera. Before he reaches 10, he's thrown from a building and crippled, is helpless to stop his home from being conquered, almost his whole family dead, and he's separated from the few members of his family that are alive, and all the people who grew up around are also dead and some of those people were killed in front of him. Plus there's the possibility that he's going to be stuck in a cave the rest of his life. The kid's life and kinda sucks. So yeah he is being selfish, but with all this stuff, I can't really say I wouldn't do the same thing if I were in his position at 8 or 9 years old if I had the power. 

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1 hour ago, Kaibaman said:

Can we even considered Hodor a person of sound and able mind? Now I might get called out on this but people of Hodor's mental capacity normally are not in control of their own lives because they are not capable of complicated thought processing and from what I know don't exactly have a sense of self actualization. In any case can we really say that Bran using Hodor's body as a vessel is any worse than him mind jacking Summer or any other animal?

Sorry, I didn't mean to be so chatty tonight, but this has been on my mind all day.  In line with your original statements above I wonder if it is only people like Hodor who can really be skinchanged?  Thistle put up a hell of a fight when Varamyr tried to get under her skin.   Hodor seems to curl up in a little ball and wait for the visits to pass.  

The process of warg with Summer seems to be a natural thing--not unlike Varamyr dying that death and just falling into the Old Wolf.  That was his place.  I never got the sense that Summer was jacked at all or vice versa before Bran learned what was going on.   This warg thing and the skinchanging thing just seems to be a symbiotic development between human and animal.  They both seem to enjoy it.   Bran seems to enjoy being in Summer more than anywhere else.  Or he did before he got tangled up in that vision tree at any rate.   

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31 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

To do evil requires that one know that what one is doing is evil.

Well, that's not true. Ignorance doesn't imply innocence. Besides, he knows damn well that it's wrong, regardless of the fact that he doesn't know the rules; he knows enough to keep it a secret, and he has Hodor's reaction every time he does it. He's not some infant; he's old enough to come to the conclusion that what he's doing is wrong, without having to be taught by someone else.

4 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

 If this were real life and you were Bran, would you skinchange Hodor just to feel legs again?

Maybe, but just because it's understandable, that doesn't mean it's okay.

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17 minutes ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Well, that's not true. Ignorance doesn't imply innocence. Besides, he knows damn well that it's wrong, regardless of the fact that he doesn't know the rules; he knows enough to keep it a secret, and he has Hodor's reaction every time he does it. He's not some infant; he's old enough to come to the conclusion that what he's doing is wrong, without having to be taught by someone else.

<snip

Evil is always wrong, but wrong is not always evil.

If I take your candy bar, that's wrong but it's not evil. If I take your candy bar knowing that you are hypoglycemic and you could slip into a coma and die if you don't eat said candy bar, that would be evil. Evil requires more knowledge than wrong does.

The age at which children are able to figure out wrong and right on their own varies, and it still comes from a background of the information they've been taught. Example: "Don't hit your sister, that's wrong!"  

Bran is in new territory, with no guidelines, immense power, and little practice in resisting temptation. Is he doing something wrong? Emphatically yes. But not evil so far. If he learns that it's evil (either from someone else or from reaching that conclusion himself) and continues to do it, then by all means castigate the little jerk within an inch of his literary life.

Evil vs good, and all shades in between, is a theme that GRRM likes to play with, and it's of particular use with the Others who would be "evil" by human standards but to themselves are heroes fighting against what they probably perceive to be the "evil" humans. In my view 99% of the characters in the series are somewhere between the evil/black and the good/white. That's why GRRM talks about his characters in terms of shades of gray. He does this on purpose, in part because he doesn't necessarily believe in anyone being all good or all bad, and in part to make his readers think about such issues.

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19 hours ago, KingMance said:

The amount of people saying it's fine, and would fuck wolves, and eat human flesh is mind boggling. The only time I feel like it's "OK" is to save their lives (the tower and outside BR's cave come to mind). When Bran just wants to explore caves or walk? Insanely selfish. I don't buy the argument he's 8 and doesn't know better; Hodor let's him know every time he's miserable being mind raped. Bran wants to walk around and be strong, great. I'm sure Hodor would like to say some new words. 

Wait a minute.   I'm only counting a very small minority of folks here who doubt the abominations are abominations.  I didn't say anything was fine, I stated that I didn't understand where mating with a wolf as a wolf could be a bad thing or eating human flesh when a creature is starving. I don't eat anything that had a face, ever.  I would feed human flesh to you if we were stuck in the Andes after a plane crash if I thought it would sustain and nourish you.  I would starve to death, but I wouldn't let it happen to you.   Somethings really are abominable to me.  However, if I had a very natural mutual relationship with a wolf I dreamed in every single night would I be expected to exit the dream immediately if the wolf decided to mate with another wolf?   What harm would I cause by staying in my dream or trance?  Why would I need to exit a mating when I wouldn't need to exit a kill?   There is an imbalance in there somewhere.   I'm not in your face, Brother.  Please explain to me where either of these things are wrong or bad or accursed.  

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I would say its very evil and while Bran may have mitigating circumstances like age and lack of knowledge of the wrongness of it, it don't mean that the act itself isn't evil. But given how Hodor is reacting to Bran, he should be able to figure out that what he does with Hodor is not harmless or kind.

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20 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

Sorry, I didn't mean to be so chatty tonight, but this has been on my mind all day.  In line with your original statements above I wonder if it is only people like Hodor who can really be skinchanged?  Thistle put up a hell of a fight when Varamyr tried to get under her skin.   Hodor seems to curl up in a little ball and wait for the visits to pass.  

The process of warg with Summer seems to be a natural thing--not unlike Varamyr dying that death and just falling into the Old Wolf.  That was his place.  I never got the sense that Summer was jacked at all or vice versa before Bran learned what was going on.   This warg thing and the skinchanging thing just seems to be a symbiotic development between human and animal.  They both seem to enjoy it.   Bran seems to enjoy being in Summer more than anywhere else.  Or he did before he got tangled up in that vision tree at any rate.   

I think its just easier to warg those who are weak minded and lack much cognitive function in the brain. Its like in Episode II of Star Wars where Anakin points out that Jedi mind tricks only work on those who have weak wills. And though I agree that we don't actually know how much thought actually goes through Hodor, I think its fair to say that even the wolves are smarter than him and are more independently minded.

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