Personally, as a writer, I’ve always found pure evil to be really boring. I mean, don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is interesting to look at a twisted mind like Hannibal. But beyond some occasional exploration of alien evil, really it is just too disconnected. It’s black and white while we all live in a world of grey.
So for all of Etho’s antagonists, they all are very human flawed people. And they all have reasons for what they are doing. Reasons that may be morally wrong in our minds, but are completely justified in their own minds. None of them are cackling evilly and musing on how evil they are.
Harth is an interesting example of this. He’s a product of his world – a land devastated by 30 years of war and that the ends always justify the means. To dehumanize people is second nature for a former soldier.
Originally, in the production script this page was at most four lines. One from Nilum, two from Harthi, and one SFX. However, after looking at this page a few weeks ago, I realized there was a real problem with the page. It was too quick. It read too fast. It was projecting the upcoming action by speeding up to meet it.
And this was about the point that Harth reached out and gave me a twack on the head. Because his goals and my goals as the writer were exactly the same – goals that weren’t served by having things speed up.
We all know what is coming. Everyone of you can look at that page and tell me what the first panel of the next page is going to be. You don’t need me to tell you. And it is same as ra’th in that scene. They know what is coming next. There is pain in their gut and fear building in their hearts. It is the train wreck that is just about to happen and they want to look away, but they can’t.
And this is the point where Harth is stepping up on stage with all eyes on him and he is putting a performance that they will all remember. Because he wants to draw it out. He wants everyone of them to realize what is about to happen and know that not a single one of them can stop it.
It’s a mind game. A power game. This isn’t about Janice or Nilum. They are just playing roles in Harth’s production. So the longer he can draw it out, the longer that he can make them all dwell on the inevitable swing of the club, all the more power it will hit them with and the more power Harth (and his patron) will have over them.