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Seems fair to me, Mr. Finn is basically saying “I see you apologize, don’t do it again.” He can’t turn off his feelings, but he is acknowledging the apology happened and giving Ravi a chance to do better in the future. Give them a nice walk in the caves to cool off and I think we’re ready for some mysterious revelations.

Like I said last week, I’m willing to give Ravi the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t think I will be able to like him until he says the three words that everyone has to say at some point but is unwilling or unable due to pride. “I screwed up.”

Yeah, he does seem to genuinely care about others and feels bad. That’s promising. I’ll even give the benefit of the doubt that the ants thing was an innocent bad choice of analogy and not indicative of contempt. However, the expectation of perfection lands squarely on you if you consistently foist blame onto subordinates and therefore only leave accomplishments to your own name. Kory hasn’t given a history of that. Jumping the gun to accusing the Finn’s of laziness instead of what kind of plagues, unions, civil disagreements, blitzkriegish type things might’ve disrupted the inheritance is less promising though.

Right now I just want confirmation on whether he intended the information to be strictly inherited and what would justify such secrecy. Even centuries ago people understood the idea of redundancy and robustness in preserving information, even if monks had to copy books by hand. To me that’ll be what decides between a clever but unlucky architect and a brat mad his jenga tower fell down.

I just want Ravi to admit that he fucked up. Because so far all he has really done is give excuses for his behavior, and while his excuses are mostly legitimate ones, at the end of the day no matter how justified the reason he still made a decision that brought pain to an entire family and he has yet accept his role in that.
Because at the end of the day you blame poor planing, miscommunication, or a lack of information having an influence on your decision but that doesn’t change the fact that the result of said decision is still your fault.

I don’t think Ravi knows HOW to say “I screwed up”.

Look at the previous 2 pages.

The last 2 panels of page 14 is a covering my arse excuse as a preamble to an apology attempt. But it’s the panel before those that is most telling. Ravi’s saying he fears he needs to apologize. His facial expression and eyes show no sign of contrition.

Page 15 is all explanation over why Ravi confuses mere mortals, with some of it conveyed in the tone of an apology.

And then we come to this latest page. We only see Ravi looking uncomfortable with the reality of what happened when he says that sometimes he has to fake it. The hurt to James from Ravi’s latest clumsiness get reflected straight back at Ravi.

What we do not see across the three pages is any REAL admission from Ravi that he did screw up, or that he is sorry for what his actions caused.

I don’t think it is pride or unwillingness on Ravi’s part. I honestly think Ravi does not know HOW to apologize. Not merely the words, but the emotions and feelings driving an apology. Guilt, shame, remorse, contrition, sorrow.

I think I disagree.

Illumination, page 34: Ravi points out that he is an ass. (He had just said also “it’s a miracle the egg is still intact.”)

Illumination 2, p12: I read this final expression as honest contrition, though that’s subjective. (p13:) He follows it up by saying he made a mistake. The way he says it (“obviously…”), it’s pretty clear he’s focusing on how he had positive intentions rather than thinking about how he could have done anything differently. But Michelle brings it back to reality.

Page 14: he *voluntarily* decides to go apologize after realizing how lame his deflection of blame is. He gets a lot of credit for this in my book. If he’s not feeling guilty, why would he do that? If he’s not feeling shame, why all the uncomfortable facial gymnastics? Personally I see no difference between someone saying to me “I owe you an apology” and “I’m sorry”. Adding “I fear” is just hesitation. Honest apologies are often hesitant, because they involve emotion.

Page 15: Ravi is rambling and apologizing over the wrong things because he definitely has trouble facing his faults, but also because he just has too many bad habits. Phrases like “younger beings”, “live on a different level of existence”, and “it even became too much for *me*” are part of the ‘faking it’ that he’s admitting to on the current page. And note how he cringes and corrects himself – he has developed arrogant mannerisms from long habit, but he is conscious that they’re not appropriate right now.

On the second to last panel he admits to the mistake which he was supposed to be apologizing for in the first place. He also admits that his actions were in contradiction with his stated intentions. On the last panel he admits his entire excuse is self-contradictory and that the things he expected of the Finns were unrealistic.

Seems like a real apology to me. Not a very good one, but if he’s missing something fundamental, then so am I.

On page 16 he slides back into bad habits, using a metaphor that inflates immortals. But again he catches himself directly after. And then he calls himself a fake.

Also; I think part of the context here, which Ravi just did a terrible job explaining with the ant metaphor, is that the Finns and the phoenix egg are not the only situation Ravi was embroiled in. Ravi was probably running around the Medieval world starting big projects and making big promises. And he undoubtedly got somewhat famous, which would only entangle him in more situations. Which is part of why he took a break from it all. When he came back, he didn’t want to hunt down all the important things he had been involved in; that would immediately put him in a similar situation. So he took things slowly, checking at a distance that things were still OK.

I mean, that’s still a selfish way of behaving; but it’s not like “I should have checked on the Finns first thing!”, but rather, “I should have checked on these dozens of ancient machinations first thing!”.

Greetings from the future!

I very much appreciated your genuine and well-written breakdown, and as a small footnote, i wanted to add that “I fear…” can also just be british for “this is a thing that is happening in a sad and regretful manner”

“I fear I must be leaving”
“I fear she will leave me”
“He’s already gone, I fear”

Also, mega props to Kory for committing to the regional dialects, and WELL. As an American, I can’t say I’m terribly familiar with the mannerisms/figures of speech present in the countless dialects/accents present in the UK specifically, but I can say that it *feels* like the characters are speaking in different dialects/accents. something that can be a VERY difficult thing to do, doubly so due to the dangers of falling into stereotype and harmful depiction. good job, Kory!

Yeah, I called “I fear…” hesitation, based on some idea that when we’re having trouble saying something, we add extra words. But I do understand the general expression. I think “I fear…” also adds a note of uncertainty, which is often disingenuous; “he’s already gone, I fear” might be a way of softening the blow. (Not necessarily disingenuous in a bad way.) “It seems…” can express regret in the same way. Maybe call it uncertainty-for-regret.

“Even the most heart-felt apology doesn’t automatically deserve forgiveness, unfortunately.”

With all due respect Kory, but Ravi hasn’t actually apologised for his actions. Yes, he did explained why he fucked up, but so far he is merely excusing his behavior, not apologising for it.

See my recent comment up above, but, imho Ravi has apologized. He has admitted fault, called his actions contradictory, called his expectation that the Finns remember contradictory, and for good measure called himself a fake. He didn’t do the best job of apologizing, but it was an apology.

It’s a fine and sometimes overlapping line sometimes between apologies and explanations.

An apology is an acceptance of fault; an excuse is a denial of fault. An explanation is a (presumably factual) statement of events and causality. (X happened because Y.) It’s neither an apology nor an excuse, but it can accompany either.

Well, in response to everyone that pointed out that I am being too hard on Ravi, the only thing that I can say after reading all of these well thought comments is…

… That you guys are absolutely right!

I didn’t neither think, nor even considered, any of the points that you guys all noticed. So I would like to apologise for my immature behavior in this comment section.

In the end, immortals aren’t the only ones that need to know better before throwing insults around… :P

Ravi’s clumsy attempt an an apology has run straight into the all too human fact that sometimes it takes time for the hurt to subside before an apology can be accepted. And in its clumsiness has delivered more hurt which has been reflected right back at Ravi.

It’s nice to see Ravi is trying, but like many have said he seems to be really *bad* at this. I mean, as an immortal being he probably doesn’t get much practice in–he probably doesn’t notice he’s being a jerk most of the time and then just a few short decades later the people he offended are dead anyway–so I’ll give him a pass with such a clumsy apology this time. Let’s see if he improves or just keeps repeating his mistakes.

That’s interesting. He is aware that he shouldn’t look at mortals as ants, but it’s genuinely hard to see them as individuals when they just don’t stick around. But I think expecting Ravi to learn better is a little hard considering how old he is, how long he’s already had to make these mistakes and learn from them.

Everybody is so damn *down* on Ravi, but I’m really loving this, and it ties in to one of the things I love about the comic in general. Even though we’re dealing with mythical creatures and immortals and forces beyond ‘normal’ understanding, at the end of the day, everybody is *human*.

Ravi made a massive mistake. He knows he did, but like a vast majority of real people he first had trouble coming to accept his own fault, and subsequently makes a heartfelt but clumsy pass at owning up to it. It’s the same thing as anybody doing something monumentally stupid: it’s human nature to blame somebody else or find any excuse to say that it wasn’t your fault (and it’s usually not a conscious thing; gut reaction is to find external circumstances, and only on a little bit of reflection, at least, do people realize “Oh. I’m the problem”). Ravi, whose age would imply that he has quite a few habits and assumptions that he’s stuck on, took a pretty huge leap forward by being able to confront his own fault so relatively quickly, and if he’s right about mortals generally seeing him as infallible — perhaps even an object of worship, depending on the era — then his leveling with James like this is a pretty big admission, and a pretty big deal. Even if he hasn’t said “I’m sorry”, he’s owned up to his mistake. (And, let’s be real– how any times in *real life* does somebody make a huge mistake and just flat-out use the phrase ‘I’m sorry’?)

In a movie this would normally be met with immediate reconciliation, at least on some level, but James is also just as human. Instead of instantly and completely understanding and empathizing with Ravi, he absolutely and beautifully no-sells the apology. It actually make him look like a bit of a jerk, given how humbling this must have been, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Ravi just spent a number of pages calling his entire familial honor into question and (inadvertently) disgracing a number of ancestors who sacrificed themselves for reasons that are *extremely* important (which is why Ravi was so upset; he understands what everything means and assumed the Finns did as well, but simply blew off the responsibility) but they don’t fully understand. While I can’t say he’s entirely in the right for completely dismissing Ravi’s apology, it’s very easy to understand and sympathize with him.

Or, in shorter terms, both sides have legitimate points, but both sides are also failing (or refusing) to understand the other, because at their core both sides are *human*. And that’s damn fine writing.

I am reminded of human nature and culture within the US, where apology is not really a thing. It happens, but the concept of apology and reconciliation doesn’t really exist as a cultural mindset. Many people do not apologize, not meaningfully. To me then, what Ravi is doing is more believable, yet unbelievable in that it happens at all–or at least that it is getting as much screentime as it does.

Also, just how powerful IS Ravi? He appears the type who’d ‘have been worshipped as a god’ at some point or other.

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