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…On Betrayal.

Posted by Steve on March 15, 2009

Last night I finished reading the second volume, Day Watch, of Sergei Lukyanenko‘s Night Watch series (the translator for his website is clearly not Andrew Bromfield, who translated the novels, since it spells his first name “Sergey” and calls the books “Night Patrol”. Bromfield did a damn fine translation, let me tell you.) The series tends to be a downer – although the protagonist of the first volume does get happy endings in both the first two volumes (I’m into the third, Twilight Watch, now). But the thing is, the protagonists of Day Watch all get unhappy endings, since they’re treated as disposable pawns by those they trust.

Today, I watched Watchmen again with a guy from work. And rewatching it, it became clear to me what about it was most disturbing to me: You’re in the way of my revenge. Nothing personal, big guy. Other parts were more revolting, other parts were more depressing, but that was the most… I guess I’d say the most outrageous, as in the most causing of outrage. And it’s not because of the specifics of what and how happens. No, it’s the who does it, the why they do it, that bothers me. In my mind, trust gets betrayed there. It gets betrayed later, too, of course – and with colossal treachery. Those other betrayals, though, I think are less severe in that they weren’t so… cold, so purposeless, and so unconcerned for the person betrayed.

And that’s the takeaway: betrayal is an awful thing to do. It can be justified sometimes, by more important causes, but if you do betray somebody, you’d damn well better have a good reason to do it.

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