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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
    Why would they not count in Belkar's case?
    Because karkus doesn't want Belkar to die.
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    "You are what you do. Choose again, and change." --Miles Vorkosigan

    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
    Why would they not count in Belkar's case? Also, every prediction the Oracle has made so far has come true (or hasn't happened yet for obvious reasons, like with Elan's prophecy).

    And what about the other predictions about Belkar? "He should savor his next birthday cake", "shouldn't bother saving up for his retirement fund", and "not long for this world" (not to mention the "ever" added to the "draw his last breath" prophecy).
    You talking about Elan's prophecy made me realize something that Tarquin said... "There is no end to the story. There's just the part that the storyteller stops talking." (paraphrased) There's a pretty strong chance that that's related to the prophecy, in my opinion.

    Also, those other things, such as the birthday cake and his IRA could mean anything. "Not long for this world?" *scoffing noise* That's easy. He is, literally, not long, but short (although, let's not forget the planet within the planet!).

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Because karkus doesn't want Belkar to die.
    Of course I don't. Belkar's awesome.

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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by karkus View Post
    You talking about Elan's prophecy made me realize something that Tarquin said... "There is no end to the story. There's just the part that the storyteller stops talking." (paraphrased) There's a pretty strong chance that that's related to the prophecy, in my opinion.

    Also, those other things, such as the birthday cake and his IRA could mean anything. "Not long for this world?" *scoffing noise* That's easy. He is, literally, not long, but short (although, let's not forget the planet within the planet!).
    ...but those interpretations still doesn't explain why the Oracle's prophecies would be fulfilled exactly the way they were intended for others (see: "How Haley would get her speech back", "How Vaarsuvius would gain ultimate arcane power", "Belkar would kill one of the people he named", "Which of the two named Gates Xykon would approach first"), but would be twisted and "[wouldn't] really count" in Belkar's case.

    Concerning Elan's prophecy: Huh. I never thought of that before...sounds like an interesting theory.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperordaniel View Post
    (see: "How Haley would get her speech back", "How Vaarsuvius would gain ultimate arcane power", "Belkar would kill one of the people he named", "Which of the two named Gates Xykon would approach first")
    well, technically, he asked if he would cause the death of any OR ALL of the people he lists off. With the simple 'Yes' Answer, I immediately took it as he would kill all of them. When they address the oracle again, the oracle notes how he did, indirectly, kill Roy, Windseeker, and the paladin (And then the oracle too).

    I think his last course of action, culminating to his character development, is him stopping V when s/he's possessed by the IFCC.

    But, Of Course. I may still just be Crazy...

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Toy Killer View Post
    well, technically, he asked if he would cause the death of any OR ALL of the people he lists off.
    No, he didn't.
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    "You are what you do. Choose again, and change." --Miles Vorkosigan

    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Toy Killer View Post
    But, Of Course. I may still just be Crazy...
    Oh, don't worry about your mental state. You are just simply wrong.

    Belkar only asked a logical "or" relation between then named characters, which evaluates to "yes" if any one (or more, but the more is purely optional) of them is true.

    In addtion: the comic already addressed the ridiculousness of the claim he caused the death of Miko, Roy or Miko's Stupid Horse just before Belkar stabbed the Oracle. (Note he did not get to Vaarsuvius, so it still might be that this evaluates also to "yes", but so far we have no idea but we can be fairly sure it's comic-confirmed "no" for Miko, Roy, and the Horse).
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    So I've only seen one comment on my favorite possibility:

    Belkar ascends to godhood.
    One of the recurring themes of this strip is the need for non-human deities.
    Redcloak's main goal is to serve his god by controlling the Snarl to threaten the other pantheons into accepting him.
    The elves have a god that they don't talk about.
    There were the orcs of the desert isle that were looking for a god and converted to Slappyism.
    Nothing has been mentioned about a halfling god. Why not Belkar? A sexy, shoeless, god of war. The halflings might even e tired of being looked down on for being so peaceful, and everyone knows how dangerous they are with thrown rocks. It could work. All the prophecies are things that are about meaningless to a god anyway.

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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Carisbourg View Post
    So I've only seen one comment on my favorite possibility:

    Belkar ascends to godhood.
    One of the recurring themes of this strip is the need for non-human deities.
    Redcloak's main goal is to serve his god by controlling the Snarl to threaten the other pantheons into accepting him.
    The elves have a god that they don't talk about.
    There were the orcs of the desert isle that were looking for a god and converted to Slappyism.
    Nothing has been mentioned about a halfling god. Why not Belkar? A sexy, shoeless, god of war. The halflings might even e tired of being looked down on for being so peaceful, and everyone knows how dangerous they are with thrown rocks. It could work. All the prophecies are things that are about meaningless to a god anyway.
    To ascend to godhood, one needs some worshippers. And I have trouble imaginig that halflings, who are generally jolly, would worship somebody who stabs their eyes out at afterparties and dreams of murdering them in their sleep.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post

    In addtion: the comic already addressed the ridiculousness of the claim he caused the death of Miko, Roy or Miko's Stupid Horse just before Belkar stabbed the Oracle. (Note he did not get to Vaarsuvius, so it still might be that this evaluates also to "yes", but so far we have no idea but we can be fairly sure it's comic-confirmed "no" for Miko, Roy, and the Horse).
    Since the explanations as to how Belkar had caused the death of Roy, Miko and Miko's Stupid Horse got progressively more outlandish, I think that the one regarding Vaarsuvius would have been completely nonsensical. If the Oracle had known a good reason for why Belkar would cause V's death, I think he would have mentioned it earlier.
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    In addtion: the comic already addressed the ridiculousness of the claim he caused the death of Miko, Roy or Miko's Stupid Horse just before Belkar stabbed the Oracle. (Note he did not get to Vaarsuvius, so it still might be that this evaluates also to "yes", but so far we have no idea but we can be fairly sure it's comic-confirmed "no" for Miko, Roy, and the Horse).
    That claim isn't ridiculous at all... it's accurate.

    Belkar definitely contributed in a significant manner to the chain of events that caused Roy's death. He gave Roy the ring and managed, thanks to the fact they were in the heat of action, to persuade him to use it on the spot (clearly a foolish idea) ; Roy was killed off by... the falling damage.

    You can't blame the Oracle for Belkar asking the question in a way that tremendously broadens the field of possible positive answers. He got the appropriate answer for the question he asked.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    I have the answer which I'll hide in spoilers at the bottom but first I want to explain how I got there.
    Consider Belkar's personality of picking fights he can't win and ticking off everyone. He feels he doesn't need the team until he truly does and finds it more fun to mock the team than he does to work beside him. He's a true warrior. So I tell you the way Belkar will die is below.
    Belkar will die
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    fighting.
    This is horrifying beyond anything Lovecraft ever wrote or Giger ever drew.

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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    That claim isn't ridiculous at all... it's accurate

    Belkar definitely contributed in a significant manner to the chain of events that caused Roy's death.
    It is not accurate. Belkar did play his part in causing the death, but he did not cause it.

    Imagine you are angry with someone and I tell you "Hey, take the keys to my car and go to him" and that guy then stabs you. Did I cause your death? No judge would claim that.
    Yes, I had a part in it and how big it is might depend on the circumstances but running at me with tears flowing and shouting "You made him die!" is ridiculous.

    It gets even more outlandish when you check the context in which Roy jumped the dragon. It was a war and he is an adventurer, both alone are screaming "risk for life".
    Staying on the wall was not really less dangerous than what Roy did. And in the end, he did what he did on his free will, knowing very well the risk involved.

    I still call "ridiculous" on Belkar causing Roy's death (which does not mean the halfing had no part in the chain of causation).

    But if this was true, it would have no impact on the point I made, as the other two options are still a clear "nope".
    Last edited by Winter; 2012-09-30 at 06:10 AM.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    It's worth remembering that the oracle himself said that he wasn't convinced by his explanations for belkar having killed roy, miko and the horse. They were most likely just attempts to avoid belkar stabbing him.

    As for Belkar being slain, I get the feeling he'll die in a rather impressive way as befits a major character, holding off an enemy that the order can't fight, climactic boss showdown, etc.

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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    It's worth remembering that the oracle himself said that he wasn't convinced by his explanations for belkar having killed roy, miko and the horse. They were most likely just attempts to avoid belkar stabbing him.
    On the contrary, I think they were deliberate attempts to annoy Belkar, so that he would stab him. Oracle has some kind of plan, which required triggering Belkar's mark of justice.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Miel View Post
    On the contrary, I think they were deliberate attempts to annoy Belkar, so that he would stab him. Oracle has some kind of plan, which required triggering Belkar's mark of justice.
    The Oracle is not altruistic at all (!) and the dagger *hurt*. What interest does he have to trigger the mark? The Oracle does just sit in his tower and does Oracle-stuff, he has no elevated interest in the world (or else he'd help the Order more).

    Also, look at the dialogue again. It makes no sense at all if he "wanted" to get stabbed. Zero. He tried to convince Belkar the prophecy was already fulfilled to prevent getting a dagger in his bowels (which causes pain, costs money, and makes him to get new xp).
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    The Oracle is not altruistic at all (!) and the dagger *hurt*. What interest does he have to trigger the mark? The Oracle does just sit in his tower and does Oracle-stuff, he has no elevated interest in the world (or else he'd help the Order more).
    He's not altruist, no. He's a jerk. He knows that triggering a mark will put Belkar through a lot of pain and discomfort and he is willing to die to make that happen. And then there's another thing, discussed underneath.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    Also, look at the dialogue again. It makes no sense at all if he "wanted" to get stabbed. Zero. He tried to convince Belkar the prophecy was already fulfilled to prevent getting a dagger in his bowels (which causes pain, costs money, and makes him to get new xp).
    He didn't want to get stabbed, he knew he's getting stabbed. The way I understand it, he sees the future as it will happen it, period. That doesn't mean he likes it and he figured Belkar may be the one who he can dupe with lies. Therefore, he tried to make it look like Belkar prophecy already came true, trying a last ditch attempt to avoid his own death. But deep down, he knew just as well it won't work. So, he resigned himself to dying, but made sure Belkar suffers for it.

    He is a jerk, but a pragmatic jerk.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    The Oracle is not altruistic at all (!) and the dagger *hurt*. What interest does he have to trigger the mark? The Oracle does just sit in his tower and does Oracle-stuff, he has no elevated interest in the world (or else he'd help the Order more).

    Also, look at the dialogue again. It makes no sense at all if he "wanted" to get stabbed. Zero. He tried to convince Belkar the prophecy was already fulfilled to prevent getting a dagger in his bowels (which causes pain, costs money, and makes him to get new xp).
    There is a possibility that the Oracle needed to get killed by Belkar, because that was the only option of how to fulfil his prophecy. So then Belkar will not cause V's death either.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    There is a possibility that the Oracle needed to get killed by Belkar, because that was the only option of how to fulfil his prophecy.
    As far as I understand what I saw the Oracle is not the one who makes sure things happen. *Especially* when it costs him pain, money and xp. It simply makes no sense at all.

    So then Belkar will not cause V's death either.
    Again the common logical misconception about this prophecy in specific and how a logical OR works.

    X = A or B or C or D means that X is FALSE if all of A, B, C and D are FALSE.
    X becomes TRUE as soon as any A to D becomes TRUE. It is also TRUE if all or only some (but more than one) are TRUE. This means A to D are completely independent of each other.
    X = TRUE or FALSE or FALSE or TRUE would be the same TRUE as X = FALSE or FALSE or TRUE or TRUE.
    This means that any of A to D being TRUE or FALSE having any influence of the A to D being TRUE or FALSE.

    Or to put it easier: Knowing the state of one variable does not tell us anything about the others. Yes, if any is true, the prophecy is fulfilled, but it does not tell us the last variable now has to be FALSE.

    In this case for this prophecy
    X is "Is any of A to E TRUE?"
    where the meaning of A to D are:
    A = "Belkar causes the death of Miko"
    B = "Belkar causes the death of Windstriker"
    C = "Belkar causes the death of Roy"
    D = "Belkar causes the death of the Oracle"
    E = "Belkar causes the death of Vaarsuvius"

    We now know that X is TRUE because D is TRUE: Balkar caused the death of the Oracle.
    We know A to C are FALSE, as those theories are outlandish. We thus get:
    X = FALSE or FALSE or FALSE or TRUE or E.

    The definitive knowledge about X, A, B, C, and D does not let us deduct anything about the state of E.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Couldn't have worded it better myself, thank you Winter.

    Besides, the Oracle is already stating something about Belkar causing the death of V, in the 5th from last panel here.

    He may not be altruistic, but he does have a quirky sense of humor in a hindsight kinda way. I wouldn't put it past him to be prepared to give away a major plot point just because he knew he was going to get stabbed mid-statement anyway.

    But I may be crazy and this is all speculation.

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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    As far as I understand what I saw the Oracle is not the one who makes sure things happen. *Especially* when it costs him pain, money and xp. It simply makes no sense at all.

    The definitive knowledge about X, A, B, C, and D does not let us deduct anything about the state of E.
    Let's assume that the Oracle can actually see into the future, and can only change it only in a limited way (say, matters concerning his own life and near surroundings).

    Now, the Oracle made prophecy about Belkar, and at least one of the A-B-C-D-E statements has to come true. He already knows A, B and C were false. He looks to see V's death. There are two options:

    1. He sees that V's death was not caused by Belkar, or the interpretation would be even bigger stretch than the one about Miko's horse. Then he has basically these options:

    1.1.: Convince Belkar to buy that either A, B, or C were True. Which is pretty much what he tried to do, but to no avail. So there was a need for
    1.2.: Accept that D needs to come True and let Belkar kill him. Which he also did, with at least having a little laugh at the Mark activation for all his trouble.
    1.3.: Admit that the prophecy will not come True. Which would ruin his reputation, possibly anger Tiamat, and Belkar could have killed him anyway, going back to 1.2.
    1.4. Outright lie to Belkar, stating something like "your Prophecy will come true in 15 months." And count on that Belkar will kick the bucket before he could call his lie, and Haley and Celia wouldn't care. Again, this is non-lawful behaviour that could anger Tiamat and ruin his rep.

    Now the alternative:
    2. The Oracle sees that E is True, so that the prophecy will be True regardless of what happens with D. So why in Nine Hells would he want to get killed? He could appease Belkar by not pissing him off through Roy-Miko-Miko's Horse ramble, by saying something like: "Don't worry, your prophecy will come true before the end of the year. Or, alternatively, he could just dust off the "Oracle is Out" plaque for their visit.

    Because Events that transpired are of the 1.1. and 1.2. scenario, I assume that the Oracle knows V will not die because of Belkar.
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    There must be some sense of order - personal, political or dramatic - and if no one else is going to bring it to this world, I will.

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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Now, the Oracle made prophecy about Belkar, and at least one of the A-B-C-D-E statements has to come true. He already knows A, B and C were false. He looks to see V's death. There are two options:

    1. He sees that V's death was not caused by Belkar, or the interpretation would be even bigger stretch than the one about Miko's horse. Then he has basically these options:
    (...)
    Now the alternative:
    2. The Oracle sees that E is True, so that the prophecy will be True regardless of what happens with D. So why in Nine Hells would he want to get killed? (...)

    Because Events that transpired are of the 1.1. and 1.2. scenario, I assume that the Oracle knows V will not die because of Belkar.
    You're assuming that the answer to Belkar's stupidly-phrased question is the only piece of information the Oracle has about the future.

    But that's not true, because (as far as we know) nobody ever asked about Belkar's death until the Oracle himself brought it up. So he sees things about the future independently of being asked.

    The Oracle may have known that Belkar would later cause the death of V. (We have no information about that either way at this point.) But he's not one to give away information about the future for free, so there's no reason to mention it to Belkar unless it would keep him from being stabbed. And if he also, independently, knew he was about to be stabbed (which, I suggest, there's very strong evidence he did) - then he's got nothing at all to gain by giving away that information.

    To sum up: we can't deduce anything about V's death from Belkar's prophecy.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    How about this?

    Belkar goes through the Rift, and he experiences some sort of subjective temporal distortion. Like Roy in the afterlife, only in the other direction. Everything happening in front of him happens so quickly that he has no way to process or respond to it, to an outside observer he would be moving too slowly for that motion to be perceptible in any way, and the simple act of drawing another breath would consume all of the remaining time in that universe. Since he wouldn't be dead, there'd be no way to raise him, even if the Order were so inclined. He'd spend eternity as a passive observer of the events of the story... much like the audience of the strip itself.
    Last edited by Maurice; 2012-10-01 at 06:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Now, the Oracle made prophecy about Belkar, and at least one of the A-B-C-D-E statements has to come true. He already knows A, B and C were false. He looks to see V's death. There are two options:
    The way I see it, the Oracle looks into the future, sees that Belkar has a pretty big hand in causing the death of Roy, and has one in Miko's as well, and even Miko's horse, and he also sees that he'll be stabbed/killed by an angry Belkar... and seeing all that into the future (including anything he might have seen about V's death, which doesn't come into play at all here), and considering the stupid way Belkar phrased the question, the answer the Oracle gives is an accurate, Oracle-certified "Yes".
    Last edited by lio45; 2012-10-01 at 07:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Let's assume that the Oracle can actually see into the future, and can only change it only in a limited way (say, matters concerning his own life and near surroundings).
    The comic clearly states the Oracle cannot change the future. He gets stabbed by Belkar, even if he tries to the best of his abilities to prevent it.

    Now, the Oracle made prophecy about Belkar, and at least one of the A-B-C-D-E statements has to come true. He already knows A, B and C were false. He looks to see V's death. There are two options:
    Why do you leave out the case we know to be true? He caused the death of the Oracle. We do not have to look towards Vaarsuvius for the prophecy being true.
    Ergo: All you wrote below here has no substance. The prophecy was made true by an earlier condidition, therefore, we cannot deduct anything about latter conditions.
    It seems to me you are overthinking it.

    So why in Nine Hells would he want to get killed?
    He does not. Therefore, he tries to prevent Belkar from killing him. I doubt he cared about anything else (including the prophecy). Remember: He's an Oracle, not a "truth-maker" with a higher interest to make prophecies become true, no matter what, even if the price is a dagger in the own chest.
    This is simply a silly alternative.


    Because Events that transpired are of the 1.1. and 1.2. scenario, I assume that the Oracle knows V will not die because of Belkar.
    Feel free to deduct that. It's just logically not valid and while you can interpret this and that, you have no way of knowing from the events that transpired.
    I'm pretty sure I could create a valid-sounding line of arguments that leads to the conclusion the Oracle does know Vaarsuivus will die because of Belkar. As I would not know that on the same scale you do not know what you just claimed, if find doing that pointless.

    From a joke-perspective I think it would be funnier if actually two of the five cases in the prophecy would be true (we think it is over as it is fulfilled, but no, no, it is not yet over) and Belkar did cause the death of Vaarsuivus. But this is just silly rambling on what I think would be funny constituting no base whatsoever for anything.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    I just love it how you conveniently ignored everything I've wrote
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter View Post
    The comic clearly states the Oracle cannot change the future.
    Where does it state that?

    I get the feeling we have a different opinion on how does the Oracle actually work, so it's obvious our statements will be different.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordokai View Post
    I just love it how you conveniently ignored everything I've wrote
    Since you insist...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordokai
    He didn't want to get stabbed, he knew he's getting stabbed. The way I understand it, he sees the future as it will happen it, period. That doesn't mean he likes it and he figured Belkar may be the one who he can dupe with lies. Therefore, he tried to make it look like Belkar prophecy already came true, trying a last ditch attempt to avoid his own death. But deep down, he knew just as well it won't work. So, he resigned himself to dying, but made sure Belkar suffers for it.
    You're wrong.

    He sees the future, but he can definitely take mesures to alter it -- we can see that he keeps doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    Where does it state that?
    Well, obviously here; He could not influence the future to save his life:
    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0567.html

    (And I think a d'uh is in order as well )

    Quote Originally Posted by 2323mike View Post
    I get the feeling we have a different opinion on how does the Oracle actually work, so it's obvious our statements will be different.
    I do not have that feeling. I think what you claim simply makes no sense. "How" the Oracle works does not play any role here, the problem we have is one of how basic logic and how or-relations work (you can of course use your own definition, but I'm not sure if that brings something constructive to the table).

    In that very same strip I linked it is made clear all those "complicated" reasonings on prophecies are not valid. The prophecies come true very straight forward. You are doing what that comic disproves. You do not need complicated chains or conditions to evaluate if a prophecy has come true or not, it is very straight forward.

    But that does not have any impact at all on the discussion that the knowledge of A to D under that condition that one or more of them are already TRUE does not let you deduct anything about E.
    Last edited by Winter; 2012-10-02 at 02:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Theories on Belkar's death

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    You're wrong.
    No, I'm not

    And last time I checked, your name wasn't Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    He sees the future, but he can definitely take mesures to alter it -- we can see that he keeps doing it.

    Among other examples, "...but ain't it funny how I always seem to have just the right magic item here in my robe?"
    Ok, I'll bite. What excatly does that prove?
    Adrie, half elven bard. Drawing by Vulion, avatar by CheesePirate. Colored version by Callos_DeTerran. Thanks a lot, you guys.
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