So, I’ve decided I may have dived in a bit early with my last post. I started doing some research, and found that, not only do I come across images of the alignment grid… they’re all over the place. This is a thought experiment that we are by no means the first to experiment with. So, the question becomes, should we pursue it?
Or do we pursue the white whales?
In what has been called “the nerdiest debate,” a lot of people have made grids like the one above. One way of thinking of the alignments is to group characters variously into the roles they seem to follow, and stick to that. Another is to group characters by alignment within a single work or world of fiction, so that you can judge characters as being more lawful or chaotic than each other, or more good or evil than each other. I found this great one for Game of Thrones, for instance:
Now, I think that the nine alignments are one of the better overall thoughts out there in philosophy, because they give a more solid way to understand good and evil. They create a graph, basically, with axes of law->chaos, and good->evil. In fiction, and especially speculative fiction, we explore the concepts of good and evil, of people and the things they will do in a given situation. This is a scientific approach to understanding that and quantifying that; not a bad thing, right?
However, I was starting to plan on spending several months, one a week, exploring alignments, and blah blah blah. It’s been done. Instead, let me condense that down to one post here where I include some of my favorite thoughts on the subject, all in the form of one of those graphics!
Sorry, I’m pretty new to photo editing, but that’s not entirely the point, right?
My plan now is to focus in on some specific characters who are harder to nail down, and see if we can decide on what they really mean in the world. That sounds more interesting, right?