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 Character Analysis: Lily

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Shady Knight
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PostSubject: Character Analysis: Lily   Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:08 am

In the last thread, I talked about my speculations on Léa's origins and how it affected her character, especially her interactions with other humans.  In this thread, I'll speculate about Lily, what I think her behavior truly means, and how she and Léa are not so different.  I originally intended to have those two threads in one, but I got carried away in my rambling, so here we are with two threads.

I think we also all know Lily, she control plants, she hate humans, and she apparently can't sit still.  I recall many saying that she's essentially a psychopath who repentantly kill humans out of misguided revenge and show little empathy beyond that.  While I don't think this definition fits her, like with Léa, I think there's a kernel of truth in that exaggeration.  But, just like Léa, to truly see this grain of truth, we need to look back at her origin.  Right off the bat, Lily is an oddity among fairies: she can't grow past typical human size.  It's not clear whether it means her size-shifting powers as a whole are far weaker than other fairies, which would mean she can't shrink preys either, or if she simply can't grow bigger than a human.  This could be elaborated on, but either way, I imagine this was a sore spot for her.  We know she used to have a little sister and it's quite safe to assume the two were inseparable.

Then, a tragedy struck, her sister was captured by a group of humans and slowly tortured to death.  Now, it's not clear if Lily was captured along with her or not.  I imagine she must have been captured as well, since as far as we know, Lily could do nothing but watch as her sister was slowly tortured until she died.  If you think about it, had the humans tortured Lily's sister on the spot, such as beating her up for being a monstrous man-eater, then Lily would most likely have done everything in her power to attack the humans and rescue her sister.  If Lily's attack had been successful, then she hasn't "helplessly witnessed her sister being slowly tortured to death", and if her attack failed, but she wasn't captured, then I don't think those humans were stupid enough to leave a living fairy right next to them, unless they made sure she couldn't put up anymore resistance.  Either way, it makes no sense to torture someone on the spot, especially in the middle of an already dangerous environment, since something vicious could have crept up on them while they had their backs turned.  Whatever happened, one thing is certain, Lily witnessed her sister die in cold-blooded torture and she was powerless to do anything about it, and yet she made it out with her life.  At that moment, her world was turned upside-down.  Everything she knew about humans was wrong.  The weak creatures at the bottom of the food chain suddenly became wicked monsters, far more dangerous than their appearance let on.  She has then loathed humans with every fibers of her being.  She attempted to kill Léa in the past, but failed, and instead sundered her long-standing friendship with Crisis.

So how does that experience affect her typical behavior?  Normally, Lily is impatient and impulsive, and often poses herself as a fearless leader.  She's quite rebellious, and if stuck in a problem or in a discussion, she won't back down easily.  When confronted by a human, she displays cruel and merciless behavior, and takes great pleasure in killing them.  However, as the wiki recently added, deep down, Lily is a scared, and I would even say, very lonely fairy.  So what does that mean?  How is she a scared and lonely fairy, when her typical behavior says otherwise?  In my opinion, Lily is someone who suffers from what TVTropes calls an Inferiority Superiority Complex.  What this means is that Lily fakes a big ego to cover up her crippling insecurities. When Lily acts rebellious, make impulsive decisions and refuses to back down from an argument, even if she has already been proven wrong, she displays power.  When she hunt humans and mercilessly kill them before draining them dry, she displays power.  Recall that she was completely helpless to save her sister.  I believe she considered herself weak when that tragedy occurred, and had she been older and possessed stronger magic then, she could have saved her.  To convince herself that she's not weak, she acts as the rebellious and fearless leader who, in her mind at least, is always right.  I also believe she's actually quite terrified of humans, even though she'd never admit it.  After all, she has seen firsthand that they're not always the easy preys most fairies tend to believe, and in the right circumstances, they can be quite the difficult catch.  They form groups to make up for their individual weaknesses, they craft and use all sorts of exotic weapons and tools to stand a better chance against taller and mightier foes, and some of them are even able to harness magic.  Most importantly, they are able to display untold cruelty.  I believe the jollies she expresses when killing humans, which she wrongly defines as revenge, is essentially an ego trip, meant to make her believe that she doesn't fear them.  For all her boasting and bravado, I think Lily is really someone who seeks acknowledgement more than anything else, especially from her friends, and would fall apart without emotional support.  After all, to display power, someone must be there to witness and acknowledge it.  I believe if people were to suddenly stop acknowledging her, or if she were to find herself all alone, her ghosts would suddenly resurface and remind her how weak and pathetic she truly is.

So where does Léa come into play?  How does she and Lily have a lot in common?  On the surface, they both experienced the absolute worst of what humankind can do and both suffered terrible losses at their hands, but there's more to it than that.  I didn't mention it in her thread because it wasn't relevant at the time, but Léa is a very unique person.  When Crisis introduced her to Vivian, the naga sorceress sensed that Léa possessed talent over weather-based magic, but that it remained underdeveloped.  This seems to imply that Léa is one of the rare humans born with magical powers, which I'm positive is entirely unheard of on Balfrezagg.  Now, what if events didn't turn out the way they did?  What if the convoy she was on went to her new masters' world without problem?  What if she lived long enough for her powers over the weather to awaken, and what if those powers were, for a lack of a better way to describe them, very powerful?  What would have happened?  Would Léa see her powers as a mean to finally rise up against her cruel masters and obtain her freedom?  Assuming she was successful in destroying her masters and free the other slaves, would her powers alienate her from her fellow slaves?  Would the environment of distrust and paranoia she lived in for decades make her look down on other humans, fearing they would to try to use her newfound powers for themselves, or that they would see her as a threat that must be killed immediately?  This seems extreme, but I think it's a possibility.  Who knows what the sudden surge of power would have done to her if it had manifested in such a hopeless and bleak environment?

When you get down to it, that wouldn't have made her much different from Lily.  She was once weak and powerless, but suddenly grew stronger and exacted what she believed was revenge, only to become just as bad as the monster she despised.  Another thing they have in common is how much they value their friends.  To Léa, they are the ones who saved her from a life of pain and suffering, and would be absolutely miserable without them.  To Lily, they are the ones she can share her pain with, and would be completely lost without them.  In both cases, her friends only understand them to a surface level, as they never went through the misery they did, but Lily has it much worse than Léa.  As I said earlier, her irrational hatred toward humans has caused her to lose one of her precious friends, and I think it's only a matter of time before she loses her other friends.  She can control her rage for now, but I think the rest of her fairy friends don't fully trust her and suspect she may one day lose her grip on her temper entirely.  What I find especially ironic is that Léa, a human, one of the creatures Lily has sworn to hate, may be the one person who understands her the best.  After all, Léa was born a slave, so it's very possible she too helplessly witnessed a family member die by the cruelty of mankind, and could thus sympathize with Lily's tragic ordeal.

And that's my speculations regarding those two.  I know it's not my place to say it, but I think it's worth exploring through story.  It may probably cause some major character development, so an official character-changing story for Lily most likely won't happen anytime soon.  Anyway, what did you think?  Do you think that analysis was fair?  If you feel like bringing up something I may have missed, please feel free to comment.


Last edited by Shady Knight on Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:49 pm; edited 10 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Character Analysis: Lily   Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:37 pm

Very interesting. It's well thought-out, and I can't find fault with it.

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PostSubject: Re: Character Analysis: Lily   Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:31 pm

Wow. You really know what you're talking about when you get down to it sometimes. O.o; I wish I could think on that level.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Analysis: Lily   Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:49 pm

I've been exploring a lot of what you said about Lily in Dynamic Equilibrium, yet somehow she either becomes a 1-dimensional, uncontrollable powderkeg or gets played for laughs. Even TRYING TO KILL LEA wound up becoming a gag, making it seem like Lily tries on a weekly basis only to fail miserably. And I failed to play upon the 'Can't Sit Still' thing when Lily was suckered into...standing watch.

Recent chapters tried to show some growth in Lily's character, though. Slowly coming to tolerate the humans she's forced to be around, and just recently...actually WORKING with them.

I hope I can find the right chord to strike with Lily soon, as she has a VERY important part for the finale.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Analysis: Lily   Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:23 pm

That's an absolutely fascinating take on Lily Smile
You really thought that one out  and I find this portrayal very credible.
You brought up a lot of things I had vaguely in mind for her but never really gotten around to build and this is going to be very helpful to develop her in the future ^^

Great job Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Character Analysis: Lily   Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:37 am

The similarities between Lèa and Lily come as a surprise to me: you really have thought up your stuff. But I doubt they'd be able to relate: unlike Lèa, Lily has not experienced significant betrayal, and hardship for her was a reality, not an obsession. Besides, unlike Lily, Lèa was never encouraged to eat/kill people, not that she could just do so.

Beyond that, kudos. I had never really thought twice about her ego or about her killing of humans; your insights are refreshing.

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PostSubject: Re: Character Analysis: Lily   Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:50 pm

Actually, Lily did experience great betrayal similar to Léa, and that is when Crisis ended her friendship with her. Think about it, Lily and Crisis used to be childhood friends, or at least she was friends with Crisis since she was a little nagaling, since we don't know how old Lily. I imagine it must have been a huge punch in the gut for Lily when her long time friend, someone she valued immensely, decided it was better to end their friendship and defend a monster, than listen to her childhood friend and try to understand why she had to destroy what she saw as a vile creature. I know it's not on the same magnitude as Léa's life time of despair and paranoia, but it's something.
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