hi hi

I realize I'm a bit late to the party on this one, but in the spirit of following the no bumping rule, I'm making a thread about the end of Banner Saga 1. I hope this is the right place for it. I've just got to write something or I'll go crazy, since none of my friends have finished the game and I obviously can't talk to them about it.

A lot of the discussions I've read about the ending dilemma seem to revolve around the choice of sacrificing Rook or Alette, but in my playthrough, I went in without reading any spoilers or guides so that wasn't a choice that I was making. I tried to look at it from Rook's point of view, and how he might try to make the decision, with no certainties about the future. If it had been a simple choice with known outcomes, I think Rook would have sacrificed himself for Alette, no question, but prior to the fight there was no certainty.

Admittedly, I had supported Oddleif on the issue of training women to be archers in the past, but honestly, the shame of being a hypocrite wasn't a serious factor in the consideration. I looked at it from two perspectives, from a short term tactical sense, and from a longer term strategic sense.

Tactically, it actually seemed like a good idea for Alette to fire the arrow.

• Her argument about being the better shot was valid.
•*Whoever was carrying the silver arrow would be the one single person that everyone would protect at all costs. All of my front line fighters were between the arrow carrier and Bellower. In fact, I felt like Rook would have been uncomfortable having everyone protecting him at all costs as the most important individual on the battlefield.
• I had Rook set up as a master armor breaker, which usually involved him moving in ahead of everyone else, and breaking as many as 9 points of armor with each shot. ((Max break, max exertion, and Farthingjörd equipped.)) He couldn't run ahead and stay safely behind the lines at the same time.

However, as I was mulling over those points, I realized that it was really moot. There was something even more important with the big picture. It wasn't a decision about if one person or another would die, the reality that Rook faced was that if Bellower wasn't defeated, everyone would be killed. Whatever course gave the highest chance for success would have to be the course he chose, because failure meant that Alette would be dead anyways.

Which brings us to Juno's secret.

• Juno tells Rook that the silver arrow cannot actually kill Bellower. It is the belief of everyone fighting that it can, which will actually win the day.
• Rook cannot forget that fact. If he were to carry the silver arrow, he would be playing the key role in the battle with full knowledge that it is a fake.
• Alette is so confident that it will succeed, she is willing to risk her life to make it happen.

For a plan that requires the people carrying it out to believe the silver arrow can kill Bellower, it seemed like a painful but necessary thing to give the arrow to someone who believed it. And that more than anything, is why I chose to let Alette take the shot.

And if it wasn't tragic enough that his daughter dies, Rook knows that Bellower isn't actually dead. He knows that it was a lie, and he knows that he has to take that secret with him to the grave, can't confide in anyone. I can only imagine how that would eat away at someone inside.

I guess all I can say is thanks to the writers for making such a deeply compelling game. So many games promise that a player's choices will matter, and then most of them end up being extremely black and white, heroically saving orphanages or evilly kicking puppies; or so morally grey that none of the options seem much different. Banner Sage 1 definitely delivered.