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Reviewer: Domino (Signed)
19 Apr 2010 8:46 pm
Very, very well written. You've captured the essence of John and Ronon perfectly. Well done!!
Chapter 1
Reviewer: Max (Anonymous)
18 Apr 2010 11:31 pm
This was a very well written, well thought out fic. It addressed an aspect of Sheppard's character that was sometimes shown but never really confronted on the show or in fic - his inate sense of... entitlement I suppose. About certain things at least. Not in a character bashing "Sheppard is a privileged pig!" way, but that certain ingrained attitude that his view of, and reactions to, situations are always the right ones even if others disagree, despite any personal or cultural objections.

He was never shown to reevaluate his position on anything, or really be wrong about anything, or ever be confronted with an equally valid argument to his own viewpoint. Probably because the writers of the show were coming from the same place and didn't consider what Sheppard was doing *as* entitled. He was the hero and of course his imposition of Earth (American) values on everything was the right thing to do - after all, he *is* doing the "right thing" isn't he. In a strange way he was probably more guilty of this than McKay, who on the surface looked like the more likely candidate for that kind of behaviour. Maybe because McKay had such a limited grasp of interpersonal relationships he knew and unconsciously *expected* others to be know better than him in those situations. Sheppard just seemed to take it as his inalienable right to do these things and be right about them.

I liked the fact that this fic didn't ignore Sheppard's attitude, but also didn't portray it as a horrible aspect of his character that he needed to "learn a lesson" about. It *was* unconscious, and there was hope that he would begin to acknowledge it, even if he had to be spoon fed bits of it by Ronon to start with.

Ronon was the perfect POV character in this instance. Growing up in a superficially similar environment, but with very different (but equally valid) attitudes to certain aspects of life, he was a good counterpoint to Sheppard, who didn't grow up with that kind of danger or have access to cultures and attitudes so alien to his own, let alone cultures that are seen to have equally valid *values* to his own. In the show Teyla was shown to be angry with John immediately imposing his will on her (even if his point of view was perfectly sensible) but eventually came to realise that John was absolutely correct and almost apologised for her attitude - something that bugged me a lot at the time. It *should* have been her decision, not John's, even if John had her best interests at heart. John's attitude was awful, both as a leader and a friend. For Teyla to apologise to John validated his actions. I liked the way you worked the situation in without making either of them into the bad guy.

Wow, this comment went on for a lot longer than I intended it to, you obviously got me thinking. I wish more people would write fic that shows Sheppard as someone with human foibles, rather than someone who is either completely right or completely wrong. It is entirely possible to be a good person (a hero in fact) and still have negative character traits - McKay being the prime example, although because his negative traits are so much more visable (and often rather superficial), they are better covered in fic. Really good stuff!

Author's Response: Wow, thanks for the awesome and detailed feedback! While Sheppard is my favourite character, he definitely has his flaws. I think you're right that one reason for his stubborn belief in his "right way" is the SGA writers having such a limited (American) perspective. There's an element of colonialism to Stargate that is very frustrating. I've always thought SGA should have given us more of the Pegasus perspective, especially Ronon and Teyla's motivations for joining up with Atlantis. Just because their end goal is the same doesn't mean they'll always agree on methodology (as we saw in the Michael arc). Writing from Ronon's POV gave me a chance to argue against a "one way only" kind of mindset, and since he and Sheppard (and Teyla) are so close, I could show the conflict and make it extremely personal while showing how complicated these kinds philosophical differences usually are. Thanks again for the comment!
Chapter 1