Reaver: There Is Always A Price
An Essay On Reaver
Reaver is, almost always, an antagonist in the Fable series.
He attempts to betray you three times in Fable II, (When he sends you to the Shadow Court without prior knowledge of just what you will face, and again when he sells you to Lucien Fairfax, and finally, when he tries very futilely on Hero Hill when Lucien finds you once again.) and he is of course represented as the devil's advocate in Fable III.
In Fable II, he is viewed through the looking-glass as an anti-hero. Or more correctly, an anti-Hero. He takes up the reins in Fable III as a full on antagonist, a cruel businessman with little care for the rights of his workers, who will shoot them on sight if they so much as dare to "murmur a single complaint". Who forces rebels and rebel leaders and simple citizens to fight their way through his own twisted version of the Crucible.
I, however, view Reaver through a different lens: As a tragic hero.
The proper definition of a tragic hero, in stories, is: "A man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty."
Reaver was a good man. But a man afraid of death, of his own frailty. And then, when Oakvale was consumed by flames and her - Reaver's unnamed love, died due to his own error - Reaver let his own hatred and anguish consume him.
He became cruel, he became narcissistic, and he become someone who would not have existed had Reaver not feared death in all its forms.
But he became lonely.
A loneliness which is emphasized not through dialogue or implications, but through the mansion theme in Fable III. That song, which contains a motley culmination of classical music, (Greensleeves, the Fable II Main Theme, etc.) speaks volumes about Reaver's character. It is elegant, and it is dark, and there are only a few places where lightness shines through.
But most of all, it is a song which exemplifies a lonely feel. Listening to it, again and again… It is a song that truly speaks about Reaver, that truly shows the absolute loneliness the perforates his character. A loneliness that Reaver hides very, very well.
Reaver is probably, and maybe even only, the most layered character in the Fable universe. One wouldn't even truly know Reaver's story unless they bought Bloodstone Mansion for themselves, and should someone not know his backstory, they would see Reaver as he portrays himself: A megalomaniacal, narcissistic, cruel and selfish man.
There are punctures in that persona of his, though. Holes he allows to shine through.
For example, why exactly would Reaver place his mansion at Millfields? Of all the places he could have stayed in: Bowerstone, Bloodstone, Oakfield, Rookridge, Westcliff… he chose Millfields. Yes, it is within reasonable distance of Bowerstone, but think of what Millfields used to be.
Or more exactly, think of what used to be there.
The place where Sparrow and his/her dog is shot by Lucien. Before the three Heroes of Skill, Will and Strength are taken to the Spire. The place where the Gypsy Camp used to be, before Reaver annexed them.
Perhaps Hero Hill didn't meet a natural end in fifty years. Just as the Gypsy Camp didn't meet a proper end.
Perhaps Reaver saw to it that they were destroyed. That they disappeared. Perhaps that was after Sparrow's death? Perhaps Reaver felt something for the man/woman that had forced him into the role of a Hero?
Or maybe he felt nothing but hatred for that man/woman?
If at the end of Fable II, you allow Lucien to speak, Reaver will shoot him, an action which infuriated many.
I find it interesting what exactly Lucien says before Reaver shoots him.
Here is a transcript of Lucien's speech. The emphasis in bold is mine.
Lucien: Do you consider that a victory? You are merely delaying the inevitable. All that you've struggled for will be crushed under the majesty of the Spire. Why? Why must you interfere? What are you fighting to protect? The world which robs us of what we love most? Is that what you think is worth preserving? You small-minded fool! Do you think you're the only one to ever suffer loss? I asked the world for nothing but a family, and even that trivial request was too excessive. Such a cold world does not deserve its existence. The New Kingdom will have no place for fate or chaos – or Her-
*Lucien is shot by Reaver*
Reaver: I thought he would never shut up. I'm sorry, did you want to kill him?
Look at that speech. By inevitable, Lucien clearly means death. More specifically, Sparrow's death. Lucien goes on to speak about the world that robs people of what they love most, and asks Sparrow if he/she thinks they are the only ones to suffer loss.
Who else in the Spire at that moment has suffered loss?
Sparrow, who lost his/her sister to Lucien's manic need for his family.
Lucien, who lost his wife and daughter to an unknown disease.
Hammer, who lost her father to Lucien's madness.
And Reaver. Who lost her because of his desire for life.
And it is Reaver who shoots Lucien, who refuses to listen to Lucien's statements about the world and about loss and death.
I think it's telling that Hammer and Sparrow, should he/she wait, are not the ones to kill Lucien. I would have loved to see Hammer taking revenge for her father, and I personally prefer Sparrow to kill Lucien, because Rose's death has been the casus belli of all of Fable II.
But Reaver shooting Lucien is my head-canon. Because it fits. Because it is cruel to Sparrow to have a man she barely knows take Lucien's life, but also because I believe it is fair to have Reaver kill Lucien, a man who has lost his wife, as Reaver had lost his. I like the mirror image it makes to have Reaver do the deed.
It makes Reaver into a Hero, of sorts. And even a hero.
A tragic hero.
Fable is all about choice and consequences, and I don't think the sentiment is better showed in any character except for Reaver, whose choices have lead to frightening consequences for him. He made a choice, he chose life, and there was a consequence, everything he knew and everyone he cared for ended up taking death.
There is always a price for a choice.
This is an essay on how I, personally see Reaver. Critique and discussion is welcomed in the reviews, as well as in PMs.
Keep it civil, though, people.
Feedback is appreciated, as always.