Do I Support Sigurd’s Judgment in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla?

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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla presents players with many tough decisions throughout Eivor’s journey. One of the most divisive choices comes in the quest “Blame and Sail”, where Eivor must decide whether or not to support Sigurd’s judgment regarding a dispute among his crew. This choice leads to much debate among fans, with valid arguments on both sides. In examining the potential outcomes and consequences, we can better understand whether backing Sigurd is ultimately the right call.

What Happens in the “Blame and Sail” Quest?

The quest begins on the longship with Sigurd presiding over a dispute between crew members Vili and Birna. After hearing both sides, Sigurd declares Vili guilty and orders that his left eye be gouged out as punishment. This brutal sentence shocks Eivor and many crew members.

When prompted, the player, as Eivor, can choose to say that Sigurd’s judgment is fair or unfair. Either way, Sigurd proceeds with enforcing his ruling. However, Eivor’s stance may have later consequences.

The core issue becomes: should Eivor vocally support Sigurd’s harsh punishment of Vili or speak out against it?

Why Some Argue Eivor Should Support Sigurd’s Judgment

There are a few key reasons why players may feel Eivor should back Sigurd’s decision:

It May Increase Chances of the True Ending

Making certain dialogue choices throughout the game can influence which ending the player receives. Some argue that supporting Sigurd leads to a higher chance of the “true” ending where >!Eivor and Sigurd reconcile!<. Players wanting this conclusion for the story may feel it’s best to avoid dissenting with Sigurd.

It Reinforces Eivor’s Loyalty

Eivor and Sigurd have a complex relationship, but Eivor remains loyal to his foster brother. During a tense dispute, vocally supporting Sigurd’s authority may strengthen the trust between them. Rather than question Sigurd’s fairness, Eivor can back him as jarl and friend.

It Upholds Viking Justice

The bloody vengeance of Vili’s sentence shocks modern players, but it aligns with brutal Viking justice standards. As a Viking, Eivor understands this code and knows Sigurd must enforce order. Challenging his ruling could undermine Sigurd’s leadership. Supporting him shows faith in his judgment as jarl.

It Prevents Dissent Among the Crew

Speaking out against Sigurd’s sentence could sow doubt and discord among the crew. Backing Sigurd presents a unified front and discourages further challenges to his authority and judgment. It maintains order and obedience.

Reasons Eivor Might Object to Sigurd’s Ruling

However, there are also compelling reasons why Eivor could justifiably protest Sigurd’s harsh punishment of Vili:

It Seems Unjustly Harsh

While the code of Viking justice is brutal, gouging out Vili’s eye over petty theft feels excessively harsh. Eivor could argue for a punishment like beating or enslavement rather than permanent maiming. This may seem more proportionate to the crime.

Sigurd’s Judgment May Be Hasty

Sigurd hands down his sentence after briefly hearing both sides. Eivor may want Sigurd to investigate further or give it more thoughtful consideration. Rushing to such an extreme punishment could be unfair.

It Risks Fostering Resentment

Maiming Vili could provoke lasting anger and resentment among some crew members. They may question Sigurd’s restraint and wisdom. This could negatively impact crew morale and loyalty in the long run.

Eivor Should Speak Freely

Even when disagreeing, Eivor shows respect for Sigurd’s authority. Raising objections shows Eivor’s independence and moral code while still ultimately yielding to Sigurd’s will as jarl. Eivor should feel comfortable speaking openly.

Sigurd’s Temperament is Concerning

By this point in the story, Sigurd’s moods have become volatile, his judgments harsher. Eivor may worry that Sigurd’s temperament is clouding his reason when it comes to enforcing justice. His ruthlessness could become dangerous.

Does Eivor’s Choice Affect the Outcome?

Eivor can only voice an opinion on Sigurd’s judgment – there is no way to change or override his decision. Sigurd will proceed with maiming Vili regardless of Eivor’s stance.

However, some players report that Eivor’s initial dialogue choice does impact conversations later in the game. Standing up to Sigurd appears to shift certain subsequent interactions in a more negative direction.

So while Eivor cannot affect Vili’s fate either way, their response does seem to have some long-term consequences in the relationship with Sigurd. But there are arguments for and against both choices.

Key Factors to Consider For Your Decision

When evaluating whether or not to support Sigurd’s harsh sentence, here are some final considerations:

  • How important is experiencing the “true” ending to you? Backing Sigurd may optimize your chances.
  • Do you value Eivor maintaining loyalty and unity with Sigurd above questioning his judgment?
  • Does upholding justice (by Viking standards) outweigh showing mercy toward Vili?
  • Are you willing to accept possible strain in Eivor and Sigurd’s relationship caused by dissent?
  • How troubling is Sigurd’s shift to volatility and brutality to you as a player at this point?

In Conclusion: A Complex Judgment Call

Whether to support Sigurd’s harsh punishment of Vili or speak out against his excessive brutality is a complex decision. Good cases can be made on both sides. Players wanting the true ending, seeking to preserve Eivor’s loyalty, or upholding Viking justice may want to back Sigurd. Others valuing mercy, investigation, or calling out concerning behavior might object.

There is no universally right or wrong answer – the choice depends on each player’s reasoning and roleplaying of Eivor. But considering the decision carefully through Eivor’s perspective makes for an impactful moment in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Eivor must weigh loyalty to friend and jarl against personal morality – a type of nuanced conflict that gives the game narrative strength and humanity.

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