Loki Dukat wrote:
That's a very good point regarding Mr Garak (shockingly the G'kar comparison had not occurred to me, and me a B5 fan
) in many ways he is not the typical fictional hero because he doesn't die in a blaze of Glory and he has committed terrible acts in the cause of his peoples eventual freedom. (attempted genocide of the Dominion's Founders, the murder of a Romulan Senator and a con artist to name two key insistence's).
However it is a basic truth that Garak did these things not for his own aggrandisement but for the people of Cardassia and the AQ. It seems to me that Garak is indeed a realistic hero and a great character.
I would argue that Damar had to die at the end of the DW because it that is how it had to be. Corat Damar was still a product of the old 'poisonous ideology' who had murdered an innocent young woman and been a part of a war that had claimed the lives of billions. Damar's rebels helped to save the AQ and perhaps Cardassia's soul but the man himself was still too much of a Central Command figure to really play a part in the new Cardassia.
Instead Damar became a martyr to the cause of Cardassian freedom.
(still, it would have been fulfilling to see Damar have to wrestle with his guilt regarding Ziyal and his role as the 'leader' of Cardassia...)
I was always conflicted about Damar's death. On the one hand I would have liked to see him continue to grow and struggle with the aftermath of the war- as Garak has in the novels. I believe he could have become a truly great leader, if he had allowed himself to continue down the path he placed himself on towards the end. He became, potentially, a great hero- certainly a great leader (although as I said, what makes Garak a true hero in my eyes is that he would never take a leadership position)- , but because of his death we never got to see how he would have balanced his new nobility with his past actions (such as Ziyal's murder and his general thuggary). His character development was cut tragically short (of course that is also realistic- leading revolutions does tend to get you shot!). As I believe Garak became a genuine hero after
the war- in "A Stitch in Time" and the other novels- it would have been nice to see the new, noble Damar take a similar shot (if Garak was able to become a hero in my eyes despite, as you say, Thor
, committing such acts as attempted genocide and murder of foreign dignitaries, Damar certainly deserved the chance too). He had earned it.
On the other hand, I certainly also see the point that it isn't easy to throw away a life-time of collected prejudices and narrow modes of thinking- Damar might well have been too inflexible to truly help build a new Cardassia, too attached to the old ways. In death, sadly, he might well serve better than he could in life. Leaders in war, as we all know, don't necessarily make good leaders in peace. Damar may be one of those great people who serve better as symbols than they do in actually running things. I guess we'll never know...