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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old November 24 2013, 07:21 PM   #1
Hando
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Garak: A good guy?

Maybe a badly stated question. I wonder, would Garak choose the Federation over Cardassia?

We know that before his exile to Terok Nor, Garak did some pretty bad stuff, even on Terok Nor he was still an Obsidian Order asset.

Apparently, he had clear loyalties: to Tain and then to Cardassia.

The only reason why he did not to the democratic Cardassia, was because Dukat was high up the food chain. And than he was a persona non grata. So he sided with the Federation by default.

There are also two alternative versions of him, which are "evil" a pro-Cardassia: MU and in the novel Lost Time.

While a good version appeared in the story A Gutted World.


So I ask again, when would Garak turn again Cardassia? Mainly if the Federation-Cardassian War were to be hotter, more like the Dominion War?
Or after a True Way takeover?
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Old November 24 2013, 07:35 PM   #2
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

I don't know anything about the novels, so can only judge Garak by what we saw on screen. Since Garak chose to return to Cardassia after the Dominion nearly destroyed it, I think his loyalties and sense of what's more important to him personally are clear. Siding with the Federation for a while was merely a form of survival.
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Old November 24 2013, 07:39 PM   #3
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

Garak is the ultimate patriot and would never put anything over Cardassia.

Even in his exile, he remained loyal to his home, removin' threats and fightin' its enemies, as he viewed them.

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Old November 24 2013, 08:01 PM   #4
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

Cardassia over Federation means ...? If it's a question of patriotism, he's Cardassian, and he's always wanted to go home, even in extreme defeat. Does he prefer the Federation system over the Cardassian? WOTW suggests that Garak, like Quark, have begun to appreciate the Federation even if they dislike aspects of it. I would think that in a Cardassian election, he would support politicians who would write a Federation-like constitution. Could he every give up being the covert spy? No way.
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Old November 25 2013, 04:27 AM   #5
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

Garak was on the side of Cardassia.

He was just smart and free-thinking enough to know that the Dominion, and the military rule were very bad for Cardassia.

Garak is the Sheridan of Cardassia.
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Old November 25 2013, 05:47 AM   #6
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

Garek was the greatest Cardassian patriot. He wasn't exactly what I'd think of as a good guy though, he was capable of doing some truly awful things if he thought the ends justified the means. He's a very grey character (no pun intended!) which makes him all the more fascinating to watch.
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Old November 25 2013, 06:35 AM   #7
WarpCore
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

Hando wrote: View Post
Maybe a badly stated question. I wonder, would Garak choose the Federation over Cardassia?

We know that before his exile to Terok Nor, Garak did some pretty bad stuff, even on Terok Nor he was still an Obsidian Order asset.

Apparently, he had clear loyalties: to Tain and then to Cardassia.

The only reason why he did not to the democratic Cardassia, was because Dukat was high up the food chain. And than he was a persona non grata. So he sided with the Federation by default.

There are also two alternative versions of him, which are "evil" a pro-Cardassia: MU and in the novel Lost Time.

While a good version appeared in the story A Gutted World.


So I ask again, when would Garak turn again Cardassia? Mainly if the Federation-Cardassian War were to be hotter, more like the Dominion War?
Or after a True Way takeover?
He did choose the Federation over Cardassia, but only as a means to ultimately help Cardassia, which ultimately helps Garak. The result of having to make that choice was pretty much a mental breakdown.

The only reason he was ever on DS9 was due to having too many enemies on the other side of all the bridges he'd burned throughout his years.

If there had ever been an all out Federation-Cardassian war, without any 3rd party Cardassia was making concessions to, and Garak thought Cardassia had a hope to win, I have to assume he would have killed as many Federation citizens as necessary or as requested. Garak always shows a lot of hesitation in killing fellow Carsassians. He, like many, could have killed Dukat several times and made his life easier as a result but chooses not to partly because it's immediately beneficial to let Dukat live.

I wouldn't read too far into mirror characters. O'Brien was pro-federation/human. Smiley was pro-rebellion/human. Remember, the tube grubs aren't poisonous, but they should be, right?

Garak, being the pragmatist he is, would probably have little use for these notions of "good" and "evil."
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Old November 30 2013, 10:40 PM   #8
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

I don't think Garak really threw in his lot with the Federation until about the sixth season.
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Old November 30 2013, 11:01 PM   #9
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

He's a Cardassian.…. If he wasn't exiled again when Cardassia joined the Dominion, he would of gone back to Cardassia with the rest of the prisoners in that camp.
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Old December 1 2013, 12:18 AM   #10
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

Garak was mentally on the side of the Federation the moment Cardassia joined the Dominion. He didn't start fighting for them until the station was evacuated and he was forced to in order to accompany them as his only means of protection.
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Old December 4 2013, 06:39 PM   #11
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Garak was mentally on the side of the Federation the moment Cardassia joined the Dominion. He didn't start fighting for them until the station was evacuated and he was forced to in order to accompany them as his only means of protection.
As someone stated, it's more like he was doing it for the Cardassia he knew. I think Garak is a Cardassian to the core and a patriot, just think of it in a social context, the greater part of his life was lived with Cardassian ideology and culture. When he talks with Bashir you can really see a different way of thinking.

When he was messing with Worf asking him to sponsor his application to starfleet accademie, you see he doesn't have the federation but surely doesn't mind toying with them. :P

His a man of principal I think, even with all his lies, skeams, and tricks, deep down he has definit loyalties.

As they say there is method to his madness

Edit: As for is he a good guy? ... Not really, he's a dangerous person, basically I don't think he'd hurt anyone without reason, but if you stand opposed him, watch out...
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Old December 5 2013, 01:07 AM   #12
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

We never hear the specific stories for how Garak was originally exiled, but you get the definite impression he was ordered to murder people and tried to spare them. Before that it's pretty clear he did kill people just because they were dissidents, but he certainly possessed empathy and didn't feel like opposing the state made you an enemy of Cardassia.
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Old December 5 2013, 01:26 AM   #13
Mister Spock
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

I rather like the idea that he was exiled for tax evasion.
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Old December 8 2013, 01:26 AM   #14
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

In the novelverse he is an earth ambassador, I agree with most of the novelverse so i guess that he would always choose Cardassia first. Being good or evil is purely cultural, in his cardassian eyes he might think he is a good guy, in our eyes he is morally not so good, but then again, sisko had his moments too
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Old December 8 2013, 02:02 AM   #15
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Re: Garak: A good guy?

Garak is truly one of the "shades of grey" characters in that he's never 100% one way or the other. And just when you think you've got him figured out, something else happens to throw in a surprise. This is one of the amazingly good characters in Star Trek, in terms of how complex he is.
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