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TheJadaman

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#1
Just went back to visit Lordran a few days ago after playing the crap out of DSII lol This brought me to a question I always had since first playing DSI. Smough and Ornstein, are these two friends? colleagues? or are they just two people who happened to be given the same job?

Looking to how things go in game, it would appear that Ornstein either views Smough as a friend (possibly as the only person to do so as most would seem to want to keep their distance from Smough), or at the very least respects him, evidenced by the fact that when Smough is killed first Ornstein seems saddened by it and is very somber about absorbing his energy. Now this is simply how Ornstein views Smough, clearly Smough does not respect or like Ornstein as when Orny is killed first Smough just splatters him.

Now the following is just MY opinion on the matter: I believe that Smough and Ornstein got paired together to protect the Lordvessel. Who gave them the order to do so? I'm not totally sure, but it makes sense that the two of them were selected as at the time they were the only two powerful enough for such a task (other knights were either with Gwyn or off to Oolacile) in Anor Londo.

I believe that Ornstein and Smough both looked at each other as friends, Ornstein respected Smough's power when others only saw him as a killer and a cannibal. Smough looked upon Ornstein with more envy than respect. He respected his power and position, but in a sense that he wanted that all for himself. If Ornstein dies before him I think he merely takes advantage of the situation in the "well I never would have killed him myself but now that he's gone might as well..." frame of mind. If Smough is killed first I believe that Ornstein is truly saddened, both by his death and the fact that he never reached his full potential (I have to assume the cannibalism came up in conversation and Ornstein had to try to get him to change his ways).

Did they both consider each other friends? I believe so. It is apparent though that they both saw each other in very different ways, but that's almost always the case with friends, this is just that to the extreme.

Thoughts?
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SilentSoul

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#2
I think your last paragraph pretty much sums up what my thoughts are on the duo and their views towards each other, except the friends part. You do really have to stop and look at the two different outcomes of how the fight can go, combined with the description of both their souls, it really begs the question. I mean I don't know, personally if I were Smough and I had to work with someone who held the highest position possible with in the most trusted group of Gywn (captain of the of the four knights), I would be kind of jelly. And lets not forget about the rejection too, I mean Smough still holds a title of "The Executioner" but he could have been so much more if it weren't for his one flaw. Still not feeling mad yet? LOL

There is also the school of thought that Smough doesn't just slam his hammer down on the corpse of his ally, but actually delivers the final blow. I never noticed this for a long time but if you look reeeeeal close when Ornstein dies, he moves his hand just very very slightly. Now whether or not Smough knew this or not is a whole other story. But in any case I'm on board with the idea that Smough may have harbored feelings of envy or jealously towards Ornstein, I mean come on who treats their comrade's dead body that way if they have any respect for them what so ever? Eh just my opinion though. But yeah by far one of my favorite bosses in the game because of the challenge and potential back story with it
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TheJadaman

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#3
Shoot, now I need to find a youtube video of Ornstein dying to see if there is some hint of it being a mercy kill. That's the other thought I had about Smough, maybe the harshness of his kill after Ornstein's death is simply an example of how callous he has become from all the killing he's done-though there's nothing that points to this, but he IS an executioner so clearly he's killed many people, I'd have to think you'd eventually become numb to killing.

Also, yeah, "friends" is too strong of a word for MOST characters in the Souls games, but there are definitely different relationships between all the different groups and I love digging into that-trying to visualize interactions between different characters back before the world went downhill (and after that lol).
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SilentSoul

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#4
TheJadaman wrote:Shoot, now I need to find a youtube video of Ornstein dying to see if there is some hint of it being a mercy kill. That's the other thought I had about Smough, maybe the harshness of his kill after Ornstein's death is simply an example of how callous he has become from all the killing he's done-though there's nothing that points to this, but he IS an executioner so clearly he's killed many people, I'd have to think you'd eventually become numb to killing.

Also, yeah, "friends" is too strong of a word for MOST characters in the Souls games, but there are definitely different relationships between all the different groups and I love digging into that-trying to visualize interactions between different characters back before the world went downhill (and after that lol).


Yeah you make a fair point in your first paragraph about the nature of his job and how it could have affected his mind set. That's not something too uncommon to happen in a souls game with most characters, being caught up in their art or obsession to the point where they completely lose themselves in it.

Also something else to note about Smough, I'm sure you've noticed that during the fight when the Executioner is present you can hear what could be laughing? Or something, at the very least. I'm going to assume it is laughter because I think it plays nicely with your take on Smough and his "cruelty" or his love for his job. Back when I first fought the pair and heard the noise occasionally I thought it was laughter from the fatty as a mocking gesture but looking at it from your point of view this fits much better in my opinion.
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TheJadaman

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#5
SilentSoul wrote:
TheJadaman wrote:Shoot, now I need to find a youtube video of Ornstein dying to see if there is some hint of it being a mercy kill. That's the other thought I had about Smough, maybe the harshness of his kill after Ornstein's death is simply an example of how callous he has become from all the killing he's done-though there's nothing that points to this, but he IS an executioner so clearly he's killed many people, I'd have to think you'd eventually become numb to killing.

Also, yeah, "friends" is too strong of a word for MOST characters in the Souls games, but there are definitely different relationships between all the different groups and I love digging into that-trying to visualize interactions between different characters back before the world went downhill (and after that lol).


Yeah you make a fair point in your first paragraph about the nature of his job and how it could have affected his mind set. That's not something too uncommon to happen in a souls game with most characters, being caught up in their art or obsession to the point where they completely lose themselves in it.

Also something else to note about Smough, I'm sure you've noticed that during the fight when the Executioner is present you can hear what could be laughing? Or something, at the very least. I'm going to assume it is laughter because I think it plays nicely with your take on Smough and his "cruelty" or his love for his job. Back when I first fought the pair and heard the noise occasionally I thought it was laughter from the fatty as a mocking gesture but looking at it from your point of view this fits much better in my opinion.


I know the noises you're talking about! I was never sure what those were, but it definitely does sound like laughter. That definitely would make him less sympathetic and more psychotic if it is truly him laughing.
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CakeThiefPro

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#6
Hi, I'm pretty sure that sound you both mentioned is Smough laughing. I've always thought Smough probably had a child-like mind. All he knew was Gwyn fed him and gave him power in exchange for killing. I doubt he ever thought about the philosophical implications of death considering he casually eats his victims. I think he respected Ornstein the captain of the knights but clearly didn't flinch over his death as he only had one task to complete and that was all he thought about. Serving his master.

I suspect Ornstein felt some pity for Smough as his raw power and loyalty were restricted by his mental incapacity. If there's one thing Ornstein respected, it was probably loyalty so he was saddened by Smoughs death even if he was a monster to the majority of people. He may even have felt mildly responsible for his inability to grow and become a knight.

At least this is my interpretation.
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PlayerSlayer120

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#7
Fatty and skinny were NOT friends, and far from it. The ONLY reason fatty is with skinny is because gwyn and gwyndolin were desperate. When you kill skinny first, you can see his finger twitch, which means he is still alive, right before fatty crushes his physical form absorbing his souls. To fatty, it was literally just another kill...