Does The Bloody Baron deserve redemption?

Since Cyberpunk 2077 has been… not the best, I thought I would take us back to a game that CD Projekt Red was very successful with: The Witcher 3.

I loved this game, and it’s very different from my comfort of Persona 5. I actually started playing The Witcher 3 before I started Persona 5 (I bounced between the two before finally finishing it earlier on this year). As usual, I have to give props to Josh because he went on and on about how he thought I would like this game (at this point, you’d think I’d believe him but nah).

As you guys probably know, I have been in several abusive situations before. Therefore, I was interested when I heard a quest for an abusive man. I was… invested. I think my first instinct was to go on a rant to Josh about how abusers shouldn’t have a redemption, all that stuff. I don’t think it was that long after until I started playing it, and the quest is pretty early on in the game. To this day, I am still torn.

I’ve watched Josh play Red Dead Redemption 2 enough (okay, I have played bits but what I’m saying is mainly from what I’ve watched) to know that sometimes, ‘bad’ people can be redeemed. However, I’ve definitely played enough of the Witcher 3 to know that there isn’t really any ‘good’ people. That leads me to the question of who deserves redemption if there is only evil and lesser evil?

My first thought was obviously ‘lesser evil’ because that’s obvious. But that led onto a bunch of other questions about what makes an evil person a lesser evil person, and I went on and on about it depending on what they did like this was some hypothetical question. But it’s not, because we have the perfect example of where the line crosses with the Bloody Baron.

So, the Bloody Baron is actually called Phillip Strenger. He’s the self-proclaimed Baron of Crow’s Perch (as the last owner fled due to the threat of approaching armies). He chose to be a soldier and got badly hurt in one of the wars. He was tended to by Anna, who he later married. The couple had a baby girl, Tamara. Phillip’s job meant that he was away from home a lot, which meant that Anna had to raise Tamara by herself. Due to the trauma of war and the pain of being away from his family, Phillip turned to alcohol. He soon became dependant on alcohol, which led to one of Tamara’s first memories being her father passed out, clutching a bottle while covered in mud. Due to his alcoholism and his absence, Anna began to have an affair with a childhood friend. She tried to leave Phillip, leaving behind a letter and taking their daughter, presumably knowing that Phillip would not be able to look after her and that their daughter would have a better life with a father figure present. However, Phillip was furious when he found the letter. He found Anna and her new partner and killed him. Anna was obviously traumatised by this and tried to stab him. At the end of the day, if he could kill her partner, what was to stop him from killing her and their child? However, Phillip beat her and took her (and presumably Tamara) home. That was the start of their abusive relationship.

So, here, we have a husband who is gone for the majority of the time, turns to alcohol, and is abusive. Does he deserve redemption at this point? No. At least, I don’t think so. His wife cheated on him, yes, but that was because he was gone for so long because of a job that he chose to do. She was probably very lonely and struggling to raise a child by herself. My theory is that her childhood friend offered to lend a helping hand with Tamara, and over time they fell in love as they were around each other a lot.

A huge argument for why Phillip does deserve redemption is because, in the game, he is shown to be remorseful. Here’s the thing: most abusers do seem remorseful. That’s why people stay in abusive relationships for so long. I really wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but when thinking of my own experiences and experiences of others that I’ve been told about… I just can’t.

Another reason for Phillip to be redeemed, I’ve seen, is that he’s only violent because of his job. He’s a soldier, so he’s prone to violence. I feel like people who argue this just forget that he chose that career. He chose a life of violence.

So, you may ask, why would Anna marry him in the first place? First of all, she probably didn’t know that he would turn to alcohol and become dependant on it. Second of all, marriage is sometimes a thing of convenience instead of an act of love. It was likely more convenient for her (or maybe also her family) to get married and settle down with someone who at least had a job. There is also a chance that he paid her family for her hand in marriage.

So does he deserve redemption? No. Not really. There’s a good chance that his ‘remorse’ is just a way to get Anna back and to make people feel sorry for him. Is it all his fault? No. Addiction is a scary thing that genetics play a huge part in. However, he did choose his job; he chose to marry his wife, and he chose to go after her; which resulted in him murdering a man.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! Don’t forget to leave your thoughts about this in the comments, leave a like for me to do a happy dance and follow for more gaming content like this! I’m excited to read what you all think about this topic!

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