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londovir- by iamsab

So what was Londo thinking?

For some reason, I've been mulling over Londo's motivations at the end of There All the Honor Lies. Whatever possessed Londo to invite Vir's family to Babylon 5? (Assuming that he wasn't just kidding, which I suppose is a possible interpretation, though a less interesting one.) Did Londo even hear what Vir said?

Well. I think Londo did hear and did sincerely sympathize to a certain extent, but the full implications didn't penetrate. Because while the relationship Londo had with his family obviously wasn't without its troubles, the kinds of arguments he did have with his family - which can basically be boiled down to girls, curfew, and career, I think - were the sorts you can only have if you're a pretty secure - and pretty spoiled - adolescent. Have you ever heard a victim of genuine abuse or neglect complain that his parents don't "understand" him or won't let him do what he wants? I haven't, and in my personal life, I'm in a position to know.

To wit, just as selenak suggests in my favorite story, Lost in Translation, Londo's family didn't often tell him "no" early in life. And he never had to question, on a fundamental level, whether they even loved him. Thus, as he got older, he felt comfortable pushing the envelope a little bit because he had been conditioned to believe his charm would ultimately get him forgiveness - and perhaps a little something of what he wanted in the first place.

Granted, by the time we get to There All the Honor Lies, the spoiled brat in Londo has been told "no" more than once. But he hasn't learned the full lesson yet. He's still relatively deaf to the word, especially when he really, really wants something (*cough*G'Kar*cough*). And by the end of TAtHL, he really, really wants to make things right with Vir, because Vir is basically the only friend he has left at this point, and Londo is a man who needs friends like he needs air to breathe.

So. In typical fashion, Londo comes up with one of his heroically futile ideas: He's going to make things right between Vir and his family through sheer charisma. But here, also in typical fashion, he suffers from a failure of imagination. Because he was so doted upon by his own family, he can't conceive of a family without love. He hears "they just wanted me away" as "they don't understand me," and really, all he needs to do to fix that is arrange it so Vir's family can spend more quality time with the boy and thus get to know him better.

He was probably pretty shocked when he was confronted with the reality.
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I'd imagine so! Everything you say makes a lot of sense. Londo has so much confidence and is so secure in himself, even when he's at his emotional worst, it's pretty clear that he had the kind of loving family relationship that Vir... Er, yes. I'm not sure Londo can even hear the despair in the way Vir talks about his family. Or if he does, he probably does just hear it as youthful melodrama. After all, one expects that Londo spent a lot of time as a teen flouncing about and declaring that "My life is OVER!" :D

It's especially interesting because that kind of dynamic (adjusted for personalities) is nearly a motif among the various ambassadors and their aides. Delenn has a greater sense of herself as loved than Lennier has. You can never tell with Kosh, but Lyta is very emotionally needy, that's for certain.

Whee, internal parallels! I do wonder what that might mean within the context of the show as a text.

Sorry! Rambled off on a tangent. Back on the main subject, I do really like that reading and look forward to seeing you play with it. :D
After all, one expects that Londo spent a lot of time as a teen flouncing about and declaring that "My life is OVER!" :D

That image is hilarious and probably true. *g* For all we know, that's what he was doing when he met the dancer. Of course, after that, he took on a darker edge. Because he ultimately lost something he really, really wanted, and while he had no one to blame but himself for that, he wasn't wise enough to admit it at the time or for many years thereafter. Instead of acknowledging that divorcing the dancer was a choice he made because of his own ambition, he blamed that choice on outside forces or "destiny". And that pretty much started the whole gruesome tragedy right there. Raised with an entitlement complex, Londo never developed a sense of personal agency.

And that's why you should never, ever spoil your children.
*nodnodnodnod!*

Raised with an entitlement complex, Londo never developed a sense of personal agency.

*nodnod!* Just the way to put it. :)
I think you're right there, and bear also in mind Londo hasn't met Vir's family yet but does know Vir. Given that he went from "Great Maker, they've sent me a kid for an aide!" to "Vir is the only one I can trust and my only friend" within less than two years, he probably thinks that you can't NOT love Vir given the chance to really know him.

Also, isn't it an irony that Londo with his inability to understand the word "no" actually succeeds in getting G'Kar G'Kar to talk to him and spent time with him again, with everything that happened between them, but can't do anything about Vir's family and Vir where there is no bloodshed and betrayal, just the horrible absolute indifference?
The opposite of love is not hate, they are the same. The opposite is indifference, for that's the utter lack or passion.

With that, there is nothing even the gods can do.

And who can blame Londo for his error? I don't understand how you can not love Vir, either. :)
I certainly don't blame Londo. ;) It is interesting, though, how Londo can be so cynical and worldly one moment, yet so sunny and almost naive the next.
That's part of what makes him such a wonderful, complex character we love, though. :)
Oh, absolutely.
*loves your icon*
Given that he went from "Great Maker, they've sent me a kid for an aide!" to "Vir is the only one I can trust and my only friend" within less than two years, he probably thinks that you can't NOT love Vir given the chance to really know him.

Plus, he's a bit of an egotist and overestimates his ability to sway others through force of personality. He thought his performance for Vir's uncle at the end of HAtHL was an unqualified success worthy of an audience ("You should've seen it!"), but somehow, I doubt Vir's uncle saw it that way.

Also, isn't it an irony that Londo with his inability to understand the word "no" actually succeeds in getting G'Kar G'Kar to talk to him and spent time with him again, with everything that happened between them, but can't do anything about Vir's family and Vir where there is no bloodshed and betrayal, just the horrible absolute indifference?

Indeed. In the second instance, there's just no spark to fan.


Vir's uncle's take on Londo would probably be like Timov's, only without the hidden affection.*g*
Yes. On the other hand, I envision Vir's uncle as being a very ambitious sort. And since Londo's star is rising at this point, I'm sure he's thinking that it's best to humor the old fool and not end up on his bad side. Too bad he's going to end up on Londo's bad side anyway. *eg*
Wow, what a glorious and beautiful story that was!

And you make some very good and interesting points, and I very very very much look forward to seeing this story!