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Executing the St. Johns: The Only Moral Choice

posted by JackSchirmer on - last edited - Viewed by 1.4K users

It occurred to me during Episode 2, then again afterwards during the discussion, that the conventional moral position whereby killing the St. John's is considered the lesser, baser option, had it all backwards.

Here's a typical post on the issue:

Originally Posted by Viser
Yeah, definitely fighting the St. John brothers. That was very intense, I actually killed Danny out of anger, because of what he had done to us, but after knowing Clem witnessed it I instantly felt like I shouldn't have done that. Didn't kill Andy though, he being like "Get back here and finish this!!" was epic.

Thing is, if you leave the St. John's alive, aren't they simply going to continue, as long as they're alive, trapping, mutilating, murdering, and eating innocent travelers? Don't you have the moral obligation to execute them, whether in anger or after due consideration?

What would their punishment have been in the pre-ZA world for their Dahmeresque crimes? Life imprisonment, at a minimum, and a death sentence in any state that allowed it. The only question remaining is, does the ZA provide a mitigating circumstance? In this case, I think, clearly not. There's still food out there. They do live on a farm. The soil is still fertile. They have corn, for example. They have at least one cow's worth of meat and the ability to dress and prepare that meat, in the neighborhood of five hundred pounds of it, which would last a small family at least several months

Life imprisonment wasn't an option, so executing the family was the only moral thing you could have done, given the circumstances. That it might have occured in front of Clem was unfortunate, but you didn't have the option during the game of taking Danny aside and killing him out of Clementine's view.

It wasn't an easy choice, but killing the St. John's was clearly right choice, the moral choice.

39 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Yeah but you get some satisfaction of being the bigger man and letting him wallow in shame.

  • I agree to an extent that it would be far better to kill both of the brothers. I chose to leave them both alive only because of Clementine. Having a Daughter myself I think about the situation from a perspective of a father raising a child in a post-apocalyptic world. You keep your kids safe, show them what they need to know to survive and shield them from the darkness and depravity that desperation drives people to.

    If I was by myself they would have been dead and I wouldn't have had any regrets, but I wouldn't want a child of mine seeing the would as a bleak place.

  • I figured I'd just let the Walkers take care of them--blood's off my hands (Aside from Larry. Gramps had it coming), AND they can appreciate that their bodies are feeding people! Win-win! :)

  • Kill Danny, Brenda automatically dies, and leave Andy alive.

    One insane lonely desperate man is punishment enough to me.

  • i left them both for the walkers, although the first time i killed Danny cause i was pissed, but when i saw Clem's reaction i felt bad

  • I killed both, since they killed Mark, wanted to kill the rest of the group, and would continue to be a threat if Andy manages to escape from the Walkers. My Lee doesn't like loose ends.

  • Whether you kill them or not, they die. I didn't consider it a kindness to leave them to be munched by mama, I thought it was poetic justice.

  • Danny (I think) was trapped in a bear trap with walkers approaching from everywhere so I think it's safe to say he's dead.

    Andy is more of a threat, but I think he's so heartbroken, he will probably just let the walkers have him.

    Besides, I don't want their blood on my hands.

  • Danny (I think) was trapped in a bear trap with walkers approaching from everywhere so I think it's safe to say he's dead.

    Andy is more of a threat, but I think he's so heartbroken, he will probably just let the walkers have him.

    Besides, I don't want their blood on my hands.

  • Ha, I did reply to you on the other thread where you posted that. I'm just gonna post my reply here.

    @Viser said: They were only eating people because it was ZA, pre-ZA I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have happened. While I still don't think they should have turned to cannibalism, the bandits might have somewhat helped in that happening, because they had to keep both their family and the bandits fed, and well, human meat was an easier option.

    About killing them being the morally right thing to do... well, that's where the fun is. People have different sets of morals. My morals make sure I'm unable to think killing people is the right thing to do, and that's why when I realized I had killed Danny, I felt awful (Clementine seeing it triggered that reaction). I for one like to think that leaving them alive is an act that shows you have retained part of your humanity, and I believe it's still possible to survive in a ZA with it, although it makes it harder for obvious reasons.

    And well, even if you leave them alive, all that commotion brings the walkers to the farm and they end up dying, Danny because he's trapped and Andy because he has nothing left to live for and is completely broken (which kinda reminds me of Kenny when his family dies). And who knows if they'd have kept doing it if they lived? I like to believe people can change.

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