Split off from the Party Members You Always Use thread
in General Discussion.
You can't have it both ways.
Either Jaheira had made her own mind up about Charname, (time traveling together is about 2 years?) or she was instructed to do so.
If it's the first, just the same as all the other NPC, then it's a no brainer that she doesn't allow any organisation to kill you for nothing.
All the examples you give are about betrayal, this was about murder.
In fact, now in BGEE, Edwin faces down the RWof T in Beregost when you help Neera.
Viconia doesn't betray you in Ust Nathar when the advantages she could gain are huge.
If it's the second, well she's been lying for a long time.
The Harper's are not the good guys are they?
Wasn't there something about not thinking of the organisation as some sort of "justice league"?
How can you compare not wanting to travel with somebody to eternal imprisonment underground in a small box?
Because that's what was on offer from the Harper's.
As I said, she would have to be irredeemibly evil to go along with that, and even more evil simply to do it because she was just "following orders".
She has nothing to say should you take the view that she is no longer trustworthy because she put you in that situation in the first place. Yes, she made a mistake, well own it, Charname is the one who was nearly killed.
You cannot call her out on the organisation she is associated with and give her an ultimatum. Instead you have to put up with her carrying on with them or she accuses you of this, that or the other.
It doesn't matter in the slightest that the group in Athkatla was rogue, it reflects very badly on the Harpers that anybody ever thought they weren't.
Not forgetting this happens after they have assasinated a possible former traveling companion in front of you, used you to deliver the hit.
Jaheira is no martyr though she is incredibly passive/aggressive. Charname has done nothing to deserve being accused of anything by her. Charname didn't ask Gorion to send them to her and K, didn't ask Irenicus to kill K, and certainly didn't ask the Harpers to start interfering with their life.
First off, I just wanted to say that I appreciate the different perspective; video games are an interesting medium because even in a game like BG2 that was praised for the frequency of the banters, we're really basing opinions on characters off of maybe 20 conversations over the course of the game.
Things are pretty sparse, and the player is left to read his or her own interpretation into the empty spaces, which is cool. And it's cool seeing the interpretations other players are reading in. A while back I had a discussion with @Kilivitz
, who called Jahiera a mother-figure, when I'd always read her as more of a peer. This kind of head-canon is what makes the game our own, and I'd be loathe to try to talk someone out of theirs. But I was enjoying the discussion and, (provided you're enjoying it as well), would love to continue it.
To address some of your smaller points first: the Harpers assassinated Xzar, which... is totally unsurprising. The Harpers and the Zhents are standing enemies. If you have Harpers and Zhents in your party together in BG1, they'll kill each other there, too. The Harpers assassinated the Zhents after they first attempted to break into the Harper stronghold, and after they already started some pretty vile experiments nearby. Plus, Xzar is unabashedly evil. You can quarrel with their methods, but not their motives.
The Harpers themselves make a pretty solid point that it's kind of rich for you to get mad at them for lying to you and using you when you... gained access to their compound by lying them and tried to use them. Basically the complaint is "you did the thing that I tried to do to you, only you did it better". So you know, what's good for the goose...
(Also, if you're the type of Charname who is mourning the loss of a traveling companion like Xzar, then that goes a long way towards explaining why the Harpers wanted to imprison you.)
Speaking of, if it's irredeemably evil to go along with sentencing someone to eternal prison underground in a small box... well then, many of my good-aligned charnames have been irredeemably evil. Because I frequently do literally exactly that
Ah, you might say, but Demogorgon is evil incarnate! Well, sure, and charname is the progeny of the Lord of Murder, who foresaw his own death and spread his immortal essence among the races in an effort to achieve immortality. There's totally a non-zero risk that YOU are evil incarnate, too.
Even if you've been good to that point, (and the exchange is the same regardless of your rep, so that's no guarantee), it's abundantly clear that things could still change in the future. Elminster in all of his encounters with you reinforces that your future is not set.
Jahiera doesn't exactly have a crystal ball to know it's coming, but just over the horizon you are going to gain access to the Slayer form, the avatar of Bhaal himself. A little further down the road you'll be tested in hell, and there's a really substantial chance that you will fail, succumb to the taint, and become evil (if you aren't already).
So obviously the Harpers are right to be concerned about you. And honestly, I don't even think they're wrong to have "We can always imprison him in a tiny room deep underground" as a fall-back plan should it look like things are going south with you.
This doesn't make the Harpers an evil organization, but a pragmatic one. And a meddlesome one. But again, they're close associates of Elminster, which is really all the proof which should be required that yes, they are a strong force for good in the universe. There's plenty of disagreement over their methods, but not over their motives.
The Harpers contact Jahiera and say they want to evaluate you. They say they just want to ask you some questions to see if things are going south. Jahiera, reasonably enough, acquiesces. She's loyal to you, but she's loyal to the Harpers, which isn't really a contradiction since you spent your entire early life closeted in Candlekeep with someone with the same divided loyalties.
During the course of the questioning, it looks like they're railroading you and reading your answers in the worst possible light. Jahiera objects to this, and things come to blows. The thing is, on the one hand, as the person closest to you, Jahiera is the harper best positioned to gather information on how you're turning out.
But at the same time, as the person closest to you, Jahiera could easily be emotionally compromised, lacking the objective distance required to determine how you're turning out. And she knows this. So yes, a part of her thinks you're being railroaded. But a part of her wonders if she's just not seeing what the rest of the Harpers are seeing because she's too close, because she's under your spell.
The former part is bigger than the latter part, so she betrays her friends, her surrogate family, the only cause she has ever known. But this doesn't silence the doubts that she made a mistake.
And when her mentor, the man who trained her as a Harper and taught her their worldview, shows up and aligns himself against you, those doubts only intensify. She stood by you, but she did so knowing that it very well could have been a colossal mistake.
Perhaps she was willing to make that mistake because she believed so long as she remained close to you she could help guide you, help steer you away from succumbing to your taint. Or perhaps she just had such an innate sense of rightness that she was willing to throw away everything she had ever worked for because she thought it was more likely than not that an injustice was occurring.
If you send her away immediately after that, what's the first thing she's going to think? Is it that she won't be there to guide you after all? Is it questions about whether you were playing her and are now discarding her now that she's no longer useful?
She sacrificed everything she had for you, and she did it despite being racked with doubts about that course of action, and by sending her away you're adding fuel to those doubts. So no, I don't think meekly accepting it and letting you know that she'll be standing around in a foreign city where all of her allies now lie dead and bleeding on the off chance that you deign to come back for her is really in character.
And yeah, I think she's totally permitted a little bit of bitterness.
Really, I love the entire sequence with Jahiera starting as such a (superficially, at least) obnoxiously self-assured character in BG1, but then having her world rocked with Khalid's death and her black-and-white worldview upended by the Harpers in such close succession, and coming out of it just completely racked by doubt.
And I love the quest to regain that self-assuredness, but this time to ground it in a firmer foundation so the next time a storm comes along it's not going to be buffeted so severely. I love how at the end, she either succeeds in the quest, or else she fails and her punishment for her actions is being left with her doubts for the rest of her days.
I love that the ending slide in ToB if you romance her really reinforces that she did manage to rebuild her self-perceptions on a firmer foundation, an unshakeable foundation that's capable of weathering any further storms life throws at her without any signs of wear.
I think it's by far the most complex, compelling, and believable character arc in the game. BG1 Jahiera was an obnoxious bore, but BG2 Jahiera is fantastic.