To This Favor [All] Must Come - Duo Maxwell

Duo Maxwell

Duo Maxwell is one of the main characters in Shin Kidousenki Gundam Wing, the pilot of Gundam Deathscythe and Gundam Deathscythe Hell.

Standard Notes: This is my opinion of this character. Very little of this is fact; this is my analysis of Duo Maxwell based on what I have seen of him, which is about half of the original Japanese series (I, being the purist I am, refuse to watch the dubs), and the research I've done online since first being introduced to Gundam Wing. Also, I could not know the Gundam Wing characters as I do if it were not for Tavestry, who first introduced me to them, and Becky, who is one of the Top Ten Gundam Wing fangirls of all time, I do believe.

Everyone loves Duo. I've yet to see a Duo-hate page. They may be out there, but I've yet to see one.

Why? Why does everyone love Duo so much?

It's got to be the braid. And the black clothes. And the attitude.

But underneath all the smart-ass comments and witty remarks, there is a little boy who has been hurt time and time again. That he has had the strength not only to go on but to FIGHT is really why Duo is my favorite Gundam Wing character.

He grew up without parents, and even had his best friend taken away from him. He has always been alone, and yet he keeps the memory of his best friend with him in his name, "Duo" - two souls in a single body.

Duo is, at heart, a romantic. I imagine that the Catholic church, with its decadent rituals and old-world trappings, appeals to that part of Duo.

Romantic he may be, but Duo also knows reality. He knows its harsh, cruel side, and he's the sort of person who is determined not to be dragged down into that sort of cruelty. I imagine that Duo had quite the imagination as a child, and that is where his romantic nature stemmed from - in romantic, melodramatic stories, the end is either a happy one or is nobly tragic.

Duo knows War. He knows War is not going to have a happy ending and it is not going to be nobly tragic. It will end and it will be tragic but there is little happy or noble about it. He knows heartbreak and loss and battle and destruction better than anyone. He's seen death take those he loves - and so he has become death. HE decides who goes and who stays. HE is now in control of it, because HE is the Angel of Death. So therefore, those he wants gone are gone and those he wants to stay, stay.

And also, as he says, anyone who is "stupid enough to get near me dies." He's like a human plague in that sense. [And thanks to Becky for reminding me of the quote...]

These seem to conflict a little, so let me clarify:

At first Duo believes he's cursed - that those around him will die. But I think Duo chose to sort of...take the bull by the horns so to speak. Perhaps he chose to view it as a controllable thing. Like someone suddenly granted magical abilities. Maybe they can't control it at first and tragedies happen. But once they gain control of their powers, they can wield them at will, with tremendous results.

Duo can be the Angel of Death and decide who goes and who stays. He can control it now. And really, honestly, it isn't Duo. It's war. He has to know that, somewhere, in the logical parts of his mind, because Duo isn't stupid. But it FEELS to him, in his heart, as though those he lets close will die.

Maybe part of the reason Duo fights is so that the war will be over. Once the war is over, people will hopefully stop dying around him. It will end his "curse."

He can't REALLY have any say, but he likes the illusion. He likes to pretend, because it is comforting to him on many levels. Besides the idea of control over his friends' and enemies' lives, it's reassuring to call oneself the Angel or God of Death. It gives one a Nobler purpose, a sort of Divine Right to do what one is doing. In the days of old, if he were truly the Angel of Death, he'd be raining down sulfur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah. He'd be doing God's work. It's right. It's just. It is for the common good.

It isn't just killing people.

It isn't just senseless slaughter in the name of a distant cause that may never be realized in the soldier's lifetime.

War asks for your life and your sanity, and you have to cling to both, grab hold of them with every bit of tenacity in you and just HOLD ON. You do what you have to do to maintain them both.

It's cold and unforgiving, and to a certain extent that is what you must be to be a good soldier. Duo recognizes that in Heero, and although he knows it's necessary, he doesn't like it. Heero's philosophy seems to be "They can't kill what's already dead." Duo's is that "We're all going to die someday; might as well have fun before we go, and take a few of them with us on the way out."

When it comes right down to it, Duo is the Angel of Death - who celebrates life. Go out there and live it, he believes, so that when your time comes, and it will, you will have no regrets.

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