As we started preparing to (oh no, spoilers) say goodbye to Pardo, I did my damnedest to reconcile him and Iwatani as they were here with the very, very different versions of them that showed up in their respective first speaking roles.

Old Pardo: “We gotta calibrate other races’ fear of us to be just right, so those rotten un-humans don’t attack us.” New Pardo: “I love our friend-races! Especially the way that talking to wood elves gives me the chance to make puns! It’s like those puns grow on trees… Hahaha, I did it again!”

Old Iwatani: “I am SO INSULTED by everything that doesn’t give me and my family the privilege to which we’re accustomed!” New Iwatani: “La la laaa, just biding my time, doesn’t really matter who insults me when I’m smart enough to make my family’s privilege even privileger in the long run, la la laaa.”

It seems that Pardo’s “origin story” was getting his kid (or kids?) saved, for which he was genuinely grateful and which downgraded his xenophobia to honest compassion with a few patronizing habits. The common thread is his pragmatic streak: as charmingly guileless as he often seems, he does understand geopolitics and the need to play that game for the good of the country. He was well ahead of most of the other Heads of Houses in that understanding, as they more or less admit here. What he does not understand is that there are other games being played in politics, games in which he and his “colleagues” may not be on the same team.

Iwatani’s “origin story,” in turn, seems to have been getting his kid saved and recognizing the change in Pardo. Both of these circumstances forced him to admit that the static world he took for granted, a world in which his family sat at the top, was changing. And as he saw how stammery and uncertain Pardo now seemed, he began to think in a new way. He could see such change as mere threat, but wouldn’t it be better to see it as opportunity? Perhaps he could make a few changes himself.

Hope that works for you! If you don’t…oh, well, it’s still probably the best omelet we could’ve constructed out of these broken eggs we’d left lying around.