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Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame. Whatever the cost.

Warrior Doctor

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (58 Votes)
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One of the best lines in the series. Was it original? This is a basic reimagining of Moses leading to the promised land but not being able to enter it. It is basically saying that a sacrifice can set the stage for greater things. It is the acknowledgment of one's role to play in a larger tapestry, where one is important, but not the central figure... not the real hero of the drama. While not exactly parallel, I see something similar in Atlas Shrugged: Eddie Willers to Dagney Taggert and eventually, Dagney Taggert to John Galt. Of course, the main thing in Doctor Who is that it's fun. On that count alone, I very much enjoyed The Day of the Doctor. One of my favorites.

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in the fantasy world that most of us spend far too much time in... it sounds heroic. in the reality of life it is deplorable. privileged lesser men are the leaders of the world that start wars/create injustice in which greater men fight and are tested and forged. they are simply the survivors of the horrors and they learn from it. we should all know enough by now. conflict may be human nature, but only because we choose and allow it to be. we have to evolve beyond it or we will all eventually perish.

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@ carsten laubsch

I don't think the comment sounded heroic at all. When the Moment reminded him that he was a great man, he rebuffed her. That comment reflected all the themes of "A good man goes to war". He acknowledges the greatness of his future selves but refuses to accept their shared responsibility in the atrocity he was about to commit. He hoists all the sin onto himself, excusing his future selves the choices he's made ignoring the continuity of his own character. In doing so he hides from himself, blinds himself from what he truly is. Though wise and insightful, it's justification for the genocide of two peoples. It's a comfort he permits himself. Hiding from himself is what enables the Doctor to give consent when villainy is required.

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Peyjen...You're an idiot.

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Speaking literally, it was once the work of a blacksmith's apprentice (a lesser man than the master blacksmith) to light the forge. The Warrior Doctor's choices and actions in the Time War shaped the actions of his future regenerations. So to say that it's his job to light the forge for the Doctors after him to be forged into better men is quite accurate.

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It's basically saying that great men make difficult decisions that, in consequence, make them stronger once the ordeal has occurred. Lesser men set the stage for the sacrifice, the martyrdom, the passing of the torch, so the speak. I may be great, but passing on my fire will make you greater than I. It works for the Doctors especially, considering they are all the same person. The first Doctor destroyed his world to save the universe, thus making stronger the next doctor, who will live with the regret, but who gained from the experience. That's what I got out of it, anyway.

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Yeah, that might be reading into it a bit much. I think the quote itself is incredibly wise and makes perfect sense in and of itself. With reference to the Doctors' quandary, it does seem to pose a bit of a paradox. If he "lights the flame" he is a lesser man, but if he is in the flame itself - perhaps represented by his having to endure the conflict that remains if he does not use The Moment - he will grow to be an even greater man.

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This quote makes no sense, as dramatic and epic-sounding as it is. If greater men are forged in fire, and the 9th and onward are 'greater men,' then this fire must be the Fall of Gallifrey. The 'lesser men' is Doctor 8.5, who 'lights the flame.' That means that the 'lighting of the flame' is something unspeakably evil, and 8.5 is an unspeakably evil person. And then, whatever act he does forged the 'great men?' So the lesser and the greater are the same guy? Confusing, I know, but this quote confuses me.

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Doctor Who Quotes, Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 15 Quotes
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Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 15 Quotes

Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame. Whatever the cost.

Warrior Doctor

And in that battle there was a man with more blood on his hands than any other. A man who would commit a crime that would silence the universe. And that man was me.

The Doctor
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