Iella is cruel. True.
His weakness cost him his throne and life. Recall, he has TC's hand cut off at the behest of the fair Morgana ... to please a woman ... so she wouldn't think him cruel. Fatal miscue. Eric escapes and later returns to wreak his revenge ... into the pit with the dogs 'what ate Ragnar'. And all the people are killed and their women and daughters raped/enslaved and children put to the sword.
Then, of course, TC and "Captain Kirk" have it out with TC winning the princess bride.
True love is based on mass murder.
Cruelty is the antipode of MercyThey are both virtues ... both vices.
The determining factor is ... "In what quantity?" Too much of one or the other is fatal ... in the long run (if mercy) - in the short run (if cruelty).
Which is better? To save 1 million people from starvation today (mercy) or, let them die and save 20 million of their progeny in the long run (cruelty). Horrible choices, yet they are to be made.
The quality of mercy is not strained ...?"
Maxed out, in fact.