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  • Writer's pictureIndy Goodwin

Arthur Hastings is the Worst and yes, I will elaborate.

Updated: Apr 29

**Spoilers for We Happy Few from the beginning, you've been warned.**

What a ride We Happy Few was. I enjoyed it immensely. The unique setting of an alt history 60s Britain, the art style, the expertly crafted seeping dread... Minus a few (okay, a lot) of crashes to dashboard it was an excellent rabbit hole to fall into.


All of the characters are flawed in this game, after all you have to be a bit of a bastard just to survive in Wellington Wells. For example, Sally sells the constables their Blackberry Joy and has a relationship with General Byng. However, Arthur is just a wanker. His shittery goes above and beyond pure survival. But what is it that makes him The Absolute Worst? Here are the 3 things that makes this character utterly unlikeable.


Incel Patter

Sally and Arthur have a complicated relationship. After Arthur's father took her in after the death of her entire family, Arthur found them together in his Mum's bed. Now, teenage Arthur had a right to be mad about that, especially since he and Sally were together of sorts. However, adult Arthur seems utterly incapable of realising his father had a duty of care to Sally and coerced her into sex.


Adult Arthur is still so angry about it that he explodes at her even when she tries to help him, shaming her for sleeping with General Byng when she offered to use her connections to help him escape. He makes the poor girl feel like dirt and only seems to regret it when he realises he's made his own life harder by not accepting her help.


Arthur's attitude is an unfortunately common one, much to my chagrin. Yes, let's blame the traumatised teenager for sleeping with the grown ass man who also puts a roof over her head and food on the table. He holds the very keys to her survival, of course Sally would capitulate. For all Arthur's pseudo-intellectualism he isn't very bright. £10 says his Tinder bio says he's a sapiosexual.


Sally has a right to sleep with whoever she chooses since he disappeared from her life and Arthur has no room to judge her. He doesn't own her. Especially not after the blatant disrespect he's shown her. Personally, I wouldn't have helped him at all, but the heart wants what it wants I suppose.


Being A Whiny Lil' Bitch


Some expression of discomfort for the hellscape that is Wellington Wells makes sense, especially when you're off your Joy and see things for how they really are.

Arthur bitches about everything, at length. He's also incredibly petty, saying "that's for knocking over my blocks in nursery" after incapacitating an NPC. He'll also bemoan "I didn't even want to be here!" Which gives serious Dante from Clerks vibes and is somehow more annoying.


Arthur made the choice to go off his Joy. This wasn't something that was thrust upon him, like the poor residents of the Garden District who cannot tolerate it anymore. It's all his own fault and I have no sympathy for him. Plus his whining about pretty much everything grates on your 20th hour into his chapter. (Compulsion, why DID you make Arthur's chapter the longest? Boo. Give me more Sally!)


A Hell Of His Own Making


The whole catalyst for the game is the fact that Arthur tricked his autistic brother onto the train when the Germans took the children away. Arthur was supposed to go but he forced Percy to go in his place. Percy only got on the train because he was going to go with Arthur to Germany so he could continue to be by his brother's side. He worried how he'd manage on his own without his brother.


His guilt, his mission to "Find Percy" - an impossible task considering they had no idea where the children were taken or if they were even still there - was all just an excuse so he could get out of Wellington Wells. He says as much in the dying moments of his chapter. "You're doing this because you don't have a strong enough sense of self-preservation to leave Wellington Wells on your own account. Aren't you? You need the guilt."


He took advantage of someone who loved him, someone who needed him, and sacrificed him for his own ends. He may have just been a kid, but 12 years old is plenty old enough to understand the wrong he committed. This wasn't a reaction out of anger or fear. He knew what he was doing.


That's why I can more readily forgive Ollie for what he did. It wasn't a calculated move and he had no idea the Germans would shoot Margaret. Granted it highlights some troubling anger issues with Oliie, but it was more of a reaction. He wanted to hurt Uncle Jack. Granted it would have been preferable if he'd just socked him in the mouth. Ollie also used his unfiltered knowledge about what was happening in Wellington Wells to make people aware of the dire situation they were in. Arthur focused solely on saving his own skin, but I digress.

The only sliver of decency that remains in Arthur's character is his reluctant embrace of the truth. To remember what he did instead of running away. Of course, this changes nothing, but at least he's aware of sins. As Chief Inspector Peters (pictured above) said, "You've been given a gift, to know who you are."


That's what makes him The Worst, the conscious decision to take advantage of Percy like that, and the audacity to try and feel sorry for himself because of it. There is no mercy for you Arthur, because you don't deserve any. Your life will go on, but nothing will change what you did to your brother. I hope it chokes you.


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