is hal just a lazy son, or is he a manipulator?
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He's actually neither. he's said to be idle because he spends inordinate amounts of time carousing with friends and getting into trouble; he drinks, he plays, and never seems to do anything useful, but this is due to who he is and what he can get away with rather than a form of laziness. When the country needs him to buckle down and serve as the people's protector in battle he is more than ready for the job and distinguishes himself amongst his comrades.