Working title: Papa Hal: Why Hal Jordan is a Good Father Figure. I renamed it because he’s not a good father in specific, but a good person in general.
Hal Jordan is able to avoid the fundamental attribution error. He can consider external factors when evaluating the cause of someone’s behavior, rather than exclusively blaming it on the person’s personality.
Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns kill Green Lanterns (and attempt to kill civilians) out of a desire for revenge against the Guardians, the creators of the Manhunters that devastated the Forgotten Zone. (an area of space where it can be assumed all the Red Lanterns come from) The Guardians knew about the Manhunter attacks on the Forgotten Zone, but omitted it from their record, for, as Ganthet says, “History is written by the victors.”
Atrocitus had tried to kill Hal, attempted to destroy two planets he knew had sentient life, tried to kill the Guardians and probably killed some number of Green Lanterns prior to the series. Hal could have perceived Atrocitus as just a bad guy he had to beat up as a matter of course, and indeed he said he was looking forward to a “no-holds barred cage match”. Instead, Hal admitted Atrocitus was right to be angry and demand restitution for the Guardians’ actions, even extending help to him quite sincerely.
His Exact words were:
Hal: “As much as I’ve been looking forward to the winner-take-all, no-holds-barred cage match, I’ve got something to say. Something I never thought I’d hear coming out of my mouth.
What the Manhunters did to your sector was a tragedy. Your rage is earned. But destroying life here isn’t going to change what happened there. Let’s work together to find a solution, a way to make things better for the people of the Forgotten Zone. Let us help.”
Atrocitus was too far gone and Hal had his anticipated “cage match” anyway, but Hal was so much of a good person to do this I can’t even find an adequate adjective to describe his behavior.
Appa Ali Apsa: “The viceroy of Demrax VII claims that when we assigned you to police crucial peace negotiations, you punched him in the face. Is this true?”
Hal: “No, sir. I punched the viceroy in the stomach, then I headbutted him in the face, sir. The viceroy was a serious dirtbag, using diplomatic immunity to cover up his slave trafficking ring.”
Ganthet: “The council should note that Hal Jordan’s claims have since been proven true by Demrax authorities.”
Appa Ali Apsa: “That is not the point. This Lantern clearly seems to revel in exceeding his authority, ignoring our orders, and making his own—-[Appa Ali Apsa is interrupted by the dome opening]
This dialogue shows two things about Hal. The first is that’s honest. Though he might have minimized the ire of the Guardians by agreeing with having punched the viceroy in the face, and in so doing giving the impression he made only one attack on the viceroy, he apparently felt the need to be honest by specifying he punched the viceroy in the stomach and headbutted the viceroy in the face. His actions here show he will do what he perceives as the right thing, without regard for how it will be perceived by those with authority over him.