Pekka being one of the two characters described as cowardly, this kind of initiatives - to go make contact with big scary trolls while barely knowing a few words of their language - may seem out of character, with the way cowardice is usually portrayed.
But not the way I see it. A cowardly person isn't necessarily more fearful or timid than most, they just let more of their decisions be influenced by it.
As an example, I like to give the situation where two people have to go get stuff from a spider infested shed. If one is arachnophobic but does it anyway, they'll whimper and jump and scream and nearly wet themselves, and generally look pathetic, but in the end, they'll have done something pretty brave. Someone who is not bothered by spiders will go calmly and look composed and efficient, but they'll have shown no courage to do something that never was a challenge to them.
So when depicted by me, a coward is much less likely to be recognised by fearfulness, and much more by apathy, cynism, excessive submission or compromise, or even stoicism.
Pekka doesn't want to be involved in the Amicale VS trolls conflict. With reason; it's an absurd cause to die for. But both sides assume he's with them, and he attempts to convince them both he's a non-combattant ally, rather than a neutral party. There's no guarantee either of them would accept that neutral position, but his current option is unmanageable and he knows it. He's like that sitcom character who accepts a date with two boys at once and tries to go to both dates without them noticing instead of daring to turn one of them down, except if it doesn't work out he ends up dead instead of single.
The other character I describe as cowardly, Toad, is also not just plain scared of stuff. He's quite fearless actually. But he permanently lives with a guilty conscience because he lets every authority figure make him act against his own judgement.
Hehe, well, he's stepped in it now!
I agree, cowardice isn't as black and white as it seems. I use the quote from 'Big Trouble in Little China' as my guide to the philosophy of courage vs. wisdom -
Wang: “A brave man likes the feel of nature on his face, Jack.”
Egg Shen: “Yeah, and a wise man has enough sense to get in out of the rain.”
Most philosophical post so far: poo joke page!
And indeed, there are many ways to be brave as well, including sensible ones where one does not put themselves through more trouble than needed.
You could say Pekka is in a "crappy" situation! *drum rolls down stairs*
I like your explanation of the cowardly trait. Very in depth look you have into your characters! It was really interesting to read!
Ah, maybe I actually think too much into them. Maybe it's a little insane?
Not at all! It shows true understanding of your characters! You wrote it so well I bet you could write a book on the topic of character traits.