In Honor Among Enemies, Honor "tricks" Andre Warnecke into accepting a deal to escape which she arranges for him to violate:

"I made you an offer which would have left you alive," she told her prisoner. "I would have honored that offer. Thanks to you, I no longer have to." [Chapter 32]

Despite having read the book more than once, I never did figure out... how does Warnecke violate the deal?

If you haven't read the book, it (along with many others set in the Honorverse, including the prequels which you should read first!) is legally available here or here. (If you like Weber's work, please support him and Baen by purchasing books!) The relevant stuff starts at Chapter 31.

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    @Jenayah, please don't remove context from the question title; I put that there so folks would have a better chance of knowing if the question is interesting / if they might be able to answer without having to also look at the tags (which are not always visible, e.g. if the question shows up in the sidebar).
    – Matthew
    Nov 1, 2020 at 17:08
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    That is what tags are for. Nov 1, 2020 at 17:12
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    @Matthew I'm not removing context, I'm following Stack Exchange curation guidelines. Adding tags in questions' titles is redundant and noisy, per how Stack Exchange uses the tag system - see Should questions include "tags" in their titles?. I don't want to engage in an edit war, so please read and acknowledge the linked guidance by editing it out yourself; note that the "Warnecke" keyword is enough, for folks who know Honorverse, to determine the tag without having it written once again in the title.
    – Jenayah
    Nov 1, 2020 at 17:31
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    @Jenayah, have you read Honorverse? Warnecke features (prominently) in exactly two chapters, with passing mention in a few more in one book out of literally dozens. I would not bet on "folks who know Honorverse" being able to recognize the name without context. Note that most of the related questions that show up here do have context in the titles. Plus, note the most-upvoted comment in that post.
    – Matthew
    Nov 1, 2020 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


It's what happens in Chapter 30. The offer to leave him alive is that he'd surrender and Harrington had arranged with the relevant authorities that he wouldn't be executed for his crimes. He'd have been in prison, but alive. Unstated in the text is that this means there was potentially a way out: people escape from prisons or arrange to be released, after all, or even before their trial. When he subsequently detonated one of his bombs and nuked a small town just to prove how serious he was, Harrington realized there was no way she could let him live.

She no longer doubted it; Warnecke was insane. Not in the legal sense of being unable to recognize right or wrong, but in a far deeper, more fundamental sense. He simply didn't care about right or wrong, and his casual mass murder only reconfirmed her earlier decision. Whatever happened, he could not be permitted to escape to do this again. Because that was the real crux of it. He would do it again, or something just as terrible. Again and again . . . because he enjoyed it.

"We can't—I can't—let him go," she said. "He has to be stopped, right here, right now."

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    Ah... real answer is I'm an idiot. I was focusing on her later bargain when setting up the convoluted plan for Warnecke to leave: "Assuming nothing, ah, untoward happens before reaching the limit, you'll then go aboard your ship [...]". But as we know, Honor makes sure something "untoward" does happen. After careful re-reading, she never makes any promise that would allow Warnecke to escape after he detonates the first nuke; somehow I had it in my head that she did.
    – Matthew
    Nov 1, 2020 at 18:30

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