On reading, once again, Blood Meridian, the Judge figures prominently - as he should. The character is so multilayered, elusive, evil and alluring, that a simple explanation of what the Judge is… what kind of character or entity he represents... proves difficult. This writer explores the Judge as a philosophical Romantic, a pre-cursor of a game theory operator, an extreme moral relativist, and a symbol of American expansionism.
These are all true. But provocatively, this writer views the Judge as a kind of moral mirror held up against the actions of his comrades. The Judge does just what his title proclaims, he judges the sins of men.
And the group of men he is with have sins aplenty. The Kid is an appealing character, who is largely immune from scenes of drastic violence. The outhouse ending between the Judge and the Kid is interpreted in this blog as the Judge's final moral reckoning with the Kid, who may be no saint; who is fact, is as morally reprehensible as the Judge.