This chapter outlines the judge's metaphysics of war, connecting it with other fragments of Heraclitus and Heraclitean thought. It explores Judge Holden's relationship with the kid, and explains why he was ultimately unable to succeed as the kid's spiritual father. In contrast to privative accounts of evil, just war theory, dualisms such as Gnosticism, meaningless monisms, or a transcendent moral sphere, it is the Heraclitean element of Blood Meridian that elucidates the pronouncements of the judge and the plot. In the world of Blood Meridian, there is no alternative to violence. Only by living in accord with the metaphysics of war may we find favor. The judge provides a coherent metaphysics of war based on the doctrines of Heraclitus. For the judge, war is the governing principle of the universe, and to live meaningfully and authentically. All other options— mercy, conventional morality, hope for redemption or transcendence— prove vacuous in the world of Blood Meridian, as the kid's failures demonstrate.