The Mandalorian Code of Honor was created by Mandalore Cadden Blackthorne as a means of abolishing the savage history that guided the Mandalorian people for eons. It was created as an unusual perfection in the governing principles of a Mandalorian's life; he did not destroy their heritage, but instead protected it, and others' views upon the Mandalorians, by giving the Mandalorians a better sense of purpose, and a better image to the rest of the galaxy.
In the end, Blackthorne combined three notions that guided the Mandalorian ways: The Canons of Honor, the Resol'nare, and the Supercommando Codex. He found that the Canons of Honor were required to maintain the strength the Mandalorians would need to operate independently in the galaxy, and so integrated those as a way a Mandalorian ought to behave in battle, and times of war. The Resol'nare had become integral in everyday living and the identification of a Mandalorian, and as such Blackthorne adopted these as a means of becoming a Mandalorian. Finally, he recognized the need of Jaster Mereel's Supercommando Codex as a means of governing how a Mandalorian ought to fight in battle.
The Canons of HonorEdit
The Canons of Honor were composed of no fewer than four simple facets of life: Strength, Honor, Loyalty, and Death. To a Mandalorian, strength was equated with life. The strong had the right to rule and conquer the weak. If an opponent fought back then they were not seen as weak, even if they could not defeat the Mandalorians; the act of defending oneself instead of capitulation was seen as giving one both spiritual strength and honor.
To the Mandalorian, honor was very important. Honor was gained by fighting, no matter the odds or situation. Once battle was engaged, victory brought honor. And while defeat was not desirable, even fighting and losing gave honor to the defeated for at least they acted and fought. It was considered more honorable to die fighting than to survive though dishonorable means.
Equally important to honor was loyalty to one's clan. A Mandalorian was required to fight not only for his Mand'alor, but also for his aliit. If one's actions did not bring honor to his clan, then they held no place for being a member of that clan, or a Mandalorian, and became what Mandalorians called dar'manda.
Death was another important part of the code. Everyone dies. But what mattered to the Mandalorian Warrior was how a person dies. Did they pass on with Strength and Honor, or some other way?
- Strength is life, for the strong have the right to rule.
- Honor is life, for with no honor one may as well be dead.
- Loyalty is life, for without one's clan one has no purpose.
- Death is life, one should die as they have lived.
- "You will raise your young as Mandalorians — and defend them. You will wear our armor, and speak our language. And you will serve the clan, and rally when called. These are the Resol'nare — the Six Actions — sacred to our movement. Do them — and you may live to call yourselves Mandalorians!"
- — A Mandalorian Rally Master
- Wearing armor.
- Speaking the language.
- Defending yourself and your family.
- Raising your children as Mandalorians.
- Contributing to the clan's welfare.
- When called upon by the Mand'alor, rallying to his cause.
As such, during Blackthorne's campaign to reunite the clans, anyone who wished to be considered Mandalorian had to abide by these guidelines and live these actions daily. Mandalorians that did not follow the Resol'nare were considered to be dar'manda — someone who was ignorant of their Mandalorian heritage. The status of dar'manda was widely feared within Mandalorian society due to the belief it meant they were soulless and had no place in the Manda, the Mandalorian afterlife.
Unlike the Mandalorian Wars, captured worlds were not forcibly inducted into Mandalorian culture, and were free to coexist with the Protectors. In instances such as this, the Mandalorians became a form of a local police force for these territories, protecting their investments from outside threats.
Young Mandalorian children were taught a rhyme to help them learn the tenets of the Resol'nare:
Mando'a bal Mand'alor—
An vencuyan mhi.
It is translated in Basic as:
Education and armor,
Self-defense, our tribe,
Our language, our leader—
All help us survive.
The Supercommando CodexEdit
Finally, to ensure the proper behavior of his Mandalorians, Blackthorne instituted the Supercommando Codex into the Code of Honor. By maintaining the presence of the Supercommando Codex, Blackthorne ensured that the savage ways that had become prevalent among past Mandalorians would not become present under his rule.
Canons of Honor are adapted from Wookieepedia and something titled "Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Knights of the Old Republic," compiled by Lohn L., Carlos P., and Jason G. (If you can find that online, Cadden will give you a cookie.)