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The problem of white knighting originates in the culture of Elizabethan England. As far as the worst examples of it as an ideal.
Cold Calculation only works in an over civilized society. Most cultures have a certain limit of games before they decide to make things real.
Leaders in the past weren’t dumb the “honor” of women was at most an occasion for action not the cause. Warfare is just too costly to engage in wantonly. A leader of a warband would consider the fact that he might be sacrificing some of his fighters. Men who were expensive to train, feed, and house, most often at the leader’s expense.
Cold calculation went into every decision to fight. Especially in such a large undertaking as the Trojan war was.