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Case ([personal profile] case) wrote in [community profile] fandomsecrets2017-08-06 04:17 pm

[ SECRET POST #3868 ]

⌈ Secret Post #3868 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.















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(Anonymous) 2017-08-06 08:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Eh, I wouldn't even say it's a bad plot device.

It's just bad when people use it in a way that lacks moral seriousness, in contexts that require moral seriousness.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-06 08:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Not OP but for me it's not the seriousness, it's the unrealistic ease.

Bad people don't become not-bad people that easily, even if they want to change. It's hard to change thought patterns and emotions even if you know they're wrong.

If it were that easy, we'd all be rid of our pesky habits the first time we tried.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-06 08:30 pm (UTC)(link)
I'd include that in "moral seriousness" honestly - part of taking morality seriously is that this stuff is hard for human beings to do and to learn. but it's definitely a great point that you're making and I agree.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-07 12:19 am (UTC)(link)
Plenty of people kick really bad habits cold turkey. I hate narratives where villains realize they're wrong and immediately and seamlessly become part of the heroes' team, but I can easily accept villains realizing they were wrong, and immediately taking some sot of action (be it actually effective or half-baked and desperate) to rectify their mistakes.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-06 08:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I only mind it when it flip flops. (See: Sylar. Fucking Sylar.)
arcadiaego: Grey, cartoon cat Pusheen being petted (Default)

[personal profile] arcadiaego 2017-08-06 10:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, it turns out repeatedly firing your writers doesn't help continuity.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-06 09:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I like it when villains are redeemed, but only when done well. Sad thing is, the only example that comes to mind of a villain being redeemed properly is Vegeta for some reason.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-06 09:26 pm (UTC)(link)
The example I tend to think of for this trope done right (if not perfectly) is Zuko from Avatar.

If one re-watches the entire series beginning, it's clear (and this has been confirmed) that Zuko was always meant to join Aang down the road. There's at least one first-season episode where Zuko gets a bit of compassionate backstory, where it starts to set the seeds for him switching sides.

It's not easy, and Zuko doesn't always do the right thing, but he gets there eventually. As the writers planned it from the start, which is why it works for me.

Usually, writers redeem a villain due to whichever subsection of fandom is the loudest, even if it contradicts/handwaves earlier actions on the part of the character (Someone mentioned Sylar above, I'll add Spike from Buffy to it) and it comes across as a patch job which sets my teeth on edge.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-06 11:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Hmm, I've never seen Avatar before, but I think I'll have to pick it up to see Zuko's redemption.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-07 08:56 am (UTC)(link)
It was really well done. Including everything from self-sabotage and wrong choices, to regret, trying too hard, making amends, etc. I felt it was very realistic.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-07 12:21 am (UTC)(link)
I'll add Spike from Buffy to it

I've never seen Angel, so I can't comment on his his character was handled there, but as far as BTVS goes, I think comparing Spikes "redemption" to most other villain redemptions is apples to oranges.

The show never acted like he was redeemed in S5 when he got the chip in his head and had to stop hurting people, and it never acted like he was redeemed when he fell for Buffy, and it never acted like he was redeemed when he let himself be tortured to protect her, and it never acted like he was redeemed when he spent the months after Buffy's death looking after Dawn, and it never acted like he was redeemed when he and Buffy started fucking. The show didn't even treat Spike deliberately getting his soul back as redemption. It merely acknowledged that soul-having Spike was not exactly the same person non-soul-having Spike was. There was a part of soul-having Spike that was innocent, and therefore didn't need to be redeemed, as well as the demon part, that had done a very self-sacrificing and shockingly non-evil thing, but that could nonetheless probably never be truly redeemed.

If Spike, as a whole, was ever treated by the show as a "redeemed" character, it was only in the last moments of the final episode, when he sacrificed himself to save the world. And in that case, it becomes kind of moot whether he's redeemed or not. I mean, he gave up everything to save everything - that's as close to redeemed as an irredeemable person can ever get. Is it redeemed? I don't know, but he's dead so why bother splitting hairs?

(Anonymous) 2017-08-07 12:54 am (UTC)(link)
Yes, this. You're right though that it's not done very well in most cases. :(
nightscale: Starbolt (Marvel: Falcon)

[personal profile] nightscale 2017-08-06 09:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I love redemption in stories too, be it fic or actual canon, it's just one of those things that I feel can be done very badly very easily.

I still kind of eat it up though even when it's not done so well. :P

[personal profile] sparklywalls 2017-08-06 09:32 pm (UTC)(link)
This is one of my favourite things too even though I generally like villains because they're villains. It's nice to play "what if" though and it is an interesting concept.

But I rarely read fic of it precisely because so few people seem to be prepared to be in it for the long-haul and make it believable. I also feel it's easier to accept with villains already giving off anti-hero vibes as opposed to being pure evil but even with the foundations of a seemingly ready-made redemption arc, people still regularly mess it up wanting to rush towards the good stuff.

If it's because you want your favourite villain to hook up with your favourite hero (something I also get is popular for a reason) I personally would honestly rather read PWP most of the time because nothing has to make any sense as to how these two (or more) people ended up together on any grand scale.
arcadiaego: Grey, cartoon cat Pusheen being petted (Default)

[personal profile] arcadiaego 2017-08-06 10:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Me too. And idealised views of what could happen if the world was fair and people could change are one of the points of fiction, I think.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-06 11:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I find it attractive because it basically says the hero(es) is/are so awesome and good and their cause so right and true that the villain can't help but turn to their side, which is a variant on the "I can make this bad boy good with the power of my love!" fantasy, only with proxies and more often platonic.
philstar22: (Default)

[personal profile] philstar22 2017-08-06 11:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Me too. I blame Star Wars because Return of the Jedi was my favorite movie as a kid, and I have always loved Vader's redemption. It isn't always done well, but to be honest I'm often into it even if it isn't. I just really love a redemption story.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-06 11:58 pm (UTC)(link)
I love it. I blame Jacobean drama for this - Webster's "The Duchess of Malfi" has a compelling redemption story. It seems the trope has been around for a very long time!

(Anonymous) 2017-08-07 12:49 am (UTC)(link)
I don't have much to say about the secret itself, but I do want to say that I love that statue and appreciate its use here.

(Anonymous) 2017-08-07 02:06 am (UTC)(link)
With my current novel manuscript, I spent a loooooot of time waffling back and forth on whether or not the villain was truly in love with the protag or if it was all a farce, and ultimately I went with the latter for the reasons you just described. But in my head, in some fluffy AU verse that I wasn't angling to publish, that would totally be the case. So I feel you.