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

[ SECRET POST #3868 ]

⌈ Secret Post #3868 ⌋

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(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?