How you doin’ guys?
So here’s the thing, I missed this last Top 5 Wednesday because college comsumes my life on ocasion. Due to that and the fact that I’d still like to post about this week’s Redemption Arcs topic, I decided to make it a Top 6 Friday – which is something I totally just made up, but let’s pretend it’s an actual thing, okay? ;D Here are my picks for the first
and perhaps only Top 6 Friday:
1. Warner (Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi)
I’ve talked about this before, I had read Shatter Me and I did not like it. I couldn’t care less for Warner back then and was totally confused about people’s claims to love him. I mean, he was a crazy and a villain, what were they thinking? Well, I was skeptical about the whole thing, but I decided to read his novella Destroy Me out of curiosity. You can guess things started changing from that moment on, huh? All I know is that when I got to book 2 Unravel Me, all I cared about was reading more about Warner. That’s when I realised the extent of Tahareh‘s manipulation and that it was too late because I had already fallen for it too. He went from villain to flawed love interest and he’s one of the main reasons I continued on with the series.
2. Mia (Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead) / Aphrodite (House of Night by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast)
I’m putting these two together because it’s literally the same kind of redemption arc, “mean girl enemy turned friend”. To be honest I like that arc a lot. I’m all about celebrating strong female friendship first, but if the author must have two girls hate each other’s guts, I like it when they at least turn things around making the characters grow and become friends. Character development is, after all, the reason Redemption Arcs are so compelling.
3. Damon (The Vampire Diaries) / Klaus (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals)
Yes, I cheating again using two entries in one, but I mean, both dudes came from the same show so excuse me. I’m obviously talking about the tv show incarnations, not the ones from L.J. Smith’s books. So both Damon Salvatore and Klaus Mikaelson fit the “messed up bad boy who needs love” arc. You know them, I know them, and many of us feel the same urge to fix them. These are the ones who are always in search of redemption, because they keep sabotaging themselves. They constantly screw up, do horrible things, but you still want to help them because you tell yourself they’re misguided, they’re lost, and they need someone to love them and show them a better way. Sometimes they genuinely try to do better, and that’s when you’re doomed because you cling on to the hope that they want to learn a new way of living. That’s when they own your heart. I’m such a total sucker for those, it’s pathetic. But that only works for me in fanstasy fiction. If it’s a contemporaty story with an overly messed up human guy, then all my red flags go up and I’m like “nope, too real, go look for therapy far away from me”.
4. Gaara (Naruto, Naruto Shippuden)
I decided to put an anime entry here, because well, I love Gaara and wanted to add him to the list. He kind of fits the previous “bad boy who needs love” arc, but I think the term “bad boy” would be both an oversimplification and a misrepresentation of him. Gaara had a violent angry beast inside him (literally), and he suffered because of it every single day of his life. His mother died when he was born, his father, the village’s Kazekage (leader) tried to have him killed a few times, his siblings feared him, and the other citizens were not exactly nice to him either. Gaara grew up knowing no kindness, no love, no compassion, so he learned not to feel those things. He was creepy and had no problem with killing innocents. Well, until he met the protagonist Naruto of course, who also had an angry beast inside of him, who grew up as an orphan and was also treated like a pariah by most people around him – even though it was not his fault at all. After they punched the hell out of each other (I mean, it is a shonen anime after all), Naruto gave Gaara a heart-to-heart about how people were dicks to him too, and how lonely it felt, but he managed to make a few friends along the way who made his life a lot better, so he’d be his friend too if Gaara let him. After that, his life had a big turn of events. I got very attached to him and willing to fight anyone who tried to hurt my precious Gaara, which is incredible considering he used to freak me out at first.
5. Jaime (Game of Thrones)
Look, I’m talking tv show Jaime, because I haven’t read the books yet, even though I own them all (maybe if I weren’t so afraid George R.R. Martin could die at any moment before publishing the damn last 2 books in the series, I would’ve started them already). So, early Jaime was pretty despicable, and I’m not saying he’s a great person now, but after he met Brienne, well that woman had a huge impact on his life. He cared more, and he became a much more interesting character, and even a bit hard to predict because he’s so thorn in his decisions. He is he’s best when he’s away from Cercei, and I’m curious to see how that’ll play out considering the latest events in the story.
6. Zuko (Avatar The Last Airbender)
Well, you didn’t think I would forget him, did you? How could I forget the best Redemption Arc of them all. Yeah, who’d thought a character from a kid’s show would hold that tittle, but you’ll see Zuko‘s name in the majority of lists on this topic. It’s hard to say anything that hasn’t already been said a million times. We get to follow this exiled Fire Nation prince’s entire journey through suffering, making mistakes, learning from them, and growing up. We fully grasp the depth of his struggles to understand who he is, to question his allegiances, to accept his pain and deal with his anger. From being the person who relentlessly hunts the Avatar, to becoming something else entirely. The amount of layers in this character’s construction is delightful to watch and if you haven’t watched the show yet, I mean, I’m sure someone else has already told you that before, but what are you doing with your life?? Go watch it. right now.
So these were my choices, what are yours?