Dannphan’s Advice: Redeeming Villains

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Razz 555
Razz 555
6 months ago

I prefer the unredeemable hero.

Serphence
Serphence
6 months ago

Sylar from Heroes comes to mind.

BoaringDay
BoaringDay
6 months ago

This was really informative. It's nice to know more about writing characters especially villains. I hope you get to continue this series with more writing advice. You're doing an amazing job 😀

J-Marcos
J-Marcos
6 months ago

In my opinion, one of the best vaillain character arcs was Char Aznable's. He started out as a revenge-seeking/cocky villain, then turned into a beacon of hope, but was later disillusioned by humanity's corruption and turned into a manipulative mastermind that wanted to bring progress by force.

This all took place throughout two TV series and a movie, and has being expanded on by various side-stories, so his changes in attitude feel really fleshed out.

CoronaSunrise
CoronaSunrise
6 months ago

I was thinking of Endeavor when I pulled up this video.

Matthew Porter
Matthew Porter
6 months ago

Lot of good points here

The Vanilla Queen
The Vanilla Queen
6 months ago

In agreement with a character's redemption arc needing to be proportionally long in relation to the gravity of the wrongs that have been committed. Zuko's redemption arc in AtLA comes to mind. Alternatively having the villain more or less "pay" for their wrongs as part of their redemption arc is good if you don't have the redemption arc slowly build over the course of a long time. Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi comes to mind here.

Also not overtly fond of this trend of trying to turn Harley Quinn into some kind of a tragic hero for many of the same reasons you say here. It feels pretty cheap and undeserved. It's okay to for evil characters to be likeable, people.

Sousabird
Sousabird
6 months ago

I think it fails when people don't fully acknowledge the scope of the character's evil. For example, I think Harley Quinn has been terrible, she's complicit in basically all of the Joker's evil, and for no greater reason than that she's more or less a groupie.

But now it's just treated like she had no will in her evil, and that all she needed was the love of a certain plant based villainess to bring her to the light.

Batman Beyond redeemed her better OFF SCREEN

Sonicfalcon16
Sonicfalcon16
6 months ago

We've have a massive influx of redeeming villians which makes sense that they're more depth but theres also people who just want a villian to be evil can have more deepness to that. its interesting that what used to be the popular element was once uncommon and then that very thing becomes popular and we can revert to the old element to feel new again

Martín Coronel
Martín Coronel
6 months ago

I'd like more a better explanation of Endeavour. I just don't see where's the issue, this "off-camera redemption". When did that happen?
Endeavour was never an actual villain, for starters. More like an awful parent and husband.
I'll welcome more discourse on this matter.

George Barrett
George Barrett
6 months ago

bright eyed and bushytailed beginning the week are we?..noon today huh, when i'd just thrown on the languini for my camponara huh?..(grr)…get back to ya in a bit. happy new month's(wink)

Rune Goon
Rune Goon
6 months ago

Just make them super hot. I'll get over whatever they did.

freshjay3
freshjay3
6 months ago

Endeavor from My Hero Academia?

Cptndunsel 2
Cptndunsel 2
6 months ago

The worst part is when writers try to redeem a character that doesn't really deserve it. Sylvanas from World of Warcraft comes to mind. (Atleast, the story appears to be headed in that direction.)

Frater C R
Frater C R
6 months ago

Darth Vader advocates genocide and was redeemed in one szene so I would say there are exceptions.

Dolphinboi - Play Monster Rancher
Dolphinboi - Play Monster Rancher
6 months ago

FFXIV spoilers

Gaius van Baelsar is a monster. But once he saw the devastation(It was NOT his intention) in the Praetorium after Lahabrea used Ultima, he felt disgusted. After the incident, he had been hunting ascians to atone for his countless grave sins. At one point, he saves a close ally of yours and becomes a valued member of your team, though a very distant one. A lot of people still don't like him, you see. Even his own adopted children felt betrayed when he left the Empire. He is very much so a great redeemed villain in my eyes.

Derlavan
Derlavan
6 months ago

My entire life is one long redemption ark… "CRAAAWLING IIIIN MY SKIIIIIN!"

Dracon-Draven
Dracon-Draven
6 months ago

The whole redeaming villains aspects is more a challenge when someone designs a villain to be cool but still a villain but then gets so much audience reception that the audience wants to the see them more and do good or just do more. This is where that split comes in where the author/writer has to decide if they are going to continue being a villain or not which is always hard. The only character I can think of that people like even though he is still a villain, has had several attempts at redemption, some successful and others not, would be Doctor Doom and that's almost entirely based of his charisma and character alone.

Rick Logan
Rick Logan
6 months ago

Important points I wouldn't have though of on my own. Thank You.

Timmy
Timmy
6 months ago

I prefer my villains to be "villains"

Top Shelf TV
Top Shelf TV
6 months ago

Is dannphan reading MHA again 🥳

RWBimbie
RWBimbie
6 months ago

How To REDEMPTION ARC-
Show character experiencing something that breaks their belief in Evil.
Show character trying to undo the Evils they have done.
Show character surrender to cops, and GET EXECUTED FOR MANY MURDERS done while evil

Orannis the Ninth
Orannis the Ninth
6 months ago

so like a KOTOR alignment chart

Seth Griffith
Seth Griffith
6 months ago

I agree with you on endever, emotional abuse should be handled with care same goes for bakugo but he's a bit better

Kevin Basta
Kevin Basta
6 months ago

Would Megatron from IDW be a decent example?

Justin Garrett
Justin Garrett
6 months ago

I think the New 52 and what I've read of Rebirth has done a good job of taking her away from the blindness she had towards The Joker.

shawn Boahene
shawn Boahene
6 months ago

Don’t forget She-ra where Hordak was redeemed even though he never apologized or face repercussions for his actions. Same with Catra who got Glimmer’s mother killed. But she’s shipped with the person she manipulates and abuses

Marcus Henry
Marcus Henry
6 months ago

Well Endeavor was never “pure evil”. He let ambition take over blind him to what he was Doing to his family. He was working hard in beating more villains than anyone but no one still had any faith in him. Then he end up getting the number one spot randomly which caused him to think over why wasn’t anything changing why wasn’t his appeal changing. He like bakugo ignored what makes a hero a hero and it’s not just being strong.

Mikko Hernborg
Mikko Hernborg
6 months ago

I could see Harley Quinn becoming 'redeemed' by being bullied by Batman (inadvertently) so she fixates on him and his ideals instead of the Joker's. Of course, her being insane would lead to her misinterpreting things and keep doing bad stuff to 'please' Batman, who then retaliates and reprimands her, leading her to become yet more enamored because of the abuse. This would not be a real redemption arc, though, since she would still be a villain, just with a different set of ideals.

Troy Ray
Troy Ray
6 months ago

Cobra Kai gave me something I didn't know I wanted: the redemption of Hawk! Unexpected, but cheered when it happened.

R4z0r Gr1nd3r
R4z0r Gr1nd3r
6 months ago

I am a games designer… I am a 3d artist and environmental artist. I dont do engines or that jazz. I don't do concept art… But the dream for anyone, whatever their background, is to be a lead on a project. I would love to get into narratology. So this is interesting for me.

Usually with a character that has gone extreme to "the dark side" needs a reason to be that way for the redemption to be accepted. This is like with Darth Vader. In the UK we have it happen a lot… But usually this redemption is sacrificial. Like a "villain" may realise their wrongs and actually become the hero, knowing they will die. This means the character has accepted their sins and want to atone for their actions.

It is interesting because with a villain we are more accepting of them being totally reprehensible and evil yet we do not accept a 100% altruistic and wholesome character. We reject that which is without flaw. This is why the notion of an anti-hero is so intoxicating. Is this because someone without flaw makes us question our own? Shines a lot on our own failings. Whereas a completely evil villain makes us feel better about our own indiscretions and sins.

Good video. 🙂

R4z0r Gr1nd3r
R4z0r Gr1nd3r
6 months ago

I have had a thought… Cylons. Battlestar has this whole … They aren't redeemed… They are by some characters views and never will in the eyes of others. There is a gritty realism to it… if you ignore the religious stuff in the later seasons lol.

R4z0r Gr1nd3r
R4z0r Gr1nd3r
6 months ago

I think if Joker killed Ivy that would break the spell he has over Harley.

El kraken
El kraken
6 months ago

Great video!👍 and cute animation in the end, i like the new logo.

Alec Pugh
Alec Pugh
6 months ago

My favorite villain redemption is Greed from FMA Brotherhood

TwilightWolf032
TwilightWolf032
6 months ago

Redeemed villains done right:
Zuko (Avatar) and Accelerator (To Aru Majutsu no Index/Kagaku no Railgun) – spent several arcs building up their redemption through interactions with their enemies, allies and neutral parties, eventually displaying regret over their past actions and showing genuine attempts to fix their mistakes as best as they could.
Redeemed villain done wrong:
Ruhiel (Devilchi) – got away with his attempted to murder a high school girl and her boyfriend because his little sister was in a magical coma, so we're supposed to forgive him.

Johnny Rook
Johnny Rook
6 months ago

They're trying to redeem Cruella de Vil.

nicholas weber
nicholas weber
6 months ago

Shades of gret and points of view are also good ways to redeem a villain. Might be doing something you think is bad but to him it's for a greater good. Thanos comes to mind. Even Luke Skywalker was a villain terrorist to 99% of the empire.

Damaging The Brand
Damaging The Brand
6 months ago

You know what I find interesting, is that Lord of the Rings and Star Wars could not be written today because no one believes in redemption. If I was a sociologist I would study this situation, why are we so intolerant today?
Thanks for the video.

zenek bembenek
zenek bembenek
6 months ago

My favorite trope in this regard is "she might be evil but we redeem her cause she's hot", which is basically the reason HQ is everyone's favorite redemption target.

the anime slayer
the anime slayer
6 months ago

It also stems to the motivation of why the 'villain' did something bad, if they avenge a murdered friend or family member are they evil, or if they
removed anyone in their way while trying to take over the world. Are they motivated or wanting redemption is also another question.

Augustine Quinault
Augustine Quinault
6 months ago

Redemption is overrated. For a long running series, you NEED villains. Let's say Doctor Who was still viable (ie., no chibs/whittaker). Can you imagine the Daleks or Cybermen being redeemed? What the heck would the stories be about?!? Eff redemption.

Jeffrey Moy
Jeffrey Moy
6 months ago

I think if you're going to create a redeemable villain that doesn't get redeemed and die, ala Vader, Ben Solo, is to make that villain somewhat gray or have a great relatable motivation to doing what they're doing. SPOILERS FOR LOST: One of the best turns for what was seen as an evil character to someone you ultimatly liked was Ben. When first introduced he was someone you hated so much as a straight up bad guy, but then as the series went on you found out more about him that humanized him and that his intentions were there to protect people. Then in the final acts you rooted for him as there were more evil people that showed up on the island to kill everyone. So I guess getting your good guys and bad guys to work together is another way to redeem them.

Augustine Quinault
Augustine Quinault
6 months ago

"Human Lives Matter. Zod kneels before you! **weeps**" Nah. That sh-t would be lame. Let cool villains be cool villains.

Arkrilix Art
Arkrilix Art
6 months ago

I think Vegeta from Dragonball was well handled. He was a mass murderer, but I'm sure it was intentionally done in a way that he never actually killed people who the audience would really care about, and really dislike him for (except maybe the tournament spectators in the Buu saga)

Lubbert Das
Lubbert Das
6 months ago

Sometimes people like a character because they're evil, you know… because it's a fantasy…

Lubbert Das
Lubbert Das
6 months ago

"Baby genocide" sounds like a genocide that's very little.

Miles Trombley
Miles Trombley
6 months ago

Goku befriends Vegeta, although Vegeta committed genocides across the galaxy.

Hannah Mills
Hannah Mills
6 months ago

One argument I'll make for Steven Universe that most people seem to misunderstand (for some reason, I don't know what kind of glasses they were wearing all through the movie and Future — if they watched them at all), is that the Diamonds…were NOT redeemed. Steven doesn't like the Diamonds. He doesn't like being near them. He didn't want to kill them, but he didn't want to be their replacement for Pink Diamond, either. The Diamonds, however, wanted Steven all for themselves. They were mainly doing all that good stuff just to get him to stay with them, but that didn't even work out in the end. And I definitely don't see them as good guys. I see them as bad guys who are now working to gain the favor of who's essentially their grandchild by fixing their mistakes — which, I think, is better than killing them off.

Imagine what would have happened if Steven and the gems had actually shattered the Diamonds. There would be another gem war. There were plenty of gems who still dedicated their lives to the Diamonds even after the start of Era 3, and if their leaders were killed off, there is no doubt in my mind that they would have revolted and the new world we see in SUF would have instead been a world of chaos and bloodshed. Not to mention all the wrong that has been done by them, being unable to be fixed — because they were the ONLY ones who could actually cure the corrupted gems, among other crimes they had to fix. Shattering the Diamonds would have been a huge mistake.

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