When Bad Guys Turn Good

Almost every story has one: a villain. Whether it’s thrillers, cozy mysteries, or even romance, there’s always a bad guy afoot. But there’s no genre that exemplifies the enemy more than paranormal. There will always be a plethora of bad guys to go around.

In my case, when dealing with alternate realities, I find myself with more villains that I can handle. What makes things even more complicated is when some characters are friends in one respective world, but an enemy in another. Talk about your split-personalities!

And often times we find villains making the grand leap from bad to good in both books, television, and film. This doesn’t weaken the character, but rather strengthens their role.

Let’s take some of my favorite “bad guy” turned “good guy” characters:

Eric Northman from The Southern Vampire Series. He’s a total jerk towards Sookie at the beginning, but towards the middle of the series, we grow to love him and he pursues a relationship with Bon Temps favorite telepathic waitress.

The Terminator. He went from trying to kill Sarah Connor and her son in the first movie in the franchise to a re-programmed killer bot, in order to ensure the destiny of John Connor in the subsequent movies.

We all saw The Avengers (if you haven’t, where have you been?) and did you know that Hawkeye was initially a villian in the Marvel comic universe? It wasn’t until he fell for the beautiful Black Widow that he decided to repent for his evil ways and join The Avengers. Even Black Widow had her moments.

And numero uno on my list: Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He wins the medal for making a complete character one-eighty. He went from killing slayers for sport, despising Buffy, to being a Champion. Buffy’s relationship with Spike didn’t hurt the ratings either. Can we say, “muy caliente!”

Who’s your favorite villain gone good?

6 thoughts on “When Bad Guys Turn Good

  1. Ooh, I LOVE villains! I always get really attached to the bad guys in every novel I read. Something about the antagonist just gives you such a greater window into the writer’s soul, in my opinion. Hmm, my favorite villain right now has to be Walter White in Breaking Bad. He starts out as this mild-mannered, fifty-year-old teacher, and by season three you’re going, “Whooooaaaa…” It’s character development at its best. 🙂

  2. Where was I during The Avengers? In the van with a cranky baby while the rest of the fam watched the movie, at the drive-in! I’m still pretty sore about that! 😛

    Last night we got caught up on True Blood, and Tim said to me “So, last season they made Eric stupid and led him around by a leash, and now…?” We DESIRE to see him be BAD. Not Russel Edgington bad, just like himself again. Gah, I love that Viking!!!

  3. Grrr. My comment didn’t go through. Okay…here we go again!

    I love when Bad-Guys-Go-Good…but not too good. Ha! One of my favorites is from The Last Of the Mohicans. When bad guy Magua reaches out for the blond sister – right before she hurls herself off the cliff (why did she do that????) I instantly fell in love with that character. Wes Studi did a fabulous job in his portrayal of a man consumed with anger and brutality – yet he offered his hand to her – and his expression was melt-me-to-a-puddle! I’m not sure Magua wouldn’t remain a terror …but I’d have sooo gone off with him! Lol.

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