Hello it's been awhile, I like to play a little game called: Surprisingly Similar Character and Story.
The Protagonist is an already established Villain, both to in-universe and to the audience, who felt guilty for his past deeds and ready to atone for a better life. The Protagonist is very snarky and can manipulatively lie to help himself out of situations. While the Protagonist honestly wants to be good and works hard for a better life despite a few underhanded methods, many other characters refuse to believe that he is nothing other than a bad guy and putting more pressure into his goal. The Protagonist in despair gives up being a better person but also gives up being the Villain he was before in favour of a more beneficial amoral life and to give the finger to the Antagonist who mocks the Protagonist’s life choices.
Is this: ‘Saul Goodman from Better Call Saul’ or ‘Loki from Agent of Asgard’.
I’m a fan of both of these characters, I’m not why but I really got an appeal for redeemable villains especially if their redemption is hard to get. I would like to see more of this role of a villain trying to get redemption, I think it’s mostly I could relate to the fact it’s because they’re trying to be new people trying to get of a reputation of their shameful past.
I was rooting for both Saul and Loki to have the life they’re wanting to achieve but at the same time know that they’re not going to get that life and in the end became the villains they shamefully hated, for Saul’s case because it’s a prequel and for Loki’s case because of comic books. I would still want to see more of their story especially since they both accepted to be villains.
While there are loads of examples of redeemable villains (like Darth Vader), I also want to talk about a bad example that I also just recently just thought about.
Loghain from Dragon Age
Contains Dragon Age Spoilers
|The prick himself|
Loghain is what happen when you put a hateful idiot of a villain and put him in position of a well-meaning morally grey villain. This tends to be a common problem with Bioware when they write antagonists where they either a flat villain or they turn into one.
His crimes are very villainous and/or idiotic to the point it’s very difficult to even forgive him in the first place. The guy betrayed his own King not because of greed or power but because he’s afraid of his King making an alliance over his hated enemies (the fantasy French people). Well that is not all too bad it actually get worse, he destroyed an army of experts capable of fighting a much more bigger threat and brand the survivors as wanted criminals, created a civil war for more power, make deals with slavers and having a even more flat villain as his right-hand man. If that is not a recipe for an unforgivable villain to you, then I’m afraid to even ask what is.
|The face of Loghain haters if you let him live|
At the end you could either kill him or let him join the Grey Wardens, which could be a punishment worse than death if you see that way, at the expense of the fan favourite companion’s friendship, you could see why so many people would just kill the guy. If you do redeemed him, he’ll start being more likable but it’s pretty hard to accept that if his crime a comparable to dictators.
Of course the expanded universe wants to establish that Loghain is a misunderstood figure whose action is justifies which is totally different from we been introduced in the game and does not work. The third Dragon Age game, Inquisition, establish the “Loghain did nothing wrong” as a valid viewpoint which is bizarre when in Origins actually made terrible crimes.
It can be good to have a likable villain, even morally grey villain, but wrong to have a ball of hate as likable villain, although it’s also wrong to have a ball of hate as anything other than itself. Loghain may or may not be completely unlikable, that’s your view, he’s just written badly in a world that is supposedly morally grey. Although Loghain is not the only Dragon Age villain that has that problem, he’s just the only that could be “redeemed”.