6 Great Fictional Characters Made Lame By Their Own Humanity

From Huckleberry Finn to George Bailey to Star Trek’s Data to Doctor Manhattan, the recognition of the intrinsic value of human life; be it of an individual, a particular group, or the collective value of humanity; is a common story arch for some of fiction's greatest characters. Fairly regularly, however, this same plot device will piss all over what made some of those characters great in the first place.

 

Based on this premise I give you; 6 Great Fictional Characters Made Lame By Their Own Humanity

 

 

6. Severus Snape

 

If you don’t know him:

 

An integral character in the Harry Potter series; he is the Potions teacher at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; and one of Harry’s primary antagonists. Whether Snape was good or evil was a driving plot point of the entire series.

 

What makes him awesome:

 

He is a wizard so skilled he has earned the absolute trust of Dumbledore and Voldemort, mortal enemies and the two most powerful wizards in the world.

 

Where it went wrong:

 

By series end we find out his driving motivation was a 15 year old boner for Harry’s mom.

 

5. Mr. Big

 

If you don’t know him:

 

He is the on-again, off-again love interest of “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw.

 

What makes him awesome:

 

He was a handsome, martini drinking, cigar smoking, Wall Street big shot, known for banging women until they started giving a shit, then dumping them. He was Don Drapier without the angst. He was so above the rest of us, we weren’t even allowed to know his name.

 

 

Where it went wrong:

 

By the first movie, Mr. Big had become a take-out eating, reality TV watching couch potato. We are not embellishing his characterization based on some random scene of Mr. Big in front of the TV; this was actually a central plot point to the movie. If Carrie is the movie’s protagonist, then the antagonist is Mr. Big’s sloth. Also, his name is John.

 

4. The Borg

 

If you don’t know them:

 

If you thought Klingons were the top villains in the Star Trek universe, you obviously haven’t been paying attention for the last 20 years (good call, by the way. Enjoy the successful career, and boob access.) First appearing in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” series; the Borg are half robot/half humanoid beings bent on “assimilating” (read, “destroying”) every other race in the galaxy.

 

What makes them awesome:

 

They are the Terminators of the Star Trek universe. The Borg tagline, “Resistance is futile” pretty much summed up their Mission Statement. Their relentless, unstoppable bad-assery culminated in the almost entire annihilation of Star Fleet at the battle of Wolf 359 by one Borg ship.

 

Where it went wrong:

 

In the episode, “I, Borg,” the character, Georgi essentially adopts a pet Borg. Geordi teaches the Borg, (he named it Hugh), the meaning of humanity, and then returned Hugh to the Borg collective. This has such a massive impact on the collective that by the two part episode, Descent, the previously unbeatable Borg are blow to hell by the Enterprise, while Doctor Crusher is in command.

 

(Again, if none of that made sense to you, enjoy the boobs).

 

 

3. Michael Corleone

 

If you don’t know them:

 

Stop wasting everyone’s time and go rent The Godfather.

 

What makes him awesome:

 

By the end of the 2nd Godfather, the nicest thing you could say about Michael was that he waited until his mother died to have his brother shot in the head. (We realize we are using the term “awesome” subjectively).

 

 

Where it went wrong:

 

In the third movie Michael is a guilt ridden old man whose greatest threat is diabetes.

 

 

2. The Terminator

 

If you don’t know him:

 

Well then enjoy Rumspringa, Caleb. Might we also suggest you try oral sex and Ho Ho’s.  

 

What made him awesome:

 

Kyle Reese said it best: “It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!” What made the Terminator of the first movie awesome was its cold, calculating relentlessness. No hesitation to consider the moral impact of its actions; no pause for dramatic effect, and certainly no need to wish its victim a pithy Latin farewell before pulling the trigger.   This was a Terminator that would crack your skull for being on the phone when he needed to make a call.

 

Where it went wrong:

 

In Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Arnold went from villain to hero; and for the audience to relate to the hero, they must be shown that he gives a damn; otherwise he becomes simply another weapon Sarah Connor uses to cripple hospital orderlies.

 

Unfortunately what he ended up giving a damn about was a young Edward Furlong; and he spends most of the movie following the orders of a whiny little emo brat; while in the meantime this literal killing machine is being out bad-assed by the woman who started this adventure as a waitress at Bob’s Big Boy.  

 

Fortunately the studio execs learned from this misstep, and put an end to the series right then and there.

 

 

1. Darth Vader

 

If you don’t know him:

 

Welcome to Earth. We submit to our alien Overlords and present our anuses for immediate probing.

 

What made him awesome:

 

He’s Darth freakin’ Vader! He’ll mind choke you for disagreeing with him in a staff meeting. He’ll send his goons to torch your home, and leave nothing of your family but their smoldering skeletal remains, just for purchasing the wrong R2 unit.

 

Where it went wrong:

 

You’re thinking one of the three prequels and yes, from the wooden little boy to the whiny young adult, those movies did nothing to restore the awesomeness which was Darth Vader; but his awesome actually faltered the minute Luke pulled his helmet off at the end of “Return of the Jedi.” I understand, the plot of the movie is Vader’s redemption, and I’m glad Vader chose NOT to kill his own son. But going from black helmet wearing cyborg to bathrobe wearing ghost dad was kind of a let down; once again proving the rule that your kids will suck the cool right out of you.

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Comments: 6
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  • #6

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