My apologies for leaving many of you halfway through a conversation on your blogs but I had to take the computer back to the doctors.
For anyone who’s counting, yes, that is the third time this year and I do think they should have given me balloons.
I’m fascinated by a writer’s ability to turn a strong antagonist into a protagonist. It’s not an easy task. If the transformation is too quick, the audience won’t have enough empathy for the character. If the transformation is too slow or lacking in foundation, he won’t appear redeemable to the audience who will suspect that any behavior changes serve a dark agenda that has yet to be identified.
A great example of this appears in The Vampire Diaries, which was recently recommended to me. I should mention here, due to characterization differences, that I am referring to the TV series rather than the books in this instance.
The series includes a love triangle between two vampire brothers and the heroine (bear with me). One of the brothers is essentially evil and seemingly remorseless. However, as the series continues he is redeemed to the audience through his love for the heroine and quirky sense of humor. Ultimately the audience should still be horrified by him based on past transgression but the writers have revealed enough to enable an audience to empathize with his tortured past and want him to get his girl.
I don’t believe that every person could watch the transformation in the series and find themselves tugged onto this character’s side. But the purpose is there and it’s intriguing to note the little elements that go into such a change over many episodes, particularly since it revolves entirely around his behavior toward the heroine and the behavior that she inspires in him. Ain’t love a pretty thing?
What do you think of antagonist transformations?