It’s funny that Cronus is partially based on Harry Potter, because the reaction to him from parts of the fandom is reminiscent of some reactions to Severus Snape.
There’s quite a bit of, ‘He’s really nice deep down! Mituna provoked him! If the other characters would just be kind to him and give him a chance, he’d be nice back!’
This is just like, ‘Lily was cruel to break off her friendship with Snape after he called her a Mudblood’ and all the stuff about how Snape was really a good teacher but Harry was such a bully.
I’ve even seen, ‘If you object to someone touching your shoulder, you’re the entitled one because you’re trying to prevent a perfectly normal interaction.’
I don’t understand where this stuff about ‘hating Cronus’ actions but being fine with Vriska’s’ is coming from. I’m willing to bet that those opposed to Cronus’ treatment of Mituna are also opposed to Vriska’s treatment of Tavros. Have you forgotten how Vriska is basically the most polarizing character in the whole comic?
I’m amazed that all of this defence of Cronus’ reprehensible actions has turned up so quickly. Snape at least had a whole series of books and was a major character. Cronus has literally just appeared. Finding an asshole character interesting is one thing, but shifting all the blame from him is quite another. Is it investment in the rape culture that drives some to defend a sexual harrasser so quickly?
There’s always been dodgy things in Homestuck fandom, like ‘Feferi was such a bitch to Eridan’ or the ‘heterosexuality erasure’ bullshit. I’ve always been able to roll my eyes and move on, but for some reason the Cronus whiteknighting is really getting to me.
There are a good number of people who find Cronus’ character compelling without excusing his terrible actions, which makes me glad. But the whiteknighting is there - you just have to spend a little time on the Cronus Ampora tag to see it. I hope that the people who like him for who he truly is will stand up for his actual character and argue against the ‘misunderstood woobie’ characterisation.
decepticonsensual replied to your post: I sent you an ask a few days ago about the Draco In Leather Pants trope (thank you for replying to it by the way). Now I have to ask you about the exact reverse. What are your feelings on Ron the Death Eater?
Interesting - I hadn’t thought of it that way. Do you think there’s potential to do that with DiLP as well? If an author doesn’t wipe out a character’s history, but finds ways to explain their actions that would make them heroic?
Absolutely. There are always exceptions- sometimes brilliant ones. It’s just a matter of finding them or coming up with them.
And typically if an “evil” character is written well, their motivations would have them viewing themselves as in the right anyway, so exploring that more could definitely put them in a more positive or sympathetic spotlight.
I think the lesson of this discussion is that pinning down one trope as being entirely negative or entirely positive is unproductive. Even the worst of them such as the dreaded Mary-Sue can have exceptions. The most famous one being Batman. The greatest Mary-Sue of all.
It amuses me. It honestly amuses me. People have been waxing lyrical about Draco Malfoy, and I think that's the only time when it stopped amusing me and started almost worrying me. I'm trying to clearly distinguish between Tom Felton, who is a good looking young boy, and Draco, who, whatever he looks like, is not a nice man. It’s a romantic, but unhealthy, and unfortunately all too common delusion of — delusion, there you go — of girls, and you will know this, that they are going to change someone. And that persists through many women's lives, till their death bed, and it is uncomfortable and unhealthy and it actually worried me a little bit, to see young girls swearing undying devotion to this really imperfect character, because there must be an element in there, that "I'd be the one who [changes him]." I mean, I understand the psychology of it, but it is pretty unhealthy. So, a couple of times I have written back, possibly quite sharply, saying, "You want to rethink your priorities here."
- JK Rowling, via here
I would love to write a book - one that became successful and widely read - with a villain who is completely, absolutely morally repugnant. Racist. Misogynistic. Brutal. Calculating. Absolutely lacking in compassion or concern for anyone but himself, but absolutely willing to fake it in order to make others suffer and sacrifice themselves for his ends. Quite literally, no redeeming qualities.
And he is absolutely gorgeous in every way.
He would do absolutely disgusting things with no justification, but be spectacularly attractive. And somewhere in the book there would be an offhand comment along the lines of “The last person to yell at me like that was my mother” or something.
And then I’d head to the internet and see how many ways people would come to his defense, woobify him, and justify his atrocities.
Draco in Leather Pants, the Original
Allow me to introduce The Draco Trilogy and Ms. Cassandra Claire (Yes, that one). You can’t find it on the internet anymore since Ms. Claire took it down, but I heard that you could read her original fiction and it’s pretty much the same story but with all the copyright associated with Harry Potter taken out and characters’ names changed.. I won’t discuss the scandal surrounding the series, I just want to deal with the Sues. Ms. Claire is known for taking Draco Malfoy and turning him into the leather-clad bad boy that many fans seem so hung up on. Thanks to her, the Draco in Leather Pants trope was born. Lucius Malfoy has been turned into an abusive father and poor Draco is just misunderstood (sound familiar?). He and Harry turn out to be soulmates… or something, but there’s a lot of subtext even though Draco gets involved with Ginny and Harry with Hermione. Notably, Ms. Claire reused a lot of Draco’s characterization for the hero in her own fantasy work including, according to sources, exact lines. Yes, she is that person. In this blogger’s honest opinion, why does Malfoy need to turn into the brooding badass that’s so cookie cutter nowadays. I say we remember him as the boy who got turned to a ferret:
OK, minor quibble about Gossip Girl.
Chuck Bass is not a bad boy, or a bad boy with a heart of gold. That’s Sawyer from LOST, or Han Solo from Star Wars, or Alex Karev from Grey’s Anatomy.
Chuck Bass is your standard Draco in Leather Pants. ie, a character who started out as a stone cold, plain bad person who instead of growing through character development was overloaded with angst and a tragic past to explain away and excuse his actions. Another thing: unlike your standard ‘bad boy’ on TV he made no efforts to become better for the girl that he claimed to love; instead he brainwashed Blair repeatedly in order to convince her that she was just as bad as he was. Truth is Blair had always been a better and more multi layered than him, he just never wanted to let her grow.
The biggest mistake the GG writers ever made was turning Chuck into a romantic lead.
This is a bit of a silly rant but I just wanted to get this off my chest.
I have to say if my parents were as bad as Draco & I grew up in that environment I too would be like him towards any race today. I mean, his parents are constantly telling him how good it is to Bevin melody family, pureblood therefore he has no reason but to believe it and act out to anyone below him and honestly that's still a problem today. More so in America then anywhere. But you know your opinion :)
Oh, I totally agree. In a way, the person who said that Harry and Draco are similar boys from different sides of the tracks was very right. Both boys, in retrospect, had awful upbringings that greatly affected who they were (in different ways of course: Harry was neglected, where as Draco was spoiled). That’s very true and the fact that Draco managed to redeem himself shows how skillful Jo is as a writer. I just don’t quite understand a lot of peoples’ infatuation with Draco…
There’s even a tv trope based on it…
Like seriously, the Harry Potter entries get its own page under literature. It’s that crazy.