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Day 10

In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


By far my favorite trope is the antagonist's redemption. Give me a character who seems like an asshole until that critical reveal, and then rake them over the coals as they try to right things; you will have my rapt attention. Think the Winter Soldier remembering flashes of Bucky Barnes, or Cho Hakkai trying to nice his way out of who he slept with and how many people he's killed, or Sugiura Shiho's Blood or Chigusa learning humanity, or Zuko questioning whose side he's really on, or Snape bullied and shafted and snarling at everyone while fighting the good fight solo...the list goes on.

If you then write me a plot arc where that character reconciles with their former nemesis, I will eat out of your hand. God, I have such a thing for people at each other's throats working their way through misunderstandings and shitty circumstances and external threats and realizing the other has decency and worth and that they need them. Thor and Loki, Mulder and Krycek, Snape and Harry, Attolia and Eugenides, Jane and Mr Rochester, Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, SHIELD reuniting, every one-shot Naono Bohra's ever written, the glorious cluster of an Akitsuki Koh or Mizuno Tohru novel... I want the antagonist brought low, and then the protagonist taken apart when they're forced to reevaluate everything they've ever thought they knew about how horrible the first character is. Let's wallow.

It's a fine line to walk, though, because there really does need to be transformation, redemption, and catharsis for it to work for me. (Hence my eternal gnashing of teeth at the typical Kdrama story where the lead chooses the abuser because she knows he means "I love you" when he's humiliating and degrading her. No bueno. Nor does having the character die at the end, a la Snape, do anything for me--that's not redemption, it's authorial cowardice.) But show me two characters coming together and softening each other's edges where they couldn't do it on their own, and yes, please. Every time.

これで以上です。
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