Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Why Marty Su? launched as Marty Stu: From YKTTW

Ethereal Mutation: I moved the old discussion to the Marty Stu archive.

Phoenix Fire: From a recent Zero Punctuation: "The next thing you need to do is create your main character and since it's important to write what you know, the main character will obviously be you. But while you are a repressed, socially retarded dullard who no one would ever honestly admit to liking, you're often inserting a character of fantasy, so he will be a charismatic eccentric who is loved by everyone even when he's setting their dog on fire." Marty Stu in a nutshell.

Teeth: That's a much better idea than the Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged quote, which is absolutely nothing to do with this trope.

MercuryinRetrograde: I see the previous discussion has been erased so I suppose I'll just offer one, hopefully on-topic critique of the article.

If the implication that Mary Sue isn't a woman of action traditionally can be implied to be sexist in the article; can't the fact that Marty Stu isn't traditionally-or even currently-allowed to be a 'purity sue' also be considered sexist? I have never seen a Marty Stu plopped down into a story and subsequently had other characters revolve their actions around him out of their love for him and their desire to benefit him; all the while he sits, passive and adored.

This traditional Mary Sue set up has to describing some sort of author-ego-based power trip, otherwise why even label it wish fulfillment? And if it's wish fulfillment—just like the ever-ready person of action is wish fulfillment—then the fact that male characters can't take part in that brand of wish-fulfillment is... well... a sexist double standard.

Or is it just that everyone thinks having the world revolve around you without lifting a Purity Sue finger is somehow a manifestation of powerlessness? Or am I using the wrong term? How about Waif Sue? She's so innocent and pure and helpless, she bends all to her will?

Ethereal Mutation: The Purity Sue article simply starts out by describing the really, really cliche (yeah, that word) manifestation of the type simply because it practically is its own character type, but that's not really the point behind the trope. The driving point behind Purity Sue is pretty much that the character is given the full attention and focus of every character that matters, with a fixation on how they are special, they are perfect, they are a true force of goodness that has become manifest and if we all follow them, the world will change for the better. It's really the purest distillation of Mary Sue, actually. It's pretty much the unhealthy Character Focus, but without really anything else to mark the character (hence why in that arbitrary priority listing for Mary Sue types if "all subtypes seem equal", it got put last).

To that extent, Wesley really was that. He had pretty much the entire bridge crew of the Enterprise singing their praises about him in very out of character ways. However, he's filed under God-Mode Sue because these praises were more directed towards his engineering "skill", which, in spite of showing him studying and working on stuff, was practically an Informed Ability because it was just blatantly obvious the writers were just putting the solution in his hands. There was a Writer on Board that is just telling him the solution of the week so he can save the Enterprise and get lauded by all the grown-ups. In that sense, Wesley is really the distillation of God-Mode Sue. We're supposed to believe that he's a child prodigy of an engineer, but the show fails to sell it and it becomes obvious that the universe and its characters are being bent and contorted in order to facilitate this desired outcome.

MercuryInRetrograde: Then maybe what I'm talking about is not a Purity Sue, but something else. Like I said, a Waif Sue, a character that motivates other characters' actions through some unfathomable level of charisma, usually associated with being beautiful, ethereal, useless and virginal. While passively basking in the reflection of their own beautific glow.

Wesley actually did something. Even if it was implausible, he did take action, he did not simply motivate others to take action for him through a combination of child-like naivete, big eyes and pouting.

MercuryInRetrograde: I know if I re-instate my edit regarding the social restrictions on Marty Stu, it will get deleted again, so I'll mention it here. If Mary Sue couldn't, in the past, be active, because it was unwomanly, then Marty Stu, in the past and present, can't be a passive motivator of others because it is considered unmanly. Or, simply, because people don't care enough about passive men to act for their benefit.

What is bothering me is that this entry has a considerable flavor of 'Purity Sue' being something foisted on women because they can't be active; while the other side of the coin isn't considered. Men can't be effective passive characters.

Gattsuru: Several months late to the conversation, but I think that there are some passive motivator Stus out there. The first that comes to mind would be John Galt of Atlas Shrugged, whose primary acts in the series are to chat with people (foreeeeevveeeeerrrr), get kidnapped, and need rescuing. Many Doctor Who fanfics with fresh doctors tend toward it as well, and arguably the Doctor himself tends toward the passive motivator Stu even in the main series.
Ack Sed: Where would Rex the Wonder Dog fall? Might be the first case of a Marty Stu dog.

Decide the fate of the examples here.