Created By: BlackMageAnolis on February 5, 2014 Last Edited By: BlackMageAnolis on February 5, 2014

Subdued Sue

A Mary Sue that doesn't break the rules of the canon (s)he is in

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When you write a fan fiction, it's very important that any new characters introduced do not fall into the category of a Mary Sue, which is a character that, according to the Laconic for Mary Sue, is "an implausibly flawless character and/or an idealized stand-in for the author," or in its simplest form, breaks the rules of the canon (s)he is used in. However, usually, it's more than that, so for an example:

Mary Sue is a Black Mage, just starting out, and yet, already she's pretty spanking good at it. She's wooing over all of the guys, who haven't even known her for two seconds, and all of the girls seem to like her as well, some of them even falling in love with her themselves. Eventually, it is revealed that she is the Chosen One destined to save the world. And she does it with flying colors, but not before her Heroic Sacrifice.

However, sometimes a character has the basic characteristics of a Mary Sue, but it's presented in such a way where the rules established in canon aren't broken, or the character in question isn't the complete center of attention in everything that happens. For example:

Gary Stu is a very studious Black Mage, just starting out, though he does show some promise. It's been established that the people who already like him have known him for a long time, and those who don't really know him start to befriend him rather quickly because he's such a Nice Guy. Though people do get annoyed with his Lawful Good wannabe Morality Pet personality, and even with his code of chivalry, most people just don't care about his trivial ideals. While not necessarily the Chosen One, it is revealed that he knows a spell capable of defeating the Big Bad for good. Of course, the Genre Savvy Big Bad decides to sabotage this by turning the Mage into a rabbit.

These are the characteristics of a Subdued Sue, a character who, for all intents and purposes, is a Mary Sue, but isn't as game-breaking as an actual one. It can be argued that the Subdued Sue is a Reconstruction of the Mary Sue, as it is more easily applied to reality.

Compare Mary Sue, the annoying perfect mother to this trope, as well as Purity Sue. Contrast Anti-Sue, Jerk Sue, Villain Sue, God-Mode Sue, and Black Hole Sue.

Community Feedback Replies: 4
  • February 5, 2014
    Laconic.Mary Sue says "An implausibly flawless character and/or an idealized stand-in for the author." I don't see anything in there about breaking canon rules and therefore find this proposal very suspect...
  • February 5, 2014
    Well, Parody Sue are usually not gamebreaking...
  • February 5, 2014
    So this is NOT a Blackhole Sue.

    ... which is still just a Mary Sue.
  • February 5, 2014
    Too vague a trope, and easily misused to apply to nearly any hero.