Created By: blueranger on January 1, 2012 Last Edited By: paycheckgurl on February 13, 2014
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Adaptation Personality Change

Character has a different personality in an adaptation from the original medium

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Often when adapting from a book or other medium, a character will be included in the adaptation but their personality will be different from the original medium. Maybe they are a Composite Character and take on the role and personality of the one they get combined with. Maybe they only have a minor role initially but it gets expanded upon in the adaptation. Or maybe in the original their role was much bigger and got cut down in the adaptation, leaving them a little one dimensional. See also Adaptation Explanation Extrication. Adaptational Villainy is a sub trope. Also compare Alternate Character Interpretation. Note that this is not a trope to complain about minor changes in an adaptation.

Examples:

Anime/Manga
  • Pokémon:
  • King Dedede of the Kirby games series is usually an Anti-Villain, committing petty acts of villainy at worst and often teaming up with Kirby. In the Kirby of the Stars anime, Dedede is a more actively antagonistic and callous tyrant (if still ineffectual) and his redeeming moments are more few and in between. Meanwhile Meta Knight, more a Hero Antagonist in the games, is Kirby's ally and mentor from the beginning of the anime.

Film
  • In Brian DePalma's version of Carrie, Norma Watson is made into Chris's gal pal and openly bullies Carrie as well as being in on the prank at the prom. This is due to DePalma being impressed with PJ Soles's performance and rewriting Norma to expand her role.
    • Again in the TV remake with Tina Blake. While she is one of Chris's friends in the book, she isn't as big a bully and she isn't in on the prank, which she is in the film.
    • Helen Shyres in the book is mostly just a background character as Sue's friend but gets combined with another girl Frieda Jason in the TV film and so has her scene where she is nice to Carrie at the prom.
  • Cho Chang in the Harry Potter books was written to be excessively jealous and clingy when she and Harry are dating but none of this is shown in the movies.
  • Get Smart turned 99 into a Defrosting Ice Queen and Larrabee into a Jerk Jock, but the most noticeable change is that Max has now has a brain between his ears.
  • Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events was written as very sinister in the original books but in the film he is more over the top and hammy leaning closer to comic relief.
  • Jurassic Park: In the original book, Gennaro the lawyer ends up turning into The Lancer for Alan Grant, and he even punches out a Velociraptor! The film turns Gennaro into a Dirty Coward that gets eaten by a T-Rex whilst sitting on a toilet. John Hammond in the original book is The Scrooge and a tyrant who shortchanges people (giving fat programmer Dennis a reason to betray him), has a Never My Fault mentality, and then suffers Karmic Death. The film turns Hammond into a kindly old man who truly thinks that what he's doing is a good idea (which it isn't), and one result of the change is that Dennis comes off as more of a Jerkass for betraying him!
  • Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films did this with a few characters. Arwen's role is expanded and she becomes an Action Girl, Faramir becomes tempted by the ring and his Parental Favouritism issues are more played up. Elrond is also made to be bitter and cynical, thinking humans are useless. Merry was also more serious in the book but in the films is more carefree and comical. Denethor also gets a bit of Adaptational Villainy when he was simply Good Is Not Nice in the book.
  • The movie of Forrest Gump does this with Jenny (making her a vapid party girl), Forrest's mom (Who loved her son, but was much less in charge), and to an extent, Forrest himself, who in the books is an idiot savant, and much less Inspirationally Disadvantaged.
  • In the movie adaptation of the Tintin comic The Secret of the Unicorn, this happens to Barnaby and Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine. Sakharine in the comics is annoying but harmless, and is implied to be nice enough to offer one of his ships to Captain Haddock's maritime gallery. In the movie, he is a vengeful and vindictive Big Bad. Barnaby in the comics was a spy for the villains who turned informer, and they shot him to keep him from revealing their activities. The film adapts him into a well-meaning Interpol agent who tries to warn and help Tintin, although Tintin doesn't realize this until after Barnaby is shot by Sakharine's henchmen.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks, as well as The Chipettes experience this with almost every new incarnation. While the characters have experienced some natural Character Development over the years (especially true of the 1980s cartoon series), they have also experienced complete changes in their personalities when it comes to the more recent live action/CGI movies. For example, Simon goes from being Deadpan Snarker with biting sarcasm to having a less cerebral sense of humor with a underlying perverted streak; Theodore's innocence and naivete not only becomes a thing of flanderization, but he also becomes more absent-minded (much like Jeanette usually is); and Brittany is hardly the Alpha Bitch diva that she's been known for in previous incarnations.

Live Action TV
  • In the original The Worst Witch books Miss Bat appears only in the second book and appears to be your average strict teacher. The TV series has her as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and much more empathic to the students. Miss Drill is also written as a tough Drill Sergeant Nasty type of PE teacher in the books but is much more friendly in the TV series, as well as being rewritten to be mortal. She is implied to be a witch in the books.
  • In the A Song of Ice and Fire books, Mirri Maz Duur is implied to have honestly treated Khal Drogo's wound in a way that would make him well, and his condition only worsens when Drogo refuses to continue the treatment. In the Game of Thrones tv series, it's strongly implied that she intentionally botched treating his wound so that he would die.

Web Original
  • Super Mario Bros. Z turned Shadow from a low-key, brooding, level-headed character into a hot-tempered, angry character to better mirror Vegeta.

Web Comics
  • Awkward Zombie portrays Marth from Fire Emblem rather differently than the games do. The author was rather surprised when confronted with a game highlighting the difference, noting that "Sometimes I forget that I kinda sorta totally made up his characterization for the purposes of this comic."

Western Animation
  • Scarface's mate in The Animals of Farthing Wood is mostly just a background character and isn't necessarily evil but the cartoon expands her role into a proper Femme Fatale. Also Friendly takes on Bold's role as the sneak between Charmer and Ranger, making his name in the cartoon rather ironic.
  • A lot of Sonic the Hedgehog adaptations do this. Perhaps most notably Sonic Satam turns Dr "Eggman" Robotnik from a clownish Anti-Villain to a (mostly) deathly serious Complete Monster overlord. Sonic's personality in different medias can range anywhere from an incorruptably kind and laid back Ace to a Jerk Ass Knight in Sour Armor. Pretty much the whole cast that has been in more than one enterpretation of the franchise has underwent this process to some extent.
  • Mickey Mouse may be an odd variation in that it was his adaption enterpretations that avoided such a change. While the Mickey of Classic Disney Shorts was slowly tamed into The Everyman, the comics continued to refer to his earlier more adventurous and abrasive persona for a long period of time. Epic Mickey even plays with this, allowing you to choose between evolving Mickey into either his former or latter persona.
  • In BIONICLE's first Direct-to-Video film, the protagonist Takua was written as a irresponsible, goofy and rather dim to contrast with Jaller's Straight Man, whereas in previous and arguably every other incarnation he is an adventerous Guile Hero.
  • Done in spades for most Disney Animated Canon adaptations of novels. In The Jungle Book for example, Baloo and Bageehra essentially switch personalities and Kaa becomes a clownish villain rather than a wise mentor for Mowgli.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The characters are reinterpreted in every retelling especially Michelangelo and Raphael. They typically fit the same archetype, but express it in different ways
    • All were extremely flanderized in the 1987 series except for Leonardo who was only mildly flanderized. Donatello went from being intellectual to being a Gadgeteer Genius, Michelangelo went from being mostly laidback to being a surfer dude obsessed with pizza, but most egregiously, Raphael went from being dark and violent to being snarky and constantly breaking the fourth wall.
    • Michelangelo: Mirage Comics - laidback, 1987 Cartoon - surfer dude, Film Series - jokester, 2003 Cartoon - prankster.
    • Raphael: Mirage Comics - violent, 1987 Cartoon - wise cracker, Film - brooding, 2003 Cartoon gruff.
  • * Many characters of The Railway Series have ended up altered in Thomas the Tank Engine due to Flanderization coming into play during the show's long run. Thomas in particular is a more rude and pretentious character in most of the novels (only warming in the very later books). While early seasons kept to this depiction, he quickly became more altruistic and kind as the show branched away from the novels, as well as becoming something of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander come the CGI transition. Wiser supporting characters such as Edward and Toby also became more flawed and childlike to enable more spotlight episodes.
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • January 1, 2012
    Wackd
    Get Smart turned 99 into a Defrosting Ice Queen and Larrabee into a Jerk Jock, but the most noticeable change is that Max has now has a brain between his ears.
  • January 1, 2012
    ThornKing
    Count Olaf becomes much more hammy and over-the-top when portrayed by Jim Carrey, in the film of A Series Of Unfortunate Events, as opposed to his more sinister original personality.
  • January 1, 2012
    dalek955
    • Awkward Zombie portrays Marth from Fire Emblem rather differently than the games do. The author was rather surprised when confronted with a game highlighting the difference, noting that "Sometimes I forget that I kinda sorta totally made up his characterization for the purposes of this comic."
  • January 1, 2012
    Psi001
    • A lot of Sonic The Hedgehog adaptations do this. Perhaps most notably Sonic Satam turns Dr "Eggman" Robotnik from a clownish Anti Villain to a (mostly) deathly serious Complete Monster overlord. Sonic's personality in different medias can range anywhere from an incorruptably kind and laid back Ace to a Jerk Ass Knight In Sour Armor. Pretty much the whole cast that has been in more than one enterpretation of the franchise has underwent this process to some extent.
    • Mickey Mouse may be an odd variation in that it was his adaption enterpretations that avoided such a change. While the Mickey of Classic Disney Shorts was slowly tamed into The Everyman, the comics continued to refer to his earlier more adventurous and abrasive persona for a long period of time. Epic Mickey even plays with this, allowing you to choose between evolving Mickey into either his former or latter persona.
  • January 1, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Watney in the film Outlaw of Gor is very loosely based on the first chapter of the book, where the author tells of how he happened to have the manuscript that Tarl wrote. But the author character in the book never went to Gor and wasn't a load. But then, both Gor films are all but In Name Only adaptations of the books anyway.
  • January 2, 2012
    Koveras
    The recently-launched Adaptational Villainy would be a subtrope.
  • January 2, 2012
    ArtyMorty
    Might go hand in hand with Alternative Character Interpretation?
  • January 2, 2012
    ArsThaumaturgis
    Would Arwen's expansion or Faramir's temptation to keep the ring in the movie version of The Lord of the Rings count? I'll confess that my memory of the books is a little vague, so I leave it for someone with a clearer impression of that version to confirm.
  • January 2, 2012
    ArcadesSabboth
    I've been told that Faramir's personality hugely changed in the movies, and I agree that changing Arwen into a sword-wielding warrior is such a change. Elrond changed a lot too: in the books he is not a bitter cynical guy who thinks mortal men are useless. Also, Merry changed into a whimsical troublemaker in the movie, but in the book he was a serious, responsible guy.

    This should be a subtrope of Alternative Character Interpretation. Historical Villain Upgrade and Historical Hero Upgrade are probably subtropes.

    This sort of character reinterpretation probably happens in every Shared Universe or mythology.
  • January 3, 2012
    TiggersAreGreat
    Film

    • Jurassic Park: In the original book, Gennaro the lawyer ends up turning into The Lancer for Alan Grant, and he even punches out a Velociraptor! The film turns Gennaro into a Dirty Coward that gets eaten by a T-Rex whilst sitting on a toilet. John Hammond in the original book is The Scrooge and a tyrant who shortchanges people (giving fat programmer Dennis a reason to betray him), has a Never My Fault mentality, and then suffers Karmic Death. The film turns Hammond into a kindly old man who truly thinks that what he's doing is a good idea (which it isn't), and one result of the change is that Dennis comes off as more of a Jerkass for betraying him!
  • January 3, 2012
    Duncan
    The movie of Forrest Gump does this with Jenny (making her a vapid party girl), Forrest's mom (Who loved her son, but was much less in charge), and to an extent, Forrest himself, who in the books is an idiot savant, and much less Inspirationally Disadvantaged.
  • January 4, 2012
    Psi001
    • Done in spades for most Disney Animated Canon adaptations of novels. In The Jungle Book for example, Baloo and Bageehra essentially switch personalities and Kaa becomes a clownish villain rather than a wise mentor for Mowgli.
  • January 4, 2012
    sxizzor
    Dedede, and to a lesser extent Kirby and Meta Knight, in Kirby Of The Stars.
  • January 4, 2012
    Raptorslash
  • January 4, 2012
    TheWanderer
    Another Lord Of The Rings change is Denethor, Boromor and Faramir's father. In the books he's a grim case of Good Is Not Nice who capably runs the defense of his city until he hits the Despair Event Horizon. In the movies he's an insane, vacillating, power hungry wretch who is willing to let Minas Tirith be destroyed out of petty spite.
  • January 5, 2012
    samuraiweasel
    Wouldn't this come under Adaptation decay? a subpage or something?
  • January 5, 2012
    Hadashi
    anime & manga

    • Gravitation, major differences between the Manga, OVA, and Anime. In the Manga Shinji is bisexual (I think), in the Anime he is camp. Viewers of the anime will be dumbfounded to discover that it is the OVA, not the anime, in which this is Turned Up To Eleven. Or possibly higher. Of course, viewers of the Anime might be surprised to learn that Yuki rapes Shinji - which shines a whole new light on their semi-abusive relationship.
  • January 5, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • Douglas Adams, ''A Guide to the Guide," discussing the adaptation of the original radio series into book form.
      It was a substantially expanded version of the first four episodes of the radio series, in which some of the characters behaved in entirely different ways and others behaved in exactly the same ways but for entirely different reasons, which amounts to the same thing but saves rewriting the dialogue.
  • January 6, 2012
    Beastmaster
    @samuraiweasel: Possibly Adaptation Personality Change could work as a supertrope for things like Adaptational Villainy, which refer to a specific change in a character's personality and role in a story, but a subtrope to Alternate Character Interpretation, which is more character-focused than Adaptation Decay.
  • January 6, 2012
    TheWanderer
    in the A Song Of Ice And Fire books, Mirri Maz Duur is implied to have honestly treated Khal Drogo's wound in a way that would make him well, and his condition only worsens when Drogo refuses to continue the treatment. In the Game Of Thrones tv series, it's strongly implied that she intentionally botched treating his wound so that he would die.
  • August 9, 2012
    Noah1
  • August 9, 2012
    acrobox
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The characters are reinterpreted in every retelling especially Michelangelo and Raphael. They typically fit the same archetype, but express it in different ways
      • All were extremely flanderized in the 1987 series except for Leonardo who was only mildly flanderized. Donatello went from being intellectual to being a Gadgeteer Genius, Michelangelo went from being mostly laidback to being a surfer dude obsessed with pizza, but most egregiously, Raphael went from being dark and violent to being snarky and constantly breaking the fourth wall.
      • Michelangelo: Mirage Comics - laidback, 1987 Cartoon - surfer dude, Film Series - jokester, 2003 Cartoon - prankster.
      • Raphael: Mirage Comics - violent, 1987 Cartoon - wise cracker, Film - brooding, 2003 Cartoon gruff.
  • October 20, 2013
    theTamer
  • October 20, 2013
    theTamer
  • October 22, 2013
    Nazetrime
    Adaptational Heroism would be a subtrope also.
  • October 22, 2013
    DAN004
    In fact we should list all of those subtropes. "Personality change" here sounds quite broad.

    Compare Interpretative Character when the character is meant to be somewhat inconsistent in portrayal.
  • October 22, 2013
    Psi001
    To expand on the Kirby anime example:

    • King Dedede of the Kirby games series is usually an Anti Villain, committing petty acts of villainy at worst and often teaming up with Kirby. In the Kirby Of The Stars anime, Dedede is a more actively antagonistic and callous tyrant (if still ineffectual) and his redeeming moments are more few and in between. Meanwhile Meta Knight, more a Hero Antagonist in the games, is Kirby's ally and mentor from the beginning of the anime.

    • Many characters of The Railway Series have ended up altered in Thomas The Tank Engine due to Flanderization coming into play during the show's long run. Thomas in particular is a more rude and pretentious character in most of the novels (only warming in the very later books). While early seasons kept to this depiction, he quickly became more altruistic and kind as the show branched away from the novels, as well as becoming something of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander come the CGI transition. Wiser supporting characters such as Edward and Toby also became more flawed and childlike to enable more spotlight episodes.
  • February 9, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    Five hats and hasn't been launched. Who wants it?
  • February 9, 2014
    Alvin
    ^ I don't want to launch this, I just wanted to add: In the original cartoons that became The Addams Family, the girl always smiled and the boy alsways scowled. In adaptations, that's switched.
  • February 11, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    Ugh no one then. Fine, I'll get to tonight or some point this week.
  • February 11, 2014
    somerandomdude
    Super Mario Bros Z turned Shadow from a low-key, brooding, level-headed character into a hot-tempered, angry character to better mirror Vegeta.
  • February 11, 2014
    justanotherrandomlurker
    I really don't know which folder this belongs in, since it kind of covers different mediums.

    • Alvin And The Chipmunks, as well as The Chipettes experience this with almost every new incarnation. While the characters have experienced some natural Character Development over the years (especially true of the 1980s cartoon series), they have also experienced complete changes in their personalities when it comes to the more recent live action/CGI movies. For example, Simon goes from being Deadpan Snarker with biting sarcasm to having a less cerebral sense of humor with a underlying perverted streak; Theodore's innocence and naivete not only becomes a thing of flanderization, but he also becomes more absent-minded (much like Jeanette usually is); and Brittany is hardly the Alpha Bitch diva that she's been known for in previous incarnations.
  • February 11, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    ^ That seems to mostly be about the changes in film :)
  • February 11, 2014
    justanotherrandomlurker
    More specifically, yeah. There were changes between The Sixties cartoon and The Eighties cartoon, but it was mostly giving the characters more in-depth personalities as opposed to how one-dimensional they originally were.
  • February 13, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    Alright examples added, launching it tonight.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=edh00zdhuggzfilo7m93qtc0