Heroic Schemer


(permanent link) added: 2011-05-15 22:08:05 sponsor: neoYTPism (last reply: 2011-07-19 11:07:11)

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Do We Have This One?... oh, and I am open to title suggestions.

This is the "good guy" counterpart to the Magnificent Bastard. The component tropes still apply, but the character applying them is thought of as, at the very least, on the same side as good.

Naturally, when a story presents a character who sees it as justifiable to engage in this kind of trickery as the good guy, it has a lot of explaining to do. And sometimes, even that is not enough. Even when the justifications for scheming are laid bare, it is often considered a Family-Unfriendly Aesop to imply that the ends justify the means.

Of course, the idea is probably more accepted nowadays than it would have been before, given the increase in the popularity of the idea of the Anti-Hero, and one benefit of this type of Anti-Hero over other types is that it also subverts Brains: Evil; Brawn: Good.

Examples:

  • Most of the team from Inception, but ESPECIALLY Saito. He has clearly done his research; he knows that failing to convince Fischer to break up a major energy company risks letting said company dominate the energy supply of the whole world. He also does not expect Fischer to be convinced consciously to do so. In turn, he is the first to suggest planting the idea in Fischer's subconscious through what turn out to be rather manipulative and deceptive means.
  • Andy Dufresne, from The Shawshank Redemption. He sets up a money-laundering scheme for his warden, which turns out to be a means of buying time for escaping from prison and exposing said warden as a crook. It is still very deceitful and underhanded, though, and that level of trickery is usually the kind that would be associated with the bad guys of a movie, not the good guys.
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