See how she sparkles, See how she shines...
"The crew look awesome in civvies—although this is the third time this year that Janeway has been stuck into virginal white. Are the writers trying to tell us something?"
The first Mary Sue
archetype to gain wide recognition, from as early as King Arthur
's Galahad of the Sangreal. Incorruptible Pure Pureness
is the theme here.
A Purity Sue
can be male or female without too significant a difference, but in all but the earliest incarnations there's a strong tendency towards the latter. It is a character that is intentionally made by the author to be overly positive. They almost never have any flaws that actually affect them in a way that truly matters, usually going for endearing traits such as "clumsiness
" or na´vetÚ
, instead getting overloaded with overwhelmingly positive but largely passive traits (i.e. beauty
, etc.). The character will usually be soft-spoken, have a pleasant voice, and be mild-mannered. Often, the traits verge towards the ethereal
, with auras, non-human lineage, and other such things.
Like all Mary Sues, she doesn't do enough to justify the positive response. And as usual it's the writer's fault. A character who would come off as wise and pure in the hands of a better writer, motivating the main characters in their down-time, turns into a smiling ditz who manages to convince people to do the right thing just because we are informed
that she is wise and pure, and somehow she is
the main character. She's usually cast as a passive motivator of other people, inspiring them to strive towards the author's goals by her very presence alone. Oh, sure, she might smile, offer encouragement, write articles, and other such things, but she gets such a disproportionately positive response that it soon breaks the Willing Suspension of Disbelief
She often overlaps with a Fixer Sue
. Almost never truly overlaps with God-Mode Sue
because her overwhelming righteousness is usually the focus of the story and not her objective actions. Anti-Sue
, Jerk Sue
and Villain Sue
are all antitheses to this character type (especially the last, since she's always
a protagonist). This is the type that most often shows up as a Parody Sue
When considering if a character that overlaps with one or more of the other types belong here, keep in mind that Purity Sue pretty much exists to be loved by everybody
for being (as the plot tries to suggest) "perfect" (or close enough) in every way that matters. If it's less about the character's actions and more just about everybody's fascination with the character, it belongs here. Note that merely being a Yamato Nadeshiko
, Proper Lady
, or The Woobie
does not make one a Purity Sue
Modern male Purity Sues are uncommon, but they're much more common in historic shows and texts. They tend to fall into three categories:
See also Mary Sue Classic
, the fairly specific and extremely common plot format that uses this character type exclusively. This trope, along with that framework, is the oldest (widely accepted) form of Sue, being Older Than Steam
and probably (depending on whether you believe Galahad was a Christ figure) Older Than Print
No examples, please. This only defines the term.