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Sapphirea2
topic
04:20:17 AM Jun 13th 2014
I noticed a Justifying Edit was added to the Music Videos entry regarding Michael Jacksons Ghosts. I wrote the original entry way back when, but I don't like tweaking other people's work. Should the edit be removed?
RK_Striker_JK_5
topic
08:12:23 AM Jun 9th 2014
So... the examples from MLP have been removed. Again. We have had several discussions about this already. They've been edited from before and we've agreed they belong. I am adding them back. Again.
MagBas
topic
10:59:02 AM Apr 23rd 2014
Question: if an example of Protagonist-Centered Morality follows the morals of a real life culture, either the culture of the author(Values Dissonance) or of a culture that he is replicating, (Deliberate Values Dissonance)is this a correct example?
MrMustache
07:08:49 PM Apr 28th 2014
I think it's both. Being culturally relevant in a way that makes it inaccessible to others doesn't mean that it values a protagonist over less-important characters, it just means that the less-important characters are only morally inferior when viewed from a particular lens.
MagBas
02:04:15 PM Apr 29th 2014
Thanks.
Rebochan
topic
01:22:36 PM Apr 5th 2014
edited by 68.106.220.231
To the person who added Ariel over here (after she got booted off of Designated Hero), the editor who took it off said pretty much everything I did. I would also add the example implies that Ariel is a crazy person for wanting to join humans because they eat fish.

Well, you know what Ariel isn't? A goddamned fish. If they ate MERMAIDS, then yes, she would be an idiot. Otherwise, they are no more the enemies of sea life than the vast majority of sea life, which prey upon other sentient sea life. Flounders? They eat plants...and smaller fish. Crabs? What do you think those pinchers are for? They're for quickly crunching the flesh of of other shellfish and devouring their ooey gooey insides. Yea, Sebastian and Flounder are in fact omnivores and likely also eat other fish. Just because they aren't doing it on camera for the sake of not showing cute little animals murdering each other doesn't mean they don't do it.

I don't think I've seen a stupider reason for attacking Ariel before I read that trope entry. Just...mind-boggling. I understand criticisms of the character that are more legit, but at the same time, don't viciously turn her into some kind of selfish bitch who does nothing but hurt other people and gets rewarded for it.
MsCC93
04:45:39 PM Apr 9th 2014
It's just a movie. Calm down.
Generations91
topic
07:40:44 PM Apr 3rd 2014
Just wondering, can this trope be invoked intentionally or, like a Broken Aesop, is it unintentional?
Larkmarn
08:33:20 PM Apr 3rd 2014
edited by 108.48.88.58
It can be lampshaded, as evidenced by the page quote.
desdendelle
topic
04:58:24 PM Mar 29th 2014
Removed from the main page due to an Edit War, please sort this out here before adding the example back (or not).
  • There are some episodes in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic in which the Mane Cast aren't much better than the supposed antagonists.
    • In "Boast Busters" Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Applejack take issue with Trixie's magic show and boasting, despite all three doing plenty of boasting themselves and begin heckling her for little if any reason. By the end of the episode Trixie's home and possessions are destroyed by an Ursa Minor and the main culprits of the bear being brought there, Snips and Snails, get mustaches as 'punishment'. While Twilight is the one to (indirectly) humiliate her, Twilight's friends were practically gloating at the ruination of someone else's livelihood and home for behavior less problematic they themselves have and would do.
    • The treatment of Canterlot upper crust ponies is pretty bad. While they are snobby jerks, that doesn't really justify the Mane Cast crashing the Canterlot Garden Party; they invade the party uninvited, eat the food, forcibly redecorate, and try to play over the music, even though the snobs hadn't done anything to them personally. In other episodes, the kind of rude behavior they did was done by the jerk characters as a means to establish they were massive jerks, whereas when the Mane Cast did it, it was treated as Hilarity Ensues.
    • Pinkie Pie can veer into this trope. Her behavior is rarely seen as wrong, and is seldom corrected.
      • In "Luna Eclipsed," she unintentionally causes the townspeople to run away from a distressed Luna. When Twilight tackles her, it looks as if she's about to call her out on her shenanigans, but she calls Pinkie Pie a genius instead. Although things do work out for Luna, Pinkie never gets any comeuppance nor does she apologize to Luna for her behavior.
      • "A Friend In Deed" has Pinkie stalking and pestering Cranky, and when Twilight tells Pinkie Pie that she just has to accept that Cranky doesn't want to be her friend, Pinkie Pie accepts her advice...then aggressively tries to get Cranky to accept to her apology, causing even more problems. Eventually Cranky does agree to be her friend, though he does want her to leave him alone for a while.
MsCC93
12:59:38 PM Mar 30th 2014
I agree with the points staying. For "Boast Busters," there's already a discussion of that one and the Canterlot upper crust ponies here. I don't think it would be harm to put it back. As for the Pinkie one, I agree because sometimes she may (unintentionally) cause trouble, and causing trouble is wrong, whether you mean it or not. Pinkie Pie is Innocently Insensitive, and if the writers keep ignoring the behavior, it veers into this trope.
RK_Striker_JK_5
05:03:24 PM Mar 30th 2014
I'm the one who put it back. I'm sorry I didn't bring it here, first. But the thing is these examples do cross into that territory. There was no reason for the cast to act how they did to Trixie. The Canterlot populace, while slightly snobbish, didn't warrant having their private party crashed and damaged. As for Pinkie, she gets away with a lot, mostly with "It's just Pinkie Pie" as the reason why.
SaraJaye
09:48:57 PM Mar 30th 2014
The Trixie example is the only one that counts as this, in my opinion; in this instance it was clear that Rarity, Applejack and Rainbow Dash were being competitive and jealous. Trixie didn't start antagonizing them until they started shouting at her.

As for the Pinkie examples, I think that even if she was in the wrong re: Luna and Cranky the examples were a little too hard on her. Pointing out that she was taking her "screaming and getting scared is fun" bit too far in the former is one thing, but complaining that she doesn't get Called Out And Punished is kind of ridiculous. Fandom is too obsessed with seeing characters be punished in general. As for Cranky, she DID realize she did wrong and worked to right it, and then eventually let him have his alone time. It's not PCM if her heart is in the right place and she just went about it the wrong way.

As for the Canterlot Upper Crust, the ponies didn't crash the party to be mean. There was never any malice in their actions. They were trying to have fun in their own ways and liven up what they thought was a boring party. That's not exactly a punishable offense.
RK_Striker_JK_5
02:15:19 PM Mar 31st 2014
For Pinkie, she terrorized Cranky, stalked him through town, invaded his personal space and destroyed-albeit accidentally-his personal possessions. With Luna she caused her to once more be feared and shunned and almost caused a relapse back into Nightmare Moon. Both times she's treated as doing the right thing, the latter called a 'genius' by Twilight.

As for the Canterlot Garden party, their behavior is treated as harmless shenanigans when they crashed a private party, caused a lot of damage and basically ruined it. Again, they're treated as being in the right when, again, what they did was pretty horrid.
SaraJaye
10:27:16 AM Apr 4th 2014
But it's just Pinkie being Pinkie. No one rewarded her for stalking Cranky, they rewarded her for fixing her mistakes and doing something he'd actually ENJOY (reuniting him with his lost love). And didn't they also explain to Luna that they were pretending to be scared because it was fun and not because they disliked her?

It WAS harmless. They didn't crash the party out of malice. Their methods were wrong, but I don't think they deserved to be punished for an honest mistake. They thought the upper crust needed to have some fun.

Frankly, I think this fandom is too obsessed with calling ponies out. The Trixie example and Twilight's friends in "A Canterlot Wedding" are the only examples I can think of where the mane cast WERE wrong; Trixie was just a showpony doing her job and Twilight's friends had already learned a lesson about taking her concerns seriously.
MsCC93
12:35:35 PM Apr 4th 2014
edited by 131.118.228.9
You are correct about the fandom being too obsessed with calling people out (for example, calling Dashie out for the hospital thing and Twilight accidentally switching her friends' destinies), but I still think those examples fit.

Accident or not, Pinkie didn't learn the lesson of not forcing people to like you and respecting other people's personal space. Her pestering Cranky is shown to be in the right, despise it being wrong. The mane cast crashing the party isn't shown as a terrible thing, even it it is. Pinkie did admit she was wrong for destroying Cranky's book, but she didn't think it was wrong to annoy and stalk him.

I don't think Pinkie nor the Mane Cast deserve to be punished, but they should at least be called out on their behavior.

This trope is about the story ignoring the bad behavior of characters. Since the episodes ignore the bad behavior of the mane cast and portray them in the right, then they belong on this page. It's not for bashing characters and complaining about them not getting their comeuppances. That's what Karma Houdini is for.
MagBas
05:13:25 PM Apr 4th 2014
Abot Pinkie pestering Cranky to be her friend:

If i am remembering well, in the first episode of the series, Pinky created a surprise party in Twilight's house and she and the other members of the Mane Cast declared themselves her friends(out of note, in the time Twilight was worried with Nightmare Moon and with no interest in friendship). Is this situation similar?
MsCC93
01:25:21 PM Apr 6th 2014
...what does that have to do with the example fitting to be on this page or not?
RK_Striker_JK_5
03:30:23 PM Apr 6th 2014
Ms CC 93 basically said what I want to say. Their behavior, wrong as it was, wasn't called out in-episode. And it was wrong, too. The ponies at the Garden party had said party ruined by the Mane Six, but it's on them to 'loosen up' and enjoy the new fun party. As for Pinkie, her behavior is ultimately shown to be in the right even though what she did was absolutely horrid.

Well-intentioned or not, their behavior was rude and wrong. And as for 'calling them out', one of the strengths of the show is the main characters have flaws. They have strengths and weaknesses. Their weaknesses and wrong actions can't be brushed under the rug.

In the case of Pinkie with Cranky and Luna, Rarity, Applejack and Dash with Trixie and five of them at the Canterlot Garden Party, their actions were wrong. And the only real justification we have is, "They're the main characters". I'm sorry, but they were wrong and need to be called out on it when they mess up.
MagBas
05:41:59 PM Apr 6th 2014
edited by 200.187.121.2
About the "...what does that have to do with the example fitting to be on this page or not?", because the Twilight example implies that the motive to the treatment of Cranky was because of his status as loner, not because of his status as secondary character. Beyond this, the Twilight example implies means is virtually impossible call out Pinky by this behavior without turn this moral broken, considering that the entire Mane Cast acted of a similar form than Pinkie with Cranky in the very first episode with the own protagonist of the series and this was portrayed positively.
RK_Striker_JK_5
02:31:54 PM Apr 7th 2014
The situation really isn't similar. Twilight and Pinkie's first encounter was actually pleasant, unlike Pinkie and Cranky. Twilight also expressed no real verbal disapproval about the party, nor did it damage any of her personal property. And she didn't stalk Twilight or follow her when she left the party.
MsCC93
04:51:46 PM Apr 7th 2014
Thank you for agreeing with me RK_Striker_JK_5. You basically took the words out of my mouth lol.

I agree with RK_Striker_JK_5 that the situations were different because Pinkie was being friendly towards Twilight and she wasn't being obnoxious like she was to Cranky. Those were two different scenarios. Pinkie was in character in the first episode, while she was flanderized in the episode with Cranky.

I do think the examples should be added back. They just need to be rewritten so it doesn't look like it's attacking Pinkie or the Main Cast because this page isn't for bashing or bias.
SaraJaye
09:39:22 AM Apr 8th 2014
But...Pinkie IS called out. By Cranky himself. And that's why she takes steps to correct herself by doing something he'd actually appreciate. And he does tell her he needs to be left alone at the end.

Maybe the Luna example does fit. It's been ages since I've seen the episode so I can't remember just how bad the situation was. But CRANKY is never punished for being mad at Pinkie, so it's not a straight-up case of PCM.

And yes, if these examples MUST be used, word them better. Too much of this page comes off more like it's attacking the main characters and demanding they be punished and whipped at the stake for their errors rather than pointing out that the problem isn't dealt with in a way that addresses them being wrong.
MsCC93
11:04:58 AM Apr 8th 2014
edited by 131.118.228.9
I'll put all the examples back, because "A Friend In Deed" still counts as an example and because the story ignores Pinkie's behavior, not Twilight and Cranky.

Pinkie admits she was wrong for destroying the book, NOT for stalking and pestering Cranky, so the example still fits.

Like I said, I will rewrite the example because this page isn't for bashing anyway.
RK_Striker_JK_5
02:42:55 PM Apr 8th 2014
With Cranky, he tells her to go away... and she stalks him all over town. She doesn't get the message at all and it's only deus ex machina and a total asspull that saves her in the end.
MsCC93
03:07:45 PM Apr 8th 2014
edited by 131.118.228.9
That's what I just mentioned! Pinkie only felt remorse for damaging his property, not for annoying him.

"But CRANKY is never punished for being mad at Pinkie, so it's not a straight-up case of PCM."

So it's wrong to get legitimately angry at someone for annoying you and destroying something you forever cherished?

Can we just agree to add the examples back, rewritten, since these episodes do count as an example, and just stop arguing? (no offense)"

MagBas
03:30:27 PM Apr 8th 2014
About the "Pinkie not followed Twilight" thing: If i am remembering well, after the surprise party, the entire Mane Cast(including Twilight) was to the Summer Sun Celebration and after the apparition of Nightmare Moon, the entire Mane Cast followed Twilight- and continued following she after she protest about this(because the mission was dangerous, if i am remembering well).
MsCC93
07:45:03 PM Apr 8th 2014
It's still a different situation. Twilight didn't do that because she was annoyed. She did it for their own safety. Cranky was just irritated by Pinkie Pie annoying him.
MsCC93
07:45:03 PM Apr 8th 2014
It's still a different situation. Twilight didn't do that because she was annoyed. She did it for their own safety. Cranky was just irritated by Pinkie Pie annoying him.
SaraJaye
09:31:19 AM Apr 9th 2014
"So it's wrong to get legitimately angry at someone for annoying you and destroying something you forever cherished?"

I meant, if this were PCM, Cranky would be punished as a Bad Guy. The series DID treat him as though he had the right to be upset that Pinkie destroyed his scrapbook-which he did, and Twilight even told Pinkie afterwards that she came on too strong.
MsCC93
09:40:20 AM Apr 9th 2014
Oh okay. Thanks for clearing it up. I will rewrite the examples later without it coming off as bashing and complaining about characters.
RK_Striker_JK_5
02:56:05 PM Apr 9th 2014
Okay, I'm all for rewriting the Pinkie/Garden party ones... but can we please just put the Trixie example back as is? There really was no good reason for them to act the way they did to her when she arrived, and how they treated her at the end was pretty damned rotten.
MsCC93
04:45:24 PM Apr 9th 2014
I added them back, and some of them didn't even need to be edited. I guess fans can be just too sensitive sometimes.
Silverblade2
topic
03:17:00 AM Jan 14th 2014
edited by 81.243.152.108
  • How I Met Your Mother has pre-Character Development Barney Stinson. Barney was, to put it bluntly, a Jerk Ass. He was a constant womanizer who slept with over 200 women, who treated most of them pretty horribly, constantly lied to almost everyone, and has broken many laws. Still, it's all Played for Laughs, and because he's one of the main characters, the worst he ever gets is a slap on the wrist.

First this is more Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. We are not meant to side with Barney. He's not an in-universe rol model. The gang, especially Ted, are repeatedly disgusted of his attitude and only have a loose tolerance in the early seasons because they know they can't change him. Well at leat until season 5 where they suddenly become his cheerleaders but that's another story.
Silverblade2
topic
04:30:35 AM Jan 3rd 2014
edited by 81.246.239.224
  • "In Lesson Zero, Twilight stresses out so much over her friendship letter assignment that she mind-controls half of Ponyville into starting a riot over a stuffed doll, all to cause a problem she can solve with friendship. The episode tells us that it's her friends' fault for not comforting her enough, and Twilight is rewarded by Celestia delegating the assignment to her friends and removing the weekly deadline. "

I find this example disingenuous. There are several examples of this trope through the series but I don't think "Lesson Zero" is one of them. Twilight's behaviour in this episode is clearly portrated as wrong. The riot caused was accidental (though mindraping the CMC was very bad indeed). Celestia clearly call out Twilight for this (the tone of "Twilight Sparkle!" and "meet me in the library" isn't soft). The episode isn't telling it's her friend's fault for the mess but that her friends let it happen becase of their insensibility for Twilight's problem. One can argue that Twilight was Easily Forgiven but she pretty much acknowledged her mistake.

And finally, there was no "weekly deadline" to begin with.
MrMustache
10:13:56 AM Apr 28th 2014
Yes, there is a weekly deadline. Twilight spends the whole episode freaking out because the week is almost over and she hasn't sent a letter.

Twilight's behavior is portrayed as wrong, but she gets rewarded for her behavior (she only has to do 1/6th of the assignment herself, and only has to have it done whenever whoever's writing the letter feels it needs doing.) She never has to make amends to the ponies she harmed. She apologizes to Celestia, but that's because Celestia is her teacher and the only thing Twilight cares about in the entire episode is Celestia's approval or anger at her actions. The fact that the rest of Ponyville was mind-raped into a violent, angry mob only matters because Twilight abused her power for her own gain; the actual harm done to Ponyville's citizens is unimportant, and the fact that "using magic to stir up trouble because it's too peaceful for your tastes" is exactly what Discord does is never mentioned.

Protagonist Centered Morality isn't just about the protagonist never being wrong, it's that their role as the hero of the story makes them too important to punish or judge... which is what happens here. Twilight gets a brief scolding after she causes a major public disturbance for selfish, stupid reasons, and then we're told that actually, it's not Twilight's fault for catastrophizing so much that she mind rapes an entire town in order to maintain a perfect report card, it's her friends' fault because they didn't dignify her utterly unreasonable fears and couldn't convince her to calm down because she refused to join them. If an episode blames other characters for what the protagonist does, and then rewards the protagonist for screwing up, with the wrong-doing be focused on disappointment in the protagonist and not the harm they caused, what else is that but Protagonist Centered Morality?
CaptainCrawdad
topic
12:19:40 PM Dec 3rd 2013
Removed:

  • Richard Harrow of Boardwalk Empire. Never mind how far this is taken out-of-universe by the fanbase. The show itself never throws an even remotely harsh light on him, despite the fact that he slaughters numerous people even though it would seem to be contrary to his reassimilating into society after the war. Granted most of these individuals are criminals themselves, but he even discusses his willingness to kill young women and civilians if it were to draw out his rivals. Yet he is supposed to be seen as an antihero at worst because he is a veteran, is loyal to his friend and said friend's family, and is a genuine gentleman to the few love interests in his life.

This is a whole show about crooks and murderers that often shows their sympathetic sides, but never tries to excuse their brutality. Harrow's moral position is fleshed out throughout the show, and his final season is definitely aimed at acknowledging his many sins.
CaptainCrawdad
topic
12:06:48 PM Dec 3rd 2013
Removed:

  • Let the Right One In: Eli spends the film murdering a number of innocent - often sympathetic - secondary characters to feed her need for blood; but since she's nice to the main character, we're clearly meant to root for her and be glad that she gets away in the end.

You're not really supposed to think that Eli is a good person or root for her to kill those people. The ending is also intentionally very ambivalent. We already know what's in store for the pair based on the rather life of Eli's last companion. It's a horror story after all, not a standard coming-of-age story.
EMY3K
topic
01:14:39 PM Nov 17th 2013
  • Harry Potter: In the last book, Harry uses one of the Unforgivable Curses and he's called gallant for doing so.

I'm not sure sure this one counts. Mc Gonagall didn't seem to br praising him when Harry explained that he used the curse in order to stop Death Eaters from attacking her.
Mc Gonagall: This is no time to be gallant, Potter.

Or it was something along those lines. It's been a while since I read the book. The point is, she seemed more exasperated than pleased.
azul120
topic
09:43:44 AM Jul 24th 2013
Just wondering, is this YMMV?
MsCC93
04:03:30 PM Jul 24th 2013
No, it's not because it's an In-Universe reaction trope.
MagBas
05:54:57 PM Jul 24th 2013
(Looks to the discussion about Katara) This depends. If this is "the protagonist made something wrong and was portrayed as right", this is so objective when Designated Hero- in many cases, the author portrays the protagonist as being correct not because he is the protagonist but because the author genuinely believes that an action is morally correct- and is near impossible prove that this is not the case in many cases.
MagBas
12:06:13 PM Oct 11th 2013
This is not one because this received a lot of "down" votes in the "Pages that need the YMMV banner" thread in the "Projects: Long Term/Perpetual " page in the forums.
EMY3K
topic
11:10:19 AM Jul 5th 2013
  • Doctor Who: "The Wedding of River Song" gives an excellent example of this. River's attempt to save the Doctor threatens all of existence, and it's implied that even the Doctor and River would eventually suffer the same fate. Despite this, River not only causes deaths, but she flat-out says she thinks she'll suffer more than anyone else. The Doctor isn't too happy with this and calls her out on it, briefly, but the most she gets is (voluntarily) sentenced to a Cardboard Prison and married to the Doctor.

Removed this for a couple of reasons. First of all, she's called out in-universe, which disqualifies her from this trope. Second of all, River repeatedly refers to herself as a psychopath, so I think it's implied that we're not supposed to see her as a role model. I's also a bit of an exaggeration to call this moment her Moral Event Horizon since A) she's being forced into killing the Doctor and B) she eventually does the right thing anyway. It's also an exaggeration to call it Karma Houdini, given that she was stolen from her parents, Mind Raped into becoming the perfect weapon and her die for a Doctor who doesn't even know her yet (that is, canonically, her worst fear, by the way). It just seems like a Karma Houdini since we don't see it in order.
Rebochan
topic
10:32:51 AM Jun 27th 2013
So, NONE of the Valkyria Chronicles examples were examples of this trope without severely twisting the plot of the game to match what the person who wrote the examples thinks it apparently was. I pulled every single one of them. If you've actually played the game, it's clear that the issue is not people agreeing or not agreeing with the protagonists. Even when the plot takes some...questionable...turns.
Knight9910
topic
10:46:48 AM May 13th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.43
Removed:
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara attacking Waterbending master Pakku when he refuses to duel her was portrayed as a You Go Girl moment. While Pakku's reason for refusing to fight is a silly one (she's a girl, and the Northern Watertribe is quite sexist) Katara had no real call to assault him.

In an earlier episode the Gaang visits an air temple which has been taken over by mechanists, Aang at first gets very annoyed about these people daring to live in his peoples' sacred temple.

But eventually Aang decided that he was wrong. The temple was the mechanists' home now and they had just as much of a right to be there as anyone else.

But even in that episode, it was never argued by anyone that the mechanists were wrong simply because "the rules say so." Aang was angry because the temple was sacred and the mechanists were tearing it apart without any respect for what any of it meant. In the end, he accepted that it was okay to let his peoples' traditions get stretched a little, as long as the mechanists agreed to be more respectful of his culture instead of just busting things down left and right.

In the Northern Water Tribe episodes, Pakku's only argument was "this is the law and therefore it's right, period." Even though he was completely in the wrong, even though his decision not to teach Aang could potentially lead to the murder of billions of people and the destruction of every culture besides the Fire Nation, and he absolutely knew this, he still stood by his decision, with his only argument being "the law says I'm right, therefore I am." And when Katara attempted to be the bigger person and apologize, even though she was actually in the right, he proceeded to mock and humiliate her for it. Katara was absolutely justified in refusing to accept that.

No, it's not okay to ignore any law just because you don't like it, but it IS absolutely right to defy a law which is completely and dangerously unethical. To say otherwise is to call Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ghandi all heinous monsters.
Larkmarn
11:00:44 AM May 13th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.44
This one, I'm going to have to disagree with you. Pakku's argument was that Aang disrespected their culture and teachings by teaching Katara waterbending. However, the chief of the tribe said that Pakku would probably accept Aang again if Aang and Katara apologized. She didn't apologize, and instead decided to start a fight instead. She outright refused to apologize.

Nevermind the fact that, in sneaking away to give Katara lessons, Aang was knowingly jeopardizing his training by annoying his best teacher.

Now, it definitely all worked out for the best but Aang did take unnecessary risks, Katara did fail to apologize, and Pakku, dogmatic as he was, was perfectly in the right from his own point of view, just not from ours. And as soon as he agreed with Katara's POV? Suddenly he's all cuddles and sunshine. Which is exactly what this trope is about.
Knight9910
02:02:34 PM May 13th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.45
See, here's the thing. Yes, Aang disrespected Pakku's cultural beliefs by teaching a girl how to fight when girl waterbenders in his tribe are only supposed to be healers. But by that logic you could also say Moses insulted the Egyptians' cultural beliefs by telling them they couldn't keep Hebrews as slaves anymore.

Why does the episode dare to insist that Pakku is wrong? Because he freaking IS wrong. Objectively, and in every way. He's sexist, and uncompromising, and a total jerk about it. He IS the bad guy here, even if he doesn't agree with that.

To put it another way... Fred Phelps also believes that he is a good guy, also has the law on his side, and also embodies many of the same negative traits as Pakku (except with homophobia replacing misogyny). Yet you'll never see anyone claiming that we should "think of things from his point of view" or "respect his opinions."

EDIT: Just so we're absolutely clear, I'm not trying to sound insulting. I do totally understand why someone might consider this moment a case of protagonist-centered morality, I just very strongly disagree with that opinion, for the reasons I've mentioned. I think that at the very most this one is only arguably a case of PCM, and even then only in terms of Katara assaulting Pakku (which, really, is a crime and she probably should have been held accountable for it), not in terms of Pakku being considered wrong.
Larkmarn
05:02:26 PM May 13th 2013
That's exactly what the trope is, though. The character is presented as being completely in the wrong until they agree with the protagonists. See this: the very fabric of the fictional universe seems to be seeing things from the protagonist's point of view. Every single sympathetic character, the symbolism, the narration, judge characters as worthy of praise, condemnation or indifference depending on how much favor they carry with the "good guys". The protagonist themself can seemingly do no wrong, and even if there's anyone at all who would beg to differ, they're obviously a bad guy.

Katara's assault, Aang's breaking of the rules, never get treated as anything bad. It's a case of Values Dissonance, but the fact that Aang and company are shown as being completely in the right makes it PCM. Remember, Tropes Are Not Bad. Just because you agree with the Protagonist doesn't make it not this trope.
Eagal
05:35:35 PM May 13th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.44
Firstly, all of my LOLs at comparing Katara to Rosa Parks, Martin Luthor King Jr and Ghandi.

Pakku was well within his rights to refuse to teach Katara and Aang if they are unwilling to accept his decisions. Decisions they agreed to honor when Aang became his student. Honor they then violated when they went behind his back. Not only that but they are outsiders, who arrived in the North Pole more or less uninvited, and therefore have no right to dictate to Pakku what he can and can't do.

More importantly, PHYSICALLY ASSAULTING SOMEONE BECAUSE YOU DON'T AGREE WITH THEM, regardless of whether or not their position is wrong, is objectively bad.

"Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create."

Katara crossed the line when she attacked Pakku (and to my mind should have been executed for it, but that's neither here nor there) when he refused to duel her. Not even mentioning the fact that, immediately beforehand, she directly admitted that what she was doing had nothing to do with Aang. She did it because he hurt her feelings.

We can argue all day long about whether Pakku's decision not to teach Aang was justified or not. It won't matter one single bit because the problem isn't Pakku not teaching Aang. It's Katara attacking Pakku and being portrayed as being totally in the right for it.

In summary: Katara did something bad and the show said it was good. It had nothing to do with Aang, or the Fire Nation's future genocide attempt. It was 100% all about Katara getting her feelings hurt.
Knight9910
04:39:02 PM May 14th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.45
It seems that there are two major arguments being made here, so I'll give a separate response to each:

  • Katara's use of violence to solve her problems without any negative repercussions, and the audience being expected to side with her for it. The reason we're expected to side with Katara when she was insulted wasn't because "yay, a main character is kicking butt!" it was because a belittled minority stood up against discrimination. Or, on a more personal level, it's because a good person who was being wrongly mistreated stood up for herself against a bully
    • Incidentally, I think it's also worth noting that Katara lost that fight. While we were supposed to cheer for her attacking Pakku, we should remember that in the end it wasn't even violence that let her have her way, and she didn't get away scot free. Pakku completely owned Katara, humiliating her all over again. Only after he beat her did he decide to take her side, and only for his own reasons.
    • Regardless of which of us is right about whether or not violence was justified, the PCM trope is not defined as "a main character did something I disagree with and wasn't punished." At most this is an example of Values Dissonance, and not an example of PCM.

  • The audience's intended feelings toward Pakku. This is pretty much the only area where I could see arguing that it's PCM. Pakku isn't really a better person once he chooses to side with Katara. He's still just as much of a misogynist jerk as he was before, he's simply chosen to make an exception for this one person, and for reasons that were pretty much entirely selfish (because she was the grand-daughter of the woman he wanted to marry). But because he's made this one exception we're supposed to think he's a nice guy now, and later in the series even a heroic figure. I will admit that in that one area I can see making this a PCM moment. At the same time, I could also see the argument that it's the opposite; Pakku was always a heroic figure who just happened to have a flaw, but we (and the main characters) were so busy focusing on the flaw that they didn't see it. Of course, in either case it was still the act of choosing to side with the main characters that opened up that facet of his personality to us, so... yeah, okay.

But as for the argument of "OMG Katara used violence now she's evul!"... no. Just, no.

Also, I'll have you know I am not arguing this solely because I don't want a show I like to be on the PCM page. I couldn't care less about that. I was only ever arguing because I believed that you were wrong, nothing else.

Truth be told, while Avatar is generally pretty good about avoiding this trope, there are times when it falls into it. For example: after Master Yu and Xin Fu trapped Toph inside a metal cage, she used metalbending to escape, then trapped them back in the same cage, and left them there, in the middle of nowhere, where they could potentially die long before they're finally found, even though they're both people who have lives and (presumably) families, and we're supposed to agree with Toph's decision just because they were jerks.
Eagal
05:26:53 PM May 14th 2013
Katara isn't (necessarily) evil for using violence, she's just wrong.

Belittled minority or bullied child, this isn't just "Katara did something I disagree with and wasn't punished" this is "Katara did something that is objectively wrong and was portrayed as being right about it".

By her own admission, she instigated a fight against someone, by assaulting them, because they were mean to her and at no point did the show treat this position as wrong in any way.

The fact that she lost doesn't mean she wasn't still shown to be right. Pakku was stronger and more skilled than her in every way, it's only natural that he would win in a universe that doesn't rely on Right Makes Might.

But despite losing, Katara still got what she wanted and she wasn't portrayed as wrong for attacking him, despite plainly being so.

The Morality, in this case, was Centered on the intended Protagonist in this encounter.
Knight9910
06:23:59 PM May 14th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.43
That's the thing, though. I don't say that she was wrong. As someone who was bullied as a child, and who was only able to finally put a stop to it by kicking a few butts, I don't see anything wrong with standing up for yourself against a bully, or with using violence as long as you don't take it too far. (For example, I would agree that school shootings are absolutely wrong. Giving a bully a bloody nose, however, is something I would agree with.) Violence is not automatically bad. Violence is a tool, it's all in how you use it, and it's not like Katara was trying to actually kill or even seriously injure Pakku.

That's the big issue. I don't believe Katara was portrayed as right because she's a main character. I believe she was portrayed as right because a lot of people, including myself and apparently including the writers for the show as well, believe that bullies need to be stopped, even if that means punching them a few times. In other words, the "objective" morals that you claim the show violated for the benefit of a main character are not quite so objective or widely held as you think.

Because of that, I think the example works much better as Values Dissonance, rather than as Protagonist-Centered Morality.
Knight9910
06:39:57 PM May 14th 2013
To put it simply:

Was Katara portrayed as right, solely because she's a main character and the main character has to be right?

Or was Katara portrayed as right because the writers believed that she was right, with her main character status being a mere coincidence?

In other words, would a secondary character in the same situation, who made the same choice as Katara have also been shown to be right? I believe that the answer to that question is yes.
MrDeath
07:05:56 AM May 15th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.45
Consider the morality of the show. Duels are commonplace, and accepted forms of resolving disputes. Martial arts are ingrained into every culture. It's a world where, if you have a problem with someone, challenging them to a fight is the acceptable and common way to work things out with people. It's also a world where, if you're challenged to a duel, the typical response is to either accept, or decline the challenge with some kind of grace and concession.

Pakku doesn't just decline the duel. He declines the duel and insults Katara's ability and character. He tries to decline the duel without any grace or concession—in effect, declaring he's right in the matter and Katara has no right whatsoever to question him, because she "doesn't count."

That, according to the culture of the world the show takes place in, is wrong. So Katara has been wronged repeatedly by Pakku, who is refusing to even acknowledge her as a person. Remember this is the same culture where Katara saying that Yon Rha isn't worth killing is an insult toward him, crueler than if she'd just killed him. By saying that he doesn't have to even acknowledge Katara's challenge, Pakku's delivering the same insult.

I think that gives Katara plenty of right to whack him upside the head.
Knight9910
09:30:49 AM May 15th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.44
Exactly, yes. Couldn't have said it better myself. The Water Tribe may not be quite as into dueling as the Fire Nation with their agni ki duels, but they still do have them. At the very least you notice that no one in the room batted an eye when Katara challenged Pakku. The only nation in the world that seems to actually be against dueling is the Earth Kingdom, and even then only in Ba-Sing-Se.

Point is, in their world using violence to solve problems IS acceptable. Therefore letting Katara assault Pakku isn't a case of PCM, because it's not violating the show's own morals. So, again, that's Values Dissonance, because the show holds a moral stance that a large segment of our own society does not.

As I said, though, I will concede that Pakku himself may be a case of PCM. So how about something more like this for the example:

  • Pakku from Avatar: The Last Airbender. In his first appearance he's antagonistic, misogynist, and condescending, culminating in him insulting Katara and then refusing to duel her, a serious insult in the Avatar world, where dueling is still considered the most appropriate way to settle disputes. After Pakku changes his mind and chooses to teach Katara waterbending, however, our view of the character completely changes. All of a sudden he's a nice, heroic figure who acts lovingly and respectfully, and all of his failings are completely swept under the rug.
Knight9910
12:01:03 PM May 18th 2013
Well, it's been 72 hours and there's no further discussion here, so I'm going to go ahead and put up the new example.
Rebochan
10:26:09 AM Jun 27th 2013
edited by 69.172.221.2
Wow, sorry I missed this discussion, but what a laughable bending of this trope. Oh hey, TROPE BENDING.

Seriously.

Katara was 100% in the right, not because she is the protagonist, but because sexism isn't right. Hitting the guy in the head and forcing him to fight her was the only way to even make him acknowledge her. This was the only way. That should be painfully obvious. Why is this even in debate unless we're simply going to declare that any time someone does something that agrees with the protagonist, the morality is Protagonist Centered?

Also, he changed his mind because he wasn't 100% an ass - he got owned and owned literally by the granddaughter of a woman he legitimately loved who left him because of the sexism he supported within his own society. It's called "Character Development." Holy crap, Zuko is an example by this standard.
Eagal
09:36:50 AM Jun 28th 2013
Sexism being right or wrong is meaningless. Katara attacked Pakku because he was mean to her. Not for any other reason. She's 100% wrong, and the only reason it's not Protagonist-Centered Morality is because the setting inherently encourages violence as a means of conflict resolution.

And he didn't get owned. He casually defeated her without trying. Unless seeing the necklace and being inspired to nepotism counts as being owned.

MrDeath
12:24:52 PM Jun 28th 2013
Katara attacked Pakku because he was mean to her. Not for any other reason.

Did you watch the same show as the rest of us?

Nor did he casually defeat her without trying. He beat her handily, but it was made clear that he did have to actually put some effort into it.
Larkmarn
01:39:04 PM Jun 28th 2013
Well, that's still more right than claiming he got "owned and owned literally."
Hodor
01:41:41 PM Jun 28th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.45
My recollection (been a while since I saw the episode) is to the effect that the show took some effort to avert the Straw Misogynist that would be expected- he's a complex character; also, it would be easy (and most works would do this) to have Katara win, but she doesn't (she's morally right but he has the advantage of being a warrior with years of experience). There's also the aspect that he doesn't change his mind because he's convinced by Katara's argument (nor as mentioned because she beats him (which would disprove his "women are weaker" argument), since she doesn't win the fight)- it is because of an independent personal connection.

But yeah, he was wrong because he's a sexist jerkass, not because of Protagonist-Centered Morality.
Eagal
02:11:26 AM Sep 10th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.43
Did you watch the same show as the rest of us?

I must not have. I watched Avatar: The Last Airbender. What did you watch?
MrDeath
08:05:05 AM Sep 10th 2013
Odd, because in the show I watched, Katara had several reasons, valid ones at that and clearly explained both in the show and in this discussion, to attack and challenge Pakku.

I guess you just weren't paying very much attention to it.
Knight9910
07:00:40 PM Sep 22nd 2013
As I said before, speaking as a person who was bullied in school and who only was able to put a stop to it by fighting, I can say that I don't see anything wrong with giving a bully a bloody nose.

Buuut, that's a debate that could go on forever. Heck, the question of whether or not violence is acceptable has been being argued for thousands of years, pretty much for as long as humanity has existed.
Knight9910
topic
10:12:41 AM May 13th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.44
Removed Example from Avatar: The Last Airbender:
  • A better example would be in the episode when Katara offered to heal Zuko. Zuko showed human emotions, but did not side with her. But the moment he joined with Azula, his family he became extra evil, denounced as a liar and a traitor, despite never being on their side in the first place.

It doesn't count as protagonist-centered morality for two reasons.

1. Zuko knew 100% that Azula was in the wrong and only sided with her for selfish reasons (he would get to return home with his honor intact) and he himself admitted this. That is why siding with her was wrong, not simply because she was an antagonist. Also, if you're going to make the "blood is thicker than water" argument, then it should be noted that he also betrayed his uncle Iroh, who was more of a familial figure to him than Azula had ever been.

2. At no point did the show ever try to claim that Zuko was a complete monster for this choice. Katara believed that, but she's always been a very vindictive person. (See also: her treatment of Jet after his Heel-Face Turn.) We are expected to believe that Zuko made the wrong decision (because he did, objectively, and even he admitted that) but at no point are we told that he's pure evil now.

To put it simply, he led Katara to believe that he had changed, that he didn't want to hurt her or her friends anymore, but then the first chance he got he changed his mind and helped Azula murder Aang. I'd say that Katara and the audience are both well within their rights to think Zuko is a dick for that.
Larkmarn
10:31:49 AM May 13th 2013
This was a good cut.
Eagal
topic
11:39:53 AM May 11th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.43
Removed this:

  • To be fair to Katara, Pakku was being completely unreasonable in refusing to teach Aang until Katara apologized. Yes, she offended his culture and openly defied their traditions but refusing to teach the world's only savior and hope because he went behind your back is a very bad move. Not only that, but Pakku needlessly mocking Katara is what spoiled her initial attempt to apologize in the first place.

'Twas a Justifying Edit, but I imagine it'll still be a matter for discussion so I've made this post.

The challenge wasn't about Aang, it was about Katara getting her feelings hurt. She was going to apologize to get him to teach Aang, but when Pakku called her a little girl she went off the deep end and challenged him to a fight. It stopped being about Aang and became all about Katara. She directly admitted as much.

While Pakku was a jerk, Katara was in no way justified in her decision to challenge Pakku to a fight and so far from justified in assaulting him that one could see the curvature of the Earth.
RK_Striker_JK_5
topic
07:34:02 PM May 4th 2013
I put the Boast Busters example back up in My Little Pony. It is a prime example of this trope.
MsCC93
08:17:07 AM May 5th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.43
Thanks..I was just about to do that...I wish people would stop deleting valid examples because they disagree.
RK_Striker_JK_5
08:20:11 AM May 5th 2013
You're welcome.
MagicallyMe
05:30:04 AM May 11th 2013
There is valid example and there is up for debate. Put the Boast Busters example back down.
DracMonster
11:45:14 AM May 11th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.45
Um.. can you provide reasons why? The example contains some logic for why it belongs but you're not really providing a reasoned argument against it. (I've never seen this, so I have no actual stake either way.)
RK_Striker_JK_5
04:16:27 PM May 11th 2013
This example really isn't up for debate, Magically Me. It is protagonist-centered morality. There was no reason for Applejack, Rarity or Rainbow Dash to interrupt Trixie's show, and all three are massive hypocrites about it. And in the end, they mock the destruction of her cart and her honest efforts against it despite not even trying against the Ursa Minor.
MagicallyMe
01:43:46 AM May 12th 2013
Thanks for the correction. Maybe you can put it back up if you want to. I don't truly disagree i do think it's pretty rude to interrupt a show cause you don't like it. sorry didn't meant to begin an argument. You can put it back up. Bye:)
DracMonster
08:51:25 AM May 12th 2013
For future reference, when you delete something, it's a good idea to include an edit reason. Deletions are more heavily scrutinized for potential vandalism.
RK_Striker_JK_5
11:23:41 AM May 12th 2013
It's all right, Magically Me. I'm just a little... testy about this particular entry, and this episode. ;)
reillymouse
topic
01:10:44 PM Apr 11th 2013
  • “The treatment of Canterlot upper crust ponies is pretty bad. While they are snobby jerks, that doesn't really justify the Mane Cast causing property damage, assaulting the attendees who didn't do anything to them, causing massive disruptions, and in the case of the Canterlot Garden Party, in addition to the above, they invade the party uninvited, eat the food, forcibly redecorate, and try to play over the music, even though the snobs hadn't done anything to them personally.”

Is this really a fair assessment? In neither case did the mane six set out to intentionally ruin the party, or take any pleasure in doing so. The Grand Galloping Gala was mostly trashed by accident, and the audience are supposed to find their behaviour at the Canterlot Garden Party obnoxious and embarrassing, just like Rarity.
Peteman
01:27:39 PM Apr 11th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.45
The problem is that the behavior is treated more as wacky hijinks instead of supremely, call-the-police-levels of obnoxious. There's only so much one can claim they weren't trying to ruin everything, before one has to point out that with the way they were acting, what the hell were they expecting?

Their actions are treated as bad in the "I stole a cookie from the cookie jar" level of badness, instead of "I could have accidentally crushed someone's skull in with a croquet mallet" level of badness.
MsCC93
08:44:48 AM May 5th 2013
I agree with that entry. It's a valid example of the trope. I do believe that the cast was wrong to invade a party that they were not invited to and not get called out on it. Sure the Upper Crust ponies were assholes, but there is no excuse for the mane cast's actions. Examples shouldn't be deleted just because you disagree.
Peteman
08:52:41 AM May 5th 2013
No, no, I put the entry in, and am willing to entertain the argument. He's right in that what they did wasn't depicted as intentional in the former, and it was depicted as bad in the latter. Besides, the OP didn't remove it, merely asked about it.

But I argue you can only claim "it was unintentional" only so much, after which the argument sounds more like they are dodging responsibility. As for the second one, it's not that it wasn't treated as bad, it's that it wasn't treated as bad as it should have been. There's a difference between Wacky Hijinks and Making A Complete Ass Of Oneself. The show treats the Mane Cast's actions like the former, when it was solidly in the latter.
MagBas
topic
03:57:55 PM Oct 2nd 2012
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Katara and to a lesser extent Aang break the laws of the Northern Water Tribe in teaching Katara combat waterbending and are portrayed as largely, if not entirely right to do so, with the objectors (mainly Pakku) being portrayed as backwards assholes who needed to be taught a lesson. While it is true that the laws in question were unreasonable, that really shouldn't give them carte blanche to ignore them. Laws aren't something you can cherrypick to suit your needs (I'll have the waterbending with a side order of magic fish god. Hold the Straw Misogyny.) Similarly, Katara attacking Pakku when he refused to duel her was portrayed as a You Go Girl moment. Again, while Pakku was being a huge jerk about it, Katara had no real call to assault him.

...in an earlier episode, Aang was portrayed as wrong when he tried be ultra-conservative about the rules of his civilization- and when the show portrayed break a specific rule as wrong, all the times it used the moral that caused the creation of the rule as argument, not their status as rule.
Eagal
05:00:02 PM Oct 21st 2012
edited by Eagal
...Say what now?

What you've written is very hard to understand. Something about Aang being ultra-conservative about Airbender society, which I don't remember... Something about morals behind the rules being broken...

At a guess, you're saying that the rule was wrong so it's okay for them to have broken it.

Bologna. Not liking a law doesn't give you the authority to ignore it. Aang and Katara are visitors. Regardless of whether the laws not to teach advanced waterbending to women were in some way wrong, they're still laws and they still need to be followed, especially by outsiders who have no say in the matter whatsoever.

What further enforces it is that they broke these laws and the most they suffered for it was a stern talking-to, and they were portrayed as totally in the right, even after Katara assaulted Pakku.

There's nothing to discuss here.
lu127
moderator
topic
06:36:26 AM Aug 20th 2012
Pulled this:

  • This site has a total deconstruction in a short story called "The Sword of Good".
    • Summary: Hero is sucked into a fantasy world, where he's given the Sword of Good, which will smite the unworthy. On the way to defeat evil forever, he sees some minor injustice and Moral Dissonance, but ignores them because they further the cause of Good. We then reach the climax, the last battle between Good and Evil, and the protagonist stops long enough to think about it. He notices that the wizard with the group refuses to help the people he doesn't know, and refuses to take any risk despite having the best chance of surviving them; he's a cold bastard and no hero. The pirate queen who's been setup as his love interest is a pirate queen, who's probably killed lotsa people and done lotsa bad things, which are forgiven because she's a Karma Houdini. The villain, meanwhile, has been trying to uplift his people from slavery, oppression, and hatred, simply because they're different. The protagonist then decides to help the "villain" on his campaign to freedom and equality for all.
    • Hilariously, this becomes a meta example when the very first step the hero must take towards "true" Good is... murdering one of his allies in cold blood. Sure, the wizard was arrogant and didn't take personal risks, but he was still at the hero's side, giving him the best help and advice he could. He never did anything actively wrong, and was really just the victim of his culture's questionable morality (indeed, the hero even mentions how amazing it is for anyone at all raised in this world to realize that everyone deserves rights). Yet the Sword of Good is totally fine with cutting this man down for no reason other than needing his soul as fuel for the ritual to bring fairness to everyone.
      • Not quite. The "villain" calls him out on several sins, including causing and necessitating many pointless and avoidable deaths. He lists five people by name to have been killed due to the wizard's actions, the same five mook baddies the protagonists kill at the start of the story, and whom they could just as easily have avoided.
      • Right. Because he thought the orcs were just animals, since he was raised in a society which taught that. But he gets no explanation and no chance for redemption, he's just brutally killed by someone he swore to protect. Whee.
      • The way it's put makes it fairly clear that the wizard who gets killed WAS evil, as in evil intentioned. The sword can kill anyone, but it instantly kills the evil intentioned - compare the writing. When the first mage to be killed by the sword (the "dark" adept) dies, the sword first scores a line on his cheek which hurts before the fatal blow. By comparison, when Dolf is killed, it explicitly states that the instant the sword touched him he stops completely (i.e. dies) and the physical decapitation doesn't do anything because he's already dead.

This one doesn't know where it's going, what with the back-and-forth natter. Needs rewriting.
swallowfeather
topic
11:55:32 AM Jul 1st 2012
Is there a reason there's a "comics" section *and* a "visual novel" section on this page? Is that an important enough distinction? Other pages don't seem to include it.

I'm not an old hand and wouldn't presume to make a decision but wanted to raise the question.
QueenofSwords
11:00:51 AM Jul 3rd 2012
Visual novels and comics are two entirely different things. And I have seen other VN sections on the site, just none that I can remember off the top of my head. Sorry!
EMY3K
topic
07:01:55 PM Jun 4th 2012
I'm a little confused about the River Song example. I agree that she's an example; I just want clarification on the part where she knowlingly causes deaths. Everything reverts back to normal in the end. The only people who remember are River, The Doctor, Amy and possibly Rory. All those deaths she caused technically never happened. River went to prison because it was assumed she killed the Doctor. The rest is accurate, but not the part about the deaths.
QueenofSwords
07:11:21 AM Jun 10th 2012
edited by QueenofSwords
The Doctor points out "People are dying for me. I won't thank you for that." Despite this, she continues what she's doing. Furthermore, Amy points out later that despite Madame Kovarian's death being retconned, she still did it - so yes, despite the universal retcon, it still counts according to the narrative.
punksweets
topic
10:18:25 PM Feb 6th 2012
I Think River Song from Doctor Who should be added for the events of The Wedding of River Song compare to the events of The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood. In The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood two parter a terrified wife and mother accidentally kills Silurian when trying to find out where her loved ones are after the Doctor find out he spend the rest of the episode telling her what a terrible human being she is for doing so. In The Wedding of River Song River threatens to destroy all of existence to save the Doctor and even knowingly causing deaths she straight out says she doesn't care about any else's life and never once gets call as much as selfish, said wife and mother did show regret for her action but is still said not to be the best of humanity River shows none and Amy even calls her a good girl.
EMY3K
07:37:38 AM May 2nd 2012
edited by EMY3K
They're both separate examples, though. There's more to contrast than to compare. The River Song example was a fixed point in time, while the Hungry Earth/Cold Blood was a malleable point. However well intentioned, the mother doomed the peace talks when she killed the prisoner. River's story is going backwards. We're seeing her character development devolve. River's in a Stable Time Loop with The Doctor. When Amy met her in the Angel two-parter, she was working for a pardon. We didn't know why. She had to be sent to prison to complete her part of the time loop and warn the Doctor about the Pandorica Box and make sure the Doctor learns what he's supposed to do.
QueenofSwords
09:05:50 PM May 3rd 2012
edited by QueenofSwords
I agree that River should be up there, definitely. Regardless of character development/devolvement (which count as justifying edits, by the way), she still committed horrific actions in-story that were barely even glanced at overall. Even in River's personal future, only her actions of "killing a good man" are looked at askance. However, it shouldn't be used in comparison or in contrast to Ambrose's actions in "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood", as they're entirely different instances, and they're not compared in-story.

ETA: I went ahead and cleaned up the example, deleting questionable edits ("devolving" or not, she's still yet to be called out on it in-story) and getting rid of the comparison. If the Hungry Earth is still counted as an example, it can be added back.
EMY3K
08:18:52 AM May 5th 2012
The comments about devolving are not a justifying edits. It's not about calling her out. River isn't as clear since her timeline is going backwards from the Doctor's . It doesn't make her any more right about nearly destroying time. However, the comments fit with the trope since her morality is a little different than everyone else's. And she does still qualify as a protagonist. This isn't Karma Houdini.
QueenofSwords
01:09:08 PM May 5th 2012
edited by QueenofSwords
I'm sorry, but for some reason, what you're saying isn't quite clicking with me (lack of sleep, I'm sure). People are aware that we ran into River backwards for most, if not all, of her appearances, so difficulties in following aren't an issue. Furthermore, regardless of her "devolution", her actions still fit with the trope. Morality being different belongs in either Values Dissonance or Moral Dissonance, however; it's better taken over there. This trope is about a character's actions being treated as fine in-story when they're not. It's not about bashing characters you don't like, it's not about defending characters you do like. It's about pointing out examples in-story. Furthermore, her actions in the library aren't, as yet, treated as a punishment/reward for her actions; it's better taken to either Driven to Suicide, Redemption Equals Death, or Stable Time Loop.
EMY3K
04:35:31 PM May 5th 2012
Exactly. Her actions till fit. According to the tropes, characters who fall under this trope do qualify for Redemption Equals Death. I'm not trying to be defensive ans I apologize if I am. However, pointing out that what happens in the library still fits in the trope. She either is an example or she isn't.
QueenofSwords
08:36:51 PM May 5th 2012
edited by QueenofSwords
I'm sorry, but each time I've spoken to you about your habit of defending characters you like on this wiki (we've done so a few times), yes, you have gotten defensive. Anyway, as it's not made clear what, exactly, her actions in the library are, actually troping them might be better left to YMMV/WMG/Discussion pages of the respective tropes. Furthermore, as her actions weren't treated as anywhere near crossing the Moral Event Horizon in-universe (for all that out of universe, it's often viewed as such) and her actions were all but forgotten (going by Amy's description of her as a "good girl" in the most recent Christmas special), it's uncertain where it goes, or whether it qualifies for Heroic Sacrifice, Driven to Suicide, or Redemption Equals Death. As such, it's probably best to just leave that sort of thing out for now until we see how her actions are treated later on in the show.
EMY3K
12:51:36 PM May 6th 2012
edited by EMY3K
Most times, it's been in defense in a character you don't like and you never seem to listen to my point of view. I feel like you always seem adamant that my opinion is wrong. It's hard for me to think logically when I feel like rebuked when I give an opinion someone doesn't like. It is a big flaw of mine and I'm sorry that I'm not always successful for reigning it in. I'll try harder, but I would appreciate it if you weren't so quick to declare me at fault.

Agreed about leaving the library out of the the trope. At this rate, who the hell knows where Moffat is going?
QueenofSwords
12:58:39 PM May 6th 2012
edited by QueenofSwords
I don't dislike River. I'm merely adding tropes that fit. I'd rather not shove my own opinions all over a wiki when they're supposed to be neutral, and I dislike other people doing it, as well; I just prefer to stick tropes, "good" and "bad", where they belong. And you're hardly being rebuked for having an opinion, just the fact that you tend to shoehorn in Justifying Edits and delete things you don't like. Furthermore, your constant edit warring has been brought to the attention to the mods in the past (by someone else, no less).

If you have a problem with me, please feel free to PM me.
Allan53
topic
07:06:24 AM Dec 27th 2011
"Another Buffy example in "Gone", where a social worker sent to look after Dawn sees legitimately suspicious activity. Buffy, who has turned invisible, sets things up to make it look like the social worker is insane in a way which could easily get her fired or sent to a mental institution. This is portrayed as a comedy routine and we are apparently supposed to feel sympathy with Buffy harassing an innocent person merely because she's frustrating a main character."

I'm not sure this is an example of Protagonist Centered Morality. I think this was more to show her rapid unwinding and the effects of her suddenly being relieved of the duties that were causing her all that stress after being resurrected. Not good, of course, but not something that's really meant to be perceived as good.
JosephLeito
topic
09:41:46 PM May 7th 2011
The Oot S quote isn't this trope at all. It's Nominal Importance maybe, but there's nothing that could be considered this trope in it. So if someone finds a better quote soon...
Zeke
topic
09:20:38 PM Jul 14th 2010
edited by Zeke
Zeke: Cut this too...
  • There's a popular meme in American thought; historians call it American exceptionalism. For instance, during the Cold War, vicious gangs of bandits that the Soviets supported were "terrorists", while vicious gangs of bandits that the Americans supported were "freedom fighters". When Pakistan creates a parallel system of secret military courts for terrorism suspects, it's an affront to freedom and democracy. When the United States does it, it's just being pragmatic.

First, RL sections on negative tropes are, as always, a real bad idea. Second and more important, that's not what American exceptionalism is. American exceptionalism is the belief that America is unique in history — not perfect, just unique. Yes, there are some American exceptionalists who stop just short of saying everything the US does is okay, but the one doesn't imply the other.
Zeke
topic
07:55:33 PM Jul 14th 2010
edited by Zeke
Zeke:
  • Twilight: You're a vampire who eats defenseless humans? Yeah, that's cool. You're a vampire who dares to threaten the wonderful Bella Swan? Prepare to die messily.
    • The Cullens lend their cars to the vampires who come to aid them when Nessie's life is on the line. These vampires are still eating humans left and right, but because they're there to help the Cullens, they're A-OK.
    • Midnight Sun tells that the Cullens have no problem having people-eating vampires as guests. Edward even uses their presence as an excuse to follow Bella around in secret to make sure she isn't eaten, yet doesn't care at all about anyone else they might go after.

This strikes me more as in-story Values Dissonance. The Cullens, except for Carlisle, really don't see humans as their moral equals. They're pretty contemptuous of us; eating humans is a bad thing, to be avoided, but it's not unthinkable. If Jasper went on a bender and ate somebody, do you think the others would kill him or even kick him out? They'd cover it up and help him get back on the wagon.

The Cullens are like vegetarians: they object to meat-eating and would end it if they could, but they don't go around killing carnivores. And really, they don't have much choice. If they considered human life sacred enough to trump all else, it would be their moral duty to kill or convert every vampire in the world. Net effect: they die, leaving a world still full of vampires, but with no benevolent ones instead of a handful. No, they'll take the occasional human under their protection, but they're not about to side with us over their own race in general. They can't afford to, and most of them wouldn't want to.

In a way, this is more disturbing than mere protagonist-centred morality. After all, where does the vegetarian metaphor leave Bella? She's a specific animal that a vegetarian would stop a carnivore from eating. Killing other members of the species isn't worth a fight, but this one has emotional value, so they'll protect it. That's right — Bella is the Cullens' pet.
Jordan
08:01:00 PM Jul 14th 2010
I haven't read Twilight (and don't plan to), but this really reminds me of how a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, Kostya, acts in the Night Watch. He tries to be a Vegetarian Vampire, as do his parents, but he's furious when the human protagonist kills a vampire, who was one of his friends, even though that vampire was going to eat a human.

This might fall under the Sliding Scale Of Vampire Morality- even vampires who have all the perks and few of the disadvantages just aren't going to be that concerned with human life.
Earnest
08:26:04 PM Jul 14th 2010
swallowfeather
11:57:52 AM Jul 1st 2012
edited by swallowfeather
"That's right—Bella is the Cullens' pet."

That is made of awesome.
118.208.229.31
topic
06:27:58 AM Jun 20th 2010
edited by 118.208.223.67
Cut this Justifying Edit from the comic book section:

  • But also because Maxwell was pretty much helpless an at her mercy. It wasn't an impulsive decision or necessary for her immediate survivial, it was calculated murder. She could have knocked him unconscious and kept him drugged while they at least tried to find better solution. They've imprisoned any number of "unstoppable" villains in the past and they stand ready to fight if these villains get free.

Due to inaccuracy - in the comic, there wasn't any other viable solution. She had mystical confirmation that the only way to break Lord's brainwashing of Superman (who was about to murder batman) was to kill Lord. She could let batman die, or she could kill Lord. If it's "calculated murder", then so is shooting someone who's about to shoot someone else.
gibberingtroper
07:37:29 PM Jun 20th 2010
edited by gibberingtroper
She had mystical confirmation that Lord BELIEVED the only way to break his brainwashing of Superman was to kill him. And she'd just cut Superman's neck with her tiara. She had the situation under control for the moment. She could have cold cocked Maxwell to stop him from taking control.

And while normal people may be justified in shooting someone to stop them from shooting someone else, these three have always held themselves to a higher standard (in the then current continuity. Golden Age does not count for this discussion.)
gibberingtroper
07:41:05 PM Jun 20th 2010
edited by gibberingtroper
ttp://www.comictreadmill.com/images/2005twelvedays/maxlord-thumb.jpg

I refer you to here. In the background, as Wonder Woman is asking the question, Superman is standing clutching his bleeding neck, not strangling Batman. She already had this under control.
gibberingtroper
topic
12:39:05 AM Jun 13th 2010
Okay. I know there's some contention about my post on Back to the Future. The point I'm trying to make is that 1985 is supposed to be okay when Marty gets back because all the changes worked out in his favor. The only person we're shown getting the raw end of the deal is Biff but surely others would be worse off to (like Biff's kids and grandkids just for example). Maybe he deserved it for being a jerk but the point is, Marty tampered with things to get what he wanted. It was mostly good stuff but its what he wanted. It completely undermine's Doc's philosophy about not mucking with time. Of course he undermines it himself in the third movie when he saves Clara's life but at least he takes her away from 1885 which would minimize the impact of her living.
99.21.80.215
12:32:57 PM Nov 7th 2010
Marty wasn't trying to change anything in the first movie, though. He also didn't turn his hometown into a shithole.
magic9mushroom
topic
06:59:08 AM Jun 6th 2010
edited by magic9mushroom
I'm really not seeing Eddings' works being stuffed full of this, if only because the bad guys are usually so incredibly bad that any perspective would put them in the evil camp. There are a couple of examples (Zedar on the "villains'" side being the most obvious), but not "chock-full".
118.208.223.67
06:39:42 AM Jun 20th 2010
The good guys do occasionally murder (possibly innocent) people who get in their way, particularly in the Tamuli. Considering what they're fighting, they're still the good guys though.
swallowfeather
11:56:02 AM Jul 1st 2012
Seems like that would make it Black and Grey Morality.
Knight9910
10:46:26 AM May 13th 2013
edited by 216.99.32.43
Oops, wrong spot.
ykttw archive back to Main/ProtagonistCenteredMorality

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