Main Suetiful All Along Discussion

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11:31:05 PM Feb 22nd 2015
Would the 1843 fairy tale qualify?
11:56:48 PM Feb 22nd 2015
Not sure how that fits the Mary Sue qualifier.
09:40:37 AM Feb 1st 2014
edited by
When you read this page, it will soon seem like it's possible to call any character "suetiful all along", no matter how many flaws they have, as long as people either like him/her OR dislike him/her. So what gives? How can you avoid writing your protagonist as a Mary Sue? I know that there's a page about it here at TV tropes, but still, I don't have a clue...
05:30:46 PM Oct 25th 2013
Can we allow for some slack if, say, at least one description of a character is told from someone else's POV, who would naturally have a bit of a biased opinion (ie: Love Interest...or wants to be). For instance, maybe the character would see themselves as being a "frizzy-haired dork/nerd/dweeb with no curves whatsoever", while someone who really likes them would see them as being an adorkable moeblob. Obviously, you shouldn't try to pass off "eyes that are too big for my face" as a "flaw"...because really, forever-Puppy-Dog Eyes are so hideous!
07:03:21 AM Jun 19th 2013
"Ayla of the Earth's Children series is the epitome of this trope. Ayla believes she is ugly because she grew up among Neanderthals, whose beauty standards are different. However, she's described in ways that would look pretty to a modern reader, and once she meets other modern humans they find her not just normal-looking but a stunning beauty. Beside looks, most of her other "flaws" are things only the Neanderthals disapprove of."

But she can't sing! She can imitate a simply amazing range of bird songs, horse sounds, and several other animals sounds -but she can't sing. (Isn't being unable to sing a usual 'flaw' given to Mary Sues?)

Ayla being too darn perfect, being admired for it, and the Poor Communication crap is part of the reason I stopped liking the books. Especially as Jondalar hit Gary Stu status.
12:37:58 PM Jun 20th 2012
Why is it that examples are allowed to be posted on this page, but not any of the other Sue pages?
09:11:10 AM Jul 1st 2012
^ Is a good point. This page frequently ends up with examples of complaining about characters
07:04:35 AM Jun 19th 2013
I would say it hasn't hit an edit war or other issue that caused it to be locked yet. Unless it's a P5-related page, it looks to me that pages only get locked when there's too much of a fight going on over the contents.
07:22:39 AM Apr 6th 2012
Took this out of the Harry Potter entry cuz all it is is vehemently denying he's a Sue. I really don't believe he is either but come on guys. Don't hafta pick through the books. I kept the 3rd book's explanation to show the subversion of the trope but someone can take that out if they want. Not entirely sure Harry should even be here?
  • The fourth book, things go much deeper. Harry never questions why he's in the Triwizard Tournament, everyone in the school thinks he's a cheat, and Ron starts really hating Harry for all the special treatment he's getting, even though he's still the good guy. While things are looking good for Harry, when he and Cedric Diggory grab the Triwizard cup, they're transported straight to Voldemort, Diggory is killed by Wormtail, and Harry's blood is used to give Voldemort a new body. If he hadn't been so brash, and actually questioned his new position, that could have been avoided.
    • Harry did question why he was in the tournament. He had to go through with it, however, regardless of his feelings because it was part of the rules. Which is why the big bad set everything up in that set things up this way. They wouldn't had done it if Harry could had simply said no or the teachers could stop him.
      • The rules said he had to enter the tournament. However, nothing was preventing him from simply not coming in first. Especially not every single time.
        • Harry only won because Barty Crouch Jr. made sure he did, as it was instrumental to his plan. That way he had the most points and entered the maze first in the last task, thus giving him even more of a chance of winning and getting to the cup.
  • In the fifth book these supposedly inconsequential flaws have very real, very fatal consequences and the ugly truth behind the hero worship shows up. Harry has to study the powers of Occlumency in order to prevent from being tricked by Voldemort, however, he carries his emotions too close to the surface, and completely fails the study. Voldemort then tricks him in the exact way that Harry was most vulnerable, and his godfather Sirius is killed by Bellatrix Lestrange. The real kicker is that, in the sixth book, Draco Malfoy, one of Harry's longtime enemies, shows incredible aptitude at Occlumency, and is able to use it to great effect. This both completely subverted the trope, and helped Grow the Beard further.
09:25:51 AM Aug 25th 2011
The laconic version doesn't explain that they must be presented as not being the 'Mary Sue'.
06:43:28 AM Mar 9th 2011
What about the Doctor from Doctor Who?
01:35:23 PM Aug 20th 2011
Since he doesn't match the criteria (Kinda hard for a character from a visual medium), he doesn't fit.

Actually, most of the live action examples don't fit.

It seems people are just listing Mary Sues here instead of Mary Sues that are presented in a negative light at first but are gradually revealed as beautiful/awesome/whatever.
03:41:32 PM Aug 20th 2010
edited by Shoebox
Deleted the below example (and accompanying natter) because:

a)Anne's appearance is explicitly based on this photo of contemporary model Evelyn Nesbit. Anne is not supposed to be plain, just not conventionally pretty for her time (in which, yes, carroty-red hair was considered a huge flaw. Throughout recorded Western history until the very, very recent advent of socially-acceptable dye jobs, golden blonde locks have been a perquisite for beauty). Introducing Anne for the first time, Montgomery makes the point both that Anne is attractive and that this is only visible to the truly discerning — and this does not change as Anne grows older.

b)Anne's temperament changes as she grows older simply because she matures — going from a talkative, accident-prone kid who has trouble controlling herself to a more thoughtful, sensitive woman. This is normal character progression, and at no point does it become Suetiful. That she becomes less interesting as the stories go on has much more to do with the fact that Montgomery shoehorns her into more traditional modes of behaviour at the same time (giving up her writing dreams for marriage/children, for example.) __________________

  • The titular character of Anne of Green Gables is also accused of this. She is introduced as plain, skinny, and red-headed, but is described in such a way that it's hard not to picture an ethereal, soulful-eyed waif. And her initial flaws of a fiery temper, tendency to nurse a grudge and sheer klutziness fade or become irrelevant to the extent that by the end of the first book she's acknowledged as beautiful, and selfless, brilliant, is right about everything that matters and can fix almost anything with The Power of Love.
    • L.M. Montgomery appears to have recognized this, as books like Anne's House of Dreams and Rainbow Valley put more focus on the interesting side characters around Anne. Rilla of Ingleside completely shifts the focus from Anne to her flawed and compelling youngest daughter, Rilla. However, the two books written after Rilla - Anne of Ingleside and Anne of Windy Poplars - feature a heavily watered down Anne from the one most commonly known. Basically, if you just read Windy Poplars as a portrait of a quirky town with Anne as the Fixer Sue running around, you'll enjoy it much more.
    • And since when is red hair an unattractive trait?

06:42:41 AM Mar 9th 2011
edited by luff
10:01:50 PM May 3rd 2010
So, what do you do if you're writing about a different time period? If a character is supposed to be unfortunate or average looking, do you describe them as today's version of unattractive, even if this would have been considered gorgeous back in the day? Or do you try to make it historically accurate, even if it makes the character sound drop-dead gorgeous by today's standards?
01:55:23 PM May 4th 2010
A lot of this trope is in the tone. For something like historical fiction, even assuming a third person narrator, we would expect that the story is related by someone familiar with cultural mores of the time. So, let's say we're in a time period where fat people are considered the hawtness, and our lead is a thin person who is attractive by modern standards. Averting this trope would mean defining our lead, not in terms of positive exploration (willowy frame, slender legs, delicate arms), but a more negatively tinted one (stick-like frame, spindly legs, stiff arms). It's all a matter of language.

...I should probably put this in the article proper, too.
03:42:21 PM Apr 11th 2011
Yes, that's exactly what it's about. Heck, I kept thinking Bella Swan, Bella Swan, Bella Swan, Bella Swan... the whole time I was reading that. When she describes herself in the book, she uses words like "ivory" skin, "slender" build, "soft" (which is supposed to mean 'not all that muscular), and Curves in All the Right Places. Then she proceeds to gripe about being plain and wonders why so many people at her new school are attracted to her. If I were to rewrite that narrative, I would've used words like "pale", "bony" or "stringy", "hardly able to boast of any muscle". Yeah, Bella is pretty much the poster girl for this trope.
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