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Adventure Time
  • Gunter of the Adventure Time fan fiction Adventure Time: Frozen Hearts is noticeably a lot more nicer and loyal to her master, the Ice King than the mischievous, rebellious and disloyal penguin that we see in the source material. Case in point, she is the one who stops the fight between Finn and Ice King, becomes angry when Simon is kidnapped by a group of humans which prompts her to use the demonic wishing eye to save him, and gives both blankets and shades of red to Marceline when she is waiting for Simon's frozen hibernation.

Animorphs

  • In canon, Marco was extremely reluctant to take any part in the war, and only started to truly invest himself when Visser One's identity was revealed. The Marco in Animorphs: The Reckoning is much more invested, and berates the others for not realizing how important their role is.

A Song of Ice and Fire

  • Robb Returns: Though still an opportunistic cutthroat, Bronn is both much more sincere and loyal than what he really is in the books, to the point where he asks to legitimize Ursula Stone, the bastard of the man whose keep he now owns. The fact that he's serving Lord Arryn, who's happily supplied him land and titles as he's wanted, likely helps.
  • In the Game of Thrones fanfic, The Young Stag, several characters are given this treatment.
    • Arya Stark is portrayed as an Unscrupulous Hero on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in both the books and the TV show. Here, her character arc is all but absent, making her much more heroic and kinder as a result.
    • Cersei Lannister. While still very much one of the main antagonists, her redeeming quality is her unconditional love for her children. However, in the TV show and books, her love for them is a twisted form of narcissism, as she loves having children become miniature versions of herself instead of being individuals. Here, her love is portrayed as more genuine, and also extends to Steffon, who inherited the looks of House Baratheon, indicating that he is Robert's son, not Jaime's.
    • Stannis Baratheon. He's still The Stoic character we know him as, but acts more like a Cool Uncle towards our protagonist, Steffon. He believes in equality among the common people, and shows a softer, more understanding side around his friends and family. Not campaigning for the Iron Throne probably helps as well.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • The Stalking Zuko Series
    • Mai's parents, especially her father. In the "Rebound" comic, Mai's father is completely loyal to Ozai and is trying to get his children to join him in the New Ozai Society, angry at having lost his job. This continues in "Smoke and Shadow," and while he does a Heel–Face Turn in the end, he's committed enough crimes to go to prison for a long time. In here, it's indicated that his job is the reason why he couldn't be as close to Mai as he'd hoped. He flats out quits his job to work in his brother's factory, while high-paying is not as prestigious, in the hopes that he would more time to rekindle his relationships with his family.
    • Zig-zagged with the Southern Water Tribe. On the one hand, they're shown as more misogynistic than they are in canon. On the other, they don't seem to have any extremists like Gilak, and the North is shown as the more unreasonable side during the peace talks, due to being condescending toward the South and overly willing to punish their defeated enemies.

Beast Wars

  • In Beast Wars: Symmetries, while Inferno was still reprogrammed as a Predacon, his ant instincts and the continued existence of his pod result in him developing an appreciation for nature and a tentative friendship with the Maximals, culminating in him sacrificing himself during the final battle against Megatron.

Berserk

  • Griffith gets this treatment in Absent Injury. Not only is it clear that the events of the Eclipse didn't happen in this continuity, he's less amoral and self-serving than he was in canon. He was driven to become king partly because he genuinely wanted to help the less fortunate, sincerely loves Charlotte, and feels very real remorse for the death of Adonis.

Blade Trilogy

  • Charity Case reinvents Jared Nomak's reasons for attacking the vampires. Rather than pursuing the destruction of his former people for the events that turned him into a Reaper from the beginning, Nomak is initially shown living on the streets until he is offered help from Anna, an American expat living in Prague. When Anna is attacked and nearly killed in the bloodbank Nomak attacked in the film, he infiltrates the facility purely to rescue Anna even after she has become a vampire herself, and takes steps to ensure that the other Reapers know not to harm her even as he leads them against other vampire safehouses.

Breath of Fire

Brightburn

  • To a degree in A Monster's Nature; Brandon is still primarily using his powers for his own benefit with the relatively unrefined goal to "take the world", but where he was willing to crash a plane to conceal three deaths in canon, it's significant that he goes to great lengths to try and protect Caitlyn when fighting the android AN-3.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • Btvs: Seasons Rewrite: In canon, Spike went through the Heel–Face Revolving Door and didn't truly begin to redeem himself until Season 5. During the Season 4 rewrite, he's considerably more heroic, and actively helps the Scoobies out against Adam.
  • In Unconquerable Souls, the Wishverse version of Amy Madison ends up joining the White Hats after she is restored to her body, in contrast to her canon counterpart's disinterest/outright opposition to the Scooby Gang.

Calvin and Hobbes

Carrie (2013)

  • Carrie: Coronation gives Carrie a chance to be a hero when a school shooting interrupts the original plans for Chris's prank, allowing Carrie to use her powers to protect the other students.

Code Geass

Crossovers/Fusion Fics

  • In the Adopted Displaced story, Dressed to Steal, Penelope is the Black Knight and working for Le Paradox as per canon. However, here she realized her mistake but is now being blackmailed into continuing to assist and is utterly miserable about it. Fortunately for all involved, she is eventually freed and happily rejoins the Cooper Gang.

  • Doctor Arthur Watts in BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant still works for Ironwood and Atlas by the time the canon events of RWBY begin, contrasting the main series where he faked his death and allied himself with Salem to spite Ironwood. This is a result of Pietro Polendina not being part of Atlas in this story.

  • Up for debate if this is true with Godzilla in the Godzilla and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crossover, The Bridge. While in most of the Toho and Legendary continuities he's more often just territorial animal lashing out rather than an intentional villain, he was only fully benign in the late Showa series back in the 60s and 70s. So far and according to Word of God, this Godzilla will be heroic after some misunderstandings are straighten out. It bears mentioning that this incarnation is the grown-up Godzilla Jr. from the Heisei series, who was hatched by and was generally amicable towards humans, and thus was a gentler soul to smaller sentient creatures than his adoptive father.

  • Arisugawa's Locket, Keiko is much nicer than she was in Revolutionary Girl Utena due to working for Juri and dating May.

  • Code Prime: In R1, the Black Knights, Lelouch especially, are more heroic than they are in canon, due to interacting with the Autobots, thus justifying their moniker as "Knights for Justice". In the sequel R2, the Black Knights' ranks grow to include antagonistic characters from Code Geass canon and spin-offs that resist the Decepticon occupation, including Cornelia, Nina, and Suzaku.

  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls: Discord is a great deal more noble than the one we got on the show, even after his Heel–Face Turn. He's even The Atoner for all the bad things he did in the past and is the closest thing Sunset and the human five have to a mentor.
    • While the broken system and poor living conditions of Soul Society are far more deeply examined than in canon and this version having its own skeletons in its closet such as Hitsyo Aku, Project Xcution, and the Bount Genocide, Equestria Girls Soul Society comes off as much better overall: There was never a Quincy genocide, no signs of there ever being Hollow Pits, the Fourth Division is treated with respect instead of moronically being bullied for being weak, the Eleventh Division is a well-disciplined unit instead of being a band of thugs, and a majority of the Captains are shown to be far more concerned with doing their jobs with monsters like Kenpachi and Mayuri not on their payroll.
    • The Quincy get this as well; they aren't a band of one-dimensional cackling, Ax-Crazy Nazis who team kill their own side and are shown to truly want to protect the world from Hollows with good people fighting for that cause, and a king who doesn't casually murder his own men for trivial reasons. Combined with Soul Society's Adaptational Heroism above this leads to more nuance and legitimate Grey-and-Grey Morality in the war between the two factions.

  • In Fates Collide, certain characters like Gilgamesh and Kirei Kotomine are dedicated to protecting human life, even if they are pricks about it.

  • The Emperor of Warhammer 40,000 was an Anti-Hero at best, and a Type III Anti-Villain at worse (and a hypocritical Jerkass either way). The Emperor/Princess Celestia of The God Empress of Ponykind is much more noble and heroic, and more willing to admit when she is wrong (sometimes to unhealthy extremes).

  • Harbinger (Finmonster): Ember McLain is one of the heroes here and not a villainous ghost who seeks to control others. She came to Blithe Hollow to help Danny and Norman because fate guided her.

  • Gilda in the Harmony's Warriors, who in canon is a jerk, but in this setting is the counterpart to Wolverine and an Anti-Hero.

  • How To Drill Your Way Through Your Problems: Bakuda, now second in command of Team Neo-Gurren, was rescued from the ABB before she did any of the villainous things she did in canon. As a result of Will's influence, she seems to have developed a more heroic use for her ego, even choosing to spare Lung's life after defeating him.
    • One could make the case for Mouse Protector, seeing as in canon she would have become Murder Rat thanks to the Slaughterhouse Nine. Thanks to the appeal of giant robots, she remains a hero.

  • In The Infinite Loops villains will sometimes start looping. Doing so will often cause them to stop acting villainous for a variety reasons, the biggest ones being that they realize their actions will have little if any actual impact and that they get the chance to see how things turn out because of their villainy. It helps that the Anchors of loops tend to be the heroes that villains are in conflict with and messing with Anchors is typically advised against due to higher risk to the loops than other actions, which usually leads to the Admins setting up Punishment Loops. (Killing an Anchor automatically ends a loop and Anchors are chosen based on emotional stability, so causing emotional pain is a very bad idea.)

  • In Justice League of Equestria: Gods and Monsters the MLP cast take the roles of certain DC characters, however certain villainous characters are given more heroic personalities, for example:
    • Toyman & The Trickster(Button Mash and his mother). Who are basically Anti-Heroes out for revenge and aren't interested in committing crimes unless they somehow hurt Black Mask’s business. When Black Mask is finally killed they retire, steal all of his money and relocate to another city.
    • Black Manta (Featherweight), who is actually Atlantis' ambassador.
    • While The Black Racer was never a villain to begin with in this version the Racer is The Flash via using Gilda's body after the coup on Apokalips in which the New Gods killed it's physical body there.

  • J-WITCH Season 1:
    • In W.I.T.C.H. canon, Raythor's initial appearance in Season 1 portrayed him as a one-dimensional Mook Lieutenant, who only becomes a Noble Demon when he returns in Season 2. This latter characterization is brought up right from the start in this fic.
    • The canonical Prince Phobos didn't get much characterization beyond being a power-hungry Evil Overlord who is implied to be willing to kill his manipulated little sister Elyon after stealing her powers, and he somehow caused their parents' disappearance. In this fic, he tried to bring order to Meridian after he was framed for his parents' murder, eventually becoming a Knight Templar due to all the resistance directed towards his rule. While he still manipulates Elyon in preparation of stealing her magic, he makes it very clear that he has no intention of killing his only remaining blood relative and plans to wipe out her memories and return her to Earth to live an ordinary girl's life instead. Also, some of his canon villainous acts, like imprisoning Elias in his own painting, are committed instead by Daolon Wong, one of his morally worse Co-Dragons.

  • In Kingdom Crossovers, Zim is now The Atoner, having reformed two years before the start of the fic.

  • In King Of Thrones Viserys is a better person than in canon. Though he does struggle with his trauma.
    • King Robert has fun dueling, and becomes closer to Tommen and Myrcella. This leads him to try to be a better king.

  • Kings of Revolution has some examples:
    • Gil Graham. Justified as he has now become the The Atoner after falling for the tricks set by the Big Bad.
    • Quattro. After being nearly killed, falsely accused of being a traitor and learning that her idol, Due has been compromised, she Took a Level in Kindness in hopes of getting revenge against the Big Bad.
    • Sette. Once loyal to Tre, even when being sentenced to an orbital prison in canon, she has been programmed to switch loyalties. Her new master? The Black Knights.

  • In Worm canon, Sophia Hess was a Sociopathic Hero who was The Bully to Taylor Hebert. In Knight of the Night, a meeting with the Planet Popstar team has her much more well-adjusted as a Cape, and she and Emma are Taylor's friends.

  • Knights of the Otherworld adapts four villainous Riders, Ryuga, Ohja, Abyss and Odin, and turns them into heroes working with the other Riders.

  • LandoftheFuture's DreamWorks Animation crossover fanfics granted this treatment to Tai Lung, Lord Shen and the Wolf Boss from Kung Fu Panda, by having them survive their canonical defeats and undergo Heel Realizations during their recovery periods, eventually having full Heel Face Turns and allying themselves with Po, Shifu, the Furious Five and the other DreamWorks heroes.

  • In The Last Daughter, Zod goes from a cruel general to helping Jor-El get Zara off of Krypton. He himself doesn't and gets killed when Krypton explodes.

  • The Marvelous World Of DC
    • June Moone/The Enchantress, instead of being a woman possessed by the spirit of an ancient witch prone to running through the Heel–Face Revolving Door, is a witch in her own right, and a straightforward hero, too.
    • Beast Boy's uncle is a lot nicer than his canon counterpart, because he's Beast of the X-Men.

  • In The Moon's Flash Princess, Kayaba Akihiko did not intend to turn Sword Art Online into a Death Game, instead wanting to use it to give the players the skills needed to form a Badass Army to help the Sailor Senshi. Alas, Jaedite was able to turn it into a Death Game thanks to a clever Trojan virus.

  • Hans in the first installment of the MRA Trilogy, for a given value of "heroic": he was an MRA agent out to rape and enslave Queen Elsa and Anna, his failure treated with sympathy by the cast. The second installment has a more weird example: while the Reapers are on the same side as the organic alien races, conspiring with the Asari to make a "femnazi empire". Though the story treats them as evil, the worst they do is shout "CHECK YOUR FUCKING PRIVILEGE", so they'd have been fully redeemed in just about any other fanfic.

  • Necessary to Win does this with Black Forest from Girls und Panzer. It's suggested that Erika and those who also criticized Miho's decision to save her teammate are not necessarily the majority in Black Forest, but the most vocal group. There are several others who support Miho's decision, even if they're not entirely vocal about it. Maho is a minor case, as her more benevolent motivations are more openly touched upon here.

  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, the Music Meister is Neil Patrick Harris' stage name and hero name. He's an international singing sensation and once worked at U.A. His original appearance in Batman: The Brave and the Bold is a supervillain who nearly takes over the world with his singing voice.

  • One Punch Gamer also has a good version of Slender Man. While he originally appeared as a quest boss in SAO (and thoroughly traumatized poor Argo), afterwards he lives in the woods behind Kirito and Asuna's log cabin (in both SAO and ALO), and is friends with Yui (she gives him cookies). He even helps out in the final battle against the Big Bad. It is strongly implied that Slendy is not a game character, but is actually the real thing, somehow inside the games.

  • In Persona EG:
    • Chrysalis, unlike her canon counterpart who invaded Canterlot to steal its love energy to power herself and her subjects, is just a normal business woman who was recently disgraced and outed from her CEO position. She is later welcomed to Canterlot High with open arms when Flash Sentry figures out a way to help her by making her the school's new tennis coach after the old one quits.
    • Sonata Dusk, is just a regular teenage girl instead of an evil siren. She is devastated by the deaths of her sisters and loss of her voice. She is overjoyed to have friends who care about her and support her through her hard times.

  • In canon, Perturabo was a cold, short-tempered sociopath. In Perturabo In Remnant, the titular Primarch is the exact opposite; he rules Atlas with wisdom and benevolence, is fiercly loyal to those he regards as his friends and is even shown to be a doting father (he is Penny's maker and adopts Ren and Nora), along with being a very indulgent Honorary Uncle to Ruby, Yang and Weiss.
    • Several of the traitor Primarchs are also given this treatment. Mortarion and Konrad Curze remain loyal to the Imperium, although they still are dedicated to their own ideas of dolling out justice; Lorgar wasn't as badly rebuked by the Emperor and thus also stays loyal; Magnus the Red let his own arrogance consume him to the point that he accidentally cursed his own Astartes during an attempt to cure them of the Flesh-change, and now is doing his best to fix his mistake while still serving the Imperium.

  • Crossover fanfiction Point Me at the Skyrim has Invictus and Sevitus. Unnamed NPC guards in the game, here they both prove vital in helping Victoria navigate around Skyrim in her initial travels.

  • In The Prayer Warriors, Luke Castellan from Percy Jackson and the Olympians is inexplicably on the heroes' side, despite being the canonical traitor in Camp Half Blood, and Draco Malfoy is a "secret Christian" at Hogwarts. This is odd, as most of the other villains from canon are also the Prayer Warriors' enemies.

  • In Remnant Inferis: DOOM, since Gretchen never got killed, Hazel never joined Salem and works alongside Ozpin.

  • In Spider-X, Tabitha and Lance were always more tentative members of the Brotherhood, but here they explicitly 'defect' to Xavier's along with Wanda after learning that Magneto intended to use Mastermind to brainwash her if Wanda didn't side with the Brotherhood on her own.

  • Kin in Teenage Jinchuriki Shinobi starts off as a minor villainess like her canon counterpart, but was given a shot at redeeming herself after having a small talk with Splinter of how Orochimaru basically used her her entire life, while she dies in canon.

  • Examples from the There Was Once an Avenger from Krypton series:
    • Verdona's reasons for leaving Earth and her family behind are far more noble here, as she sensed a looming threat on the horizon and left to face it to keep Earth safe.
    • Chloe in this verse is actively trying to atone for her bad behavior and doesn't suffer from Aesop Amnesia like she did canonically.
    • Saiyans in general, while not exactly nice people, are far from the psychopaths they were touted as in DBZ canon.
    • Raditz is a bounty hunter and has a stable relationship with his siblings compared to the canon Cain to Goku's Abel.
    • The Red Ribbon Army are re-imagined as a robotics company and not a terrorist organization.

  • In the school arc presented in A Triangle in the Stars, Bill and his friends band together to rescue Steven from Gabriel, with varying degrees of reluctance and of excitement.

  • Warning Letter: While Light Yagami starts out just as villainous as he was in Death Note, The Phantom Thieves end up stealing his heart at the end of Chapter 3. After several chapters marinating in the guilt of what he did as Kira, Light even ends up awakening his Persona and joining the Phantom Thieves himself.

  • Sylvanas Windrunner and Onyxia are both considerably more heroic in Wizard Runemaster. Onyxia changes from The Vamp to a caring mother whose manipulations in Stormwind are instead a result of Varian's jerkassery. Sylvanas is canonically somewhere between Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain, Depending on the Writer who pulls morally questionable acts such as developing a new plague and betraying Garithos. Here she's an outright hero, though a practitioner of Good Is Not Soft, who only intended the plague to be a weapon of last resort and killed Garithos because he planned to betray her.

  • In Wonderful!:
    • Due to Taylor's influence, Sophia becomes somewhat more heroic and less unpleasant than her canon self.
    • Emma doesn't become a psychotic bully after being attacked by the ABB gang, and she becomes a hero later on.

  • Yin-Yang: In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, it was revealed that the First Ones were an evil empire. Here, they were allies with ancient Eternia and strove to keep peace, protecting the world of Etheria from harm.

Crusader Kings

Danganronpa

  • Never Say Never is quite possibly one of the few known fanfictions that has Mukuro Ikusaba at her most sympathetic, heroic, and humane. All over the Danganronpa, Mukuro's characterization was dependent on the story to the point of making her Ambiguously Evil. She was a reserved girl subservient to Junko, following her orders just to make her happy in Danganronpa Zero and IF (while being noticeably Ax-Crazy in the former). She turns on Junko in the latter story and helps her fellow classmates escape, but even that had some selfish intent behind itnote . Danganronpa 3 downplays her sympathetic qualities while showing more of her villainous actions as Junko's accomplice, even going so far as to call Makoto a loser and suggest killing him. While she still starts out in this fanfiction with her characterization from IF, her sister's betrayal and her classmates' kindness towards her causes her to turn on Junko completely and undergo a Heel–Face Turn out of more altruistic motives, undergoing a Redemption Quest by helping to save and comfort her classmates throughout their time trapped in the school, and finally standing up to her sister.
  • As Danganronpa 3 has made clear, Mikan Tsumiki was the first to fall into despair and side with Junko Enoshima. In The PreDespair Kids, she actually sees through Enoshima's manipulations, but pretends to side with her in order to work from the inside and stop her plan.

Danny Phantom

  • In canon, Desiree is one of Danny's villains. In Lady Luck's Favor, however, she is one of his allies, as well as a Benevolent Genie, due to Danny wishing that she be able to choose which wishes she wants to grant.
    • Penelope Spectra undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and becomes another of Danny's allies after he wishes that she be able to use positive energy to maintain her body.

The DCU

  • Nightwing: The Series gives this to Deathstroke. While he initially appears to be as brutal as his comic book counterpart that keeps the Never Hurt an Innocent ideas, it turns out that most of his high-profile victims were responsible for the military experiments that turned him into the proficient killer he is, and are implied to have made him kill children, causing a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. When Slade confronts the last of his victims, he looks like he's about to break down into tears over this. He also favourably compares Nightwing to his son Grant during their last conversation, although we never find out why he views them as alike, since he gets shot in the head by Jason Todd.

DC Extended Universe

  • Daughter of Fire and Steel: In the films and comics, Doomsday was a psychotic monster from the get go. Here, he started off as a valiant and heroic Kryptonian hero before the experiments that made him so unstoppable drove him mad.

Death Note

  • Fade:
    • Light Yagami. Since his half of the story shows Kira's descent into madness, he outright refuses to become like Kira, sticking to killing only criminals who have been given the death penalty or have committed crimes that deserve such a punishment, and refraining from using innocent people to achieve his own ends.
    • Beyond Birthday, who wishes to stop L's reign as Kira and save Light.
  • Light Yagami is given this treatment in Innocent and Proven Guilty. Since he never got the Death Note, he never became Kira, and is actually trying to figure out the identity of this universe's equivalent. While he's an antihero (part of his motivation for trying to catch Kira is to get the better of L), he's nevertheless disturbed by the number of people supporting Kira, and is completely genuine when he says he'd get revenge on Kira if they were to hurt his family.

Disney Animated Canon

  • The Horned King was portrayed as an irredeemable sociopath. When he's resurrected as the Villain Protagonist of Hope for the Heartless, he's close to his original portrayal, but he gradually turns into a Noble Demon and Byronic Hero thanks to Avalina over the course of the story.
  • This unnamed Tumblr fanfic goes for an alternate take on Anastasia and Drizella's characters from Cinderella. Their mean behavior as children stems from being jealous of how Cinderella's father loves her compared to their own abusive mother. As they grow up, they feel powerless to help Cinderella and just watch her abuse from afar. As teens, they start acting kinder to their step-sister in private.

Dragon Ball

Fairy Tail

Fallout

  • Fallout: Europa: The Brotherhood of Steel is much less ambiguous as they were in Fallout 4 which likely comes from the fact that, with the threat of a giant Super Mutant army closing in on all human settlements, they have a much clearer enemy to fight.

Fate/stay night

  • Fate/Harem Antics: This version of Sir Galahad has Mash Kyrielight's looks and personality, which makes her more heroic than her canon counterpart since this fic was released before canon Galahad was revealed to be a total asshole.

Final Fantasy

  • Us and Them: Raised in a loving family with full knowledge of what Jenova is and his true parentage, Sephiroth manages to resist going insane and becoming the monster he was in canon.
  • Seventh Endmost Vision: Rufus, rather than becoming Shinra's president, instead grew so horrified at what the company was doing that he now leads AVALANCHE in this fic. Sephiroth as well, since in this fic, he, not Aerith, was raised by Elmyra Gainsborough and is a kindly Farm Boy doctor, though he has yet to learn of his true heritage.

Fire Emblem

God of War

Godzilla

  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon):
    • Monster X (a Two Beings, One Body fusion of San and Vivienne Graham) is benevolent, aligned with Earth's Titans, and comparatively goes further out of its way than most Titans do to avoid innocent human casualties; instead of being an evil invader like in Godzilla: Final Wars.
    • Mandazawa is an innocent Protectorate to the heroic Titans and at one point a Tagalong Kid, whereas the original incarnation was an Anti-Villain and subsequent incarnations in movies have been Brainwashed and Crazy or straight-up monsters. This extends to Manda's father the Lord of Dragons before him, who was on outright friendly terms with Godzilla when alive and isn't mentioned as having gone to any morally ambiguous lengths defending his territory.
    • The Abraxas version of Ren Serizawa, who was introduced before Godzilla vs. Kong came out, is a mostly heroic character, described by the author as being roughly Heroic Neutral; instead of being a callous Evil Genius with an anti-Godzilla agenda.
    • Rodan and Scylla both fight for Godzilla against the Many; whereas in MonsterVerse canon the closest either of them have come to acting heroically is when they submit to Godzilla's dominance, and they're outright described in the Godzilla vs. Kong novelization as being among the nastier Titans.
  • Monster Island Buddies: Gigan is still one of the villains, but rather than being a Psycho for Hire who chops opponents For the Evulz he is an adorably nerdy Punch-Clock Villain who even wants to be friends with Godzilla, his supposed enemy.

Grand Theft Auto

  • Jerusalem, in his Let's Play of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, portrays CJ as slightly more benevolent than canon. For example, in the original game, he kills Madd Dogg's manager because Loc told him to. But in the LP, he initially refuses Loc's plan; when he later ends up killing the manager anyway, it's because he goes temporarily insane due to sleep deprivation and stress.

Harry Potter

  • Harry Potter story Cruciamentum Eternus has Lucius Malfoy - canonically known to be a Smug Snake, invoked-Karma Houdini, Screw the Rules, I Have Money!, racist Death Eater - systematically murdering Death Eaters and intending on assassinating Voldemort himself after Draco is murdered.
  • In Harry Potter, Marge Dursley is Vernon's sister and acts even nastier to Harry than the Dursleys. My Nephew Harry, a fanfic by Lucillia, gives her more understandable motives for her nastiness. She is portrayed as having been hardened by her own upbringing into a woman who supports Tough Love. She thus mistreats Harry based off the lies told by Petunia and Vernon. When she learns the truth, she hits the wall, and starts giving Harry the love he deserves.
  • The titular character of Petunia Evans, Tomb Raider. Instead of marrying Vernon Dursley and becoming the overbearing shrew of an aunt to Harry Potter, she instead goes to boarding school, studies archaeology, and is hired by Gringotts to be a Tomb Raider who takes great joy in raising her nephew as a single aunt. Once she slowly comes to terms with her envy over not having magic, she even hooks up with Sirius. Oh, and she regularly takes on zombies, mercenaries and Sand Drakes with Guns Akimbo, enchanted mines, and RPGs.

How to Train Your Dragon

Jurassic Park

Kingdom Hearts

Kirby

Land of Oz

  • In The Witch of Oz, a genderbend fanfic of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Elphias and his brother Nestor have always been good, but were orchestrated by the people of Oz due to Elphias's green skin and his uncontrollable powers. He became an apprentice to Ozia until he learned that she's a fake and uses a stone to draw out his powers. He's forced to escape to protect his friends, and Ozia lied that he attempted to overthrow her.

Let Me In

  • The extent to which this applies to Toronto Bat Fans Let Me In series can be debated depending on whether viewers saw Abby as a victim or a manipulator in the original film, but here her actions are portrayed in the most sympathetic manner possible, making it clear that she only killed humans for blood because she had genuinely never thought about drinking from animals and had no other way to survive.

Mass Effect

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • letmetellyouaboutmyfeels' MCU Rewrites: In the rewrite of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff are given more heroic qualities pre-Heel–Face Turn compared to how they are in the movie:
    • Pietro expresses disgust towards working with HYDRA (even calling them 'Nazi asses' in a conversation with Wanda) and tries to convince Wanda that they should not team up with Ultron, asking her how many lines they must cross to take revenge on Tony Stark and if it is all worth it.
    • Wanda, unlike in the movie, does not intentionally cause The Hulk to go on a rampage and is horrified at her actions when Hawkeye tells her that she made The Hulk lose control and is headed for the city where he will hurt innocent people.

Merlin (2008)

  • "The Sorcerer's Bride" basically makes Nimueh a more heroic character; she acknowledges that she would be tempted to go on the Roaring Rampage of Revenge she indulged in during her time in Camelot in canon if she returned to the kingdom, but by forbidding herself from going back she is able to focus on her duties as High Priestess, as well as tutoring Morgana in her own magic and offering advice when Morgause captures Merlin and Morgana.

Mega Man

Miraculous Ladybug

  • Burning Bridges, Building Confidence has Chloe working to redeem herself rather than assuming that her stint as Queen Bee proves she's worthy of being a superheroine. While not particularly interested in mending fences with her classmates — at least not while they're all fawning over a Consummate Liar like Lila — she isn't bullying them anymore, and has reached out and tried making amends with others. Including Marinette, with whom she's tentatively built up a nascent friendship even before Cole shows up. She also openly acknowledges that since she outed herself to all of Paris, trusting her with the Bee again would be a risky move.
  • The Lament Series (ChaoticNeutral): Since the reality-altering Wishes effectively shuffle around roles, this happens quite often:
    • Gabriel's Lament: As part of their retconned Backstory, Emilie used the undamaged Peafowl Brooch to become a superheroine, rising up to protect Paris.
    • Chloe's Lament: Despite Chloe's assumption that switching places with Marinette guarantees that she'll become the next Ladybug, she fails her Secret Test of Character without ever realizing it. Instead, Master Fu selects Sabrina, who has gone from being Chloe's Beta Bitch to a confident young woman who serves as their Class Rep, and happily becomes Red Queen alongside her partner Cheshire.
  • Rise of Mariposa:
    • In canon, Stoneheart is a super villain created by Hawk Moth preying on Ivan's insecurities and corrupting him with his miraculous. Here, Stoneheart was created with Marinette as the butterfly miraculous wielder with the intentions of protecting Mylene from Harlequin.
    • In canon, Chloe was turned into Anti-Bug, a super villain designed to be an Evil Counterpart to Ladybug with the purpose of stealing her and Chat Noir's miraculouses. Here, Mariposa turns her into Se Rallier, a princess-esque Champion who converts those around her into her loyal knights with the purpose of fighting off Harlequin.
  • Rise of Paonne and Renard Rouge: Gabriel Agreste was a Kid Hero and wielder of the Peacock Miraculous. Justified, since the fanfic started long before the reveal that Gabriel was Hawk Moth.
  • Scarlet Lady: In canon, Lila is a Hate Sink with no redeeming qualities whatsoever and an irrational hatred of Ladybug. Here, a combination of Marinette and Alix reaching out to befriend her after her disastrous first impression and the local Ladybug heroine being far less sympathetic stops her turn to villainy before it can even begin, and she becomes a far nicer (if brutally honest) person. She's also given a Freudian Excuse for her constant lying, something she lacks in the show proper.

My Hero Academia

  • Rather than become a Serial Killer who joins the League of Villains, Himiko Toga in Green Tea Rescue is inspired by a chance meeting with Izuku to get into U.A. and become a hero, joining class 1-A and becoming close friends with the main cast.
  • In My Name's Deku, It Means Business, Himiko Toga is a student at U.A. and the ninth holder of One For All rather than a serial killer like canon.

My-HiME

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

  • In Change, Queen Chrysalis is not an evil queen at all. She is kind and caring and wants for all of her subjects to be healthy and happy, including her own daughter. She only invades Canterlot to gather love energy for her hive and save Twilight's life, not to conquer the land. She even tells the others where to find the real Cadance when the invasion is over.
  • Codex Equus:
    • Golden Scepter, despite being based on the Emperor of Mankind, is completely different from him in personality. The Emperor of Mankind was a well-meaning yet ruthless, xenophobic, and hypocritical Jerkass who loved humanity, but only for what it could be and never loved it on an individual level. He was also a neglectful parent who treated most of his Primarch children as little more than tools, and was abusive at worst. Golden Scepter behaved similarly during the Imperium era that took place after the "Twilight of the Alicorns", until he was betrayed and wounded by one of his own generals during a coup and had to be put in magical stasis to heal himself. After he was found by Luminiferous and Dazzleglow in the Second Age, he would undergo a long process of Character Development as The Atoner, wandering around Equus to learn from the examples set by both mortals and divines. The result was a truly benevolent Emperor, who settled down before the Fourth Age and founded the much smaller yet thriving Terran Empire, and became the father of several Semi-Divine sons.
    • Meanwhile, those of the Emperor's sons who betrayed him and became Traitor Primarchs in WH40k canon also became heroic in the Codexverse, as Golden Scepter Took a Level in Kindness that had a huge impact on how he raised his children.
      • Primarch Magnus the Red tended to be an Insufferable Genius, yet was loyal to his father despite the negative reputation he has as a psyker. He turned traitor in the Horus Heresy after a rather unfortunate combination of arrogantly pursuing even forbidden knowledge, the manipulations of the Chaos gods, and being censured and alienated by the Emperor's actions. Crimson Star, Magnus's Codexverse counterpart, also started out as an arrogant Insufferable Genius, until he was blinded saving a classmate in a carriage accident, and became rather depressed after realizing that he is now no better than those he once deemed beneath his intelligence. Thanks to the love and support of Golden Scepter, as well as those who genuinely cared for him, he would come out of his ordeals a much better and heroic person.
      • Primarch Horus Lupercal was originally the favored firstborn son of the Emperor of Mankind, until he turned traitor thanks to the manipulations of both Lorgar and the Chaos gods, making him think that the Emperor truly wanted to become a god and didn't care about the Primarchs at all. This created the Horus Heresy that tore the Imperium of Mankind apart. Here, as Blazing Hoof, he's a benevolent demigod Prince who never turned traitor, as his father, Golden Scepter, went through lots of Character Development that heavily influenced how he raised his sons.
      • Primarch Lorgar Aurelian would lose his faith in the Emperor of Mankind after a particularly brutal and humiliating incident (the complete destruction of Monarchia), which drove him to worship the Chaos Gods and orchestrate the Horus Heresy. Here, Written Word, Lorgar's Codexverse counterpart, was never driven to turn traitor because Golden Scepter, unlike the Emperor of Mankind, was a good father and thus was gentle in explaining to his son the folly of both his devotion and his actions. Because of this, Written Word would realize the true value of faith as a unifying and empowering force, and became a beloved Alicorn demigod hero who's also badass.
      • Perturabo would betray the Emperor of Mankind and side with Chaos after decades of being passed over in favor of Rogal Dorn, being unable to showcase his true skills as an engineer and architect and instead was stuck with the most grinding sieges during the Great Crusade, and being treated with dismissive contempt by most of his brothers. Here, as Steel Barricade, while he initially started out as an Insufferable Genius worse than Crimson Star, he eventually learned the value of humility and empathy after being exiled for instigating a particularly destructive duel against his older brother, Clear Voice, and after brutally murdering a corrupt Tauren Pony king and nobility in a fit of explosive rage. While he was left a stoic and cold Jerk with a Heart of Gold due to psychological trauma, his efforts to atone for his actions nonetheless led to him becoming a beloved and respected demigod Prince of the Terran Empire - which is partially thanks to Golden Scepter's influence on him as a father. Notably, one of Steel Barricade's deeds included attending the Hoofington Conference, where he and his brothers would present solid evidence on why Synthetic Automatons shouldn't exist for the anti-Synthetic Automaton side, "with all the effort and ability expected of an Alicorn demigod scion of Emperor Golden Scepter".
      • Primarch Angron had the Butcher's Nails implanted on him at a young age to turn him into a powerful gladiator. As a result, he became a bloodthirsty, rage-driven horror who put the Butcher's Nails on his own World Eaters legion, and was responsible for many war crimes and other atrocities. He also became one of the first Primarchs to side with Chaos, though part of the decision was influenced by Primarch Lorgar, who wanted to save his brother's life after learning that the Butcher's Nails were slowly killing Angron. By contrast, Red Blade was initially a shy yet kind foal who became a Bully Hunter to protect others from being bullied, only for him to become no different than the bullies he hunted when he left Crimson Star near death, unaware that Crimson Star wanted to die out of guilt. He eventually realized the error of his ways after witnessing the Poenan Pantheon's fanatical and zealous crusades, and instigating a revolution against a kingdom's tyrannical government that got too bloody and out of control, which motivated him to both control his anger and practice discipline and self-restraint.
    • Prince Blueblood in canon is a boorish Jerkass and Prince Charmless. In the Codexverse, he is a beloved war hero among his soldiers and a stallion completely dedicated to the well-being of Equestria and its people. His facades were his way of getting around the insidious and malignant members of Canterlot's nobility in order to do what he truly wanted. Beneath them, he's a very nice pony, if a bit cynical and pragmatic.
    • Sigvald the Magnificent is, to put it lightly, an incredibly depraved, sociopathic, cruel, and vain man who became Slaanesh's favored champion. Here, Prince Stoltur Skjöldur, who is based on Sigvald, is a very honorable and noble individual who upholds the oaths he makes and tests mortals with his Evil so they could be come strong enough to oppose Evil itself, even though by nature he is still an evil and depraved god thanks to being one of many divine and demi-divine sons of Pokhot, the Bogolenya Deer goddess of Lust and Pride.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: The second story, Diplomat at Large, introduces the Siren trio from Rainbow Rocks. In the adaptation of that story, Aria Blaze and Sonata Dusk turn out to have been manipulated by Adagio Dazzle into working with her and allowing her to expand her influence as Lady of Hatred. When they're broken free, Aria is furious at her, and subsequently inherits the mantle of Hatred when Discord decides she's a good match for it. The two soon return to Equestria and are welcomed back, moving to the Crystal Empire so Aria can learn from and work closely with her Opposite, Princess Cadance.
  • Garble is still a pony-hating Jerkass in The Fallen, but he now has a Freudian Excuse: He hates how ponies have always gotten everything they ever wanted while his kind have to struggle for survival every day. He also refuses to go along with the Big Bad's Evil Plan.
  • In The Flash Sentry Chronicles: Trixie starts the same way she did in canon, as a traveling show-mare who lied about her achievements to make herself look better and show off. But, thanks to being saved by Flash from some crooks earlier, she opens up to him and his friends and helps them stop the group of crooks that attacked her. She decides to better herself, and later becomes the apprentice of Princess Luna.
  • This trope is half the premise of The Rainsverse: Chrysalis and Sombra are (as far as we can tell) Big Goods, and the six Knights of Harmony are all ponies who were villains in the Celestiaverse.
  • Stallions Of Harmony Verse: Sunset Shimmer who in canon was Princess Celestia's evil former student and the Big Bad of Equestria Girls is instead Twilight's best friend and fierce academic rival.
  • Sunset of Time stars Sunset Shimmer. While her canon counterpart was an arrogant and power-hungry Alpha Bitch, this Sunset is kind, noble, and a loyal student to her mentor Twilight. Reversed into Adaptational Villainy with Sunset's past self, Vesper Radiance — she's a murderous and insane psychopath looking to kill Celestia (and anyone else who gets in her way), conquer Equestria, and rule it as a Physical God.
  • Played with in When it Rains with Chrysalis. While she's far more benevolent and kinder than her canon counterpart, a flashback implies she used to be evil.

    N-Z 
Naruto
  • Some characters in Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox get a complete personality makeover in contrast to their original personalities in Naruto. Specific examples include Kabuto, who in this story is the benevolent retainer to the Hyuga family and a Shipper on Deck for Naruto and Hinata (in canon, he's The Dragon to Orochimaru and definitely not a trustworthy person); Uchiha Fugaku, the head of the Uchiha Zaibatsu and a caring father to Sasuke as well as a decent guy in general (canon Fugaku was emotionally distant from Sasuke and was planning to start a coup together with the rest of the Uchiha clan); and even Orochimaru, who's simply doing his job as a defense attorney in getting Mizuki's goons out on bail but is otherwise not shown to be malicious (canon Orochimaru, besides being a major antagonist for most of the series, is a Mad Scientist and Bad Boss to his own henchmen).

  • In canon Naruto Kakuzu was a member of the Akatsuki who's primary interest was money. In Old Man by the Bar, Kakuzu is initially cold to Kiba, Choji, and Sakura, who approached him for war stories for a class project, thinking he was an old veteran of Konoha rather than a dangerous Missing Nin. He eventually becomes a mentor for them, teaching them skills to make them pragmatic fighters. It eventually esculates to him smuggling Fū out of her village and into Konoha, keeping the rest of the Akatsuki out of the loop.

  • Son of the Sannin has the following examples:
    • In canon, Zabuza and Haku are pretty much the Starter Villains faced by Naruto's team. In this story, the former appears as a mercenary hired by the Uchiha Clan for their insurrection, but is made prisoner and given a chance of parole on the condition that his protegé becomes a student of the Konoha Ninja Academy. Zabuza eventually turns into a Reformed, but Not Tamed ally to Konoha, while Haku graduates and even becomes part of the same team as Naruto and Hinata.
    • Rasa never joins up with Orochimaru and remains a faithful ally to Konoha due to Jiraiya having reinforced Gaara's seal when he was a child. He also eventually has a Jerkass Realization after all three of his kids are nearly killed by Akatsuki during the Gaara Retrieval arc.
    • Downplayed with Itachi, who was always technically a hero. It's just that here he's publically a good guy instead of a Mole.
    • By the time the story reaches the Shippuden timeframe, Sasuke still remains loyal to Konoha instead of pulling a Face–Heel Turn like in canon. It helps having Itachi around to act as his Morality Chain.
    • Neither Karin nor Suigetsu ever worked for Orochimaru, instead remaining loyal to their home villages (and in Karin's case, the village in question is Konoha).
    • The Sound genin trio formed by Kin, Zaku and Dosu appear a couple of times as antagonists in the arcs involving Orochimaru in Part I. At the end, they are taken prisoner and left under the custody of Anko Mitarashi, who takes to train them herself and break them out of their loyalty of Orochimaru, becoming Konoha shinobi by the time Part II rolls around.
    • In the final arc, Kaguya Otsutsuki, of all characters, is hit by this. In canon, she was pretty much a Generic Doomsday Villain (at least until Boruto goes further into her motivations). In this story, however, she's shown to be heavily repentant of her actions in life, and is proud of the world her sons helped create after defeating her, even acknowledging that she came to love Earth and humanity as a whole after living among them. It goes to the point that she entrusts Naruto and Hinata with defeating Madara Uchiha and protecting that world for the eventual invasion of her kind.
  • War of the Biju: In this fic, Obito was never designated as Madara's successor and thus is not Tobi. The Tobi in this fic kills him for his eye, preventing him from ever making a Face–Heel Turn. Obito's heroism is firmly established when Kabuto revives an artificially aged-up version of him during the war and forces him to fight against Kakashi and his batallion.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • EVA Sessions: Someplace Vast and Dry: Gendo runs NERV strictly as an agency to defend humanity against The Others, without any ulterior motives.
    • Back in Antarctica, Gendo assumed leadership of the Katsuragi Expedition immediately after his friend Dr. Katsuragi was killed at Ground Zero of The Event, and organized the successful evacuation of all surviving scientists; in contrast, canon Gendo was instructed by SEELE to leave one day before Dr. Katsuragi unknowingly triggered Second Impact.
  • Evangelion 303:
    • Gendo...barely. He's still up to something and probably gunning for revenge against SEELE, but here, at least he's working to knowingly save lives instead of turning everyone into orange juice.
    • Kaworu and Rei are a bit straighter of an example. Instead of being Angels, they're all flesh-and-blood humans and genuinely desire to use the Evangelion project for good.
  • RE-TAKE
    • Shinji doesn't become a near Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds like his canon counterpart and does risk his life during the events of "End" even knowing that as he is an Angel he will have to die afterwords. Even when he gets the life with Asuka he always wished for he takes his own life to ensure the Third Impact can't occur.
    • Rei III is introduced earlier than her canon counterpart so acts as an ally while never supporting Gendo's plans.
    • Gendo of all people. Despite being much more cruel than his canon counterpart in his attempts to manipulate Shinji into supporting his plans, during the events of "End" he realizes what a mistake he made and unlocks the Positron Rifle to allow Rei to aid Shinji.

Once Upon a Time

  • A Different Fate
    • In return for being freed from the Dark Realm's pull, Tiger Lily forced the Black Fairy to try and free Rumplestiltskin from the dark curse. As a result, the Black Fairy is portrayed less like a For the Evulz Madwoman and as someone who is genuinely trying to do something good. She takes a liking to Belle and even gains Tinker Bell as an ally who, after helping Nova reunite with Grumpy, unceremoniously quits as a fairy, leaving before the Blue Fairy could take her wings and wand away.
    • Because Cora was eliminated before she could goad Regina's Start of Darkness, Rumplestltskin could never get to corrupting Regina and had to resort to Zelena. As a result, Zelena was the one who murdered Snow White's father and Daniel, causing Regina to run away with Snow White as a fugitive and never become the Evil Queen.
  • In Freeze on the Stones, Regina's canon role is given to her mother, Cora. Instead of being the first Big Bad, Regina's now a hero who loves Snow White and wants to protect her and her family.

The Owl House

  • While in The Owl House Emperor Belos was a dictator, in Luz Belos: Princess of the Boiling Isles he is portrayed as much more sympathetic and benevolent. He offers amnesty for the Owl Lady in exchange for being her new teacher (unlike his canon counterpart, who only wanted to catch her to get her portal and then tried petrifying her despite promising otherwise to Lilith), approves of Luz's relationship with Amity and even considers reforming the Coven system.

Persona

  • Persona 5 Adult Confidant AU:
    • Madarame and Kunikazu were both despicable Palace targets in canon, while in the comic, they appear to be overall well adjusted teenagers, and seem to genuinely care about Yusuke and Haru, respectively.
    • In canon, Robin Hood was Akechi's alternate Persona, a representation of his affable public demeanor masking his vengeance-fueled true self. Here, Robin Hood is the initial Persona of Sojiro, the main character of the comic.
  • In Persona 5, the persona user nicknamed "Black Mask" was a psychopath murdering people or driving them temporarily insane by abusing the Metaverse. In The Evil Queen, he narrowly avoids falling to madness and by the time he meets Akira and Ann, he becomes The Mentor to them both and teaches them how to steal distorted desires.

Pokémon

  • In Ashes of the Past, Team Rocket head Giovanni is still a ruthless mob boss, but is also a Reasonable Authority Figure who tolerates failure if there is a clear and explainable reason (like agents going up against people completely out of their league), promotes heroic behavior to garner good PR for his organization, and considers losing his Persian more unforgivable than an attack on his position. As the story progresses, he begins to eschew his more megalomaniac plots on account of how unprofitable they are.

  • Mysterious Encounter makes Lovrina an unwilling accomplice to Cipher's plans and also makes her a traitor to them. In the game it is based on, Lovrina is a Cute and Psycho willing member.

  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
    • Lt. Surge goes from the bullying jackass of the anime to a friendly, respectful guy, bringing him more in line with the version from the games.
    • Erika, while retaining some issues originating with her anime self, shows herself to be friendlier and less restrictive than her anime self was.
    • BW Rials Burgundy and Georgia are no longer antagonistic and appear in moral and helpful takes on their pettier roles in the original series.
    • Per Pocket Monsters: The Animation, Ash's grandfather was like Ash's father, his son-in-law, in having left the family and never come back, leaving his wife, Ash's grandmother alone to run the family restaurant and raise Delia, which left Delia with resentment at him (and her husband). In Reset, he is very much present in his family's life and hates Ash's father for having left, though he dies of a stroke before Ash is born and Delia does admit she and him did not have the best relationship, though it is clear she still loves him in a way she did not in the above light novel.
    • The average Aether Foundation member is shown to lack the air of fakeness that they had in canon to some extent and are fully devoted to helping Pokemon. They just happen to have Faba around, and their president is currently high on crazy venom from another dimension.
    • While always a sympathetic character, Doctor Fuji is treated more sympathetically and less villainous than his canon self with no interest in having Mewtwo run around and blow stuff up. Then he dies because Mewtwo gets out and blows stuff up.
    • Despite original appearances, the Hypno of Three Island isn't malevolent like the games somewhat hinted.
      • A Reset original character got this when adapted to another work by the author: in Shudo cross Modern Ash: The League Refocused 20 Gyarados Bill is mentioned as a Professor and one of the world's leading sociologists. Similarly a immigrant in reverse, Electra Artisan is not depicted as corrupt and money focused as she was in the original fic when a version of her showed up in Reset Bloodlines.

Portal

  • In Portal 2: The (Unauthorized) Musical, the Cores, who were largely passive in the game, take on a more active role in the boss fight against Wheatley. Special mention goes to the Space Core, who physically drags Wheatley through the portal into space.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Rango

Ren Zha Fan Pai Zi Jiu Xi Tong

  • SV Wishes has its transmigrators act out on their more altrustic desires since they aren't being forced by the System to stick to a narrative.
    • Shen Yuan isn't pushed into throwing anyone under the bus to save himself. In addition, due to his ignorance of the series' plot leads him to be kind to Luo Binghe out of sympathy. While he justifies it as insurance against Luo Binghe's betrayal, he's very caring to someone he thought was an NPC.
    • Shang Qinghua is more proactive in his attempts to change the storyline compared to his canon counterpart who passively went with The Stations of the Canon and had to forced to act. Shang Qinghua goes out of his way to warn people from their potential dark fates and is overcome with remorse that he wrote them horrific futures that he does everything to change it.

The Rising of the Shield Hero

  • Hope of the Shield Hero: The Three Heroes in canon were all Idiot Heroes at best and The Poorly Chosen One at worst, being Destructive Saviors in their attempts at a short-sighted chance at living out a hero fantasy. While Motoyasu is mostly unchanged, both Ren and Itsuki are far less gullible, far less of a dick to Naofumi and each have a Break the Haughty moment that makes them more worthy of their titles.
    • Ren Amaki, while he was the Token Good Teammate among the Three Heroes, his character flaw of being an Ineffectual Loner still made him The Poorly Chosen One, resulting in poor teamwork amongst his party. He also became a Destructive Savior as a result of slaying Gaelion and leaving his body to rot, and he did believe Malty and the Church's flimsy accusations against Naofumi. Here in this story, Ren treats Naofumi with more kindness, giving him the benefit of the doubt after seeing Myne get in bed with Motoyasu. He also learns that Gaelion was an innocent dragon and adopted father immediately after striking the fatal blow on him, causing him to recruit Wyndia into his party to atone for his mistake as well as to give Gaelion a proper burial (averting the Dracolich problem that occurred in canon), and it allows him to learn to work alongside his team.
    • Itsuki Kawasumi in canon was an egotist who cared more about the fame and glory he could receive as a hero, causing him to commit seemingly heroic acts that only proved detrimental to people in the long runnote , and refusing to take responsibility for it. It takes being betrayed by his party members, falling victim to the Curse Series, and being saved and taken care of by Rishia for him to get his act together. Here, Itsuki gets more Pet the Dog moments and takes Raphtalia's words about helping slaves to heart, allowing him to root out corruption in Melromarc and save innocent Demihuman slaves, as well as finding a party that is genuinely heroic and loyal to him. Perhaps the most noticeable change is how Itsuki treats Rishia, growing to care for her far earlier than in canon, showing remorse and concern when he accidentally injures her, and being relieved when she's healed whereas Pre-Character Development Itsuki in canon abandoned her for being an inconveniencenote .

RWBY

  • Jaune got eleven waifus pregnant:
    • Whitley Schnee is portrayed not as the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing he is in canon, but as a caring, upstanding young man who loves his sisters, no matter how much he may tease them. When his father disowns Weiss, he responds by exposing his unethical practices and having him thrown in prison. Once he takes over the SDC, he puts an end to the company's corrupt and abusive practices. He even builds a massive, luxurious mansion for his sister, her husband Jaune, Jaune's other wives, and all their children.
    • Cinder, Emerald and Neopolitan are far better than they were in canon, being three of Jaune's loving wives.
  • Linked in Life and Love: Raven, Yang's mother, is a much more heroic figure in the fic than in canon. Here, she actually had a good reason for leaving, and once she returned to her Bandit Clan she reformated it into a respected company specializing in mercenary work. And when she hears Yang is in trouble, she immediately throws everything aside to help—unlike in canon, where she dismissed Yang's trauma as not her problem.

  • As part of the premise of being a Mirror Universe fic, RWBY: Dark features heroic versions of Salem, Cinder Fall, and other villains from the series proper.

  • RWBY: Destiny of Remnant:
    • Raven Branwen in canon is a Social Darwinist and Dirty Coward who abandoned her husband Taiyang and her newborn daughter Yang, wanting to stay out of the Ozpin's war with Salem to the point she murdered the Spring Maiden and took her powers, as well as sell out her brother to Cinder all for the sake of her survival. Here, she is an aloof and pragmatic, but loyal ally to the heroes and Ozpin, lacks her canon counterpart's cowardice and selfishnessnote , and she keeps tabs on her family rather than abandon themnote . She even goes so far as to sacrifice her life to save Qrow from Cinder's attack, something she never would have done in canon.
    • Neopolitan remains an antagonist in canon, wanting to get revenge on Ruby for Roman's death and is willing to work alongside Cinder despite also blaming the latter (with some persuasion after Neo targeted Cinder first). While she does want to avenge Roman's death here, she instead sabotages Salem's operation and helps the heroes free Pyrrha from their clutches, becoming a genuine ally to them.
    • Cardin Winchester becomes The Atoner here as a result of Jaune saving his life, becoming a more sympathetic and courageous person over time, and sacrificing his life to help Pyrrha and her rescuers escape.
    • While he's still a Corrupt Corporate Executive, Jacques Schnee does go through a Heel Realization after Winter is proven right about Ironwood being brainwashed and tries his best to make amends. Unfortunately, since he basically abandoned Winter to rot in prison instead of giving her the benefit of the doubt, Winter outright refuses to accept his apology, making it painfully clear to Weiss that their father has a lot to do before she can even consider forgiving him. He has since started working to change for the better.
    • Both Ironwood and Winter end up receiving this treatment as of the canon Volume 7. Ironwood undergoes a Face–Heel Turn in canon due to his growing paranoia, becoming The Unfettered in his fight against Salem's forces to the point he decides to leave Mantle to fend for itself and actually turns on Ozpin, even going so far as to try to kill his current vessel Oscar. Winter remains loyal to Ironwood and obeys his orders without question, though she is merciful enough to give her sister and her friends a head start, and she also encourages Penny and Weiss to form their own path. While Ironwood does become an antagonist in this story, it's only because he's brainwashed, and he returns to being an ally once he's freed. Winter also doesn't have blind loyalty to Ironwood, secretly going against his orders and helping her sister smuggle Penny out of Atlas when she learns Ironwood plans to use her as a suicide bomber, both to save Penny's life and to stop Ironwood from potentially provoking the other Kingdoms to go to war with Atlas.

A Song of Ice and Fire

  • Chasing Dragons:
    • Euron Greyjoy is far from the psychotic reaver of canon, instead being one of Stannis' most stalwart and loyal allies. Ultimately subverted, as it turns out that he's playing a Long Game to take the Iron Throne for himself.
    • Likewise Vicatarion, who in canon was little more than The Dragon to Balon and later a thug for Euron. Here, he's one of the great heroes of the Abolitionist Alliance.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Soul Eater

  • Quite a few Soul Eater fics prefer to have Crona and Ragnarok remain in Shibusen like in the anime as opposed to going back to Medusa as antagonists like in the manga. Breaking Point and Soul Eater: Troubled Souls are two such examples that take advantage of that.

Spider-Man

  • The Web of The Spider-Man: Peter Parker was never a particularly mean or villainous guy, but the weight of "with great power there must also come great responsibility" didn't really sink in until after his uncle's death. Here, Peter rushes in to help a guard who was Pinned to the Wall even before getting his powers. Afterwards, Peter's respect for his uncle and binge watching of anime and cartoons inspires him to use his new abilities to become a superhero even without Ben's death.

Star Trek

  • The Star Trek: Enterprise fic "Familiar Strangers" does this to a degree for the Enterprise-generation Mirror Universe; when Hoshi Sato finds herself in that universe through a transporter accident (with her counterpart having been killed long before she could join the crew), the Mirror Archer proves to be a more reasonable individual, listening to Hoshi's insight and showing greater pragmatism than his canon counterpart's desire to just kill everyone he didn't like.
  • In Between the Mountain and the River, Sybok's counterpart is far more balanced and reasonable than his Prime incarnation, and on a planet where There Are No Therapists his philosophy of embracing emotion and confronting pain begins to serve a beneficial purpose. He also becomes a valuable ally to Jim and Spock.

Star Wars

  • The Desert Storm:
    • Because of Ben, Jango Fett becomes much more heroic compared to his canon self. He becomes one of Ben’s closest friends and even a pillar of support for him. He also mentors Obi-Wan and sides against the Sith rather than help them. However, on more than one occasion it is gently pointed out to him that he is still fundamentally the same man — just one now aware (and horrified by) how far he's willing to go to get revenge, pointed at the bad guys, and with several Morality Chains (Ben, Obi-Wan, and Satine).
    • In Legends, Komari Vosa falls to the Dark Side and becomes the leader of the Bando Gora following her banishment from the Temple. Thanks to Ben and Obi-Wan convincing Dooku to take her back as his Padawan, Komari doesn't Fall and ends up becoming a Cool Big Sis for Sian. Chapter 9 of Mirage subverts this, as Lady Livion's POV shows that Komari is being drawn into the Dark Side by Darth Plagueis with the Jedi around her being none the wiser.
    • Because Obi-Wan helped liberate the Kaleesh people, Qymaen Jai Sheelal (Grievous's past self) doesn't develop a hatred of the Jedi and ultimately becomes an enthusiastic ally to Obi-Wan.
    • In Legends, Bruck Chun was a bully who joined Xanatos Du Crion and remained as a villain up to his death. Here, he ultimately rejects Du Crion and deeply regrets spying for him. He ends up joining the Temple Guard to atone for his actions.
  • Since the major nail in Precipice is that Anakin never followed Mace Windu to Palpatine's office, he never led the attack on the Jedi Temple and instead defended it, averting his fall to the Dark Side. Instead, he goes onto become a hero of The Rebellion and is one of the biggest threats to The Empire.

Steven Universe

  • The Steven Universe fanfic We Are The Chatroom Gems has a few examples:
    • Bismuth in the original was a Knight Templar who got poofed by Rose Qurtz for wanting to kill the Diamonds. Here she's simply a close friend of Rose.
    • Sugilite in the original was well intentioned, but incredibly violent to the point of attacking Pearl. Here she's another friend and in a relationship with Sardonyx and Opal.
    • Though YMMV on how evil Blue Diamond is, Azura just has depression, and is shown to be more tolerant and open minded than Yella.
  • In Steven Universe, Rhodonite mentions that she had to go into hiding when her Morganite discovered her. In What Might Have Been however, there is mention of a Morganite joining the Crystal Gems to save a pearl and ruby from getting shattered.

Super Mario Bros.

Sword Art Online

  • The Kirita Chronicles:
    • While Kayaba Akihiko remains the Big Bad of this story, his more humane side is explored. He saves the lives of a few players and seems to have a soft spot for some of them, especially Kirita.
    • Neither Johnny Black or XaXa have been introduced as members of the Laughing Coffin, and they appear to be relatively decent people.
    • Unlike Kuradeel's somewhat psychotic canon version, this version was willing to save people's lives during his introduction. He has been going through Sanity Slippage and Took a Level in Jerkass due to the death of his best friend, however he still seems to care about the people he considers friends.
    • Akio the genderbent version of Asuna, is a downplayed example because while Asuna was a good person in canon, Akio is much nicer than Asuna was from the start.

Tales Series

Tolkien's Legendarium

  • In Death Seeker, Grima Wormtongue is revealed to have been under Saruman's thrall, so his treason against Rohan was not really his doing. After Gandalf frees him, he's wracked with guilt over what he did and immediately joins the Riders of Rohan. He eventually dies a heroic death trying to save Théoden from the Witch-King.

  • Downplayed a bit with Smaug (more the one from Jackson's movies than the novel) in The Heart Trilogy. He's every bit as selfish, greedy and bloodthirsty as in canon, displaying his caring side only towards his beloved Kathryn. However, the movie trilogy's Smaug insinuates that he'd gladly join Sauron's cause For the Evulz and is confirmed to have done so in the extended edition. The fic series' Smaug is never interested to serve Sauron or anyone else, wanting to be left in peace with his treasure and Kathryn unless crossed.note  He even takes the side of the Free Peoples in the War of the Ring, if only to ensure the safety of Kathryn and their twins, get back at Sauron and Fankil for everything they've done to the couple, and retake Erebor as his reward for helping the Free Peoples win the war.

Total Drama

  • Despair Island: Here, Ezekiel's much more respectable and friendly to his teammates, to the point he serves as the Morality Pet for the rest of the campers up until his death. In the author's reasoning for his elimination, they explain that he served as a great 'pre-merge protagonist' who'd look after his teammates and be there for them at the face of certain death.

  • The infamously bizarre Total Drama Fan Film William Country does this with Chris McLean. In the source material, Chris was a sadist who loved messing with the campers' collective heads, used interns to test out the contests he'd use for them during the reality show (and cared very little if the contests killed said interns...which it did often) and was just generally a huge jerk to everyone. Here, he's depicted as a genuinely nice guy who wants the campers to have fun, gives them (mostly) harmless challenges to complete and promises that everyone (not just the winners) will be rewarded under the condition that they finish the challenges "early".

  • The Legend of Total Drama Island:: Scarlett's canonical megalomania isn't a factor here, and her wild hair is more a sign of her having just gotten out of bed, or being played for effect during challenges. She still retains some dark themes, such as her pajamas depicting the fires of Hell, but its downplayed overall.

  • Random Drama Series
    • Lightning, while still egotistical, is shown to be much more of a team player, and even develops an Odd Friendship with Bridgette. This becomes especially apparent when he makes it to the finals in ROTI: while in canon he played the villainous brawn to the heroic Cameron's brains, here he plays the heroic brawn to Natasha's villainous brains.
    • Scarlett in World Tour does go crazy as in canon, but here it is clearly attributed to stress and the machinations of Mal, and afterwards she does whatever she can to make up for it.

  • Total Alternate Island: While she does have plenty of her original Alpha Bitch moments from the cannon Total Drama Island plot (as well as some new acts of villainy, like tampering with the votes to get rid of Sara), Heather in the fanfiction becomes a Defrosting Ice Queen much quicker, actually shows concern for her siblings back home, and isn`t responsible for some cruel actions in the cannon series (notably getting Trent eliminated, as it`s Courtney who blackmailed him out of the competition here).

Touhou

  • Touhou Ibunshu does this to about half the cast, presumably to balance out the Adaptational Villainy of the other half. Reimu and Marisa go from selfish violent jerks to instead being genuinely heroic, Yuyuko, Suika, and the entire Eientei Cast Herd are not antagonists (Yuyuko in particular almost reaches Purity Sue levels), and minor characters like Keine, Alice, Chen, and Ran assist the protagonists instead of fighting them.

Transformers

Twilight

  • In the Twilight fic "Luminescence", while Victoria still drinks human blood, after circumstances lead to her befriending Bella (even before she identifies Bella as her mate), Victoria agrees to Bella's conditions not to feed on women, children, or any of Bella's friends. As time goes on, Victoria not only steps in to protect Bella, but even finds it harder to just feed on random humans grabbed off the street, such as considering that an old man may have family who'll miss him, even if she never switches completely to a vegetarian lifestyle.

Undertale

  • In Inverted Fate several characters achieve this by actually fighting Frisk, rather than the more passive roles they play in canon.
  • Storyshift:
    • In the preboot, Chara (shifted into Sans' role) makes fast friends with "Shifty", clearly loves their family, and shows no hostility towards the monsters of the Underground, compared to their mysterious and Ambiguously Evil canon counterpart. However, the King Asriel ending (bear in mind this involves you killing both their adoptive parents, plus Sans and Papyrus) starts to look alarmingly familiar. Since they got shifted into Sans' role, they would have also almost certainly been the Final Boss of the Genocide route and Hero Antagonist fighting against a Villain Protagonist Shifty, had the preboot not been cancelled.
    • In the reboot, while they aren't nearly as friendly to Frisk as the preboot version, Chara is still willing to help Frisk, is protective of their brother, and is also more sympathetic to poor Dogamy than Asriel is, with their love for their family staying intact from the preboot. However, their canon counterpart's hatred for humanity is reemphasized, as they make it clear they are only helping Frisk to obey orders from their mother Toriel, and warn/threaten Frisk: "If you want to leave, don’t let the mask slip. We will know." Voltrathelively explains in this Reddit comment that she had intended Preboot Chara's cheerful, chummy behavior with Frisk to be a front they put on to keep the human charmed and non-hostile so they wouldn't attack the Underground. The difference is that Reboot Chara doesn't even bother trying to pretend.
  • TS!Underswap:
    • Asgore has Toriel's role, so unlike his canon counterpart, he not only didn't kill the fallen humans, he actually tried to offer them protection and shelter in his home. In Genocide, he also makes a genuine effort to kill Chara and stop them from killing his people, whereas both Toriel and Asgore in Undertale's Genocide were mowed down in one hit without realizing how dangerous the player character was until it was too late.
    • Will apply to many characters in Genocide, most likely. In Undertale, almost all the Genocide "boss" fights are One Hit Kills due to your character's high LV where the "bosses" aren't even programmed to fight back, and all the Underground can really do is evacuate as many people as possible to run and hide from you. In TS!Underswap, Team Switched currently plans for monsters being more active in trying to stop you (thanks to Asgore alerting them about you before his death, so the rationale is that they're not caught as off-guard as they were in the source material), there will be more full-fledged, difficult boss fights like Asgore in the above example with the monsters (even the ones who aren't main characters) doing their damnedest to stop you. By the look of The Stinger in the demo for Genocide, even Sans will be trying to kill you as soon as you arrive to prevent you from massacring the rest of the Underground. Good for the Underground, not so much for the player.
    • Chara arguably qualifies as well. It's hotly debated by fans whether the Chara from the original game was always like their self-serving, heartless, and cruel version met in the Genocide ending (which would make them a straight example of Adaptational Heroism in TS!Underswap), or a Well-Intentioned Extremist and Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who lost their soul when they died and only becomes truly evil when corrupted by Frisk/the player. Team Switched applies both the Narrator Chara theorynote  and the player theorynote  to their fangame, depicting Chara as a cute, mischievous child who clearly likes Asgore. It's implied in all routes that Chara is being controlled, with any deaths at their hands directly the responsibility of the player. However, going Genocide corrupts them into enjoying the murders as much as it appears to their canon counterpart.
    • As of the demo's ending, this may apply to Flowey if he is sincere about helping Chara (and isn't just tricking them). He saves them from the Temmies no matter what, presents himself as a new friend and ally to Chara, and the role swap means that the Temmies are occupying his counterpart's role as the Big Bad, so this Flowey might not be anymore evil than an Undertale Temmie. Muddied by the fact his counterpart is a Manipulative Bastard, he saves Chara from the Temmies no matter what (including the Genocide ending), and dialogue from some of the endings hints at a possible case of Evil vs. Evil with the Temmies.

Warhammer 40,000

  • Brighthammer 40,000 is a Lighter and Softer take on Warhammer 40,000. Naturally, examples of this abound.
    • For starters, let's examine this setting's equivalent to the Chaos Gods, the Lords of Order. While hardly "nice" in a mortal sense, they're far better than their canon counterparts, and in-universe considered overall benevolent even by their detractors. For example, Nurgle cures sickness instead of inflicting it, while Khorne is a god of honorable combat rather than wanton slaughter.
    • The Imperium of Man, meanwhile, is a far cry from the "Catholic Space Nazis" of the original setting. People are not forced to worship the God-Emperor on pain of death, Xeno subject races have freedom of travel and settlement, and mutants and psykers are not persecuted or mistreated simply for existing.
    • The Emperor of Mankind is a much more benevolent ruler here, being more outwardly compassionate and heroic than his canon 40k counterpart, and was implied to be a good father figure for all the Primarchs. During the setting's equivalent of the Great Crusade, he let Horus and the traitor Primarchs sacrifice themselves during the Great Crusade by committing ritual suicide, as it allowed them to become Princes of Order and save the galaxy by countering the tyrannical influence of the corrupted Lords of Order, who were all bloated from the souls massacred by the Adepts of Unified Order. In addition, he has a goatee.
    • In this universe, Horus and the other traitor Primarchs didn't turn on the Imperium. Instead, they sacrificed themselves to prevent an endless, devastating war between the Imperium and the Lords of Order, and became Princes of Order who exist to counter the Lords of Order on the immaterial plane on the Imperium's behalf.
    • While they're still pretty brutal, the Orks have a good deal more nobility and restraint than they do in Warhammer. For example, they have a strong code against harming noncombatants, and any Ork who violates this rule can expect to be beaten within an inch of their lives. They're the lucky ones; non-Orks who break this rule are often singled out for particularly brutal deaths.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device: While the Emperor's dickishness is much clearer in this series, and quite pronounced at that, he actually cares about his Primarch as his children, and loves them just like they were his natural sons (though he's still a particularly shitty father). Back in the Black Library books, it's been revealed he never cared about them in canon, at least not as anything more than powerful, yet expendable tools in his conquests.

Worm

  • In Mauling Snarks, a major Alternate Universe element is the Slaughterhouse Nine, while still retaining their canon Dreaded reputation as roving serial killers, are actually a secret PRT-allied therapy group for capes with exceedingly violent power urges. Jack Slash, in fact, was the one who turned the entire group once he got rid of King.

  • Quicken: In canon, Emma was a bully. Here she’s an Anti-Hero. She picked a fight with a group of neo-Nazis because they were beating someone up and forced an enforcer to leave a girl alone.

X-Men: Evolution

  • In the X-Men: Evolution fic "Wanda's Life", Wanda is found and rescued from the asylum by Xavier, with the result that she is basically the third member of the X-Men after Scott and Jean, and even ends up dating Kurt.

Young Justice

  • With This Ring:
    • While Teth Adom still initially suffered from Deliberate Values Dissonance, he's less violent and more open-minded than his comics counterpart. He was a Kahndaqi (Egyptian) pharaoh who proved himself worthy of Shazam through his actions as a Warrior Prince and ruled as a beloved monarch for 80 years. He also had pretty legitimate reasons to hate the wizard Shazam. He was trying to form an ancient equivalent of the Justice League with other monarchs to deal with rising threats and Shazam believed that he was trying to become a conquering despot.
    • Queen Clea of Venturia is given more a backstory than canon, where she's been perhaps harsh but only in response to the much more questionable actions of other parties, and who resents the Atlantean crown for failing to protect her family. When given options for maintaining what independence her city still has, she's quite reasonable.
    • Princess Komand'r of Tamaran (Blackfire) is given the opportunity to make a name for herself as an Orange Lantern, without needing to compete with her sister, and mellows quite a lot as a result, especially after she finds a cure for the disease that took away her solar powers.
  • Jason Todd in Young Justice: Darkness Falls. Remember how the original Jason Todd went Jumping Off the Slippery Slope after his resurrection? Well in this fic, Jason, while still not a good guy in the same way The Team and the League are, still stands to fight The Light and use his gang to fight criminals. The fact that he was injured disarming a bomb of Two-Face's rather than getting beaten to death by The Joker might have also helped. In fact, this fic actually has Jason and Bruce reconcile and come to an understanding at least.

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