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Adaptational Heroism

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Poison Ivy: From heartless and vindictive eco-terrorist to friendly and well-meaning activist.
"Yup, the comic and movie are pretty much identical — as long as you cut out all the 'I make this look good's and 'It just be rainin' black people in New York!'s and replace them with a whole bunch of murder."

The flip side to Adaptational Villainy. While some adaptations make a character more evil, this is the opposite. A character is villainous or just not very nice in their original medium, but when the time comes for the adaptation, things change. Perhaps some of the scenes in which they Kick the Dog are cut, or they are a Composite Character with someone who was nice in the original. Perhaps the original suffers from Values Dissonance and is portrayed more sympathetically to match the values of a modern audience. Maybe a Generic Doomsday Villain gains a motive and comes across as an Anti-Villain or a Jerkass Woobie. Another common route is to expand the character's backstory and role, giving them Hidden Depths and Character Development.

A subtrope of Adaptation Personality Change. Compare Adaptational Nice Guy and Adaptational Sympathy (with which this trope can overlap), Historical Hero Upgrade (when this is done to a historical person in a work), Draco in Leather Pants (when fandom does this to a canon villain), Rousseau Was Right (for when the story is Lighter and Softer compared to its original incarnation), and Everybody Loves Zeus (when this is done with gods associated with light and the heavens). Contrast Adaptational Villainy. Might overlap with Heinousness Retcon.

Note that despite the title, the character need not become an actual hero, just more heroic than they were in the source material.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Abridged Series 
  • Berserk Abridged: Griffith is portrayed as less self-centered and more caring than he is in canon. This culminates in the eclipse. When the Godhand make their offer, he flat-out refuses to sacrifice his friends, and is outraged that they'd even suggest such a thing. It's also worth mentioning that he didn't know Guts still had some healing powder, so he was under the impression that he had no other way to fulfill his dream, or even recover from his ordeal. In other words, he chose to remain a crippled wretch because he cared about his friends too much to sacrifice them.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Doctor Wheelo, the villain of the second DBZ movie, The World's Strongest, is actually a super smart scientist who made great leaps and bounds in cancer research, but died of lung cancer and had his brain put into an android's body by his Mad Scientist assistant, Kochin. The entire movie shows Kochin perverting Wheelo's work for evil purposesnote  and he only really attacks the heroes because he flips out after discovering Kochin put him into a robotic body. In a strange twist, Wheelo regains his sanity when he flies into space and is struck by how beautiful the Earth is, which lets Gohan talk him down, leading to the heroes using the Dragon Balls to grant him a new body.
    • In canon, Nappa was a sadistic psycho who enjoyed death and destruction for their own sake. But in the Abridged series, it's all but stated that he does what he does because he genuinely doesn't know right from wrong, let alone understand the gravity of his actions. He also gives up being evil after he gets resurrected. On the other hand, canon Nappa did actually care about Raditz to some extent (suggesting that they use the Dragon Balls to wish him back to life) while Abridged Nappa makes fun of him just like everyone else does.
    • Downplayed with Freeza. He's still a genocidal tyrant, but he's not quite as hateful as he was in canon. For one thing, he doesn't show as much sadistic glee in his cruel and brutal acts, and almost comes off as a Punch-Clock Villain at times. During a conversation, he admits that he used to spare children, and only stopped doing so because they'd almost inevitably come after him. He also shows much more care and concern for his higher-ranking minions than his canon counterpart ever did; for example, during the battle with the heroes he mentally agonizes about losing all his elites, says he misses Zarbon when Goku shouts that his butt is flaming, and tries to decide what to give the Ginyu Force's families when he sends his condolences.
    • Paragus is given a much more sympathetic treatment than his canon counterpart. He's still an antagonist, still trying to kill Vegeta for something his father did and he did enslave a race of aliens. However, the Saiyan Prince's Adaptational Villainy in the abridged series makes him more sympathetic in his attempts to murder him, and the aliens he enslaves actually enjoy their situation because they're all extremely masochistic. Moreover, the most heinous action of his canon counterpart (the havoc of the South Galaxy) is here clearly presented as a horrible accident and he didn't want to lure anyone other than Vegeta onto the doomed planet. Also unlike his canon counterpart, he has no ambitions of galactic conquest. Finally, he never even tried to brainwash his son Broly or use him as a weapon.
    • Speaking of Broly, unlike in canon, he's not a bloodthirsty maniac only kept in check by brainwashing. Rather, he's a harmless, meek, passive, even somewhat adorkable guy with a violent, brutal, sadistic alternate personality that comes out whenever he hears the name "Kakarot". He and Goku even strike up something of an Odd Friendship before Vegeta starts hammering his Trauma Button.
    • Mr. Satan is in this seat as well. In canon, he's a Glory Hound who proclaimed himself the one who defeated Perfect Cell and really wasn't believing of what the Z Warriors could do until Buu showed up years later. In Abridged, Cell's threat quickly changed his worldview, revealing his personality to be that of Kayfabe. After Cell's defeat, Mr. Satan takes the credit at reporter Jimmy Firecracker's recommendation, to calm down his panicking and rioting fans.
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged
  • My Little Pony: The Mentally Advanced Series: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are upgraded from Alpha Bitches to Harmless Villain Friendly Enemies with Apple Bloom. Diamond Tiara even hinted that someday she may hire Apple Bloom as her enforcer.
  • RWBY: The Abridged Series portrays "The Creatures of Grimm" as more quirky intelligent animals and less the murderous psychopaths bent on the destruction of humanity they were in the original show. The avian Grimm Ruby kills was just enjoying his day. The Beowolves are surprisingly polite, even though Weiss started a fight with them and Ruby attacked one of their pack mates with her scythe. They even ask Ruby and Weiss if they need a minute alone after they start arguing with each other and one of them even playfully tells them to get a room. The black head of the dual-headed King Tajitu Ren gets into a fight with was just trying to be nice when questioning whether or not he was lost in the woods and the other head only attacked Ren after he stabbed his friend. As of Episode Four, the Dark Stalker Pyrrha and Jaune run into is the only really bad Grimm and the worst it does is molest Jaune and ignore his safety by tossing him into the forest and in this version, Pyrrha already does stuff like this to Jaune anyway.
  • Sword Art Online Abridged:
    • Diabel gets promoted from a Manipulative Bastard using a raid group just so he can be the one to grab a rare item, to a genuinely Nice Guy trying to lead the other players through the first dungeon. Unfortunately he's Surrounded by Idiots, so by the end of his episode he's bought into Kirito's cynical, dismissive worldview.
    • Played with in the case of Akihiko Kayaba. The big difference between this Kayaba and his canon counterpart is that the whole "death game" scenario was the result of a Game-Breaking Bug and Kayaba was so loopy from sleep deprivation that he decided to pretend I Meant to Do That and lock everyone in SAO. By the time he recovered enough to realize what a horrible idea that was, thousands of players had died, so he intervened as a GMPC to try to get the rest through the game safely, to mixed results. When he meets with Kirito and Asuna after their final confrontation, Kayaba insists that he never actually meant for anyone to get hurt... which they take issue with.
      Kirito: Uh, you just killed a guy, like, two minutes ago for mildly sassing you.
      Asuna: Also, you know, us!
      Kayaba: Look, it was a very tense situation, and I think it should be pretty apparent by now that I ain't exactly the picture of grace under fire! Besides, that guy was in the mafia, that's, like, a freebie.
    • In Season Two, the traitorous Prince Sigurd, who was trying to defect to a rival faction, is changed to the duplicitous Prince Cazmer/Travis, who goes behind his leader's back and works with a rival faction to... try and make Queen Sakuya/Brian and Eugene/Becky talk and get over their acrimonious break-up, and thus end the Fantastic Racism plaguing Alfheim Online.
      Cazmer: I just wanted peace between the races!
      Sakuya: Your mad dreams end here, Travis!
  • In Vaguely Recalling JoJo, J. Geil genuinely cares for Enya and Dio is a good father for Giorno. Also, Dio cares about his minions, as they're alive in later episodes.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Malevolent Noble, based on the story of Bluebeard, portrays the titular noble as a decidedly less evil figure than his inspiration — whereas the original Bluebeard murdered innocent women for no particular reason, the Noble instead preys on Wicked Witches lured with the promise of children to prey on.

  • Beauty and the Beast: In both of Robin McKinley's retellings, Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast and Rose Daughter, Beauty's sisters are portrayed as kind and loving instead of petty and jealous of Beauty. They do start out as somewhat haughty people in Rose Daughter, but even then quickly mellow out once they lose their wealth.
  • Cthulhu Armageddon:
  • In The Divine Comedy, the Titan Saturn is described as "that dear king whose rule undid all evil", ignoring the myth where Saturn ate his own children and waged divine war as soon as they escaped his stomach. This reflects the great difference between the mythological accounts of the Greek titan Cronos and the Roman god Saturn, who were nevertheless regarded by the Romans as somehow the "same".
  • Everworld: The Fomorians go from being the divine enemies of the Irish gods, not unlike the Titans or Jotuns, and instead are a race of friendly, dumb Gentle Giants who guard the shores of Everworld-Ireland.
  • Halloween (1978): The novelization strongly suggests that Michael Myers is actually an innocent victim possessed by the ghost of a Celtic murderer named Enda.
  • Maiden Crown is based on the medieval Danish ballad "Valdemar and Tove" and focuses on its antagonist, Queen Sophia (the historical Sophia of Minsk, given a Historical Villain Upgrade). Unlike the ballad's portrayal of her as a cruel and spiteful villain, she is a kind and naive princess who undergoes severe emotional stresses and anguish after becoming queen. This extends to the novel's adaptation of the ballad's ending: unlike the original ballad, her murder of her husband's mistress Tove is a complete accident. She slams the bathhouse door shut without knowing it will trap Tove inside to be steamed alive; in the ballad, she did it deliberately to kill her.
  • In Myth-O-Mania, mostly with the help of Hades, encounters with famous monsters from Classical Mythology tend to be resolved peacefully, and many of them are friendly and misunderstood rather than evil. The Hydra becomes one of Hercules's True Companions, and killed humans with her poisonous breath by accident rather than malice. The Minotaur is a perfectly decent vegetarian whose human "sacrifices" are found alive and well, intended as wrestling partners instead of food, while the Calydonian Boar is a down-on-his-luck wrestler who just wants his job back.
  • Oliver Twisted: In the original story, Oliver Twist, the Dodger is a willing pickpocket and crony of The Fagin. In this novel, Dodge is less of The Artful Dodger and resents his work although he came to adapt to it. Dodge encourages Nancy that they should help Oliver when Fagin's plan goes too far, and he even splits from Fagin's gang and summons the Knights of Nostradamus to rescue Oliver, and he and Dodge become True Companions.
  • Paradise Lost: Genesis portrays the Serpent as being chiefly responsible for his action and, in the last book of the Biblical canon, it becomes clear that the Serpent was Satan all along. In John Milton's mind, the serpent was just a mindless animal whose body Satan possessed to carry out his plans. The serpent is just a hapless victim of the Devil's scheming, more innocent than even Adam and Eve.
  • In Prince Caspian, Bacchus and the Maenads undergo this treatment. The original Greco-Roman myths depict Bacchus as a fearsome god of alcohol and madness, and the Maenads as frenzied cultists who partake in orgies of ecstasy and gruesome violence similar to The Wild Hunt. In Prince Caspian, on the other hand, Bacchus is almost like the Disney version of Peter Pan, and the Maenads are the female equivalents of the Lost Boys. To someone versed in Classical Mythology, this comes off like a kiddie cartoon called "Mola Ram and Friends." This is somewhat justified in-story by the implication that they're changed by Aslan's presence, losing the aspects of their character associated with corruption and becoming representatives of harmless joy and high spirits. Susan even comments that "I wouldn't have felt very safe with Bacchus and all his wild girls if we'd met them without Aslan." It's a clear reference to the Christian "baptism" of pagan symbolism (e.g., the use of pre-Christian Germanic traditions at Christmas).
  • The Secret of Platform 13: All the magical creatures are depicted as basically good, though the more traditionally bad ones generally fall under Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad (like the hags) or Good Is Not Nice (like the harpies). The nuckelavee gets the full treatment, however: not only is there no mention of its poisonous breath, the fact that it has no skin fascinates everybody except Raymond, whose insults make it slink back into the water for another century.
  • Transformers: The Covenant of Primus sees this happen to the Fallen, as his incarnation Transformers Aligned Universe is a far more sympathetic character than previous portrayals have had him, where he was straight-up evil from the get go. This version is heroic and noble, if misguided, before his eventual fall and seeks to atone for his actions It's ultimately subverted as his appearances in Transformers: Robots in Disguise presents him more in line with his Dreamwave and Revenge of the Fallen incarnations.
  • I Am Mordred: In this telling, Mordred does all he can to resist the prophecy made about him. Though he has understandably mixed feelings about his father King Arthur since the latter tried to kill him, Mordred likes him nonetheless and hates the prophecy.
  • The Magic Treehouse: Morgan Le Fay, typically a wicked sorceress in Arthurian Mythology, is on good terms with Merlin and helps the 2 protagonists often during their missions.
  • In keeping with modern interpretations of the story, in David Gemmell's Troy series Hektor is probably the most heroic character in the entire series. With many of his actions that would be dubious to modern audiences omitted from the story.
  • Harrison Bergeron: In the original short story, Harrison was a Parody Sue and the story was ambiguous as to whether he was in the right. However, the movie and 2081 are unquestionably on Harrison’s side, with him being much nicer (also normal, rather than a huge, god-like being).

    Multiple Media 
  • Fate Series: While some legendary characters fit more under Historical Hero Upgrade and its inverse, the few fictional characters in their universe qualify:
    • Doctor Henry Jekyll (intoduced in Fate/Prototype) originally created his famous serum to separate people from their vices, as in the story he came from. While Hyde still acts on Jekyll's repressed emotions, Jekyll never once uses his alternate form to indulge in his darker desires before the murders start. Ultimately, while in the novella Hyde is the one that does them both in out of fear of getting caught, Jekyll is the one to kill them here to stop him from taking over.
    • The story of Frankenstein and his Monster (introduced in Fate/Apocrypha) was much more Black and White than what the novel portrayed. Originally created to be the "Eve" to the Original Human race, the Creature was a genuine success and had a childlike innocence, though not without her anger issues; a far cry from her scheming, embittered literary counterpart. Frankenstein on the other hand was turned into a pettier man who still broke his promise to create a partner for her even though she never killed several of his family like in the book, to the point she goes berserk just thinking about him. In fact, all the more unsavory bits were written up by Mary Shelley when Frankenstein commissioned her.
    • While not without a few of his vices, Sherlock Holmes (introduced in Fate/Grand Order) is a much nicer, charismatic man to be around than his literary self, partly due to being a composite of his portrayals throughout time. He's even considered good enough to be summoned as a Ruler, though even he admits that as a fluke.
  • Largo Winch: Largo's adoptive father Nerio Winch gets this treatment in both the live-action series and film adaptations. In both the novels and the comics, Nerio is a corrupt and unscrupulous leader of a buisness empire who enriched himself through unethical ways and is generally disliked by the population and feared by own employees. He also only treated his heir and adoptive son Largo as a mean to pursue his legacy and never cared about his well-being. Both live-acton adaptaton makes him a generous humanitarian (if a bit stern and distant) who has genuine friendly interaction with Largo. The series goes as far as having him secretly fighting a Nebulous Evil Organisation and he's also revealed to be Largo's biological father who deliberately had him adopted by another couple to protect him.
  • Total Recall:
    • The Piers Anthony novelization of Total Recall (1990) has Hauser being geniune in turning against Cohaagen, with the plan to mindwipe himself and become Quaid, seemingly done to get to Kuato as in the film, really done as part of Kansas City Shuffle in the hopes of getting Quaid to activate the alien device and free Mars from Cohaagen.
    • Likewise, Total Recall (2012) sees Hauser's seeming Heel–Face Turn be legitimate.

  • Discworld: In Wintersmith, the Summer Lady is callous and uncaring, and it's made very clear that eternal summer would have been just as bad as eternal winter; it's just not what happened. The song "The Summer Lady" in the Steeleye Span Concept Album Wintersmith is about how wonderful she is for ending the cold. (Although the earlier "Fire and Ice" correctly portrays both the Summer Lady and the Wintersmith as neither good nor evil, just balanced.)
  • Mastodon: In the album Crack the Skye, this happens to Rasputin, of all people. The nameless protagonist of the album is a quadriplegic who accidentally flew too close to the sun while astral projecting, burning away the umbilical that was connecting him to his body. His spirit ended up getting summoned by Rasputin's cult, where he foretold Rasputin's demise. After his prediction came true, Rasputin's final act was to show him how to return to his own body.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology: Roman mythology often appears to do this to Greek gods. In actuality, it's more a holdover from before the native Latin gods became seen as the same individuals as the Greek ones. The Romans placed a much higher value on order than the Greeks did, and they tended to portray the gods as more rational and moral in their depictions, with The Aeneid being a classic example. Even after the Romans decided that their gods were the same as the Greek ones, those who were identified with unsavory Greek counterparts continued to be viewed in a more positive light.
    • Saturn/Cronus is one notable example. In Roman mythology, Saturn ruled in a golden age and was still worshiped as a patron of agriculture, even escaping to Rome after his overthrow by Jupiter to continue his golden age. Greek mythology, on the other hand? Cronus Eats Babies.
    • In Greek mythology, Ares was always the spirit of bloodlust and is portrayed as a vicious brute, primarily a destructive and destabilizing force who was also a Dirty Coward that ran away the moment he faced an opponent who could actually harm him. The Romans' Mars began as a god of agriculture, and even as a war god he was seen as defender of the land, a paternal figure who fights first and foremost to secure peace.
    • Eris/Discordia follows this to a lesser degree: The Greeks portrayed Eris as just a spiteful bitch who makes people fight For the Evulz. The Roman Discordia is more akin to a God of Chaos and isn't necessarily malicious.
    • Hades often gets this treatment in modern media due to the fact that he only abducted and raped one person, compared to either of his brothers. It's also common for the relationship to be portrayed as unambiguously consentual, with Persephone being just in love with him as he is with her, largely thanks to Greek myth actually depicting him as being a faithful and devoted husband.
    • Hera is often given decidedly more heroically in modern works as "the woman who has to deal with actually running things and handle the inevitable fallout from her husband's total lack of fidelity" rather than "the jealous crazy wife who tries to murder her husband's kids on a regular basis."
  • In Egyptian Mythology, Osiris was an ambiguous deity in the earlier version of his myths who oversaw the weighing of the heart and let souls enter the afterlife if they passed the test. After he was killed by Set and resurrected by Isis and Anubis, he became The Good King of Egypt during the end of the Osirian cycle.


  • Projection Quest has Trainwreck never become a part of the Merchants, instead opting to join Taylor in her heroic group and eventually become second in command of the Oathbound.
  • We Are Our Avatars: Although Tim Langdon was seen in a few scenes so far, he's much nicer than both Hiromu, his Sentai counterpart criticized for his serious characterization, and reboot!Dante. For the latter, arcadiarika states that she's trying to make him nothing like him and attempt to be closer personality-wise to classic!Dante.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: The original beastmen of Warhammer Fantasy are irredeemable Chaos mutants who loathe mankind and shun technology. The Beastmen of 40k are simply a product of evolution and can be loyal Imperial citizens if treated well.

  • And Then There Were None: Agatha Christie's theatrical adaption has two of the ten characters innocent of the crimes of which they were accused, survive, and fall in love. Most film adaptations use this revised ending, although for adaptations where Lombard is replaced by Charles Morley, this trope only applies to Vera, as Lombard was still guilty and committed suicide before the start of the story.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Two different adaptations — the 2005 stage musical Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka and the 2010 opera The Golden Ticket — do this to Willy Wonka. In the book, he's the Trope Namer for The Wonka. A Jerk with a Heart of Gold recluse who isn't one to go out of his way to be nice most of the time. In both of these adaptations, he becomes a Composite Character with the friendly sweetshop owner by way of the latter becoming the former's King Incognito disguise (this is telegraphed so clearly to the audience that there's no reveal of it. Many productions of the former just cast two actors, thus dropping this trope). In this disguise, he gets to know Charlie Bucket and, taking pity on the worthy-but-poor boy, arranges things so that he gets the Wonka Bar that contains the last of the Golden Tickets, whereas in the book Charlie finding his ticket is just a Million to One Chance paying off. The 2013 West End stage musical applies this to Mr. Wonka as well, but his masquerade and hand in Charlie's fortune is hidden until the very last moment. And with his greater generosity and sensitive artist's soul also come a darker attitude towards the unworthy, resulting in a complex example of this trope.
  • In Jesus Christ Superstar, Judas Iscariot comes off as a significantly better man than he does in The Four Gospels. He's here portrayed as an impassioned activist for the poor, based on the scene in the Gospel of John where he admonishes Jesus for using expensive oil on himself rather than donating it; while this episode is in the Bible, the narration notes that Judas really wanted the money for himself and was just buttering Jesus up. The show also gives him a sympathetic motive for betraying Jesus, namely feeling that Jesus needs to be fed some humble pie before his movement grows large enough to face a crackdown by the Romans, while in the Gospels he was either possessed by the Devil or simply greedy, depending on which one you read. How sympathetic the High Priests and Pontius Pilate are varies heavily by production as well.
  • Heathers: In the original, Veronica is an Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist Anti-Hero, while J.D. is an Ax-Crazy sociopathic Serial Killer. In the musical, Veronica comes off more as a generally nice (if snarky) girl who got in way over her head, and is too easily manipulated, and while J.D. is still a serial killer he's much less of a sociopath, and more of a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds that does genuinely care for Veronica. The musical also takes more time exploring the fact that J.D. isn't evil, exactly.
  • Les Misérables: Like in its film adaptation (see the Live-Action Film page), Eponine is considerably more sympathetic (and saner) than she is in the original novel.
  • Othello gives some characters this treatment. In the story the play was based on, Cinthio's "A Moorish Captain", some characters were far worse.
    • In the inspirational story, Othello's counterpart "the Moor" actually has "the Ensign" (Iago) bludgeon Desdemona to death with him and then the two of them Make It Look Like an Accident. The Moor then eventually turns on The Ensign not because he realises he has been manipulated but because the latter reminds him of his crime just by being around. He also refuses to admit his crime even after he is caught out. Shakespeare's Othello, by contrast, confesses to his crime almost immediately and chooses strangulation (after toying with poison) because he couldn't bring himself to damage her in such a brutal way; he is also much more of an Unwitting Pawn overall.
    • "The Ensign's Wife" was involved in the murder plot in the original story. While her counterpart Emilia steals Desdemona's handkerchief in Shakespeare's play, she has no idea why Iago wants it and is utterly horrified when she learns the truth.
  • The Phantom of the Opera:
    • Raoul gets this in the musical compared to Leorux's orignal novel. While not a villain and actually the protagionist/point of view character for most of the book, Raoul is far less bratty and more traditionally heroic here than his literary version who was clingy and even insulting to Christine after getting strung around by her, at one point even calling her a "wench" during his Despair Event Horizon. Even after learning her side of the story, Raoul still wants Christine to hate Erik and even pettily accuses her of loving the Phantom. His musical version lacks this these inherent character flaws and is a Nice Guy to Christine throughout, although it arguably makes him a Flat Character in the process. Played With also as musical Raoul uses Christine as bait to capture the Phantom, unlike book Raoul who despite his flaws just wanted and urged Christline to flee the Opera House as soon as possible.
    • The Phantom himself gets this to a degree. In the book he's an unbashed Psychopathic Manchild who has killed and tortured numerous people and has an Evil Laugh at multiple points. Christine is literally the only person he shows any compassion to and even then after she demasks him and sees his Nightmare Face, he fully intends to keep her underground with him forever, and if she rejects his marriage proposal blow up a portion of Paris with gunpowder. Thankfully stopped when Christine gives him all the love and pity she can offer. His musical version by comparsion isn't nearly as overtly evil and more sensual. He doesn't attempt to blow up Paris if Christine rejects him (only strangle Raoul), and even his murder of Joseph Buquet is framed in an ambigous fashion, so that it could possibly be self-defence. Andrew Lloyd Webber seeing the Phantom as his Author Avatar was also a factor in this treatment.
  • Pinocchio: The Musical makes Lampwick more heroic towards the end: he realizes that going to the Land of Toys was a bad idea, blames himself for carrying Pinocchio along and attacks the ringmaster when he decides that Pinocchio will be drowned and skinned, which results into him getting also punished.
  • The Prince of Egypt makes some additions to the animated film.
    • Here, Ramses actually demurs from attacking the Hebrews at the Red Sea. Hotep, on the other hand...
    • Seti has a verse in "All I Ever Wanted" where he explains his actions regarding the massacre of the Hebrew babies, and while in the film he was somewhat regretful but dismissed the victims as "only slaves", here he definitively states that his actions, while necessary and part of his responsibility as Pharaoh, also "scarred his soul" and were not what he wanted.
  • Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier: This entire musical is a retelling of classic Disney movie Aladdin, but with Jafar now portrayed as a well-intentioned but universally-hated vizier, who simply wants to save his country.
  • Phèdre, by Jean Racine, has Phaedra being a love martyr and trying to fight her forbidden love for her stepson Hippolytus. Unlike the antic myth and previous adaptations, she doesn't accuse Hippolyte of having raped her to her husband Theseus but her nurse does to save her reputation. She kills herself after Hyppolyte's death and reveals his innocence in her last breath.
  • A Shoggoth on the Roof: Herbert West in Reanimator? A dangerous Mad Scientist obsessed with reanimating dead bodies. Herbert West in A Shoggoth on the Roof? A dangerous Mad Scientist obsessed with reanimating dead bodies... to provide humanity with the necessary immortality to combat Eldritch Abominations, with his devoted young wife by his side. He actually winds up the hero of the whole musical because of this.
  • Wicked: Quite a few characters, due to the musical's Lighter and Softer nature compared to the book. Book!Elphaba was a very bitter and cynical person even before her Face–Heel Turn, while the play version is a nice but misunderstood girl who never becomes truly evil. Fiyero gets upgraded to a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who genuinely cares for Elphaba, while in the book he just used her for sex. And the Wizard is now a Well-Intentioned Extremist who is being manipulated by Madam Morrible.
  • Westeros: An American Musical:
    • The play drops most, if not all, of the alcoholic Dirty Old Man only interested in the money Littlefinger pays him aspect of Dontos. While he's still working for Littlefinger, there is no indication of him being paid for it, which makes his good actions come across as more sincere than in canon.
    • The Hound's most questionable act in the play is not keeping Joffrey from beheading Ned Stark. Other than that, he's competing with Dontos for the most sympathetic of the men interested in Sansa.

    Theme Parks 
  • Godzilla vs. Evangelion: The Real 4-D:
    • Godzilla in Shin Godzilla was portrayed in a similar manner to the original Godzilla of Godzilla (1954), a Tragic Monster lashing out because of his mutation. The ride uses the Godzilla from Shin, but portrays him in a manner similar to the later Showa and MonsterVerse incarnations as his fight with Shinji, Rei, and Asuka is the result of Godzilla coming on land to head off King Ghidorah and surprising NERV in the process.
    • For that matter, this is one of the few times NERV isn't acting on behalf of SEELE or Gendo, trying to stop Godzilla from destroying the city and later aiding him in stopping Ghidorah. Likewise, as a result, despite how brief he appears, Gendo himself isn't acting out of his insane desire to reunite with Yui.

    Visual Novels 
  • Astoria: Fate's Kiss depicts Hydra, Chimera, and Medusa - monsters from Classical Mythology who existed mostly to be fought by heroes like Hercules, Bellerophon, and Perseus - as heroic characters and possible love interests for the Player Character. The Nemean Lion and Erymanthian Boar, also among the monsters fought by Hercules during his Twelve Labors, are similarly recast as friends and allies of the main characters.

    Web Animation 
  • Dark Secrets of Garry's Mod: G-Man is Ambiguously Evil with varying degrees of morality in his source material. In this series however, he has the innocence of an immature child.
  • DC Super Hero Girls takes place in a high school for superhero trainees. Several villain characters are made into heroes, such as Harley Quinn (who's simply a Genki Girl here) and Poison Ivy (who's portrayed as a Shrinking Violet). Being heroic doesn't make you nice though, as characters like Cheetah are bullies. Also, not only is Amanda Waller the head mistress, but Gorilla Grodd and Crazy Quilt are teachers.
  • DEATH BATTLE!, due to the nature of the show, usually has the inverse of this with perfectly heroic and nice characters willingly to kill their opponents over minor disputes or for no reason at all, but Iron Man vs. Lex Luthor has this in regard to Tony. His line "Being a god can't be that hard. I'm the most intelligent, capable person on the planet. I'm not playing god. All this time... I've been playing human" comes from Superior Iron Man where Tony being a Villain Protagonist says it to Daredevil after curing his blindness without consent, showing how megolomania has gotten to him. In the context of the good vs evil Death Battle however, Tony says it during a Heroic Second Wind after Smug Snake Lex (thinking he's beaten Iron Man) gloats that he's the only human worthy of playing god, the "I'm not playing god. All this time… I've been playing human" line instead comes off as a heroic Shut Up, Hannibal! putting Luthor in his place.
  • FANFICTASIA: While still more violent and eager to kill than the heroes, all the villains basically renounce their evil ways after beating Oscar. Even Omnicidal Maniacs like Agent Smith, Ego and Thanos become friendly with their rivals afterwards. Voldemort is seen uncharacteristically laughing and celebrating with Harry Potter. In the sequel series, Hela is a detective and there haven't been any murders in eight years. Probably justified because, as it was established, none of them are the "real" characters but rather beings created in their likeness by Oscar, so it's safe to say they don't have faults as deep as their fictional movie character sources.
  • HTF +: LG Creepybloom after her Heel–Face Turn in HTF+CC 2.
  • Zsdav Adventures: Darth Maul appears as the ghost of Christmas present to teach Zsdav the true meaning of Christmas in Karácsonyi külön kiadás (Christmas special).
  • Fazbear and Friends (ZAMination): Many horror characters go from being horror villains to mischievous and adventurous characters who embark on great adventures around the world, including the animatronics from Five Nights at Freddy's, Rainbow Friends, Baldi, Among Us among other franchises.

  • Periander from Aisopos was, believe it or not, more ruthless, murderous, unpredictable and cunning. His pragmatism and intelligence are both accurately portrayed however.
  • In And Shine Heaven Now, unlike the manga where he was a willing collaborator, Walter never willingly betrayed Hellsing, was only forced to do so because Millennium held his daughter hostage, and ultimately had to be brainwashed to effect the Face–Heel Turn, and eventually had to be Mercy Killed because the brainwashing couldn't be completely broken.
  • Beauty And The Beast: Beauty's sisters are kinder and much more complex than they are in the source material. For instance, the part where they ask for gifts from their merchant father is treated not as a serious example of their greed (and they've learned to live with their change in social status in this retelling) but as sarcasm that the father takes at face value.
  • Camp Counselor Jason: Jason Voorhees is a hulking, undead and unstoppable killing machine who will murder anyone who sets foot in Camp Crystal Lake. However, in the world of this comic, Jason is a big, friendly camp counselor who has zero killing instinct and simply wants to make the camp a fun place for the young campers.
  • Downplayed with Jack Noir in cool and new web comic. He's still a stab-happy Jerkass, but he is genuinely willing to work with Rose to help her, and overall is more heroic than his Homestuck counterpart, who was an Omnicidal Maniac hellbent on destroying everyone and everything.
  • Kipen Manga did an adaptation of "The Wolf and the Seven Kids" where the wolf learns the kids are home alone because their mother got taken to the slaughter-house. Touched by their plight, the wolf performs a Heroic Sacrifice to rescue their mother from being slaughtered.
  • Lore Olympus:
    • While versions of the original myth vary in how willing Persephone was and how much say she had in whether or not she would stay in the Underworld, they mostly agree on the point that Hades purposefully carried her off to be his wife. In this version the "abduction" is completely accidental, brought about by the machinations of Aphrodite, and Hades remains reluctant to pursue any kind of relationship with Persephone for quite a while after due to the difference in their ages (Persephone is 19 and Hades is 2000+) and his feeling that she can do better.
    • In the Eros and Psyche myth, Aphrodite was very much the awful mother-in-law, sending Psyche on a mission that might well have caused her death. In this comic, she quickly regrets what she ordered her son to do, and when Eros abandons Psyche she takes the girl in and protects her while teaching Eros a lesson about trust. Likewise, Eros in the original myth basically tricked her parents into giving Psyche to him and her consent in their initial sexual encounter is rather shady. Here, he rescues her from an abusive family, teaches her to read and write, and doesn't touch her without her permission.

    Web Videos 
  • Carmilla the Series does this to Carmilla herself, taking the unrepentant murderer from the original and making her a Jerk with a Heart of Gold Tragic Villain who performs a Heel–Face Turn.
  • The version Son Goku Dragon Ball DC, who is eventually renamed Kakarot Kent, is written as far more heroic than his canon counterpart, who while not a villain, was still an Anti-Hero who despite being a nice person is generally motivated by his selfish desires. In this series Goku's different upbringing, Character Development means he is more motivated by the desire to do what is right and more willing to put aside his own desires, the series creator describing him as being closer to the more heroic depiction in the English dub of Dragon Ball Z.
    • Nappa, while still a villain, is less of a sadistic brute than he was in canon, and after being subjected to the Lasso of Truth he proposes he and Vegeta leave the service of their master.
    • Larfleeze in canon is an enemy Green Lantern who sometimes acts as an ally. In this series he is firmly established as an ally whose actions mostly paint him as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Broly is based on his appearance in Dragon Ball Super: Broly who wasn't evil, but was still an Anti-Villain who opposed the protagonists due to his obedience to his abusive father Paragus and the manipulations of Frieza. No such events occurs in this depiction so he is an ally from the start.
    • Paragus turns into this despite being set up as a far more cruel father than in canon. But when he is attacked by Broly in a manner similar to how Broly killed him in his debut movie. But Kakarot talks Broly out of killing Paragus. The sight of the Super Saiyan, the legendary scion of the Saiyan race, talking about mercy, causes Paragus to realize he was still following ways of the failed King Vegeta despite no longer serving under him and admit Broly deserved better than to live under him. After parting with his son, Paragus leaves his old villainous ways behind.
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries:
    • Lydia Bennet is developed into a much more rounded and sympathetic character than she was in the original book. Whereas the Lydia from the book was a shallow, self-absorbed Bratty Hormone-Addled Teenage Daughter who never even realized how much grief she had put her family through, the Lydia in this web series is shown to have a Freudian Excuse for her attention-seeking behavior, genuinely love her sisters, and be consoled by them after George Wickham takes advantage of her trust in him.
    • Mr Collins again who is framed as a more adorkable character. Additionally his marriage proposal is updated to a job offer instead, and this time Lizzie is portrayed as being rather unreasonable for turning him down.
    • Charlotte's role is greatly expanded to become a friend who is there for Lizzie at several points where she wasn't in the books.
  • In Minecraft Diaries, Zane is a Card-Carrying Villain with zero redeeming qualities. In the more lighthearted spin-off MyStreet, he starts off antagonistic but ends up undergoing a Heel–Face Turn; now he's a loyal friend of Aphmau and an Anti-Hero on his worst days.
  • Mortal Kombat: Legacy: This version of Bi-Han (AKA Sub-Zero) is shown to be a genuinely heroic figure in stark contrast to him being an outright Jerkass in the game. He is so dedicated to preserving the peace between his clan and the Rhirai Ryu that he forgives Hanzo Hasashi (AKA Scorpion) for the death of his younger brother Kuai Liang (admittedly, Kuai Liang attacked Hanzo, who was merely protecting his wife and son). When Bi-Han finds out that the Rhirai Ryu have been wiped out, presumably by his own people, he is ready to execute them, and only stops when his adviser tells him that something supernatural is afoot (in fact, some of his people were involved, but they thought they were following his orders, when, in fact, it was the sorcerer Quan Chi impersonating him). He joins the tournament specifically to try to get through to Scorpion that they've both been played and is reluctant to fight his old friend. Unfortunately, the undead Scorpion is not in the mood to listen and ends up killing Bi-Han in a gruesome fashion.
  • Fairly common in "Recut Trailers" on YouTube. For example:


Video Example(s):


Mizgir's Character

In the original play and opera, Mizgir relentlessly stalks the Snow Maiden to demand her love. In the 1952 animated adaptation, he runs after her to console her when she is heartbroken.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / AdaptationalHeroism

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