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Unintentionally Unsympathetic / Literature

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  • Two big ones in The Demon's Lexicon.
    • Seb. It starts well enough, with his genuine regret for his bullying of Jamie, which is even revealed to be because he's an Armored Closet Gay who was terrified of his attraction to him. But then he's revealed to be a magician, despite which we're still supposed to think he's a nice guy whose eventual Heel–Face Turn was inevitable. Just one problem: before that turn there are not one but two scenes where the other magicians, in his presence, threaten to kill a little kid, and he doesn't raise a single word of protest. It doesn't even come off as him being too scared to speak up; his presence is simply ignored.
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    • Helen. She's supposed to be seen as a Worthy Opponent who simply sides with the magicians out of pragmatism. Except at the end of book 2 she murders Annabel without a second thought, and despite her posing no real threat. This makes her Heel–Face Turn come off more as a Karma Houdini who's still just as evil, and just biding her time until she can show her true colors again.
  • Zoey and her friends, in The House of Night series. The group as a whole are supposed to be outcasts known as "the nerd herd", but it's hard to see them as that when all of them are given extra-special powers directly from the vampire goddess. All of them have a tendency to be pretty rude to each other (most often it being the Twins constantly making gay jokes at the expense of Damien and Jack), which is meant as friendly ribbing but doesn't really come across as such. Zoey herself is extremely judgmental, dubbing many female characters (including ones we never even see in the series) as "sluts" and "hos", constantly making disparaging comments about the behaviors or appearances of people in various groups (this includes, but is not limited to, goths, emos, chess club members, cheerleaders, people who use too much eyeliner, people who smoke marijuana, women who give blowjobs, people with bright red hair, girls who take dance class, and homeless people). She's incredibly shallow, constantly focusing on outward appearance first and foremost. She constantly complains about suffering stress from the various hardships she has to deal with, but she does virtually nothing to solve the problems herself. Instead, she waits until the end of the book, when Nyx magically tells her what to do and gives her the powers to do it. When we see her meeting her mother on her birthday, she constantly reacts in a condescending manner, and makes no effort at all to reach her mother halfway on any attempts made to bond with her.
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  • Patch, from Hush, Hush. We're meant to feel sorry for him for losing his status as a well-respected archangel and the mortal woman he loved, as well as pity him for lacking the ability to feel things. Trouble is, he chose to abandon his job and home for a girl he hardly knew. Upon losing his wings, he sought out a Nephilim and forced the poor guy to be his slave for eternity, stealing his body for two weeks out of the year (and with the Nephilim able to feel everything). In other words, his situation is entirely his fault, but he never really acknowledges it. Oh, and his ultimate plan to become human and fix his problems centers around murdering an unsuspecting girl. He doesn't go through with it, but he does lure her to a motel room and hold her on the bed while threatening her, which is supposed to be steamy but comes across as something else entirely.
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  • Pedro from Like Water for Chocolate. He only marries Rosaura de la Garza to be close to her sister Josefita aka Tita (who's stuck as The Dutiful Daughter), heavily neglects Rosaura which furthers her increasing Jerkassery and ultimately destroys her and Tita's already shaky relationship, causes poor Tita quite the misery as well (and she doesn't forget to call him out on it), and years later bullies and pressures Tita when Nice Guy Dr. Brown shows interest in her. (Not to mention, he barely seems to acknowledge his and Rosaura's children unless it's needed for the plot.) So, Pedro is supposed to be Tita's One True Love and the right guy for her... why?
  • Janie from Their Eyes Were Watching God. Her first husband spends the first few months of their marriage waiting on her hand and foot, but when he eventually starts expecting her to pull her weight around the farm she runs off with the first young hottie she sees. She even tells her grandmother that Husband #1 is completely incapable of ever being loved by anyone...because he's ugly. Her issues with Husband #2 are more legit (he hits her at one point), but even then it's hard to sympathize—unlike Husband #1, he doesn't want her to work much, but then she just complains more about being bored and how the little work she has (watching the store) is too much math for her poor little head. Then she tells him off on his deathbed and at one point blames all her problems on her dead grandma, who told her not to run off with Husband #2 in the first place. Jeez!
  • It's easy for Okonkwo, protagonist of Things Fall Apart to come off this way. He's meant to illustrate a rich native culture that is destroyed by the European colonists. Unfortunately, he's also a racist, sexist control freak who savagely beats his own son after they convert to Christianity, causing them to leave the family. The finale of the book, meant to elicit despair, can instead come across as justice being served.
    • This may be intentional, showing the good and bad sides of Igbo culture. It is unlikely the reader is supposed to identify with Okwonko's actions, as even other people of his society criticise his behaviour.
  • In Trixie and Dan's interactions in the Trixie Belden book The Black Jacket Mystery, neither of them are portrayed as completely innocent. Trixie, however, is the main character, and it is obvious from the narration that the audience is supposed to side with her. However, looking at the book from Dan's perspective, a sheltered, spoiled, wealthy girl who is loved by all continually belittles and insults him, destroys his chances of turning over a new leaf, temporarily ruins his relationship with his uncle, and makes false accusations against him, and leads to a dangerous criminal being able to go undetected. It's a wonder why Dan bothered becoming friends with Trixie afterward, let alone saving her and her younger brother's life at the end of the book.
  • Bella Swan from Twilight, whose helplessness, constant whining, frequent disdain for other people, and lack of any real problems cause many to regard her as little more than a whiner. Ditto for her love, Edward, who is so smug and perfect that it's hard to care about any emotional issues.
    • The Cullens in general could count. They are held up as the epitome of generosity and goodness. Even so, they generally are cold and anti-social to anyone who isn't another vampire or Bella, they are hostile towards the werewolves even though some (for example, Alice) never even met the werewolves before, and they are perfectly fine with letting vampires that do drink human blood hang around the area. Apparently their desire to protect humans only counts as long as they themselves are killing, and so long as the human isn't Bella. Also, every one of them except for Carlisle has killed at least once in their past, and recollections of said murders are generally treated as embarrassing incidents that are swept aside.
      • There's a scene in Breaking Dawn where the Cullens invite a bunch of vampires into town and give them keys to their cars so that they can feed on humans from out of town, because apparently their friends murdering people is okay so long as they don't know the people being murdered.
    • From the latter half of New Moon and on, Jacob generally becomes this. His endless pining after Bella, even though it's obvious she'll always choose Edward over him, makes him come across as pretty dense (and also raises the question of what he finds so great about her that he constantly returns for more abuse). In Eclipse we're meant to feel sorry for him for being rejected, but he becomes unlikable when he continuously guilt-trips Bella into showing affection for him. This reaches its peak when, upon finding out she got engaged to Edward, he threatens to let himself die in battle if she doesn't kiss him... and then complains mid-makeout session that she's not putting her all into it. Any sympathy Jacob still has is lost in Breaking Dawn, when he becomes infatuated with a baby. Thanks to convenient superfast aging, she looks 17 by the end of the book, but he's still helping to change her diapers while planning to later make out with her, making him look like a pedophile grooming an infant for sex. Which he is. Naturally, this is presented as romantic.
  • Joane Walker from The Walker Papers. While admittedly having a metric ton of very good reason be sullen, cynical, and unwilling to take up her intended calling of Shaman, the way she was written comes off as bitchy, idiotically immature, and obstinate out of spite towards the world, and her redeeming qualities are there just to artificially induce sympathy.
  • Caine for a lot of the series Gone, particularly in Plague. You're supposed to see him as a misguided and twisted person, but ultimately understandable. But it's hard to feel sorry for him when he takes advantage of and abuses Diana, the only person who actually cares about him. This was fixed in Light for a lot of fans, though.
  • Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey. We're supposed to feel sorry for him because he was hungry as a child, his mother was, in his words, "a crack whore" who died when he was small, and her pimp was abusive. This supposedly justifies all his current abusive behaviour. Also despite using his past as a means to guilt-trip Ana, he never thinks about helping the 15.9 million American kids who suffer from hunger every year, despite definitely having the means to do so. It eventually got worse with the release of Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey As Told by Christian when many, including some fans, were turned off by his internal thoughts where he comes out as a creepy stalker.
    • Anastatia Steele as well. The book's portrayal of BDSM suggests that it's something only "damaged" people could possibly enjoy, and that we should pity Ana for being in a relationship with a partner who likes it (a perspective that insults both dominants and submissives). Perhaps ironically, many critics feel sympathy for the exact thing the reader is meant to envy: the stalkerish, controlling attentions of Christian Grey.
  • The main characters of Left Behind are supposedly models of great Christian virtue who we are supposed to support, sympathise with and emulate. Critics of the series are more likely to describe them as callous, spineless, misogynistic, self-righteous knobs.
  • Harry Potter:
    • One of the reasons Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is so polarizing was Harry's characterization. We're supposed to feel sorry for Harry because he witnessed Cedric's death and nobody believes him about either Voldemort or the Dementor incident, but he comes off as incredibly wangsty when he complains about it, especially since this was the third time Harry was accused of something, but handled the first two with better maturity. Then there's his breakup with Cho. Harry of all people should have known that she was still grieving for Cedric, but still decided to date her anyway. Then there's Harry dumping her because she called out Hermione for disfiguring her friend, and she had every right to.
    • On the flipside, there's Cho herself. The reader is obviously supposed to feel sorry for her because her boyfriend Cedric died, but she comes across as a demanding and whiny brat who hasn't sought out any help in dealing with her current emotional situation and repeatedly demands that Harry talk with her about it, despite him not wanting to talk about it, because he not only also saw Cedric die, but also was fearing for his own life at the time and has been suffering from PTSD and nightmares of being back in the graveyard and bringing it up in every situation won't help. The fact that Cho sees nothing wrong with the fact that her friend ratted everyone out to Umbridge, which had the consequence of Dumbledore being forced to leave Hogwarts among other things makes her come across as selfish and incapable of seeing her part in it. After all, she was the one who dragged the friend to the meetings.
    • When Harry breaks up with Ginny in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince due to It's Not You, It's My Enemies, it's pretty hard to feel sorry for her when he tries the exact same thing on Ron and Hermione less than a chapter later and they shoot him down. One can't help but wonder why she doesn't protest harder if she really wanted to stay with him.
    • Earlier in the book, Harry gets detention for the following exchange with Professor Snape:
      Harry: Yes.
      Snape: Yes, sir.
      Harry: There's no need to call me "sir," Professor.
      • While we're meant to take the following detention as Snape being his usual The Bully self and see this as a moment of awesome for Harry, the fact is that Harry's mouthing off quite rudely to someone who is, after all, his professor and an authority figure. It's doubtful that any competent teacher wouldn't have given him detention!
    • Wizarding society as a whole falls into this a fair bit. It amounts to a self-imposed case of The Masquerade whose only stated reason for being is a Hand Wave about not wanting to help the Muggles solve their problems. They treat things like love drugs or vicious pranks as something on par with a kick-me sign and consider wiping memories en masse or employing a Slave Race to be similarly harmless. The government is hopelessly corrupt and ill-functioning, and the school isn't that much better. While some of these issues, such as anti-Muggleborn or anti-werewolf prejudice, are depicted as legitimate problems in their society, others are casually said and done by heroic characters and meant to come across as quirky or silly rather than wrong. One of the most commonly stated criticisms of the epilogue is that despite the cheerful tone and the claim that "all was well," nothing substantial really appears to have changed and the whole thing comes off like an Esoteric Happy Ending..
  • Let's just say Ayn Rand invited this kind of criticism in more or less all her novels and leave it at that. Her vision of the ideal Objectivist paragon as presented in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged is contested, at best, especially given her own problems with living up to her own idealised standards.
  • In The Firebrand, a wife argues with her husband about his decision to kill their newborn son, who is prophecied to bring doom upon their city. It's a justifiable point, but her arguments are ridiculously, unnecessarily, misandrist. Apparently their son should live because she's a woman and she says so - not because they love him, or it would be the right thing to do.
    "What right has a man over children?"
  • In the eyes of many fans, Luke Skywalker became this toward the end of the Star Wars Legends continuity, frequently sanctioning drastic measures such as torture and assassination to stop villains. The intent was to show the character growing increasingly cynical with age, but the fans argue back that even so, that's not a very good way to write Luke Skywalker.
  • Kerim in From Russia with Love becomes this on sheer force of Values Dissonance. When describing his past to Bond, he blithely admits to kidnapping, false imprisonment, and Attempted Rape he committed as a rowdy teen, and his present-day self's reflection on this is essentially, "Oh I sure was stupid as a kid, huh? Besides, she didn't hold it against me." Keep in mind that even for the '50s Kerim was clearly intended as an Unscrupulous Hero - he shows himself to be okay with gunning down a fleeing opponent, for one, something Bond mentally notes he'd never do - but to modern readers taking him seriously as a protagonist at all can be difficult.
  • In Shadow Song, we're told that Bobo Murphy and Amy Lourie/Myers aren't in particularly happy marriages, and their chance meeting at Avrum's funeral is portrayed as fulfilment of a destiny, a teenage romance finally getting a chance to bloom away from meddling parents and whatnot. It's certainly portrayed as romantic, but at the end of the day, they are cheating on their spouses.
  • Circe in The Beast Within: A Tale Of Beauty'sPrince is described as being kind and compassionate, but she only curses the Prince after he jilts her personally (even though one would think she would have picked up on the fact that he's rather selfish and misogynistic in general), she extends the curse to the servants after he taunts her (essentially messing up their lives just so he'll be a little worse off), and then completely ignores him for years, without even thinking to check in on his progress until she hears her sisters are doing so behind her back (because of this, she doesn't learn about the abuse he heaped on Princess Morningstar until it's nearly too late to save her and her family). And on the subject of the last point, despite knowing how her sisters operate on a different moral sense than her and hate the Prince, she does little to enforce her order to leave him alone and is easily manipulated by them into not noticing them attempting to kill Belle and the Beast. The end of the novella also has her showing more sympathy to Belle than the Beast, who besides being the character she actually knew and claimed to care about, is on the ground, dying of a stab wound.
    • The Prince/Beast himself suffers from this in the same book. While he's meant to be unsympathetic to an extent as the majority of the book is about his life before he met Belle and thus was still self-centered, he's also meant to still be sympathetic enough for his eventual redemption and romance with Belle to feel earned and believable. Unfortunately, the author completely overshot the "flawed but redeemable Beast" portrayal and landed squarely into "complete asshole who ruins the lives of multiple people for 5/6ths of the book" territory instead; when your protagonist cruelly dumps two women who loved him - one of them with full knowledge that he's dooming her entire kingdom by doing so - and orders the murder of a painter just because he drew a portrait of him with signs of the curse taking effect on him and shows absolutely no signs of reforming or regretting his actions until the last 20 pages, it becomes quite hard to root for him to get his happy ending with Belle especially since Belle never learns about any of this.
  • Marcus Yallow, The Hero of Little Brother. You're supposed to feel sorry for him because of the abuse he goes through from the Department of Homeland Security, but he comes off as incredibly self-righteous. During the book, he gets into an argument with his father, who agrees with the DHS's methods, but he had every right to since for several days, Marcus was missing after the terrorist attack that triggered the book's conflict. He regularly ignores his friends' warnings that he shouldn't pick fights with the government. Finally, him being monitored by the DHS is his own fault because he did nothing but make himself look suspicious at the beginning of the book. He used his hacking skills to cut school, and according to his principal, it wasn't even the first time he used hacking to screw around in school. When he got interrogated, he refused to hand his phone over to the Big Bad of the story. Not because he had anything incriminating on it, but because of the principle of privacy. Finally, to make a point to his father, he tampers with the DHS's security system to cause a city-wide halt on everything, but that leads to the DHS to start increasing security, making things worse for Marcus. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! at its finest.
  • Edward Fairfax Rochester in Jane Eyre is very rude, scornful, uses other women to make Jane jealous, plays mind-games with her and other women, and even tries to trick her into marrying him although he is already married.
  • Jane Rizzloi of the Rizzoli & Isles books. Certainly the first one. The reader is presumably meant to empathize with her feelings of inadequacy regarding her plain looks and struggling for recognition at work and in her own family, but she comes across as so unlikable that it's difficult. Her dislike and resentment of Catherine Cordell—a woman who was drugged, raped, and nearly disemboweled by a psychopath and is now being stalked by a copycat—for no reason other than that Catherine is beautiful and her warped belief that Catherine stole her partner's affections from her don't do her any favors either. It's also hard to sympathize with her jealously of beautiful women when she practically refuses to put any effort into fixing herself up — the Serial Killer that she's tracking is among the people who note that she'd look prettier if she wore makeup and more flattering clothes.
  • Victoria where the protagonist, John Rumford, is cashiered out of the US Marines when making a principled stand... by refusing to let a woman Marine honor the dead of Iwo Jima. Because, you see, no women fought at Iwo, therefore no woman deserves to honor the dead as a Marine. This is his character introduction, by the way, and it only goes downhill from here.
  • The Wretch in Frankenstein. On one hand, yes, he is a Woobie whose long rants about his sore life are difficult to refute and is arguably an even more sympathetic character than the titular doctor. But on the other, he knows exactly what he is doing and is thus consciously evil. It's hard to see him as a Tragic Monster when he murders by choice.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Ashfur. Canonically, he's in StarClan, and is not meant to be seen as evil, just passionate and heart broken. However, his actions, involving attempted murder of Jayfeather, Hollyleaf, his former apprentice Lionblaze, and his own Clan leader, make him seem a lot more evil than he was intended to be. Many felt bad for him when he was an apprentice who lost his mother to Tigerstar's dogs, and even worse when Squirrelflight rejected his romantic feelings for Brambleclaw, but lost all love for him after he revealed himself to be a traitor who later had his crimes excused as "loving too much".
    • Needletail. She's meant to be heroic for helping try to stop Darktail, but people feel that she only does it after her mate Rain was killed by Darktail, thus making her actions seem more selfish. Not helping matter is that when she gets to StarClan, she lays all of ShadowClan's problems in the arc on Rowanstar and never takes any responsibility for her part in shattering the Clan. Even Yellowfang points out how absurd her way of handling it is.
  • Emerald “Emry” Blair in Only Superhuman is presented as a Broken Bird, but all her pain in self inflicted. She spent several years as a juvenile delinquent and mod-gang member called Banshee. This was a rebellion against her father, who was once a member of the Vanguard habitat-nation. However while the other members were legitimate victims of Abusive Parents she ran away because she blamed her father for her mother’s death. While they just wanted some place to belong. Her recklessness Serial Escalation not only nearly led to two of her friends death but the death of an innocent person. Since it was entirely her fault her My God, What Have I Done? didn’t hold much water.
    • She also comes across as a Karma Houdini as she got Off on a Technicality and was Easily Forgiven by her victim. What truly makes her this is that even after she nearly killed someone she still hated her father going so far as to disowned him. When he tried to reach out to her after this. Her response to this is to become angrier and blame him for not being there for her when he was forced to keep tabs on her because she violently refused to stay with him.
    • She never even bothered to find out who actually killed her mother. Specifically invoking her mother’s memory for why she didn’t do it. Stating that she didn’t want to make her an excuse for hurting someone (even though she did) but had no problem making her an excuse for hating her father. It took seven years and finding out he was dead to forgive him
    • It’s also telling that she didn’t blame Arkady the Troubleshooters that was present during her mother’s death. He even vouched for her to become a troubleshooter. While her becoming a troubleshooter could be seen as was atonement. She completely misses the point. Her obsession with modifying her body came across as another way to spite him then guilt over her actions. As it was more for her mother and the fact that she couldn’t save her friends then guilt over how she treated her father
  • In Black Blade Blues, this is a bit of an issue. It's not a problem with Sarah herself, whose Hair-Trigger Temper and discomfort with her own sexuality are clearly intentional issues for her to work through even before a magic sword starts ramping up her aggression, but it is a problem with her girlfriend Katie in the early parts. Katie seems to have realised that Sarah has a lot of unresolved issues from being brought up by a misogynistic Christian fundamentalist in a selection of homophobic small towns, but basically expects Sarah to just kind of spontaneously get over them, because apparently Sarah has access to little dials marked "Internalised Homophobia" and "Childhood Trauma" and can just turn them down whenever. (Katie does get more sympathetic later, but that's because Sarah starts to go seriously off the rails.)
  • In Krystal Sutherland's Our Chemical Hearts, Martin and Mary Sawyer are minor but important characters whom the narrative treats as near-saints, which ignores the fact that situations becoming as bad as they did was largely their fault. To elaborate, they adopted their son Dominic's girlfriend Grace to get her away from her abusive mother, but a few years later, Dominic was killed in a car accident, which traumatized Grace and caused her to blame herself. The Sawyers continue to provide for Grace, which only feeds her feelings of resentment toward herself as she feels she doesn't "deserve" their love, and sets out to deliberately ruin her own life, up to the point of physically mutilating herself, to repay what she sees as a "debt" to him, with her mental health only growing worse after she falls for the protagonist Henry despite not being finished grieving for Dom. The Sawyers are, apparently, entirely content with letting her flagellate herself, and it's never even mentioned if they found her a therapist. We're supposed to see both Henry and Grace as having entered their relationship for selfish, unhealthy reasons, but not once are the Sawyers called out for their own selfishness and neglectfulness.
  • In the YA novel IllGiveYouTheSun, we're supposed to see Dianna Sweetwine, mother of Jude and Noah, as a loving but flawed mother who is an incurable romantic and her death tragic. But when you look at how everyone else reacts to her decisions in the novel, she comes off incredibly selfish and irresponsible. Noah's sections of the story make it very clear that his parents are unhappily married and it's later revealed that Dianna is in love with Guillermo and on the night of her death, she was going to propose to him and divorce her husband. But she shows absolutely no regard to how her husband feels, nor do we ever see her trying to fix the marriage as she claims she has when confronted by her son - she instigates the separation and Benjamin is shown utterly miserable without her, losing weight, barely sleeping, while Dianna blossoms and acts as if nothing is wrong. Sure, you can't help who you fall in love with, but she never seems to take the feelings of her husband or children into consideration, even though she insists to Noah that she still very much loves him and his sister. Her treatment of Jude is also quite painful to read about, almost bordering on emotional abuse, as she clearly prefers Noah over her daughter and on the day of her death, she and Jude have an enormous fight where she subtly SlutShames her own daughter and throughout the book seems to constantly neglect Jude (including leaving her behind at an art museum and not even noticing she wasn't there - when she and Noah realise and drive back for her, Jude is huddled up on the street outside, clearly having been crying) or chip away at her fragile self-esteem. It doesn't help that Jude blames herself for her mother's death and is wracked with grief over what happened, even though it was entirely Dianna's fault and Dianna spends the separation exclusively comforting Noah, not Jude, who is far closer to Benjamin than Noah.
  • Alec Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments qualifies several times for this. When Clary realizes that he is gay and, in addition, falls in love with his parabatai, he hits her with full force against a massive wall. Alec is a trained and superhuman shadowhunter, and he believes Clary is a mundane at the time. A real mundane he would probably have hurt in this way, significantly.
    • To be fair, it is no small matter for the shadowhunters to love their own parabatai, and they are associated with considerable penalties. But it is still a completely unprovoked attack on a completely innocent person.
    • In the course of the plot, he falls in love with Magnus Bane. After spending some time together, Alec realizes that as a warlock, Magnus will live considerably longer than he does. When Camille offers to take his immortality from Magnus, Alec immediately agrees. Understandably, Magnus is very angry about this, but can thwart this plan. When Alec and Magnus come to an argument and a split, Alec blames the vampire Camille for this, and plans to killing her.
    • Alec is constantly lamenting that everyone is discriminating against him for his homosexuality. He simply overlooks the fact that there are already people who accept him as he is, including his sister and his parabatai. And even though he is treated unfairly more than once for this reason, morally, he is no better because he openly shows his racism against vampires. Of course, apart from Simon.
      • He even openly admits to Simon that he has racial reservations about vampires and does not like him getting intimate with Alec's sister Isabelle.
    • Alec kills the half-fairy Meliorn from a short distance with an arrow. And although Meliorn is anything but innocent, in this case he was still a person who was completely unarmed and already defeated on the ground. This is nothing but a cold-blooded murder.
    • Alec is still doing enough heroic things not to be a designated hero, but compared to the other protagonists, he's quite a bastard.
  • Animorphs has Tobias. In Megamorphs 2 the Animorphs travel to the time of the dinosaurs. They interfere in the war between two alien species, the Mercora and the Nesk. When the Mercora win, the Nesk send a comet to Earth to extinguish the Mercora. The Mercora ask the Animorphs to give them a bomb they stole the Nesk to repel the comet. Tobias asks Ax to deactivate this bomb so that the comet hits the settlement of Mercora. This eventually causes the Mercora to all die while the Animorphs escape. Tobias later explains that he had to do that to put time on the right track, because it was just that comet that killed the dinosaurs and that otherwise mankind would never have come into existence. But many readers were appalled by his decision to recklessly eradicate a whole sentient species.
    • The second volume of Alternamorphs makes the narrator one of the animorphs. But one of his bad choices eventually makes Rachel force him to be a fly permanently. This reflects the fate of David, one of the new Animorphs in the original series. He was forced by the other Animorphs to stay permanently in the body of a rat. But David had clearly sociopathic tendencies. He also tried to kill the other Animorphs, threatened to turn them over to Visser Three, and eventually killed a cousin of Jake and Rachel to take his place. And in his case, this decision is still portrayed as cruel. But the narrator has neither betrayed the Animorphs nor deliberately attacked. He happened to be around when Cassie was shot dead by a Howler. Rachel blames the narrator, though he did nothing wrong. And if he does not do what she wants, she catches him as a fly. The Animorphs, but especially Rachel, were perceived by many readers as negative in this scene.

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