On a more positive note than yesterday, here’s a list of characters that were introduced into an already established work and did work out, and my thoughts as to why. Again, this is just my opinion, and I, well I expect I’ll get more agreement with this list, but I imagine there was be disagreement as well. I’m happy to hear from you either way.
1. Jesse Porter – Burn Notice: Seasons 4+
While they didn’t give Jesse a whole lot of back story, they did give him an engaging story. More importantly, they gave him high stakes. This is important, because not only does it make him more interesting, but it makes people want to follow his subplot as they followed the larger plot of the show. It also helped that Jesse fit in well with the rest of the team, but not too well. I mean by this, that he was used to their world, was trained for it, and slid easily into their dynamic. However, there was tension, he did butt heads with Michael, and he got a crush on Fiona. It wasn’t a magic fit, but it was a good one.
Bottom line: Jesse was coming into a very intimate group, and they succeeded in creating a character that fit seamlessly with their already established group.
2. Castiel – Supernatural: Seasons 4-7
Much like Jesse, Castiel was given high stakes, and he was also given an intense internal conflict. The important thing though, is that his issues were intertwined with the central plot of the show. He didn’t take attention away from the characters the fans originally tuned in to see. Castiel also added a new perspective to the show, and with that provided information that the heroes didn’t have access to before encountering him. But like Jesse, he did have his moments of conflict with the heroes, and these were powerful. Additionally, Castiel provided some comic relief to a show that has grown rather dark and depressing, and it also helps that Misha is adorable.
Bottom line: Castiel was all about struggle, with his own people, with himself, with the boys, with the demons, and with all that he earned his spot on the show.
3. Captain Sharon Raydor – The Closer: Season 5-7
She was actually an antagonist. Her job was too shake things up for the team, and put the breaks on the protagonist as she tried to get to the climax. Raynor more than anything else was understated, and the writers only get part of the credit for that, the actress earned her share. One of the reasons she was so successful was that she was just as strong as the protagonist, but she didn’t take any of her counterparts attention or glory. Raynor was also kind of mysterious and you never quite knew which side she was on, until recently, when she seemed clearly to support the protagonist. Which brings me to another thing, she was unpredictable, and in a realistic way.
Bottom line: She was a credible and fascinating foil that brought her own intrigue to the show.
4. Eowyn – The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers & Return of the King
I didn’t like her at first. In fact, I don’t think I actually liked her until Return of the King. She wasn’t exactly the picture of strength, and she seemed to follow after Aaragorn like lost puppy. The one area in which she did seem to show spine was in defense of her father (uncle? Sorry, can’t remember). The thing with Eowyn is that when push came to shove, she didn’t wilt like a flower, she slipped on some armor and went out and fought. In doing this she went against the wishes and demands of most of the people around her, and that made her interesting. That was strength and courage.
Bottom line: This is the definition of character development; she grew up during the course of the two books, and that is powerful.
I’m a little proud of myself, I was even on gender for both of these posts, and didn’t even try. Whoohoo!
So what characters do you feel worked as new members in your fandom(s)?