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  • Why do some people seem to accuse fans of doing this just because they dared to point out that a hero character isn't as heroic as most fans or the author seem to see them? Is it really such a crime to mention that you don't like a character who the author seems to love, even if you give significant reasons for disliking this character?
    • I don't think it's a matter of "accusing" fans of doing this. After all, Tropes Are Not Bad, and this is a subtrope of Alternate Character Intepretation. Ron the Death Eater or elements of it show up in a lot of Perspective Flip works and deconstructions of other literary works, some of which are very serious and stand on their own literary merits. Also, are you thinking of Ron the Death Eater or Alternate Character Interpretation? If a story makes up flaws or exaggerates them to a ridiculous degree, it's definitely Ron the Death Eater, if a story makes a very ambiguously good character more of a sympathetic villain, it's Alternate Character Interpretation. If a work plays up flaws that are definitely there but doesn't really exaggerate them to a ridiculous extent ... well, it's harder to classify.
    • Because in many of those cases, they focus in on the non-heroic actions of the character, exaggerate their significance and prevalence, and completely ignore the genuinely heroic and/or likeable actions of the character. No action of a character exists in a vacuum.
      • Exactly. This trope doesn't apply to balanced depictions of a character that take in both the good and the bad. It's for when the bad is exaggerated and the good is completely ignored or forcefully interpreted as bad.
        • It's tropes like this and Draco that make us realize how far from grace society has fallen, where the villain is regularly idealized and the hero is just as often demonized. People have no sense of right or wrong anymore.
            • Right or Wrong? Are you serious? Yes, we really need to go back to the day of mustache twirling villains. And right or wrong as defined by who, exactly? You? Moral Guardians, ahoy!
              • Please... And yes, I am serious. The very idea of idealizing a villain, minimizing their crimes, and demonizing the hero is absolutely absurd. Who defines right or wrong? Common sense. It is common sense that committing mass genecide, kidnapping, rape, plain old murder, blackmail, and other such activities are wrong. It really is as simple as that. I never said we need to go back to mustache twirling villains, just that audiences need a wake up call. That hot guy? Yeah, the one who just blew up a bus full of orphans, stomped a puppy, raped a twelve-year-old, orchestrated the destruction of an entire crowed city block, and ran a baby through with a spear. He is not a good person. In fact, he's pure evil. No, the fact that he's had a bad childhood does not justify anything he just did and the hero is not scum for trying to stop him. Anyone who claims the villain is just misunderstood and that the hero is just a big bully are kidding themselves.
        • Your argument only works if every single villain, in every single movie, book, play, TV show, and video game is exactly the way you describe them: Complete Monsters who have Freudian Excuses and who happen to look pretty. Since I can say with a bit of confidence that there is more variety to villains than that, saying that other people are just "kidding themselves" with their interpretations of villains seems to be a bit... lacking in self awareness, maybe?
          • I was just using an extreme example, but the arguments still holds. People who prescribe by Draco in Leather Pants and Ron the Death Eater are kidding themselves, as there's no reason for it most of the time. Leather Pantsing is about ignoring the evil done by the villain and idealizing them. Death Eater is about ignoring the good the hero does while demonizing them. So I am correct.
          • Except you never answered "right or wrong as defined by who?". And you are thus far the only one to claim yourself "correct" Tell me, do you think every hero is a flawless paragon? Plenty of time the "hero" is a big bully. My entire problem with your statement are bits such as "It's tropes like this and Draco that make us realize how far from grace society has fallen" and "People have no sense of right or wrong anymore.". You act as if other ideas of morality besides your own are wrong.
          • Other troper here, adding my two cents on the subject: Ron has flaws, yes. Draco has moments of vulnerability, yes. But that's what makes them good characters. Ron wouldn't be as interesting if he didn't have a temper and didn't lose his patience; likewise, Draco wouldn't be as interesting if he didn't have a problem with murder. The problem is that some fans (those who are at the age where they are beginning to learn morality is not black-and-white--fourteen or thereabouts) tend to focus heavily on one side and not the other, leading to Leather Pants and Death Eater. Like how some Jerkass Woobie's in fanfiction are either too heavily focused on the "Jerkass" (leading to Ron the Death Eater) or the "Woobie" (leading to Draco in Leather Pants).
          • "You act as if other ideas of morality besides your own are wrong." So what if he is? If you don't believe your morality is right and others are wrong, what the Hell is the point of morality in the first place?
            • Mostly to try to force your beliefs on others and justify it.
          • I don't think the original troper was saying you shouldn't believe your sense of morality is right; what they meant to say was probably "You shouldn't act like a snob just because someone else's morality contradicts your own". And, well, people do have different beliefs of what's right or wrong, like when it's okay to lie. Beleiving it's okay to tell a white lie to spare someone's feelings doesn't make you any less moral than the person who thinks lying is never okay ever, but going "Our society has fallen from grace because I am always right about morality, and no one has argued with me, therefore I am correct" doesn't make you sound morally superior at all. In fact, there's a trope for that kind of attitude.
      • Keep in mind that both Ron and Draco here are often special cases for the individuals in question. It's not a matter of "all good people are evil and all evil people are good", it's a matter of "I like this person, so they can't be completely evil; likewise, I dislike this person, so there must be something wrong with them".
    • Most people forget to take into account that the narrator of the story usually isn't omniscient and unbiased. You usually see a story from only one point of view. There's a reason why Jerkass Stu, Moral Dissonance, and Designated Hero tropes exist. Even in Real Life, people are very willing to overlook their friends' flaws and emphasize their strengths, and that bias reflects on to the narrative of a story. Some people who argue against RTDE might need to step back and apply some Fridge Logic,as many characters are very deserving of at least a mild Ron the Death Eater treatment if you look at them objectively.
    • But you see the reason people complain about this trope is not simply because of Alternative Character Interpretation. No you see this trope is basically taking the character, exagerating any flaws they have and ignoring their virtues and in general a 'illogically grossly misportraying the character (for example Mr. Hero being portrayed an abusive, manipulative, monster despite every single evidence in canon making him out to be no worse than a simple Goood guy who just happens to be a jerk). That is what this trope is about. Have they just simply portrayed them as faithfully as the character really are in the work they come from, with their flaws and virtues, then it would not be an example of Ron the Death Eater.
      • Some people complain when the good is emphasized too much, though. Do we have a trope for that? It's like Draco in Leather Pants, but for good guys. People emphasize the good points and always downplay the bad- especially with the Trope Namer. Ron does have faults- many of them. You can bet a lot of them happen off-screen (off-text?) because Harry isn't always watching Ron like a hawk. I've seen descriptions of Ron as being an "unwavering, loyal friend" or something to that effect, when he clearly had huge jealousy and trust issues with Harry in two of the books. There seems to be no problem with dropping a good character's flaws, but forgetting a bad' character's flaws is Draco in Leather Pants.
      • I don't get what you are saying. What do you mean that some people complain the other way as well? Still. To answer the original question, the reason why some people do that is because of the fact they have a misconception about this trope-simply prortraying a character with flaws isn't enough for this trope and to repeat my point "his trope is basically taking the character, exagerating any flaws they have and ignoring their virtues and in general a 'illogically grossly misportraying the character (for example Mr. Hero being portrayed an abusive, manipulative, monster despite every single evidence in canon making him out to be no worse than a simple Goood guy who just happens to be a jerk). That is what this trope is about. Have they just simply portrayed them as faithfully as the character really are in the work they come from, with their flaws and virtues, then it would not be an example of Ron the Death Eater."
      • Sorry, but to clarify: This is one annoyance I find with protagonists or heroes who aren't explicitly grey- the narration generally sets them up as heroes and tells the story from their perspective. Unless it's a teenage angst story, the hero rarely goes over his own faults or his friends' failings in explicit detail, generally concentrating on the good things. It's not as extreme as What the Hell, Hero? but if you sit back and think about it without "Narrator bias" then most stories with traditional heroes will require some mild Ron the Death Eater -ing to get an actual objective look at the characters. Here's an extreme example: The Bible. The bible is supposedly the literal Word of God and Christian values are based on God himself. Therefore, anything God does is morally correct, according to him. Do I have to judge him by the book's own moral views? Why can't I step back and just say, "No, God is not benevolent, he is petty, vengeful, and narcissistic, and 'he works in mysterious ways' is not sufficient justification for his atrocities?"
        • I don't think you are using the term the way you think it is. After all accepting that the hero has flaws is not' this trope.the narration generally sets them up as heroes and tells the story from their perspective-Maybe becuase generally they really are heroes, don't you think? There seems to be no problem with dropping a good character's flaws, but forgetting a bad character's flaws is Draco in Leather Pants., No that is still problematic, really. The difference with the villain though is that their evil side is pretty blatant, whereas for the hero, definetly not (no I am not counting Antiheroes/Antivillains)
      • I suppose it's depends on how major the flaw is, how often it recurs and what the ultimately response is. To take the Ron example above, for point of reference; the OP there wonders why Ron is considered a friend of unwavering loyalty to Harry despite having moments where his loyalty wavers. This is partly because most of the time Ron clearly is a loyal, unwavering friend to Harry -- so those rare occasions when his loyalty does waver, it's clearly shown to be and treated as an aberration from the norm. It's also usually shown to be, if not right, then usually a not entirely unreasonable (or at least understandable) reaction to the circumstances on Ron's part; at least one of those times, if memory serves is prompted by jealousy and insecurity on Ron's part that Harry is always in the spotlight and is always the centre of attention, which is something we've all probably felt about people we care who always seem to be overshadowing us about no matter how loyal we are to them. These circumstances are also inevitably patched up, usually with an effort on Ron's part; he comes to his senses, apologises to Harry, and the two make up -- in other words, he admits he was flawed and was wrong and acknowledges it. As for why Harry (and thus the narration) doesn't dwell on this -- well, he's not exactly an automaton of pure objectivity who keeps precise records of when he and his friends fall out; he likes Ron, Ron is there for him when it counts 99% of the time and is ultimately willing to step up, admit fault when necessary and mend fences the other 1%, so it's easy for Harry -- and thus the narration and the reader -- to forgive him and mend fences in return, and thus overlook those relatively few moments.

        Which leads to the problem with Ron the Death Eater-ing. The problem is not that the subject of the Eater-ing is pointed out to be a flawed character. Most characters are. The problem is that the person doing it focusses on the flaws out of all proportion to the rest of the character and unfairly distorts them so that the flaws are all that is used to represent the character, often out of character. Ron is loyal to Harry nine times out of ten, but this trope focusses on that one time where he isn't and acts as if that's all there is to the character. Pointing out that Ron has had his moments where he's been a less-than-reliable friend to Harry is not Ron the Death Eater-ing. Isolating these moments and treating them as evidence that Ron is never a loyal friend to Harry (when most of the time that's clearly not the case) and treating him as if he's a shifty backstabbing creep when that's clearly not the case is.
    • I see what the original question means about just potraying a character or pointing out a flaw in them is labeled RTD Eing when it isn't. I had a problem with a cannon ship, because when the two were first introduced, they hated each other, but later got together after one saved the other. Since the reason they saved them was actually their fault, before then one, who was a villain, went through Characterization Marches On that came off as derailment at first to be an apropriate mate. But, when I added some tropes that it did apply to, they were removed later and the one who removed them called them bashing, and even once acused me of calling the former villain a rapist complete monster (Which I never did). The editor made it explicit they don't suport that ship either, but assumed it was bashing as they know people who do. The worst part was, while some were critical, some were just facts (Namely mentioning he was a former villain and after the romance arc did return to crime) but were still labeled bashing. I've since acually changed my opinion on the subject to avoid being mistaken for bashing to a less critical one, but I still feel that pointing out a flaw isn't the same as this trope. What's worse, is that while the character is victim to this trope a lot, they never mentioned a character who's only flaws were being insicure and a little tempermental is often bashed and labelled a manipulative whore was completely unmentioned.
  • Same troper as above, different issue: The people who complain about this trope's usage, when many of the characters on the RTDE page are also bashed on this very wiki. You'd think most flawed but decent characters were sociopathic murderers based on bashing edits--and this is a point I'd like to draw on, as "sociopath" is a term loosely thrown around lately. A lot of characters who are accused of being "sociopaths" on this wiki actually don't fit the sociopathy criteria very well; being charismatic and manipulative alone does not make you a sociopath if you are still capable of feeling some regret for your actions. Sociopathy and psychopathy are a bit more complex than that, and you can't just label any character you don't like a "sociopath". I believe we need a new trope for this one: You Fail Psychology Forever.
    • I'm amazed ANY character bashing is allowed on here. I thought this place was supposed to be neutral.
      • It's a wiki that is free to edit by anyone, which means that people are going to bring in their own biases whether it is wanted or not, and some people may even unintentionally insert their opinion on a character when adding an example.
  • Why does this trope happen in the first place?
    • Two reasons: First of all, most of the people who use this trope are at an age where they are beginning to discover morality is not "black and white, right and wrong" but they don't fully grasp it just yet. When they come across a work of fiction where a character has a few bad traits but is otherwise a good person, they focus on the "bad" moreso than the "good", and go "Hiro gives tea to the poor BUT HE KILLED A SPIDER! MURDERER!!". Second, tying in to the first, when writing fanfiction for a couple that wasn't made canon in the original work at the expense of one that was made canon, these people turn the otherwise nice romantic obstacle into an abusive husband (for boys) or an AxCrazy Yandere (for girls) or otherwise makes them just plain unpleasant. The first would apply to character bashing in general; the second to Die for Our Ship bashing.
    • There's also character bias to consider. If there are two characters that oppose each other yet still on the side of good (Say, for the sake of argument, Cyclops and Wolverine), people who prefer one will portray the other in a negative light in order to make the first look better. Even then it doesn't have to be this particular scenario. There are also characters who act as a fan surrogate or who people see as the kind of character they like/want to be and then those fans see characters who they see as a threat/overshadowing their favorites ("Bob steals the spotlight from Charlie, who is so much better! Therefore, Bob sucks!" "Alice is not badass like Carol! So she sucks!") and thus they'll do anything to make such character appear in a bad light while doing anything to make their favorites look better in comparison.
    • Shipping. You forgot shipping.
      • Not really, as it's already covered.
      • In fairness, that only covers most of the shipping-related instances of this trope. Most of the really wanky people in BioWare fandom have a disturbing tendency to give the Death Eater treatment to any party member or NPC who doesn't blindly support the Player Character at all times, even (especially!) canon love interests they ship the hero with. Ashley and Kaidan are probably the best example of this phenomenon, even on this very wiki there is at least one batshit diatribe on how cruel and awful they are solely because they realistically try to move on after Shepard's death and give a totally understandable What the Hell, Hero? to Shep for working with a known terrorist group when they're reunited. This, despite the fact that both characters will subsequently send Shep e-mails apologizing for freaking out and implying that they'd like to work things out. It's not really Die for Our Ship so much as Die For Our Self Insert (though the former is certainly there in spades as motivation as well).
    • Ever seen Baron Munchausen? You know that scene where the military officer sentences a soldier to death for acting too heroic, because he was setting an example the other soldiers couldn't live up to? It's sort of like that.
    • There are some more level-headed explanations to be found found via Protagonist-Centered Morality or making up for bad writing. For the trope namer, Ron is Harry's best friend and is used for comic relief which Harry brushes off with a laugh. From a non-protagonist's point of view and some critical thinking, many characters can suddenly look much worse- comic relief for the protagonist can often be bullying for a nameless background character. Giving a "bad writing" example, Dumbledore is portrayed as having Chessmaster-levels of omniscience and planning and yet sometimes has to be dumb enough to allow plot points to happen. Sometimes the best explanation is that he condones these events (as opposed to laser-guided forgetfulness), which naturally has Unfortunate Implications.
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