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LJ Idol Season 10, Week 6

LJ Idol week 6
Heel Turn –

I admit it, I had to look this one up. I discovered that is has several different names.
Urban Dictionary defines a heel turn as “When a person completely and suddenly, and often shockingly, goes from good to evil. The term came from professional wrestling to refer when a face (good guy) turned his back on the fans and became a bad guy (heel).”

Seems straightforward enough. Then I got to their example. Lightbulbs started popping on all over my brain. I have great use for this word in my vocabulary.

Their example was from the 2013 kids’ movie Frozen. Princess Anna has fallen completely in love with Prince Hans, and then he turns out to be a real jerk.

“Anna: Kiss me, only an act of true love can save me.


Hans: True love? I just wanted to marry into your family and steal the throne! Now I'll leave you to die.”

Most real-life uses for the word are thankfully not that dramatic.

Everyone has a reason for doing it. Something shattered their faith in good, love has become an obsession, too many good deeds have come back to bite them in the ass. Becoming drunk with power, falling prey to someone/something that is a corrupting influence, or being persuaded by a villain.

In TV and literature, this maneuver is called a Face-Heel turn.

It goes all the way back to one of the oldest pieces of literature, the Bible. Cain turned on his twin brother and killed him. Satan himself did a heel-turn. So did Judas.

Literature, Film and TV are filled with genuinely good characters who have suddenly turned evil. Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Peter Pettigrew in Harry Potter. And, of course, Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars – turning his back on everyone to become Darth Vader. About half the cast of the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D do a heel turn in the middle of the first season, as did much of the cast of Alias, and 24 and Burn Notice frequently used this trope to further a storyline. Gul Dukat of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Shane in the Walking dead. Too many characters to count in Game of Thrones.

Both entertainment and real life are full of examples. Some are eventually redeemed, having the opposite Heel-face turn and becoming good again, while others remain evil to the end.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 24th, 2017 03:13 pm (UTC)
What Gul Dukat was always evil. He just became more so as the series progressed.
Jan. 24th, 2017 04:22 pm (UTC)
I thought so too at first (my Dad/brother are watching their way through the series again right now), but TV tropes disagreed with me.

From http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/FaceHeelTurn/LiveActionTV

"Gul Dukat of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine starts off as a recurring annoyance, but gradually warms up to the crew and looks like he's on the road to Badass Decay... then he realizes Good Is Dumb and stabs everyone in the back.
Gul Dukat was one of the more interesting 'grey' characters (along with fellow Cardassian Garak). Most of Dukat's crimes were committed way before the series started, so the fans would not automatically hate him along with Kira Nerys. It was more of case the DS9ers were warming up to him, especially when he embarked on his one-bird-of-prey crusade against the Klingons. But as soon as he is sees the chance to 'make Cardassia strong again' (i.e. get himself into a position of power again) he does indeed remind everyone that sometimes Good Is Dumb."
Jan. 25th, 2017 07:34 pm (UTC)
This was a great list of characters who became evil/had their evil revealed. Your reference to the Bible made me wonder how far back this goes in written form. It is an unfortunate part of human nature.
Jan. 25th, 2017 07:43 pm (UTC)
This is the main index page on tvtropes, which has lists of where this appears in numerous categories. The Bible and some of the original Islamic text have references, which is probably some of the oldest recorded writings. I've always wondered about some of those stories that were told in oral traditions and before writing and what they might have been about!

Jan. 26th, 2017 07:08 am (UTC)
You know, there ARE a lot of examples of this on TV, and I realized that it's a trope that doesn't work very well for me. Sometimes it feels as if the show has given up on its canon and is just jerking things around for excitement-- prior characterization be damned!

"Bones" had a notable example of a character who was supposed to have "turned," and even now I still think that if they didn't like the actor, they could have found some other way to write him off of the show than by invalidating four+ past seasons. I just couldn't buy into it.

Jan. 27th, 2017 11:11 pm (UTC)
I love this!

Meta! And some of my faves from film and lit.

I'm happy now. (Smile)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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