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Date Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 11:06:26am
Author: Swatkat
Subject: Answering my own question, and generally talking too much... (r)
In reply to: JayBee 's message, "Giving this a try (r)" on Monday, March 21, 04:55:41pm

Warning: this post is freakishly long, and mostly full of nonsense.

I'm still very confused about *my* favoured character types, but I'm trying… I think I'll begin by listing my bullet-proof character kinks –

a. they're often struggling to maintain a sort of moral code in a morally ambiguous world, and usually failing; they will never become quite comfortable with their morally ambiguous avatar – it will always be a struggle for them, even though they have to make compromises and keep taking not-so-savoury decisions. would like to do the right thing for the right reasons.

b. because they would like to do the right thing for the right reasons, they often end up doing the right thing for the wrong reasons (because they're thinking they're reasons are right, but they aren't really), or the wrong thing for the right reasons. seldom get the combination right. some of them manage – but that's very rare.

c. would like to be Hero (at least, their conception of it). this is a key characteristic. often aren't sure what makes a Hero. rarely make the rank, and when they do, it's more Batman than Superman.

d. again, ironically, they're also often grudging leaders. want to be the Hero without taking the responsibility for it.

e. they fall. often.

f. often, they are romantics. which is unfortunate – because they need to survive in their morally ambiguous, unforgiving worlds where there is no place for romantics. they mostly adapt, but a little bit of the romance remains.

g. stumbling towards redemption; sometimes they fall, sometimes they just want to give up, but they get up and keep going. sometimes they become cynical and believe that There Is No Redemption, but keep going all the same, because, paradoxically, they also have a very romantic self inside that keeps believing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

h. generally resourceful.

i. cool. often has 'attitude'. snarky at times. there's even a slight arrogance. some of the attitude and the snark is inborn, and the rest of it is defence mechanism.

j. has a romantic devil-may-care persona – they will show-off if you give them the opportunity to. Again, some of it is inborn, and the rest of it is defence mechanism.

k. emotionally vulnerable, but never the types to fall apart. they get hurt, and they keep going.

l. fiercely emotional about certain things. in fact, their ability to *feel* deeply sets them apart from the rest. sometimes, they are also very rational/cynical/thoughtful.

m. controlled, or learns to control their emotions and appear more comfortable than they are. snark and devil-may-care attitude comes in really handy in these cases.

n. isolated – a sense of separation from the world. sometimes it's because of Destiny, but it's also defence.

o. wants acceptance. will often do things they know they *shouldn't* do for acceptance, and then suffer because of it.

p. insecure.

q. spends a lot of time in denial. has to learn to be honest to themselves.

Wow – that's quite a lot! And I'm not even sure that makes sense. While making this list, I considered not just the OTCs, but also the second favourites and almost-OTCs.

I'm trying to figure out what to call them. Hmm – I think I'll steal the term Grudging Leader which I saw on someone else's LJ, because it fits. The Grudging Leader, I think, has all of the above characteristics except the bit about not taking responsibility in (d) – while they don't exactly *want* the responsibility, they'll not shirk it when they it's thrust upon them. (c) is a bit complicated with them, because while they definitely do not consciously want to be the Hero (will often spend time announcing it to the world), there's also a definite subconscious desire for it, which sometimes can make them appear hypocritical. And because not all of them are Grudging Leaders, I'll coin another term and call them Hero, Interrupted. *g* Hero, Interrupted *wants* to be Hero – only, they're incredibly confused (with, oh, everything) and won't take the responsibility associated with it (of course, they fall and they learn). They often confuse Grudging Leader for Hero. Grudging Leader and Hero, Interrupted are very similar, and yet very different from each other.

My OTCs are usually a bizarre combination of both. Applying this to LFN – it's Nikita, of course. Nikita has Grudging Leader's attitude towards (c), but it's made complicated by the fact that the desire to play Hero is often not-so-subconscious. (a) and (b) are often directly related to (c), and Nikita's case here is particularly odd – when she comes to Section, she's very morally straightforward, and her conception of the Hero is one who *always* does the Right Thing for the Right Reason, and because Section does that (kills terrorists – right thing, saves innocents – right reason), that qualifies her for Hero, right? Only, it doesn't, because Section will often do Wrong Things for the Right Reason. And then it becomes even more complicated, because what is the Right Reason? Is Section (and therefore she) any better than the people they fight? And if they aren't, then they're doing the Wrong Thing for the Wrong Reason, and where does that leave her? This was the problem, IMO, faced by her after "End Game". Too bad TPTB copped out and went for the MMWK soap-opera arc instead. In the end, she's going to have more in common Morally Ambiguous Bad-ass (against, stealing the term), but she'll never quite be MAB because she'll never be absolutely comfortable with moral ambiguity (even though she will do what she has to do – leading to interesting things). (g) doesn't apply a lot to Nikita – she is romantic, she is optimistic (*even* in the end), but there is absolutely no redemption in the world she has ended up in; the more she rises in Section, the more she will fall, and sooner or later she has to accept it. Will it crush her? I don't think so, although it might almost destroy the romantic (or what's left of it) in her.

Uh, shutting up now.

Swatkat, definitely going to bed

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