Draco in Leather Pants

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Thread: Draco in Leather Pants

  1. #1
    Skodwarde's Slave zakisrage's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Draco in Leather Pants

    Since I already made one for Ron the Death Eater, I figured I'd do this too.

    What do you think about Draco in Leather Pants? Does it really annoy you, or do you do a little of it yourself? Any examples from Pokemon that you can think of?

    Personally, I think Draco in Leather Pants can get very annoying if done poorly. I can understand creating sympathy for a mean character, but a lot of people take it overboard (and if the character in question is a complete monster, then it would be pretty strange). I think it's okay to give a character redeeming qualities if they're mean, but I think the core issue is that DILP authors downplay the character's flaws or (more often) deny that they even exist.

    I would say Pokemon has its fair share. I'd say that Silver gets a lot of it since he's a popular rival character and fans like to pair him with Kris, Lyra, or even Ethan. Cyrus gets it too since he's got a relatively sympathetic backstory. Any member of Team Rocket could get it too. I don't think N counts because he's a sympathetic anti-villain, but Ghetsis most definitely would.
    Rhonda: Okay, Curly, I admit it. I'm your secret admirer. And the truth is, no matter how hard I try and fight it, [reading off her hand] I'm really, really wild about you. In fact, I've fallen crazy in love. So what do you say? How does that make you feel?
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    Poet Laureate AiedailEclipsed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Draco in Leather Pants

    My attitude about these types of things generally boils down to what I'm writing. If it's AU... it's my story. If I want to write a canon character as eating puppies and destroying the dreams of children, then that's my prerogative. Of course, I would write justifications for this attitude, but still. If I'm following canon, then it should follow that I would follow the set canon (for what any past/present events). Basically, I think that if you can properly write it, more power to you.

    Also, Silver/Ethan is just as plausible as Silver/Kris or Silver/Lyra. >:p
    "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it."
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    "Do I have a stamp on my forehead that says, 'The National Spokesperson for the Plight of Black People'? How the hell should I know the black perspective on The Color Purple? That's it, if I don't change classes, I'm gonna hurt this fool. Teachers treat me like I'm some kind of Rosetta stone for African-Americans. What? Black people learn how to read, and we all miraculously come to the same conclusion?"
    -- Victoria, Freedom Writers
    "N's heart is pure and innocent. But there is nothing more beautiful and terrifying than innocence."
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    Ghetto Biatch Toutebelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Draco in Leather Pants

    It does get annoying, especially if they flat-out deny any wrongdoings of the character. Such is the case of the Draco fangirls and the Sephiroth fangirls.

    It can most definitely be properly written. And with Pokemon, it's easy. I gave sympathetic backgrounds to Ariana and Archer. I gave both of them bad parents - Ariana's were selfish high-society types and Archer's were abusive. The common ground is what brings them together. But I still make sure that I acknowledge the fact that they're executives of Team Rocket and both of them can be pretty mean. (However, in the same story, I kept Giovanni unsympathetic.)
    Elric von Bek likes this.

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    Requiem Raver Drakon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Draco in Leather Pants

    I still stand by my opinion that you really better have a damn good reason for doing this.
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    Default Re: Draco in Leather Pants

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    It does get annoying, especially if they flat-out deny any wrongdoings of the character. Such is the case of the Draco fangirls and the Sephiroth fangirls.

    It can most definitely be properly written. And with Pokemon, it's easy. I gave sympathetic backgrounds to Ariana and Archer. I gave both of them bad parents - Ariana's were selfish high-society types and Archer's were abusive. The common ground is what brings them together. But I still make sure that I acknowledge the fact that they're executives of Team Rocket and both of them can be pretty mean. (However, in the same story, I kept Giovanni unsympathetic.)
    My man.

    I am amazed at the storyline potential Draco in Leather Pants authors pooh-pooh away in favor of sailing their ship. Granted, anything with Draco after Book 7 gives the authors more leeway to work with the character.

    @Drakon: Would you agree that creating an antagonist who's worse than the protagonist is the proper approach to a Draco in Leather Pants? For example, I recently read a book where our protagonist, a sorcerer, carved up a living Nazi who pleaded for his life in order to sate his patron demon (ie he cut the Nazi to bits and feed the pieces to his demon). The sorcerer then used his patron demon to prevent a nihilstic knight from destroying the Cosmic Balance, which would free the nihilistic knight from the burden of being used as a pawn by the forces of Law and Chaos that govern the Cosmic Balance.
    Last edited by Elric von Bek; 9th April 2013 at 09:57 AM.

  6. #6
    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: Draco in Leather Pants

    Firstly, I'd like to point out that the decent thing to do if you are going to start a thread about a trope is to not assume that everyone is perfectly fluent in all TVTropes pages, and maybe give just a little bit of an explanation of that trope, so people who aren't familiar with the phenomenon by that name but might have an opinion on it aren't excluded from the conversation.

    Anyway, I find this considerably less irritating than Ron the Death Eater (canon good guy => fanon bad guy). Obviously, when done badly it is bad, but that is true of literally anything. Here's the shocker, guys: very few people see themselves as an evil villain. If you wrote a story from the perspective of Hitler, it wouldn't be too difficult to make him a sympathetic character because, guess what? He didn't consider himself evil, and within the contexts of his experiences he seems a lot less evil than you would naturally assume. (Special note: I am certainly not defending the Holocaust in any way, shape, or form.) In short, simple fact is that bad guys don't see themselves as bad guys, so it's actually pretty easy, and in most cases pretty true to the canon, to present them as good guys in a story that is from their perspective.

    This even easier with Pokemon, particularly in the earlier generations. In Pokemon (and I'm talking about the games here since they are the core of the series) there's quite a lot left to the imagination regarding the specifics of the storyline. There's an awful lot of room for interpretation, and interpreting that "evil" characters don't go around thinking "Oh God, I am such an evil bastard, and I just love it!" isn't exactly a controversial interpretation.

    What really irks me is that people's reactions (including the "Draco in Leather Pants" TVTropes page) to the suggestion that characters who do not very nice things (and this is the level that Draco himself is at, let's be honest) or even characters who do downright evil things (such as Sephiroth who has been mentioned) might not see themselves as evil is that the person suggesting this is bastardising the canon and taking ridiculous liberties. Frankly, in my opinion, if a writer is half way decent, all of their characters should be sympathetic from their own perspective (that's not to say that every character needs to be sympathetic in way the narrative is told, but theoretical switches in narrative should uncover unexpected sympathy).

    So, to respond to @Drakon;'s idea that writers who employ this trope "better have a damn good reason": how is the fact that it is about 1000000 times more realistic than anyone who is entirely unsympathetic, even to themselves, existing for a damn good reason?

  7. #7
    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Draco in Leather Pants

    So the great @Gama; doesn't like "Ron the Death Eater"? Oh, how deliciously ironic. :P

    But yes, exactly what I was thinking. There are a few good examples of people who delight in being evil that stick out in my mind (like the Great Demon King Piccolo; hands-down my favorite, and arguably the best, portion of Dragon Ball), but generally, it's all up to perspective. Of course, a work of writing doesn't have to present the whole truth, but it's definitely something to think about. Just look at A Song of Ice and Fire (or the HBO TV adaptation, Game of Thrones). There are definite bad guys and there are definite good guys, but we get inside the heads of the "bad" guys enough to see that they have good reasons to do what they did or deep underlying issues that drove them to act as they did. Hell, even the good guys fall to their "bad" tendencies every now and then, and not all people on one side or another are all good or all bad.
    Gama likes this.

  8. #8
    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: Draco in Leather Pants

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Lugion View Post
    So the great @Gama; doesn't like "Ron the Death Eater"? Oh, how deliciously ironic. :P
    Not sure whether you're referring to Roots or Red in Rival's Story, but both get some sympathy and redeeming features!

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