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Thread: Official Mary Sue Thread

  1. #61
    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryuutakeshi View Post
    How can they have any flaws if they have no character?
    Why does a character have to be flawless in order to be a Mary Sue? (Or vice versa, for that matter >_>)

    The label of Mary Sue is pretty meaningless unless it applies to a major character.

    Quote Originally Posted by pman View Post
    Albus Dumbledore was a Gary Stu but he was an epic character.
    Wh-- how-- what the-- Dumbledore, a Gary Stu? He was arrogant beyond belief in his earlier days! And quite selfish at that. Not to mention, the story doesn't really revolve around him... and there are characters that perceive him orthogonally.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

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    Insane Particle Collider Pman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    But everybody adored him for reasons he didn't deserve and even voldemort was afraid of him. he was insanely powerful as well.
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by pman View Post
    But everybody adored him for reasons he didn't deserve and even voldemort was afraid of him. he was insanely powerful as well.
    Ah. Yes, that might be a factor.

    But then again, just because a character is a Mary Sue, doesn't mean he or she will necessarily ruin the story. It's just that too often, such a character does ruin the story because of the way the story (and by extension, the author) treats them.

    Perhaps the traditional, more restricted definition of a Mary Sue would imply logically that she ruined the story. But given the more expanded definition we know now, it's not so clear anymore.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

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    Whispers in the dark... DarkDreams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuuketsuki View Post
    But as a side character? Or maybe a character that only appears in one scene.
    Not like that. Like...A minor character I suppose? Someone who doesn't do much to the plot, maybe give it a little boot, and they're just THERE. Like, for example, some idol a character likes or a dead little prodigy sister. They're there, but not fleshed out. I guess most people don't care about if the more minor characters have blue-gold-orange hair with changing eye colour.

    EDIT: Oh the sympathy sue...

    Alright, so you have a tragic past which makes you a miserable pile of sobbing baww. Okay, how many Orphans/adopted children you know are depressed? I know 5. They're pretty damn happy. I can't say for abusive pasts, but yes, they'll be traumatized and depressed for a few years. That's why psychologists exist. Being suicidal and bitter because daddy and mommy were going through a hard time and started bashing you 7 years ago is just...Unrealistic in my eyes. If that was the case even, realistically, the character would get help.
    Last edited by DarkDreams; 19th February 2011 at 11:43 PM.
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    Insane Particle Collider Pman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Zekürom View Post
    Ah. Yes, that might be a factor.

    But then again, just because a character is a Mary Sue, doesn't mean he or she will necessarily ruin the story. It's just that too often, such a character does ruin the story because of the way the story (and by extension, the author) treats them.

    Perhaps the traditional, more restricted definition of a Mary Sue would imply logically that she ruined the story. But given the more expanded definition we know now, it's not so clear anymore.
    Thats what I'm getting at, the fans loved dumbledore as well, he added to the book. He was however, definitely an author avatar and more than a bit of a mary sue
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    is obsessed with Noivern! Zekurom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by pman View Post
    Thats what I'm getting at, the fans loved dumbledore as well, he added to the book. He was however, definitely an author avatar and more than a bit of a mary sue
    Dumbledore was gay. J.K. Rowling said so.

    I'm not really sure how that follows. Dumbledore was J.K. Rowling's avatar? Never heard that one before.
    The word "quadragonal" is the only word with "dragon" in it where "dragon" is not a root word. That makes it awesome.

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    See also: Han Solo (Star Wars)

    Granted, Mary Sues/Gary Stus CAN work--you just have to REALLY know what you're doing
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    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    This is a very interesting topic, I must say. I think everyone is in agreement of the general definition of a Mary Sue, but as we can see, there are many differences of opinion of the exact meaning.

    IMO, I agree with Zekurom, it's a character who's Mary Sue-like qualities take away from the story by disengaging the reader. Characters like Dumbledore have these qualities, but since he is not the focal point of the story combined with the fact that there is a detailed explanation for his Mary Sue-ish qualities, it seems to work.

  9. #69
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    I haven't read Harry Potter (yet), even though I have the books back home (Another pain of studying away from home), and I've only seen the first 6 movies. But from what I've seen, Dumbledore is not a Mary Sue. Just because he's strong and everyone respects/fears doesn't make him a Mary Sue. That would mean that Gandalf is a Mary Sue. Red is a Mary Sue. Beranabus is a Mary Sue (Don't expect people to know him). The odd one here is Red, so we'll start with him.

    Red became freakishly strong, some people might say the strongest trainer ever. But he had to work to get there, and since losing to Blue in the start was permitted, he had to go through losses before he achieved his goal. He had no character, but he is meant to represent the player who controls him.

    Dumbledore is also very very strong. However, he is not so strong that no one can touch him. More than often in Fantasy, there has to be this one character who is so powerful that all the other main characters respect him/her. They often serve as a mentor to a character also, which is why they have to be here. The world didn't revolve around Dumbledore, if anything, Harry Potter or Voldemort is a Mary Sue.

    Gandalf is almost the same. He had to be there to represent the mighty figure in the fantasy world of Middle Earth. And throughout all his achievements, he too was not strong enough to avoid normal stuff which is why I

    We are always led to idolise these characters that are old, experienced, wise, and all-knowing, and the end something just makes us go ":O NO WAAAAAY!!!!!", and if you examine it, it's more to prove how strong the villain is.

    Beranabus is the same. Old man, the strongest in the universe (Which is The Demonata by Darren Shan). Everyone who is aware of demons and magic knows him, and killing him would raise your rank amongst the fellow demons serving under any of the lord demons. The main villain himself couldn't kill him, but he knows him very well. His background is also possibly the most Mary Sue-ish:


    But all these characters weren't a Mary Sue, because the world didn't revolve around them. Surely everyone respected or feared them, but they weren't excusable from defeat. If we go by the "Everyone fears/respects them" rule, then the villain's would always be the Mary Sue.

    Voldemort: EVERYONE FEARS HIM THAT THEY CAN'T EVEN SAY HIS NAME WITHOUT STUTTERING.
    Sauron: Fear him or respect him, more often fear him.
    Lord Loss: Be so scared that you crap your pants.

    Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings/The Demonata Spoiler:

  10. #70
    Child of the Atom Hellion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    What makes a Mary Sue to me isn't so much one thing as many things combined. Each of them individually don't make a Sue (except the first one), but a combination of those... you're walking into Sue territory.

    1. Center of gravity: the story revolves around the character and other characters (or the entire plot) are just there to make that character look good.

    2. Unrealistic inclusion in the group/story: A character that either don't know the rest of the main cast or hasn't seen them in years and yet fits perfectly within the cast, has no problems connecting with the rest, his/her voices holds more weight than other longer members, people always talk about how great he/she is and defend people who disagree.

    3. Human Swiss Knife: Sue is useful in many situations, has many skills in which he/she excels in a way that is uncharacteristic for someone his/her age/experience/social background/gender/era.

    4. Katanas in Manhattan: Sue has intricate weaponry or gadgets in a setting where they are not common for the sole reason that they look cool. No other character has that item, the time/place doesn't call for it, no explanation given...

    5. Legendary/Overpowered/Weirdly unique pokémon: Sue's starter pokémon was Shiny Charmander who knows how to swin and is immune from water attacks an Eevee that knows Psychic, Draco Meteor, Leaf Storm and Eruption, can change between all of its evolved forms and understand 6 human laguages Mewtwo.

    6. Overly described physique: Either if the character is looks like a supermodel with the curves in all the right places even though she eats a lot and doesn't do exercise or if he/she's homely and plain, surrounded by legions of supermodels, and yet, every single (fe)male character wants him/her or if Sue has traits that are unsual or unattractive for the time and place and yet, it doesn't detract (might even enhance) her beauty.

    As to whether it's good or bad, I used a Parody Sue (at least an attempt at...) in one of my fics Lessons in Love, appropriately named Gibly-Sue who was a cross between a Jerk Sue and a God Mode Sue (and I was planning to have her die in the end in an heroic sacrifice because she's too good for this sinful Earth), though I don't think the experience was that much of a success.

    As I said before, it's all about balance, every character trait brings good and bad along with it and about balancing good and bad moments in between characters.

  11. #71
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellion View Post
    What makes a Mary Sue to me isn't so much one thing as many things combined. Each of them individually don't make a Sue (except the first one), but a combination of those... you're walking into Sue territory.

    1. Center of gravity: the story revolves around the character and other characters (or the entire plot) are just there to make that character look good.

    2. Unrealistic inclusion in the group/story: A character that either don't know the rest of the main cast or hasn't seen them in years and yet fits perfectly within the cast, has no problems connecting with the rest, his/her voices holds more weight than other longer members, people always talk about how great he/she is and defend people who disagree.

    3. Human Swiss Knife: Sue is useful in many situations, has many skills in which he/she excels in a way that is uncharacteristic for someone his/her age/experience/social background/gender/era.

    4. Katanas in Manhattan: Sue has intricate weaponry or gadgets in a setting where they are not common for the sole reason that they look cool. No other character has that item, the time/place doesn't call for it, no explanation given...

    5. Legendary/Overpowered/Weirdly unique pokémon: Sue's starter pokémon was Shiny Charmander who knows how to swin and is immune from water attacks an Eevee that knows Psychic, Draco Meteor, Leaf Storm and Eruption, can change between all of its evolved forms and understand 6 human laguages Mewtwo.

    6. Overly described physique: Either if the character is looks like a supermodel with the curves in all the right places even though she eats a lot and doesn't do exercise or if he/she's homely and plain, surrounded by legions of supermodels, and yet, every single (fe)male character wants him/her or if Sue has traits that are unsual or unattractive for the time and place and yet, it doesn't detract (might even enhance) her beauty.

    As to whether it's good or bad, I used a Parody Sue (at least an attempt at...) in one of my fics Lessons in Love, appropriately named Gibly-Sue who was a cross between a Jerk Sue and a God Mode Sue (and I was planning to have her die in the end in an heroic sacrifice because she's too good for this sinful Earth), though I don't think the experience was that much of a success.

    As I said before, it's all about balance, every character trait brings good and bad along with it and about balancing good and bad moments in between characters.
    That's an interesting perspective. To have some traits of a Mary Sue character that when combined, give the ultimate Mary Sue. But if one character only has one trait, are they a Mary Sue?

  12. #72
    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LightningTopaz View Post
    See also: Han Solo (Star Wars)
    Not really. Most of the main cast didn't really like him at first.

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuuketsuki View Post
    That's an interesting perspective. To have some traits of a Mary Sue character that when combined, give the ultimate Mary Sue. But if one character only has one trait, are they a Mary Sue?
    Those are only some of the traits that can appear as a blip on the Suedar, but those I see as more likely to show up in Pokémon fics (where there's generally no aliens, magic and/or superpowers and where the humans don't generally do the combat).

    As I read them again, I realize I forgot the wangst.

    7. Wangst: Complaining on and on and on... that alone doesn't make the Sue, but it's more how willing the character is to share, how the other character react and what the Sue is complaining about. If something really life-ateringly bad happens to a character (loss of someone really close, rape, etc.) it's usually very hard for them to talk about it and to deal with it, which may lead to self-destructing behaviours that will affect and be criticized by her close ones. Sue has no such limitations, he/she will tell you at lenght what's bad in his/her life. Even Sue-er, will be if the wangst prompts every other character to tell the Sue how wonderful and inspirational he/she is despite those events (where has in real lives, these events might be met with incomprehension, disbelief or anger) Even Sue-er, the Sue will complain about something that's easily fixable and/or not that bad to begin with.

    If a character has one of them... it's not necessarily a bad thing, but some are Sue-er than others (Center of gravity, physique and wangst) with the first one usually being a tell tale sign.

    But a well-rounded character who just so happens to be really handsome/beautiful (you hint it or describe it a bit in passing but don't have every single character wanting to bang him) or just so happens to have a katana for no real reason, can work.

    I don't know if this was listed, but I find this page really helpful when I try to avoid the Sue trap.

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Personally, I believe most definitions are correct. I don't know if this one was mentioned yet, but I would also like to add another trait.

    A lot of Sues are brought in to a canon's universe with things from another universe without explanation, or have the laws of the world badly bent to make an exception for them.

    Then there's the double standards brought about. Things that would win another character a lifetime in prison would probably be written off as light community service for Sue, among other things like relationships and the like.

    Personally, though, I do think they can work well, but that since the general majority are badly done or fit the other definitions that detract from the story, they are the poster-children for this.

    I'm kind of curious about what anyone has to say about flaws. Most Sues have only one or two flaws that probably won't hurt them, or they'll only hurt for one instance in the story and then continue to help them to the end, though the double standard applies here where it hurts anyone else who has the same flaws.

    Even though one flaw is generally not enough, I do think it can be done right. If you guys have ever seen Gilgamesh from Fate/Stay Night, he's the first "Epic Hero", has a special ability that allows him to access the special weapons of all the other legendary spirits of myths and legends, and his power is just completely colossal. His problem is that his equally colossal ego prevents him from ever going all-out against his opponents, and his underestimating of them is the only reason he is ever defeated in the game; despite this, he doesn't detract from the overall story and he still has a large number of fans.
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    Default Re: Official Mary Sue Thread

    Hallow's Definition of Mary Sue/Gary Stu: THE GODMODDER! The one that never dies, nobody can kill them, their powers, looks, popularity, etc out way anything and everything they're put against, they seem aware of their 'amazingness' and either flaunt it or 'gently' hate it and mildly express their upset view of it in a way that makes everybody sympathize with them whether they want to or not. Like some sort of hypnotist.

    The Life of a Mary Sue
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