So, this started out as a small little thing between AudreyFreak and me, but I'd thought it'd be good for us to comment on characters we don't like and don't care for, and maybe it'd be good to explain, even those characters that are glorified by the fandom but have overall massive problems in general.
So, let's go!
Margery Tyrell (Game of Thrones).
AF- Unlike her less developed but actually likable book counterpart, TV Margaery (or “Marge Boleyn”, as some say, which I love) has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. She’s essentially a glorified prom queen who just lives to cattily pick on Cersei even when Cersei isn’t doing anything to her. And seducing a child… yay girl power? Were we supposed to admire her? She’s gross. Even when trying to comfort Sansa she tries to push her into liking the idea of sex with a grown man! UGH.
SU- I can't comment for the books, since she's basically a MacGuffin in there, but in the show she's a little too on the nose. I just can't get behind making the character all sexual and alluring and scheming, and it makes me feel ill that she basically seduced a young boy, and the show paints that as being “funny” instead of creepy (which they do with the Littlefinger-Sansa scene, thankfully), it's such a double standard
Maria (The Book of Life).
AF- Imagine every Latina stereotype you can think of. Now think of some female character clichés. Pour them together in a pot, add some corniness, and voila, bisque de Maria! Name any three heroines you consider strong characters and tell me some qualities she DOESN’T share with them. Not like other girls; loves reading over girly stuff; unrealistically talented, even at kung fu; everyone, even the villain, likes or crushes on her.
SU- An awful latino stereotype, I can't believe actual latinas on the internet like her, she's pretty much every ill-conceieved stereotype about latino/mexican women come to life- she's a badass, she's not like “other girls”, she's sexy and sassy and puts men in their place, she knows kung fu (???)...Ugh, ugh ugh ugh.
SU- Just a fucktoy to get Bugs' dick hard. Nothing else but a sexy body. How is that engaging?
AF- Yeah, she has nothing going for her but her body.
SU- A homewrecker who goads Peter into cheating on MJ with her, but she dumps him the moment he tells her he needs emotional support and his civilian life.
AF- Selfish, violent scorned woman who outright tries to murder poor Wendy, and never suffers any consequences for it. She doesn’t deserve her own franchise, Wendy does!
SU- A jealous, clingy, murderous little fairy! How is she supposed to be a good role model compared to other Disney princesses/heroines? She wanted to kill an innocent little girl out of spite! It's crazy…
AF- she’s every 90s heroine put together, basically. I can’t name a single unique quality she has. She’s unnecessarily snarky to Dmitri even when he isn’t doing anything to her and after ALL that trouble to find her relatives, she abandons her only family to run off with the guy she just spent the whole movie arguing with.
SU- Rude, entitled and very selfish. I could forgive her snarky and bitchy attitude of the start of the film if she was a little more considerate at the end, but nope! She says “fuck you” to her old dying grandmother (her only living relative) just to run off with a conman. What is so honorable about her, again?
Astrid (How to Train Your Dragon)
AF- So rude to Hiccup… ooh, until he has something cool she likes! No different than the mean cheerleader in a 90s teen movie who starts talking to the dorky nerd who has a new car or something. It’s obvious why Hiccup likes her, but why exactly does she like him? Because he has the coolest dragon, that’s all.
SU- A shallow bitch, it's funny how she hates Hiccup until he gives her a ride in his new car, when suddenly she's swooning over him. She's shallow, she's annoying, and she's basically the cliché of the “hot bitchy girl at school who gets with the dweeb” at its worst.
AF- Unlike her book counterpart who was very sensitive and allowed to be wrong occasionally, TV Arya does little wrong. She throws food on a dress her sister hand-made, for reason at all, in front of the entire court and royal family, and it’s so SPUNKY! She regularly calls Sansa stupid or mocks her interests and isn’t a very realistic character (sure, a medieval noblewoman would balk at the idea of marriage!). She doesn’t get punished, ever. She’s also somehow a better archer than her TRAINED brothers and a great fighter, and everyone but the mean Lannisters likes her.
SU- Not to mention the show goes out of its way to turn her into a generic strong female character instead of the dark and troubled child she is in the books- the show just tries hard to make her spunky and "badass" and punishes only asshole people who deserve it (unlike the books where she kills more innocent people). Because God knows dumb TV audiences can't accept good characters making dark decisions.
AF- They turned a fairly realistic teenage queen in exile dealing with “heart vs head” issues into a boring, obnoxious Strong Female Character cliché. She opens her mouth wide and shouts at people. Wow, do I feel empowered.
SU- Not to mention Emilia Clarke is a mediocre actress.
Tailsa (Game of Thrones).
AF- At least Arry Sue has good moments sometimes. Talisa has… none. Talisa is a full-on Mary Sue and resembles a medieval noble lady in no way. She boldly sasses a king and mocks important social events noblewomen in that day did because she’s ~not like other girls~ and is a Ms. Fanservice to boot. Ugh. At least Arya is a cute kid and Dany can be caring.
SU- An invention of the show, and honestly she's so...anachronistic she really doesn't feel like she belongs in the show. Plus there's something so haughty about the character that it's quite a contrast for other female characters in the story (Jeyne Westerling was much more demure in the books, and she even stands out against Catelyn and Brienne, actual strong female characters (I have my issues with show!Brienne but i'll save that for another occasion)).
TV! Tyrion Lannister.
AF- Book!Tyron was likable because he wasn’t always likable. TV!Tyrion has none of the book’s dark and flat-out morally wrong moments, because we can’t have people dislike him for any reason.
SU- Exactly. They erase every single bad deed he does just to make the audience like him and if you disagree with this you're suddenly the ableist asshole who wants to "keep the little people down omg!".
SU- An egocentricc douche, but he's worse because every single problem tht occurs in Marvel can be traced back to him! And he STILL doesn't learn of his mistakes, and he's in his fucking 50s, he should know better at this point.
AF- The epitome of the Snarky Love Interest cliché I’m so sick of. He’s rude and openly mocks Rapunzel (knowing she’s too naïve to know any better), takes her to a dangerous place knowing she could easily get taken advantage of, and his past crimes are swept under the rug (in and out of universe both- unlike Aladdin the liar, Beast the jerk, and Naveen the player, whose sins the fandom never forgets, yet Flynn is a dreamboat). The sad orphan back story does not excuse his wrongdoings.
SU- An egocentric douche only interested in money and taking advantage of Punzie. Plus I find it really hard to believe a worldly 26 year old man would find the love of his life in a sheltered 18 year old girl. It's kinda creepy Punzie marries literally the first man she ever met in her life.
AF- He’s just not funny. At all. He acts like a dog… and? Is that all they could think of to make him likable? Sven did it better. He also accepts bribes, but whatever. I just find him one of the most boring sidekicks ever.
SU- Yeah, he steals his character arc from Javert from Les Miserables, who is 100 times the much better character (obviously).
AF- The only textbook Mary Sue of the DPs. While still a nice, charming girl, she’s supertalented at all she tries (even teaching herself how to play chess and chart stars), everyone- even the villain- love her, and she’s ALWAYS right. While Merida is a selfish brat for rebelling at the tournament, Rapunzel, who deliberately does something she admits will hurt someone she honestly believes has her best interest at heart, is a role model.
SU- She's a sweet girl, but i don't like her Mary Sue-ish tendencies, she's just an ace at everything she does and the narrative never puts her in the wrong and she's just too damn overly quirky and plucky, she seems to be created to be the perfect marketing princess- the one princess who doesn't commit any flaws like being an icky damsel or distress or sells her soul for a vagina so that parents and kids alike can like her. She's pretty much Disney's Barbie at this point, she's very hollow and plastic.
AF- The ultimate Strong Female Character, perhaps. People just like her because zomg boobs and she can beat up men bigger than her and always has a saucy remark ready! Though I admit she got better characterization by the sequel.
SU- An overrated glorified Strong Female Character, people just like her cause she's a tough chick with huge boobs and a face they'd like to fuck. Seriously, there's nothing deep and complex about this character. Just your run of the mill Femme Fatale in a leather catsuit who has little to no flaws, how is she engaging? Not to mention she's a bit of a bitch (then again half the Marvel characters are bitches and assholes in both comics and movies) and a ruthless killer of innocent people, so it's really bizarre people want little girls to see her as a role model instead of more wholesome (but still bad-a) heroines like Storm or Supergirl or even Wonder Woman. Superhero comics are littered with awesome female characters and almost all of them deserve a movie of their own over her first. Half the women in the MCU suffer from Black Widow syndrome ("ooh at how tough I am by kicking this guy! I'm a strong wymen who needs no man and i'm allowed to be a bitch! lol if the genders were reversed the character would be universally hated") so it's really hard to care for them.
Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
AF- She doesn't learn of her mistakes and gets everything handled to her on a silver platter, she never understands the consequences of her actions and never grows and learns and can't even the correct the mistakes she makes.
SU - She just cries for daddy and everything is instantly handled to her, she doesn't even grow and develop during the story. The original story, while heartbreaking, manages to get the point across, and the little mermaid there is a charming sweet girl who is redeemed by her love (not killing the man you love and allowing you to die? The ultimate sacrifice- unrequited love > teenage hormone-filled crush).
Disney's Peter Pan
AF- a player and a jerk who doesn’t care about anyone but himself. At least he wanted to punish Tink for trying to hurt Wendy, but otherwise he’s cool with Tink mocking Wendy.
SU - One of the few Disney characters that I quite dislike and can't bring myself to feel indifferent to him or even feel neutral. He's just so callous, obnoxious and rude, and it's practically quite annoying how cocky he is and he seems to understand others don't like his attitude, but he pretty much keeps annoying people just because he feels like it. I know he's supposed to represent the boys of the 50s but I feel he just showcases the worst out of them all.
AF- Boring villain and a Villain Sue. We get it, he’s evil. It’s not shocking by this point anymore! And thanks to him they totally botched up my favorite character’s storyline.
SU - In the books he's an alright character, but I quite loath him in the show. The show has this habit of biased writing, that the writers overall tend to exagerate the flaws or good things of characters, all depending on whether they like them or not. If it's a character they like (Arya, Dany, Tyrion), they'll go out of their way to show them as awesome and never display their flaws, while the opposite happens with characters they dislike (Sansa, Theon, Stannis), in fact they quite villainize the characters they dislike. Ramsay, despite being a villain, suffers from the “fave chars” syndrome. He's given so much screentime and prominence that other characters' storylines suffer due to him (Sansa and Stannis mainly). The actor they choose to play him is good, don't get me wrong, but the fault lies in the writing. He's made to be fucking invincible and other characters have to be dumbed down just so Ramsay can win (even Theon, the actual PROTAGONIST of this storyline, has to move aside just so we can see more asshole moments with Ramsay, it's infuriating). He's pretty much the textbook example of a Villain Mary Sue (whereas in the books while he was quite terrifying, smarter characters always got the upper hand over him, and even his father pointed out that he was quite dumb in certain manners, not the same thing as the Super Bastard we see in the show).
AF- While JK does OCCASIONALLY allow her to be wrong (ie SPEW), she’s been shoved in our faces as a feminist role model for years. She’s actually a very crappy person. In addition to just being exactly an insufferable know-it-all as Snape pointed out, she 1) got Marietta jinxed out of pure pettiness for a crime that didn’t warrant such a punishment and 2) deliberately led Umbridge to the centaurs and LEFT HER THERE. Did you know in Greek stories centaurs liked raping human women? Look at Umbridge’s disturbed state later and tell me that doesn’t resemble PTSD.
SU - An ideolized Mary Sue whom the text treats as everything she does being absoutely perfect and we should never disagree with her (even if she does pretty wicked things throughout the books, yet Rowling seems too enamored with her role model to realize the bad things she does).
AF- Forget Bella Swan- GINNY is the ultimate Mary Sue. She randomly goes from an underdeveloped but shy side character to the hero’s girlfriend where she’s so beautiful even Slytherins like her, so funny even Hermione rolls on the floor (not that the joke was that funny), such a talented athlete of course she’s on the Quidditch team and better than most boys! And of course, the usual “not like other girls” and mocks Fleur with no calling-out for it. I also hate that she’s basically a prize JK gave Harry for all hhs years of suffering.
SU- Another Mary Sue, and the typical girly-hating tomboy who goes out of her way to prove how awesome she is. I wouldn't be bothered so much if her development wasn't so sudden and so perfect. One year she's a shy little girl who can't even say “hello”, but the next year she's this quidditch champion who all the guys go nuts for and she sasses anyone who defies her? Rowling, please, be more realistic. i wouldn't mind it so much if at least we SAW this development first hand and didn't have every other character drooling over how wonderful Ginny is.
AF- I dance between not minding him and being really irritated by him because his fans act like he’s the most relatable, funny and awesome guy ever. He’s like a less competent, less likable Jon Snow. I understand the books are usually told from his POV but I think JK really means for us to think Harry’s views are generally the right ones- that despite his dangerous and manipulative actions, Albus is still the best, that smirking at Marietta’s scars is funny, and the like.
SU - He's very Sue-ish. I like his anger issues that are a subversion but in other things Harry is so perfect it's kinda boring to read about him, especially how people gush over him despite him not having done anything on his own that's worthwhile when he was 11.
Fred and George Weasley (HP)
AF- These jerks are bullies and portrayed as witty, fantastic guys for it. Bullying Ron since he was a child (even trying to get him to make an Unbreakable Vow), torturing his pet, booing irst years just because they dislike Slytherins, giving acidic snacks to children… The excuses and defending fans do is even worse than any for Harry or sometimes even Hermione. I’d hate to meet them irl and can’t believe my old OC dated Fred. Ugh. Bad taste.
Elphaba Thropp (Wicked)
AF- Yeah, we know. She’s better than Galinda because she likes black over pink and books over socializing. Every single tomboy and nerdy girl in fiction is the same way. I hate how hard they try to whitewash a purely evil character and excuse her with a “but she was unhappy in school!” backstory. And that annoying Elsa moment where she just stops caring altogether and gives everyone the metaphorical finger.
SU- I hate Wicked so the star of Wicked should appear here. It's just...ugh, the whole "ugh tomboy nerdy bookworm heroine who's oppressed" is such a cliche at this point it's just boring to see. Not to mention overall she's not a very pleasant character in general, she always seem too mean-spirited at times and lashes out for no reasons at people who don't mean her harm. Honestly my issue stems from how she butchers the original story of Wizard of Oz with her fanficcy mess. If she was an original character maybe i would like her a little bit more.