Have you ever noticed that your favorite TV or book characters are that lovely shade of morally grey. They do bad things all the time, but they are still somehow a good character. A few examples that pop to mind is Kaz from the book series Six of Crows, or Lucifer in the show Lucifer. They’re not technically good characters but we root for them regardless. Why do we love these morally grey characters so much?
They’re redeemable, whether it’s in certain actions, their tragic back story, or simply their love for other characters. They all have redeemable traits, no matter how bad they get or what they have to do to survive, and I think deep down inside, we all relate to that. We all want to be redeemable. We all strive to be redeemed.
We’re not out killing people (I hope) like a lot of morally grey fiction characters but we all have our fair share of dirt we’d rather not discuss or think about. We are all riddled with flaws, we are human after all, and when we see others riddled with flaws in our entertainment we root for them, because if there is good in them there sure as hell is good in us.
I think it’s human nature to see both the worst and the best in people. Our society likes to pretend that we normally see the worst in people, and maybe they are right to a certain degree. We as a species stereotype, we hold on to grudges, we cling to anger. But if our entertainment says anything about us it tells us that we are still rooting for the best in people, we still want the good in everyone to prevail.
We like our morally grey characters because no matter the scale, they are relatable, and we like them because they give us someone to root for.