We Shouldn’t Forgive Villains Just Because They’re Pretty

It’s a little alarming to me how easily Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra fans seem to forgive the “pretty” villains, refusing to hold them accountable for the despicable things they’ve done and continue to do whilst picking apart the heroes for every perceived flaw.

I, honestly, don’t get it.

Especially the people who stan Kuvira. She’s a fascist. Full stop. Period. As if that weren’t bad enough she was willing to sacrifice all of Republic City and all those trapped there because there wasn’t enough time to get people out before Kuvira came. And all because of a perceived slight against the Earth Kingdom.

Not to mention the fact that without even knowing what Korra’s trauma was, she threw it in Korra’s face. When she called Korra weak – I knew I wasn’t ever going to forgive nor like this character.

A person’s attractiveness shouldn’t factor into whether or not you like a character. It should be their actual character that you take into account. Yes, some villains are attractive. It doesn’t mean we should forgive them or that they even deserve redemptions.

We’ve all heard the expression “never judge a book by it’s cover”, right? That’s meant to apply to people, too. Some devils have the prettiest faces, but that doesn’t mean that you should lose yourself to the darkness so that they can feel your light.

Trauma and pain doesn’t give you an excuse to be cruel to people, to hurt people, or become a monster. Yes, life isn’t fair, and some people suck but that doesn’t mean that you get to punish innocent people for the things that people failed to give you or make you feel. Just because her parents didn’t love her doesn’t mean she had any right to hurt others. It’s not like she didn’t have an adoptive family that loved her that she completely betrayed. So don’t tell me she was just lost – Zuko was lost, she just chose to be selfish and evil.

Kuvira is not a person that I can forgive. Despite the fact that she got a redemption arc in the comics, in my eyes she remains someone that you cannot redeem. She is a villain that will never get any of my empathy.

Linda M. Crate’s works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. She is the author of seven poetry chapbooks, the latest of which is: the samurai (Yellow Arrow Publishing, October 2020). She has also authored two micro-collections, and three full length poetry collections.

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