Podcast 110 – Depicting Manipulative Characters March 19th, 2017 by Chris Winkle, Kristin Aline and Oren Ashkenazi Aha! You’re listening to this podcast, just as we always knew you would from all the subtle queues we’ve been giving you. Don’t you feel manipulated? Good, because this week we’re finally answering a question from a listener and talking about how to portray manipulative characters. Kristin joins us for a third time to discuss how to make manipulative characters sympathetic, whether or not manipulative characters should be sympathetic, and who exactly counts as manipulative. We go on at length about the pitfalls of manipulative characters, like how easy it is to stumble into sexist stereotypes or excuse abusive behavior. But we also talk about the benefits of portraying manipulative characters well. You’ll have to listen to find out what those are, though. Download Episode 110 Subscription Feed https://m.mythcreants.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/TMP-110-Depicting-Manipulative-Characters.mp3 Have a question or comment for our hosts? Send it to [email protected] Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission. Show Notes: Lord Vetinari from Discworld Dumbledore from Harry Potter Hogwarts Board of Governors (Not Directors) Torres, Seven, and Janeway on Voyager Enjoying our podcast? Thank us with a review on iTunes or Stitcher. Read more about Likability, Social Justice Comments JackbeThimble March 20, 2017 at 2:07 pm To be fair Gandalf doesn’t disappear so much in Lord of the Rings, except at the very start on the way to Rivendell and when he’s dead. In the later books he’s continuously involved in the plot, but there are half a dozen things going on at any time and he can only be in one place at once. The Hobbit is an actually egregious example where Gandalf just leaves whenever his presence would invalidate the present conflict. Overall The Lord of the Rings is probably useful as a good example of how to use a powerful benevolent character without wrecking the plot. Reply to JackbeThimble Jonas August 8, 2017 at 7:05 pm I wanted to add that Mistborn the brother situation, I think it was to show an explanation of how that society works. The other two books are really good in my opinion, but I definitely agree they should have eluded to her brother caring at least SOME. Book 3 gets way more into it. Reply to Jonas Fatal But Not Serious November 11, 2017 at 11:57 am I’m going to add a very late and very old-school addition to this topic: Agatha Christie’s novel Towards Zero. The story begins with the unnamed and un-gendered villain planning their dastardly murder. You read the rest of the story wondering who is manipulating whom, and it is impossible not to suspect everyone in turn. Christie is easily dismissed by today’s audience, but she was a popular novelist for a very good reason, and her work is worth revisiting. If you want to know how to develop a character (particularly manipulative characters) without getting inside their head, read Christie, and in particular Towards Zero and The Secret of Chimneys. Reply to Fatal But Not Serious Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Name Email (will not be published) Send me an email alert for: Don't subscribe All Replies to my comments Message By submitting a comment, you confirm that you have read and agree to our comments policy.