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Five TV Villains Turned Heroes

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. But sometimes your enemy is your friend because audiences love a good redemption story. Or even a bad redemption story. Audiences just really love redemption stories. So here's five bad guys who decided they were better off being good(ish) guys.

Warning: Prehistoric Spoilers Ahead!


The hunky good of war was infatuated with the warrior princess and determined to have her at his side again even if she died in the process. But when it came to choosing between Xena and his fellow gods, he chose Xena, even going so far as to sacrifice his godhood to save Gabrielle and Xena’s daughter, Eve.


For as long as she could remember, the Evil Queen wanted nothing more than to destroy the happiness of the annoying Snow White and her annoying family. But as the series progressed, Regina slowly, but surely, put revenge aside and joined the good guys, annoying as they were, and was eventually re-crowned as the Good Queen in the series finale.


Blaming John Crichton for the (accidental) death of his brother, Crais relentlessly hunted both him and the crew of Moya throughout the first season until his command was taken away from him by Scorpius. After bonding with Moya’s son, Talyn, Crais becomes an ally to his former enemies. In the end, he sacrificed his own life to stop Scorpius from getting hold of wormhole technology.


The former right hand man of Gul Dukat, Damar eventually succeeded his mentor as head of the Cardassian government, but quickly grew frustrated by the way his people were treated by their Dominion allies. Eventually he decided to turn against them and worked with the Federation to bring about the downfall of the Dominion.


During the first season, Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation relentlessly chased after the Avatar and his friends so that he could win back his father’s favour and end his exile. Later, after some serious soul searching, he realise that his father, Fire Lord Ozai, was a massive dick and joined Team Avatar.

Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011 More Mark Greig


Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

No Spike on this list?

Mark Greig said...

Let's just say I have some unresolved issues when it comes to Spike's redemption arc.

magritte said...

Orphan Black has several examples. Helena first appears as a crazy serial killer murdering the clones, only to become part of the club. Rachel ends up on Sarah & Co.'s side at the end, too, though whether she's really become "good" is perhaps questionable.

Billie Doux said...

Honestly, though. Isn't this the actual definition of Spike? :)

Baby M said...

Honorable mention (at least!): Samantha Groves, alias "Root," from Person of Interest.

Anonymous said...

I have issues with Regina's redemption. Never believed it.
Faith from Buffy anyone?

Shari said...

I'm with you on Spike (many unresolved issues) but yes to Faith!

And on a very small tangent I worked with Damar (AKA Casey Biggs) many moons ago when he was still doing theater. Small world.

Juan said...

For me the story of Prince Zuko is one of the best redemption stories ever written. So complex yet relatable and emotional and some times even adult. And all in an animated cartoon aimed to children. Amazing! Glad to see it listed here Mark. Thanks.

Also, Spike WTF?