RA Challenge ♡ #15: A Character Everybody Loves That I Hate

This is a really tricky question. A question for which I have to drag my arm out of retirement because this has to be preceded by some text and can’t just be answered with a standalone picture.

To qualify for this category, a character has to fulfill two prerequisites – he has to be universally loved by the fandom in general, but hated by me.  Problem #1: I tend to be part of the flock when it comes to general love for a character *baaah*. So how to approach this? Maybe if I look at the hateful characters I can find one that only *I* hate and everyone else loves? But here’s problem #2: I don’t really think that I hate *any* of RA’s characters. It may be a weakness because I am obviously clouded in my moral judgment by the tall, dark, handsome appearance of each of the characters, but I find reasons for sympathy with all of the characters that RA has portrayed, even the bad eggs. I understand why William Chatford loses it with his wife (she cheats on him); why Percy Courtenay is enraged (Marie’s priorities are with her career and she ignores him); why Paul Andrews feigns impotence (because it’s his only way of asserting some kind of power over a wife who is older and stronger than him and makes all the decisions); why Mulligan uses Ellie as a drug mule (which doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t feel something for her); or why Heinz Krüger attempts to assassinate the hero. (If he was James Bond, we would all applaud that he is killing for Queen and country. So yeah, he believes the wrong ideology, but it is stringent that he would kill for it). So there. But here is already the crux of the matter – these bad boys aren’t loved by the fandom, anyway – so they don’t fit the category in the first place.

So approach #2. Which characters does the fandom love, and is there one among them that I hate? Ok, universally loved heroes (in no particular order) – Thornton, Thorin, Porter, Lucas North, Standring, Guy, Harry, Chop. Yep, on board with that.

Hold on – I am seeing a glaring omission just now. There is a very new character who seems to have been adopted pretty quickly among the best-loved chaRActers, yet I feel decidedly cold-fish-y about him. Here goes.

I’m sorry, Daniel. But you haven’t convinced me yet. I question your motivations, I am disappointed at your lack of involvement in BS, and I really think you should reconsider the length of your sideburns. Ooops, different film. 

Here we have it. Daniel hasn’t yet quite captured me. He is a dark horse (motivations still unclear), yet attractively set in scene (occasional, blood-pressure-raising sexy scenes). The following picture sums it up:

Character in the dark – but red ears when I think of his antics with Fräulein Krug…

Honestly, I have tried very hard to get on board with Daniel. It’s not his American accent or his half-German-ness (the latter usually a turn-off for me *hahaha*). I like his look, too. And hey, there were a couple of romantic opportunities that would make him a good foil for fan-fictional explorations of the earthier kind *coughs*. Maybe it is because I think he has been carelessly neglected by the scriptwriters, throwing in bits and pieces that do not combine to *one* coherent picture. He remains flat, some of his background information seems as if it has been only put in there for a quick ruse (the German mother who falls for an East German spy – so that Esther Krug can intrigue and manipulate him with info?), a stereotypical love-hate relationship with a person from his past (the Chechnyan op going badly wrong so that Daniel is equally obliged to as resentful of Hector?). Then there is the lack of compassion (for Claudia who is killed because of his involvement; or even Ruth Iosova who is mercilessly killed in front of his eyes), and the failure to put a stop to Hector’s mad torturing spree – which makes him out as a man without scruples, ruthlessly interested only in the final outcome and ignoring wrong-doing – as long as he doesn’t have to get his hands dirty. He lacks integrity, and much of the sympathy that I can muster for him, comes only from the fact that he sacrificially takes the hit in the end.

So, yeah, Daniel doesn’t do it for me. I don’t exactly hate him. But I really do not love him, either. However, in my mind, season 1 was just the preliminary skirmish. I am ready to abandon my reservations about Daniel as soon as he steps out of the dark and clears up his motivations. I am opportunist like that…

 

 

80 thoughts on “RA Challenge ♡ #15: A Character Everybody Loves That I Hate

  1. I am pre-disposed to like Daniel, but all I’ve seen are the first two episodes and lots of pretty pics – where maybe I haven’t considered his character quite as much as his looks (can’t imagine why!). If/when I finally get to see the whole series I may be able to judge better.

    For me, I suppose it’s Porter. But I don’t dislike him, I just didn’t like Strike Back and fast forwarded through some of the action. So he doesn’t do it for me in the sense I don’t feel any connection with him. Doesn’t stop me enjoying the pics though – shallow, moi?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I join you in enjoying the pictures too – of Daniel, not of Porter. The latter was initially not my favourite character at all – but over time really developed into one of my favourite fantasy boyfriends. Porter is an uncompromising hero. I usually do not like soldiers at all, but this one has depth and humanity. Daniel – lacks the former *and* the latter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Of the three or four series/movies of his I’ve seen, I have to say I disliked Thorin from the first movie. At the time, I didn’t know who Richard Armitage was, I thought it was Hugh Jackman. Getting back to Thorin, I thought he was very cowardly in making Bilbo do everything, very bitchy to Bilbo in the first movie, growled at everyone and overacted in parts (especially the gold scene in the 3rd movie)
    Also, and I know this has nothing to do with the character or the actor, but Thorin’s look kept changing every couple of scenes, especially in the first movie! ;D

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    • Interesting how different perceptions really are. For me, the gold scene was one of the highlights – I still find it one of RA’s strongest works. But yeah, Thorin is a rather obstinate, arrogant character – in the book, too, so no surprises there.
      You are so right with the look, though. You could really tell that they made a decision at some point into the filming, that they should use RA’s naturally good looks to their advantage. By the end of the trilogy, Thorin almost came with an automatic soft focus 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haven’t read the book. It’s been sitting on my kindle for many years.
        In the 3rd movie, Thorin wasn’t the only over acted part. The bowman fella was also overacting, the annoying she elf and, as much as I like Thranduil, he was also annoying in the 3rd movie.
        Which is probably why I’ve only watched it once all the way thru.

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        • Well, Legolas was completely superfluous to The Hobbit. He’s not in the book, anyway. I didn’t really find him overacted, though, just over-scripted. Thranduil OTOH looked overacted to me – just overemphasised in his haughtiness, his slow movements, his slow deliberate speech. But ok, there’s some interference there with a general indifference to the actor who plays him.

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          • Whaaat?! You don’t like Lee? He’s so pretty! And so sweet. But I agree with you, completely wasted in the movie.
            Oh and I was referring to the she elf, whatever her name was. Don’t like Legolas or the Bard fellow either.

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            • Ooooh, will I resist the urge to be honest and write how I feel about Lee? It’s a bit of a “wasp’s nest” – you stir it, you get hurt. But ok, in the most factual, non emotional way, this is my opinion: I wouldn’t say that I “don’t like” Lee. I am utterly indifferent to him and can’t muster much interest. That is due to several things – mostly, that I only really saw him in TH, nothing else. (I tried ‘The Fall’ but boyohboy, I really could not get into that film…) So I can’t judge how good a performer he is. I stand by what I said about Thranduil – I found him overacted. But maybe PJ is to blame for that. Otherwise, I really do not find LP particularly attractive. Yes, he is tall, yes, he is not ugly. But he just doesn’t elicit that little bit of extra interest in me. It doesn’t help that he comes across as rather lethargic in interviews. For me, the sparkle is missing. He is probably just as fun and clever as any other guy, but he just doesn’t do it for me.
              The she elf is a tricky case. As a purist, I would’ve rejected the character as artificial and superfluous. However, I do appreciate that PJ attempted to include a strong female character in the movie… If anything, I thought the character had justification – but I intensely disliked the nonsensical, ridiculous love triangle.

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              • You can always be honest with me.I feel pretty much the same way about RA. I’m not a huge Lee fan, but I do prefer him to RA any day. He was wonderful in The fall, Soldier’s Girl and of course as the Pie Maker. And Lee’s Ronan is my second fav Guardians of the Galaxy character after Baby Groot.
                As for the she elf, besides the character being annoying, the love triangle ridiculous, Evangeline Lily being cast was even worse. They could have and should have got a better actress than her.

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                • Oh, I forgot!!! I did actually see Lee in “Pushing Daisies”. Really enjoyed that show. But he did not more and not less than do what he was supposed to do…

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    • I agree, but I brushed most of this off as not being a fan of the genre. I rolled my eyes (inwardly, not in front of the fangirls I attended the movie with!) at much of the “comic book-ness” of the whole franchise. And I’m thrilled to see you acknowledge the changes in Thorin’s appearance. I up the ante by contending that the 2nd and 3rd movies were edited around Thorin (who cares if it’s titled “Hobbit”) and that they made him look more sexy, after the powers that be saw the reception of movie 1 and what an asset they had in Armitage’s looks and portrayal.

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  3. Could I use the same character twice in the challenge? I don’t really hate Standring, but he is my least favorite character for previously stated reasons. He could definitely go into the “strongly dislike” category, if there was one.

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    • I think you can. I can see where you are coming from. I have to admit, some of the stuff he says, could actually be misunderstood, too – particularly when he reacts to Carol’s proposal by asking “does that mean we will have sex?” – priorities, man, priorities and tact!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Na ja Takt… Wann geht sie jemals taktvoll mit ihm um??
        Sie sieht ihn nur als Mittel zum Zweck mit gelegentlichen Anflügen von peinlicher Berührtheit über ihre eigene Gefühlskälte.
        Dass er für seine eigenen “Interessen” einsteht und nicht einfach gänzlich gefühlsduselig zu allem “Ja und Amen” sagt, nötigt ihr mit der Zeit wenigstens etwas Respekt ab.
        Sie mag ja viel durchgemacht haben, aber sie kann ich nun wirklich nicht leiden.

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        • Aha! Pardon me, I just figured out that Elanor had already said what I said below. I don’t know German, but I dumped her text into Google translate. Sorry I didn’t do this earlier. Is this translation reasonably accurate, Guylty?
          Well clock … When does she ever tactfully deal with him ??
          She sees him only as a means to an end with occasional touches of embarrassing touch on her own feelings.
          The fact that he stands for his own “interests” and does not simply utter completely sentimental to all “Yes and Amen”, you at least some respect.
          She may have gone through a lot, but I really can not stand it.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Hehe, nur die Ruhe. Ich sage ja nicht, dass ich das so aufgefasst habe, sondern nur, dass man das missverstehen kann. Er meint das natürlich NICHT im Sinne eines Kaufvertrages – ich gebe dir Geld und du lässt dich dafür von mir v*geln. Er hat tatsächlich die (berechtigte) Hoffnung, einmal eine Frau zu heiraten, mit der er eine Familie gründen kann. Ich nehme ihm das auch im besten Sinne ab – er bringt zum Ausdruck, dass er hofft, dass sie ihn irgendwann einmal an sich heranlässt. Denn schließlich liebt er sie ja. Alles völlig ehrenhaft. NUR wenn man sich nun nicht so verständnisvoll wie wir mit ihm beschäftigt hat, dann könnte man das auch in den falschen Hals kriegen.
          Ich finde Carol übrigens auch doof. Aber ihren blöden Queens (dessen Namen ich vergessen habe) auch.

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          • Der ist definitiv auch doof. Und anstrengend und auch nicht sehr hübsch… ein weinerliches Muttersöhnchen…
            Ich mag ihn nicht.

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            • Totale Heulsuse. Und ein Feigling. Entweder er liebt Carol – und brennt mit ihr durch, oder er lässt es von vornherein sein und macht keine blöden Versprechungen. Vollpfosten. Aber ok, auf so was stehen Frauen ja gelegentlich gerne… das weiß ich aus eigener Erfahrung *head desk*

              Liked by 2 people

      • I thought he WAS standing up for himself and his priorities when he cleared this with her. He was letting her know that marriage, to him, included sex and kids–take it or leave it. She was someone with whom one had to be blunt. Remember her “proposal”: Hey will you sell your house and use the money to buy my farm so I don’t lose it? THAT was tactful? Or even caring? I’m surprised at how differently we all see that show. Is there a discussion of the show anywhere that you know of? At C19, maybe? I love reading the old conversations at that site, but have given up on trying to locate any of them.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hehe, I just wrote an explanation to Elanor in German, but I’ll save you from consulting Google Translate (German-English translations never work particularly well by robot…)
          Just to say that I totally agree with what you and Elanor were saying. I completely believe that Standring is asking that with the best of intentions and not in a transaction kind of way. My point was only that what he says *could be* misconstrued – by people who are less understanding and knowledgable (!) than we are. I think he is a total dote – and his shyness in that particular scene is beautiful and heart-breaking.
          As for tactful – hey, just because someone else isn’t tactful, doesn’t mean I can forget about tact, too… 😉

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          • The whole thing was a painful watch as you could see how Carol and Andrew would never be free of each other. Doubly sad to see how many more lives the wrecked in the process. My heart broke when she went straight to him to ask for the money because she knew he would give it to her 😦 And when the door opens and he is just sat there on his own with just some fish and chips in his lap.. i felt like crying, honestly. Not that i like the traditional homey context but that had working man deserved a wife to appreciate him and care for him, at least make him a decent meal :-S
            And the whole conversation where you see he is clinging on to hope of the relationship becoming real at least at some point. I do think though in that moment she genuinely thinks she will give it an honest try. Even though the next you know it’s all for nothing. And the worst of it he is trapped in that marriage forever and not only that but by the end has probably even had to admit to himself that it will be a loveless one. Utterly depressing.

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            • I agree, I thought she was hopeful that it would work. And her speech was heartfelt and believable. Yet she could not really convince me that the relationship really was NOT prostitution. There was an element of sex for money in it – he financed the farm, and in return she would let him live with her.

              Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I’m with you on Daniel, but not vehemently enough for “hate.” I’m more indifferent, not because of RA’s acting or “the development of the character,” but because the whole show is a mess. I don’t find myself caring enough to hate. I hope they sort something out of it in season 2, which I will watch…. Your essay’s great. Thanks for sorting out your thoughts and for sharing them.

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        • Indifferent is probably a better word, agreed. I can’t really say that I hate any character – the worst I can do, is punish them with my disregard. I am not quite there with Daniel, either – there is the hope that we will get more in season 2. I will grant them that they had to get into the swing – and maybe needed the reviews to find their feet. So message to Berlin Station’s scriptwriters: Give Daniel more screen time. Make him a multi-layered man. Don’t waste an acting talent like Armitage on a character who is paling into the background!

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  4. I am reserving judgment on Daniel, until he reveals more of himself (motivations etc not physically Lol). In the meantime, he’s very handsome and I did enjoy binge-watching the show.

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    • Hehe, he’s revealed a lot *physically* already. No complaints there. And yes, I still watched even though the character leaves me stone cold. But that is loyalty to Richard, not a particularly keen interest in Daniel…

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Not for me, today. 🙂 good day or night!
    No binge-watching but binge-listening to Arvo Pärt piece of musics. Especially this one:
    “My Heart’s in the Highlands” is a 1789 poem by the Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759 – 1796), set to music by Arvo Pärt, from “24 preludes for a fugue”
    You can watch Arvo Part and Rick Laser Christopher Bowers-Broadbent
    video by sliders23 or Michele Papa ( or MrsMisanthropy or Tanja Jeannine)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it is interesting how the thoroughness of fan scrutiny reveals weaknesses in writing. You and the other RA fans are OK with a villain, as long as he has layers of character and real depth. The problem with Daniel seems to be that the writing is superficial and the storyline incoherent. Actors can help with that, but only to a limited extent.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pingback: RA Challenge ♡ #16: A Character Everybody Hates That I Love | Guylty Pleasure

    • Have you glanced through the comment, Valsgal? There are some very eloquent arguments why Harry did not do it for some of us. Maybe applies to you, too…

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  8. Since i haven’t made Harry’s acquaintance yet, nor feel very rushed to do so i’m afraid i’m with you on Mr Miller. Dull as dishwater i’m afraid.
    But there is an interesting conversation there to be had why we don’t hate any of his villains so far and there have been a few. I think it is due to his persistence on giving them depth and reason, none of them are villains just for jinx. All have their reasons, as twisted as they may be, which makes them fascinating and utterly watchable characters. I think that is great credit to his acting skills.
    Continuing that train of thought i do wonder what we will think of Raymond… doesn’t sound so far as if there is enough background there, it will be interesting to see if after all we’ll have found the one where hate comes easy. It would be sad though.

    As to Thorin, yes maybe they did change his looks but i thought he made the character very consistent. I enjoyed them very much, regardless of the book material.

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  9. What??? You don’t like Daniel??? The writers are peeling him back layer by layer. I think there’s more to the story of his mother and her death. I even have a sneaky suspicion that Esther’s Dad was involved. Definitely, there’s more to explore next season.
    I don’t hate any of his characters, except maybe Bateman, but then I refuse to believe he existed. It was all a dream like the old TV show Dallas when Bobby Ewing died at the end of season 8, then reappeared in the shower in season 10. Apparently season 9 was all Pam Ewing’s dream.
    I’ll go with Guy, even though I don’t hate him. Everyone seems to universally salivate over this swaggering henchman. And, yes, he was my first exposure to Mr. Armitage and I definitely took notice. But, while I greatly admire the cut and drape of his trousers, I never had naughty fantasies about Gisborne. Still don’t.

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    • I know, pretty bad, isn’t it, that I am not into this half-German pretty boy. I don’t think RA will ever come closer to my kind of reality than that… But I have an open mind, and I have hope. Season 2 might change everything.

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