The Pure Good hero is a type of hero that is considered to be the most incorruptible character in the story with no corrupting qualities. A hero who is pure good is completely good.
Pure Good (PG for short) goes by different names, such as Pure Good Hero, Pure of Heart, and / or rarely Complete Angel (CA for short).
- 1 Basics
- 2 Criteria
- 3 Categories
- 4 Additional Notes
For a hero to be Pure Good, the hero must:
- Have no corrupting qualities (like killing for fun that does not fit for PG unless it is self-defense as a last resort with remorse as Pure Good heroes are reluctant to kill anyone)
- Must have complete / full redeeming and good qualities (like being naive, doing heroic acts, selfless, forgiving, etc).
- Sometimes have tragic past or remorse.
- Must cross Goodness Zone sometimes.
- Never be affected by villains' corrupting influence.
The Pure Good hero must meet all these criteria to count.
A Pure Good hero must have a clearly defined personality and character. Simple one-dimensional characters like a destroyer with no clearly defined personality cannot be considered Pure Good.
A Pure Good hero must go above and beyond the general admirable standards and the in-story admirable standards. In addition, for Pure Good heroes who are a part of a benevolent system they must also go beyond the system standard as well. A Pure Good hero must meet these standards to qualify:
- General Standard: This is the standards that separates the average hero or character from the Pure Good hero. At this point, going against the villains and committing justices such as rescue is basic heroism but with this standard the hero must go above simple basic acts to something uniquely noble. At this point, comparisons to heroes across other works are important when deciding the hero passes the General Standard.
- In-Story Standard: This is the standards that are unique to the story the hero is from. Here, this separates heroes and characters within the story's work from those that are Pure Good. For example, if crime-stoppers are the basic standard heroism in a story, then the In-Story standards are going to be higher than another story and it might be harder for the story to have a hero who is worse than the other heroes who are crime-stoppers. And, only the hero who is worst than the crime-stoppers can possibly qualify as Pure Good.
- System Standard: This is the standards that are unique from members of a just system. Generally, given they are part of a specific system with certain morals, they do not commit actions that are beyond the basic admirable standard and meet the norm. Such character can qualify if the hero is the one that started said system and meets all criteria, or commits actions that go beyond the systems' standards-also proving that they would be capable of committing superb actions, even if they were not a member of said system.
A Pure Good hero must cross the Goodness Zone, usually more than once as it emphasizes on how admirable they are. Although rare exceptions of those that have crossed it only once can count if said action is admirable and superb enough by the standards of the story, and they meet all criteria.
This goes over the what the character is capable of by themselves. This means what good acts a character is capable of committing on their own with the resources they have. Resources can mean the amount of time they appear in the story, character's role, access to resources in their setting, for example. With this criteria it is possible for a single work to have a One-Shot hero and a Big Good qualify to be Pure Good. With a character's individual capability, it is also possible for a Freedom Fighter and a Benevolent Ruler to apply as Pure Good despite having access to different types of resources that has varying scope. This means how good a certain type of hero can be under a certain setting. Remember, that if a certain hero is better than another, then only the best can qualify. Pure Good heroes have to be as good as they can be with the resources they have.
The Pure Good Hero must have a clear moral agency. They must know what is right and wrong but choose to do what is right and stay good. In many cases such as a hero being mentally insane, possessed / brainwashed, or just does not know what is right from wrong, then the hero cannot qualify. In addition, heroes who are incarnations of lightness and good itself are likely to not count as Pure Good as they only know how to be good and cannot understand what is right or wrong.
No single group can qualify to be Pure Good because a group do not have moral agency. Only individuals have moral agency and the individual capability to stand out. Groups like organizations, corporations, teams, families, and entire species, for example, cannot be considered Pure Good, however single individuals within a group can qualify.
No Corrupting Qualities
A Pure Good Hero must have no corrupting qualities. This type of hero cannot show disdain, cruelty, unrepentance, or hate for anyone. In addition, any actions out of insincere concern or for stingy reasons are disqualifying factors and the hero cannot count as Pure Good. Pure Good heroes are completely good with no sense of disdain or neglect for anyone.
No unfeeling can be given to the Pure Good hero. No matter their past or conditions, it can make up for the actions they have committed. There can be justification for their acts. Their good acts combined with having no disdain does not make this type of hero unfeeling.
A hero can have a tragic and sympathetic background, one popular version of this is if a Pure Good hero was abused by their parents.
The Pure Good Hero's acts must be presented on-screen. If all the best acts of a hero are only off-screen, then they cannot qualify. In some cases if some acts are off-screen and it has visible effects onscreen or if the character has a long history of committing good acts, then the hero can count.
This hero has to be the best hero in the story with little to no competition from any other hero or character. If another hero is not as admirable as another hero, then they cannot count as Pure Good. Generally, the hero has to go above and beyond in the story they appear in with nothing to mitigate their heroism. In addition, the hero must already be passed the Goodness Zone to qualify. There can be more than one Pure Good Hero in the same story, but each one has to stand out in their own unique terms of being admirable.
The type of story the Pure Good Hero appears in is important to the portrayal of the hero and what they are capable of.
- If a hero appears in a comedy type story where their good acts are not taken seriously, then they cannot count. The story makes it clear that the actions of the hero was not to be taken completely seriously which goes against the rule.
- Stories that are purposefully over-the-top appalling, are not likely to have a Pure Good hero, since the story itself is intentionally designed for shock value. The character is supposed to stand out in the story they appear in not be apart of a story that is intentionally making itself stand out.
Through the type of story that the hero appears in, it is important that they are presented completely seriously without any factor that can take away from their seriousness.
Categories That Cannot Apply
This is a list of categories that absolutely cannot apply to the Pure Good hero. Some of these categories either stands as a corrupting quality or simply cannot be applied to the Pure Good hero.
- Anti-Heroes: A Pure Good hero cannot be an Anti-Hero as an Anti-Hero is not a traditional hero in the sense that they are not always good and may have dishonorable goals. A Pure Good hero, is always good and have no dishonorable goals that will not damage anyone in the story.
- Assassins: Assassins usually kill another person in an audicious manner, but all of them have corrupting qualities, whereas Pure Good heroes are completely incorruptible.
- Arrogant: Pure Good heroes know they need others to help them.
- Chaotic Neutral: The type of Pure Good hero that falls under the chaotic character alignment always falls under Chaotic Good.
- Egotists: Pure Good heroes are not self-centered and put others first.
- Extremists: Extremists commit terrible acts but are primarily focused on a revolution or a social change that is noble and meant to benefit the society. Pure Good heroes never commit terrible acts and are always noble.
- Fallen: Pure Good heroes cannot be fallen and do not want to be fallen.
- Grey Zone: Pure Good heroes are good without a doubt. It is not ambiguous as to whether a Pure Good hero is good or not because they are simply good.
- Incompetent: The Pure Good hero is capable of committing wonderful acts and causing serious advantages in a story which actually makes them competent and very formidable.
- Jerks: A Pure Good hero would never behave in a very vulgar, rude, or unpleasant fashion.
- Lawful Neutral: The type of Pure Good hero that falls under the lawful character alignment always falls under Lawful Good.
- Lethal: A Pure Good hero will never willingly kill another character no matter how heinous the villain is.
- Mischievous: Acts of mischief such as playful pranks, teasing, and misbehavior cannot be compared to the acts of a hero who is Pure Good. Acts of a hero who is mischievous is not meant to be taken too seriously whereas the acts of a hero who is Pure Good is kind and is taken completely seriously.
- On & Off: There cannot be breaks in the Pure Good hero's heroism.
- Outright: These kinds of heroes have some negative traits (including petty selfish behaviors and taking pride in their heroic ways) whereas Pure Good heroes have none.
Special Cases That Can Apply
This is a list of categories in which under certain circumstances Pure Good can apply.
- Angels: Or eldritch abominations in general are hard to count as they generally only know how to do good and may not have an understanding of what is evil. Although exceptions can be made if they show they have a full understanding of what is right and wrong and willingly choose to do good while meeting all criteria.
- Animals: While true animals do not have moral agency, animals that are anthropomorphic however can qualify if they manage to meet all criteria.
- Antagonists: It is not common in many works for an opposing character to actually be Pure Good, but if they meet all the criteria, they can qualify.
- Artificial Intelligence: These heroes almost never qualify as they generally only do what they're programmed to by other heroes. Though exceptions can be made if they show they have free will, commit actions on their own, and meet all criteria.
- Comic Relief: A Pure Good hero's appearance in a story does lighten the mood of the story. Comic Relieves have some funny moments, but can qualify as Pure Good if they meet all the criteria.
- Dissociative: Heroes with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) generally don't count given they have no control over their actions due to their illness. However some can qualify if a) the alter ego of the character meets all criteria, understands what's right and wrong while choosing to do right, and all admirable virtues are traced to said ego, or b) the character shows they are just as capable of committing good actions without the personalities, and show no regret for the admirable virtues they committed while under said personalities and understands what's right or wrong while choosing to do right and meeting all criteria.
- Friend of a Villain: The Pure Good hero can qualify to be a friend of a villain when the character was once the friend of a villain before they became Pure Good. This category can also apply to the Pure Good hero in the present as the character can value a genuine friendship with the villain. If they are a friend of the villain in the present while remaining Pure Good, it can be genuine friendship, but is never merely out of self-interest since the hero is already Pure Good.
- Inconclusive: If the story ends prematurely or ends up being cancelled, it leaves questions as to how the hero would have developed if the story was complete. However, even for heroes who have not died but are still alive and active by the time the story ends prematurely and still meets all the criteria, they can still qualify to be Pure Good.
- Kids: For children, because of how young they are, their moral agency may not be clear. However, if the child shows that they have clear understanding of what they are doing and meets all the criteria, they may count.
- Love Rivals: The Pure Good hero can be a love rival, a hero competing with a villain, or another character for a specific love interest. For a Pure Good hero, they can be competing with another character because they have genuine love or care for their love interest, but not to simply get into a relationship with a specific character.
- Mentally Ill: Due to their mental state, it's hard to tell whether or not they have a clear moral agency. However they can qualify if they make it clear that they have an understanding of what is right and wrong and meet all the criteria, even in-spite of their limited views on reality.
- Mute: Heroes who don't speak at all on screen are hard to qualify given they generally lack personality and a clear motive. However some can depict through their actions a personality and motive and may qualify if they meet all criteria. An example of this is Toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, as, although he is a ferocious dragon, he is not a mindless predator, but a heroic companion who would do things to protect the lives of others such as Hiccup Horrendus Haddock III.
- Virtually Resourceful: A Pure Good hero can be Virtually Resourceful. Despite being very good in the setting that appear in, their status, power, or occupation may be necessary to uphold the order of the place that the story takes place in. This is not a corrupting quality as the Pure Good hero is still harmless to the setting that they happen to be necessary in.
- Partners in Training: Pure Good can apply to the Partners in Training as long as they meet the aforementioned criteria. The Pure Good category can apply to duos as both characters together actually manages to meet all the criteria. In other instances, a trio can qualify if all three individuals meets the criteria to be Pure Good.
- Predators: Heroes who kill purely for food cannot qualify as they are doing what they are doing for survival. However, they may count if they are part of a predatory species but eat carrion (dead meat) and/or plants, and they meet all criteria. An example of this is Ajar from Sahara, since although he is a cobra, he is shown to eat watermelons.
- Redeemed Villains: These villains who defected to the good side can apply this. Once they are exposed to Pure Good, they will become incorruptible later on.
- Reluctant: If a hero doesn't want to become a hero at first, but later accept they were destined to become one (and meets all the criteria), they can qualify as Pure Good.
- Vengeful: There are instances in which a vengeful hero can be Pure Good, but they can only qualify if they do not seek revenge for their own needs, but for righteous justices, and meet all the criteria.
- Wrathful: Pure Good heroes never let their anger out of control. If they have anger, they maintain it in a calm manner. Wrathful heroes can qualify as pure good only if they learn to control their anger or get rid of it throughout the course of their story and meet the aforementioned criteria.
- If the hero does something superb that wasn't on purpose, they can still qualify if they become aware of it and show good thoughts on said action and they meet all criteria.
- The author's words or opinion on the character is not applicable on whether or not the hero can qualify to be Pure Good.
- An all around loved character either by the work's fandom, by characters in the story itself, or from both the fandom and the story itself is not indicative of a character qualifying as Pure Good. While delight from the characters in the story and the audience is an important factor to consider, if the hero does not meet the criteria to be Pure Good but is simply loved, then that hero cannot count.
- Like how the Fallen category should be added, Pure Good should normally be added to a hero when the story arc or season they are apart of is over. If the Pure Good category is added before the arc/season is over, there is a possibility the hero could have a corrupting quality, corrupt themselves, or another much more admirable hero might appear that may outdo that specific hero; in all three scenarios, the hero cannot count. Since the part of the story where the hero appears is not complete, it is best practice to wait until it is complete to consider adding the category to the hero.
- A hero from a different continuity or version can end up counting if the original version did not. The same can also apply, if the original version of the character ends up counting, but other versions of the character does not.
- Parodies are only done for comedic purposes and are not meant to be taken seriously and as a result cannot qualify to be Pure Good. Homages, however, can qualify as Pure Good as they can be taken seriously in the work they appear in.
- If the Pure Good hero is portrayed as comedic/comical and light-hearted, it has to go hand-in-hand with their heroism, not detract from it.
- If a hero uses profanity in their respective work(s), it does not automatically disqualify them from the category, however if they use it intentionally in the form of racial/offensive slurs, then it would count as disqualification.
- If a hero once had corrupting factors that are disqualifying, but have since renounced them later on, they can still be Pure Good, but only if they do not return to committing the traits.