I was thinking and I realized that most of the monsters and mythical creatures formerly considered to be inherently evil, have recently undergone a change of image, mostly due to writers looking to do things that hadn’t been done before. Some of them I can understand, others I never would’ve guessed.
Just take a look at the story of St. George or the Norse Fafnir—dragons used to be bad. Period. Feasting on maidens, hoarding gold, and incinerating brave young knights used to be routine for your average reptilian fiend. But with the rise in fantasy writing, dragons have become more reasonable and in some cases, even docile.
Way back when, if you got turned into a vamp, you got turned wicked. You’d start feeding on the innocent and corrupting them in every way, wreaking havoc until some obliging Van Helsing put a stick through your chest. However, thanks to Angel and Edward Cullen, being a vampire is now socially acceptable. Heck, there are people who would sell their souls to get fangs.
According to tradition, mermaids were always dangerous, lurking the in water, awaiting some hapless soul to drown. But over the last century, mermaids have changed their public appearance, doing helpful things like rescuing drowning princes and locating silver chalices for pirates in the Caribbean.
This is one of the more surprising ones. Fallen angels are, by definition, fallen and therefore not good. But lately there has been an upsurge in various paranormal romances in which the love interest is a disgraced member of the heavenly host.
Like vampires, werewolves were formerly labeled as 100% awful. However, Sam Roth of Shiver and Munroe from Grimm are certainly lovable specimens of their kind.
Now here is one I honestly never thought I’d see change. Under what circumstances does a rotting corpse with a fetish for brain-eating become a good guy? Nonetheless, if books like Warm Bodies are any indication, even the zombie can switch sides.
Once upon a time, aliens only came to our little piece of the universe to pillage and plunder our resources or enslave humanity. Nowadays, they can be more humanitarian. The Vesturions from A.M. Hargrove’s Guardians of Vesturon series being among my favorite examples. (You gotta love good-looking, honorable, monotheistic, chaste aliens in black leather, don’t you? Okay, so some people might not think all that is hot, but I really do. I’ve said before that I’m weird, right?)
Can you think of any other “monsters” that have undergone makeovers? Which is your favorite? Do you disagree with them turning nice?