Over the last ten years, TV viewers have been treated to some incredibly dynamic, engaging and downright threatening bad guys for our heroes to toil against. A select few of them, like Captain Hook on Once Upon a Time and Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries, somehow, against all odds, not only became a good guy but even the love interest for a main character.
This coming Thursday on The Vampire Diaries, Elena will continue mourning the loss of Damon, who, in the first season, had to be locked up by Stefan because of all the people he was murdering in Mystic Falls. He went from being a monster to being an essential hero and the current love of Elena’s life.
While Sawyer from Lost and Chuck from Gossip Girl went back and forth on whether there were a hero or antihero, they were never truly the villain of their show and their switch to the side of good wasn’t as shocking as the following five’s were.
Here’s our top five villains that became a good guy (and the love interest).
Spoilers ahead for: Once Upon a Time, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Veronica Mars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Hook and Emma, Once Upon a Time
When Killian Jones, Captain Hook, first arrived on the scene in the second season of Once Upon a Time, he was the first new foe for Emma to tackle. Over the course of the next season and a half, however, we learned Peter Pan was actually the true bad guy and Hook could be an ally for Emma and her family. At the end of season three, we saw Hook give up his beloved ship to help Emma and now in season four, they’re on track to being an official couple. There was always chemistry between the two, but it was Hook’s kindness to her son and his unwavering desire to help Emma that made her see the good in the captain.
Damon and Elena, The Vampire Diaries
Over the past few seasons, Elena has had to forgive Damon for a lot: killing her brother (he came back to life though) and countless other innocent people. But as Damon fell in love with Elena — after initially wanting only to find her doppelganger, Katherine — Elena came to see the good in him. Elena, however, resists truly falling for Damon until she herself is turned into a vampire. Things became rocky for awhile, but now they’re physically separated with Elena stuck outside of Mystic Falls and Damon…?
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Klaus and Caroline, The Vampire Diaries/The Originals
Of all the former villains on this list, Klaus is the only one that you could easily argue might STILL be a villain. That said, because of his infatuation with — or love of, depending on how you view it — Caroline, Klaus has helped Elena and her friends and family from time to time, especially when they were going up against villains even Klaus hated. Hard to imagine that about the guy who was the Big Bad for all of season two and most of season three. Caroline only gave into Klaus’s desire for her one time, during a special cross-over of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals last season, that tore apart the idea that she and Tyler would ever get back together, since Tyler, like many others still sees Klaus as a villain. Now that he’s back on his own show, perhaps Klaus can finally complete his journey to becoming a full-fledged good guy. (Nah.)
Logan and Veronica, Veronica Mars
Early in season one, Logan actually ran a bum fighting ring. Could Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas really hook Logan up with Veronica after something like that? Turns out, that was never really the plan but eventually Thomas and the writers couldn’t resist and wound up turning Logan the “jackass” into Logan the love interest. Veronica and Logan’s love had its ups and downs, but at the end of the recent movie, it seemed like it was up yet again. Logan was an easy character to hate for a long time, but thanks to his performance, even when he was doing bad things, he came off like a good guy making it easy for Veronica (and fans) to accept him as a love interest. That’s something he has in common with the last person on this list…
Spike and Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Given that Spike was supposed to die only a few episodes after being introduced in season two, it’s extremely unlikely that anyone could have predicted he would not only be responsible for closing the Hellmouth, but that Buffy would tell him he loved her right before. After being made a regular cast member in season four, Spike was chipped and unable to hurt humans. That led to an uneasy alliance with the Scooby Gang to beat up on demons, which lead Spike to realize he was actually in love with Buffy. That love drove him to fight alongside Buffy and even eventually regain his soul. By the end of the series, Spike has become a full-fledged good guy leading him to join Angel in the spin-off series.
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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV