Personally, I have always found redemption arcs compelling but never gave them much thought. In a recent discussion with a friend an interesting point was brought up; what is redeemable?
In recent shows, largely geared to the YA crowd I've seen a lot of redemption arcs where the character in question is not only redeemed but rewarded in the end. The crimes they had committed seemed to have been forgotten. Crimes which include murder, acts of violence/abuse, and many more. Should someone who had murdered several people including family members of the main protagonist, gain their redemption? Often times they basically get to walk away having won the protagonist's heart over. Their hands wiped clean of all their bad deeds with an apology. It doesn't seem right. Nor, does it seem realistic even in a fantasy world.
I simply can't get it out of my head that terrible acts such as, brutal murders are simply brushed under the rug. It is interesting to see a bad guy turn good but depending on what they did or the circumstances surrounding their actions I don't agree that they should get that fairy tale happy ending. Of course, that's just my personal opinion.
In the end, media featuring these redemption arcs from TV shows to movies to books are works of fiction written for enjoyment. But I'd love to hear what you think...
What is redeemable?