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.
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:
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…