|“||Now take Sir Francis Drake, the Spanish all despise him, but to the British he's a hero and they idolize him. It's how you look at buccaneers that makes them bad or good, and I see us as members of a noble brotherhood!||„|
|~ Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island.|
The main characteristic of a person or group in the "Grey Zone" is that some will consider them dangerous, criminal or "evil" while others may see them as good, scapegoats, or fighting for the right thing (even if their methods are wrong). These villains try to act evil, but they have some positive and redeeming qualities.
Some characters in fiction are deliberately designed to be in the Grey Zone and it is up to the reader or viewer to decide if they are a "hero" or a "villain"; as a result, each reader or viewer will probably have a different view of him/her (V is a classic example of such a character, so is Ozymandias).
The most unique case about grey zone characters is that they aren't beholden to good nor evil, and they can also be responsible for keeping both moralities in balance, namely both good and evil. However, on the other side of the coin is that they can passify good, and seek to redeem characters as much as benevolent characters do, and they can also seek to put an end to ongoing conflicts and peacefully end them.
On very rare cases, characters who are truly and purely neutral also do exist, and examples of that will be Death from Mythology, the Living Tribunal from Marvel Comics, Truth from Fullmetal Alchemist, Sibylla from Winx Club, Zen-oh from Dragon Ball Super, Balancer from Valkyrie Crusade, and Lord of Nightmares/L-sama from Slayers.
- Villains that are Pure Evil can never be in this category for they remain completely irredeemable whereas it is unknown if Grey Zones are bad or good. Even if Grey Zones commit crimes heinous enough to cross the Moral Event Horizon, there is usually an understandable reason behind said act.
- Example: Severus Snape killed Dumbledore on the Astronomy Tower, but then it later turns out that Dumbledore was already dying from the Marvolo Gaunt's ring curse anyway and begged him a mercy killing.
- Relatable villains such as Tragic or Redeemed characters do not always count if they know they are evil and/or have crossed the Moral Event Horizon several times.
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