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All the people who make life miserable... who make life dangerous... what if we could change things?
~ Light to Mia.
What they want... is a god. So let's give it to them.
~ Light's most famous line.

Light Turner is the protagonist villain of the critically panned 2017 Netflix original film Death Note, which is very loosely based on the anime and manga series of the same name by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. He is a teenage student who finds a Death Note and decides to use it to kill criminals and appoint himself the god of a clean world. He is a loose adaptation of Light Yagami from the original works.

He was portrayed by Nat Wolff.

History

Past

Light Turner was a teenage boy living in Seattle, Washington with his mother and father. His father, James Turner was a chief for the Seattle Police Department. One day, criminal Antony Skomal used his car to run over and kill Light's mother. Light and his father sought justice, but the Skomal was released.

Finding the Death Note

Light continued through high school, where other students often came to him to do their homework for them in exchange for money. Light is sitting outside of his school doing someone else's homework and watching his crush, the cheerleader Mia Sutton, practice when a sudden thunderstorm hits. As the other students run for cover, a notebook falls from the sky and lands in front of Light. Light picks it up and identifies it as a Death Note. Not knowing what it is, he puts the book in his backpack and heads inside. Before he reaches the school, he sees a bully named Kenny Doyle beating up another student, to which Mia steps in. When Light intervenes, Kenny knocks him out with a single punch.

As Light comes to, a teacher finds him and all of the homework he has been doing for other students, and sends him to the principal's office. Light is upset that the principal cares more about some cheating than assault, but the principal gives him detention anyway.

In detention, the teacher leaves briefly, and Light takes the opportunity to inspect the Death Note. As he reads the rules, the classroom suddenly goes dark, and a creature appears, wrecking up the classroom as Light cowers under a desk. Light tries to tell himself its just a dream, but the creature talks to him and explains the Death Note. The creature shows Light outside, where Kenny and another student are harassing and molesting a girl. The creature convinces Light to write his name in the Note, as well as a cause of death. Light agrees and writes his name along with the cause of death being "decapitation". As Light looks on, a truck with a ladder swerves out of the street, causing the ladder to extend and hit Kenny, smashing his head off. Light backs away terrified, and the creature disappears.

At home, Light eats dinner with his father, who is upset he was in detention and had to witness Kenny's death. Light tries to change the subject, and gets angry that a police chief is not doing more to put the criminal that killed his wife away. An argument ensues between the two, and Light leaves. He brings the Death Note up to his room and reads through the rules until he is approached by the creature again, who introduces himself as Ryuk, a Shinigami god of death. He explains that he gave the Note to Light because its previous owner passed away, and if he did not want it, to just give it back. He also explains that, in order to kill, the user must write the person's name while picturing their face. However, Light does not want to return it and, in a fit of rage, writes down Antony Skomal's name. The next day, Light is informed by his father that Skomal died; he was impaled by a steak knife at a restaurant.

Becoming Kira

Later, Light is reading through the Death Note's previous entries at school when he is approached by Mia, who expresses that she is thankful for Kenny's death and she feels he deserved it. Wanting to impress his crush and appeal to her similar desire for justice, he takes her to the cafeteria and shows her the Death Note, even pulling up a live crime scene and killing the criminal before her eyes. Mia encourages Light to keep going, and that he could take revenge on whoever he wants. Light expresses a desire to her not to use the Note for himself, but rather for everyone, to rid the world of all crime and rise as a god. The two develop the alias "Kira", a Japanese word meaning "killer" to begin what they believe is their reign of justice. The two work together to kill criminals all around the world, while having their victims write messages in Japanese to trick authorities into believing they are operating in Japan. Light and Mia's relationship becomes romantic, and later sexual.

Kira versus L

Light and Mia's actions draw the attention of a detective named L, who wants to bring Kira to justice. He sets traps and eventually determines that Kira is working out of Seattle. Teaming up with James, L gives a televised speech, while keeping his face covered. He swears to bring Kira to justice, but Light and Mia cannot kill him because they cannot see his face. L taunts Kira, and when he does not die, determines that Kira needs a name and face to kill. He also determines that Kira must somehow be tied to the police, as he has direct access tho their criminal database without a need to hack.

L appoints FBI agents to follow all potential suspects, one of them being Light. Light knows he is being followed, and decides to lay low until surveillance ends. Mia suggests he just kill the agents, but Light refuses, knowing this will only heighten suspicion and because he refuses to kill law enforcement. However, soon after, all of the agents commit mass suicide. Light blames Ryuk, but the Shinigami does not confirm nor deny it. James then appears on television calling out Kira, and Mia urges Light to kill him. Light refuses, even though Mia insists it is for the greater good of his crime-free utopia. Despite Light trying to patch things up, Mia leaves.

After seeing Kira not kill James, L concludes that Light is Kira and confronts him in a coffee shop. Light tries to convince him otherwise, but L has made up his mind. Light asks why L does not just arrest him, and L states that it is because he wants to know how he does it, and that soon enough, he will have the proof to put Light in prison.

Manipulating Watari

Knowing L is too close to finding out everything, Light gets in touch with Mia and decides to formulate a plan. Ryuk reveals that, if a page of the Death Note is burned before the death occurs, the victim will be spared. However, only one page can be burned. Light decides that he will write down the name of L's assistant and mentor Watari, and make him obsessed with revealing L's identity. However, even Watari does not know, so Light demands that he go wherever the information is held and provide it to him within 48 hours, before the Death Note takes effect and Watari dies so he can cancel his death.

L discovers Watari's disappearance, and goes to Light, knowing that Kira has something to do with it. When he accuses Light of being Kira, James becomes angry and forces L out of the house. However, L has a search warrant and demands that the whole place be searched. Light is at first paranoid that the team found the Death Note, but Mia reveals at school the next day that she got it safely out in time. Mia and Light go to the Homecoming dance, and Mia makes sure Light is not followed as he sneaks away to the locker room and calls Watari, who is just about to find L's file. Light opens the Death Note to retrieve his page, but finds it missing. Watari is found by security guards and shot to death before he could reveal L's name.

Mia's Betrayal

Light confronts Mia, who reveals that she was the one that killed the FBI agents, manipulating one of them to write all of their names in the Death Note before they all killed themselves. She also reveals that she removed Watari's page because she wanted to burn a different page: the one she wrote Light's name on. She wrote that Light's heart would stop beating at midnight, and that she will only burn the page if he transfers ownership of the Note to her.

However, the police arrive at the school, and Light tells Mia to meet him at the Seattle Great Wheel, where he will turn over the book. After a brief stop in the school's computer lab, Light eludes the police. However, L himself goes after light outside of the law, wanting revenge for Watari's death. He chases Light down with a gun and tries to kill him, but is knocked out by a Kira worshiper. Light reaches the Ferris wheel and demands the operator take he and Mia to the top. He tries to convince Mia not to take the Note, and they can be happy without it. However, Mia takes the Note anyway, only to learn that Light wrote her name down too, with her death only dependent on her taking the Death Note from him. Ryuk appears and begins collapsing the Ferris wheel, sending the two falling out of their carriage. Light holds on to Mia, but she lunges for the falling Death Note, and the two fall. Mia strikes the boardwalk and is instantly killed, while Light hits the water and goes into a coma.

Aftermath

As Light recovers in the hospital, a man comes in and delivers the Death Note. Light hides it as his father visits him, telling him that he figured out that Light is Kira. Light explains how he survived: when he wrote Mia's name in the Death Note, he had it so that she would lunge for the Death Note, pull out the page with his name on it, and throw it at fire, burning the page and ensuring that he would survive that night. When he stopped in the computer lab, he looked up local criminals and had one recover him and put him in a medical coma for a few days, and another recover the Death Note and write names in it while he was in a coma, removing all suspicion of him and ruining L's reputation. The criminal with the Death Note would then return it to him in the hospital, then both criminals would commit suicide. Light explains that he was only trying to do what he thought was right.

L (with his reputation destroyed) is about to be deported back to Japan until he remembers Mia's involvement with Light. He makes his way to her home and finds the page of the Death Note that all the FBI agents' names were written on, and, in a fit of rage and vengeance, grabs a pen and prepares to write down Light's name himself. Back at the hospital, Light sees Ryuk, who cackles. Not knowing that L has the Death Note page, Light asks Ryuk why he's laughing. The Shinigami simply states that "humans are so interesting".

Personality

Light is a delusional and pretentious person who believes that his mass killings are acts of justice. He is obsessed with ridding crime from the world so no one will have to suffer the way he did when he lost his mother. His use of the Death Note displays a darker side to him, since he knows he will not be judged for his killings as long as he is not caught. He often plans out extremely painful and gory deaths for criminals, including a decapitation via ladder.

However, when Mia wants to go further by killing the law enforcement chasing him, he reaches a line that he will not cross, and and he begins to doubt everything he has done. He is also a misguided vigilante who commits horrible acts, and ends up committing more horrible acts just so things can go right again. However, what he also has a ligher side that is love for his parents and Mia before her betryal. This makes Turner more tragic and sympathetic than Yagami, who became a megalomaniacal monster.

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           Death Note 2017 Villains

Antony Skomal | James Brode | Kenny Doyle | L | Light Turner | Mia Sutton | Ryuk