A lot of the franchises that we’ve come to know and love have been derived from source material such as novels or comic books. Chief among these franchises is the young adult genre. Young adult material is also easy enough to adapt to the big or small screen as the characters are relatable to the target audience. The progression from younger themes to more adult-oriented themes is another reason why young adult franchises work.
You’ll be surprised to find out that popular shows like The Vampire Diaries and Roswell were originally in print form before they made their debuts onscreen. Along with these lesser-known books, the blockbuster novels like Twilight and Harry Potter have also been converted into film material. Some of the translations onto screens work, while others don’t.
These characters could have been well-received in their original novel or comic book format but their progression to live-action was not met with acclaim. On the other hand, there are those characters who work perfectly onscreen and we love them for it. It’s even more difficult to introduce characters halfway or after the initial first installment or season as the main characters have been established by this point. These new additions need to be handled with care or it could be a sink-or-swim situation for their stay on the show or film. A lot of them didn’t work out so well but there are those who did splendidly.
Here are 10 New Character Additions That Hurt YA Franchises (And 10 That Saved Them).
20 Saved: Luna Lovegood - Harry Potter
Up until Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, we hardly knew about Ravenclaw House. It was after “Loony” Lovegood’s introduction that we came to understand that intelligence takes many forms. In the novel, her sweet nature allowed fans to fall in love with her, and the same can be said for her movie character.
Her eccentric personality was magnified slightly to compensate for the lack of screen time, which was natural considering the limitations of filmmaking, but Luna still struck gold as far as the impact was concerned. It’s no easy feat making the audience like a rather annoying character, and Luna always toed the line perfectly between overkill and sweet charm.
19 Hurt: President Coin - The Hunger Games
Julianne Moore is timeless; she’s an Oscar winner whose acting has been flawless since her first performance. However, there wasn’t much she could do when she was playing the role of President Coin in Mockingjay – Parts 1 & 2.
Even if you haven’t read the novels, you’ll catch on that this woman is bad news from the start. The book made some attempt at concealing Coin’s malevolent nature, but the movies had none of this going for them. Coin was so blatantly obvious as a bad character waiting for her moment to shine, that it made us appreciate Snow’s villainy even more than we already did.
18 Saved: Horace Slughorn - Harry Potter
Bring up Slytherin House in conversation and a lot of people will think about slippery traitors who only think of themselves; but wait, there’s Horace Slughorn! The Potions master famously defied the negative stereotype of Slytherin House and ended up being a pretty lovable character all around.
He may have been bumbling, but Slughorn always meant well. The film version of Half-Blood Prince had several scenes that showed his chemistry with young Potter (who could forget the “Harry?”, “Sir?” scene). He wasn’t just a comedic character, Slughorn also told a wonderful story about Lily Potter that formulated a clearer image of what Harry's mother was like when she was in school. Now here’s a great teacher, people!
17 Hurt: Renesmee - twilight
It’s bad enough that Jacob – a man who was in love with Bella – is meant to fall for her newborn daughter, but making things worse is the fact that the rapidly aging Renesmee was horrifying to look at. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn featured this awful-looking robot child, and it is safe to say that most viewers can agree that she was uncomfortable to look at.
By the point she arrived, the series had already overstayed its welcome on the big screen, and the presence of a freakishly digitized baby was the last addition the franchise needed. It’s a good thing we didn’t see Renesmee’s entire progression or there would’ve been more than a few people walking out of the theatre while laughing at the special effects.
16 Saved: Boggs - the hunger games
Mockingjay – Parts 1 & 2 were all over the place. Clearly, the films didn’t need to be split and could’ve been delivered as one movie, but there were a few positives there. Mahershala Ali’s gentle portrayal of Boggs was one of the brilliant points.
The later two Hunger Games films didn’t do the best job at introducing engaging characters, but Boggs was one of the few we cared about. He didn’t completely come into his own until the final installment, and it was only when he met his unfortunate demise did we realize we’d grown fond of this guy. At least he was more tolerable than insane-Peeta, right?
15 Hurt: Aro - twilight
On a set full of actors, chances are that if you have Michael Sheen there, he is probably one of the best actors on the set. Unfortunately, it’ll take a long time before we can stomach his performance as Aro in The Twilight Saga. While the actors who played his other two brothers nailed their parts, Sheen left something to be desired.
Sheen was so hilariously over-the-top you’d think he lost a bet and was purposefully acting like a fool. Aro was supposed to be a prime antagonist but the only vibe we got from this guy was total campiness. He would’ve been better placed in a parody universe such as Scary Movie, where he’d fit right in.
14 Saved: Nicholas - the princess diaries 2
Nowadays you may know Chris Pine as Captain Kirk from Star Trek or Steve from Wonder Woman, but the heartthrob got his big break from The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Needless to say, he stole the show.
Let’s face it; the love interest from the first movie was a drag. Nicholas, on the other hand, was a thoroughly engaging man who was likable even when he was filling the role of the baddie in the film’s first half. It was his sincere heart just waiting to come out that kept us at the edge of our seats until he fully fell for Mia. No matter how you feel about the film, Nicholas was definitely a big plus.
13 Hurt: Klaus - the vampire diaries
For someone who had a family who was always there to support him, Klaus turned out to be a real jerk. He also constantly flip-flopped between antagonism, anti-heroism, and being a protagonist. Klaus treated people around him like garbage, too. His attitude sometimes resembled that of an ungrateful child, as every time he did not get his way, he thought the easiest thing to do was to either hurt the person going against him, or eliminate their entire family.
Klaus took to manipulating and bullying those closest to him for his own gains, and he only kept them around mainly to prevent himself from being completely alone. For many he may be a good antagonist, but you can’t ignore how much of an attitude check this guy needed.
12 Saved: Titus Telesco - I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
Wait, what? I Know What You Did Last Summer was originally a young adult book? That’s right, the film was derived from this medium of the source material, eventually spawning several (pretty bad) sequels.
The lone intentional comedy in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer was Titus Telesco, played by everyone’s favorite goofball, Jack Black. Right from his introduction, you knew this guy was going to be eliminated in a truly awful manner, but before that inevitable point, Titus did throw in a bunch of genuine laughs our way. Unlike the main characters, at whom we laughed at for the wrong reasons, this guy was meant to be funny.
11 Hurt: Chloe Rice - 13 reasons why
This may sound harsh considering Chloe is a victim of abuse, like other several characters in 13 Reasons Why, however, there’s still the fact that Chloe isn’t a good person in general. She’s too immature and concerned with being the happening girl of the school to realize she is being subjected to Bryce’s tyranny.
This is also one of the many flaws of 13 Reasons Why: the show doesn’t give us entirely likable characters to root for despite them being victims. Unfortunately for Chloe, while we sympathize with the bad things that happened to her, we can’t bring ourselves to consider her one of the "good" characters.
10 Saved: Finnick Odair - The Hunger games
It’s close to impossible to trust anyone in The Hunger Games series. Only the core trio of Haymitch, Peeta, and Katniss could be considered as pure protagonists while most of the supporting characters had turncoat tendencies.
Finnick Odair’s introduction seemed to be indicating clearly toward an antagonist, but as we found out in the film, he was a superb supporting character. Finnick quickly gained the trust of Katniss, as well as the audience, and was a memorable addition to the Quarter Quell arena. His trauma at losing his mentor Mags brought tears to everyone witnessing the scene, and with his own personal love story in the mix, Finnick was someone we grew to care about.
9 Hurt: Tess - Roswell
Those of us who are a little bit older will remember the series Roswell in the early 2000s. Roswell was based on both a young adult novel series and rumors of alien happenings in Roswell.
The alien storylines were a bit all-over-the-place in the series but the show did make it work, for the most part. The most unbearable story, though, had to be Tess'. She integrated herself into the group and was a total pain to digest. Mercifully, she lasted as a regular for only one season, but her total dominance of storylines hurt the entire second season. Tess was a thorn in the heroes’ side; ruining the story progression during her time in the series.
8 Saved: Cedric Diggory - harry potter
Before he was splitting the fandom in Twilight, Robert Pattinson was Cedric Diggory in Goblet of Fire. No matter where you stand on Twilight, there’s no way you didn’t like Cedric. The poor boy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Victor Krum and Fleur Delacour were pretty humdrum in personality, making Cedric the only one other than Harry we wanted to root for. There were no negative qualities in him; he was kind, caring, a good friend, and a nice person in general. His passing was the perfect catalyst for the series to turn to the darker side, and it was pulled off to perfection. He was the ideal Hufflepuff in every way, and fans still believe that he deserved better.
7 Hurt: Hiram Lodge - riverdale
No one in the Riverdale series is remotely like the Archie Comics character they are supposed to be based on, but Hiram Lodge is such a drastic departure from the source material that it’s hard to stomach. In the comics, Mr. Lodge is a thorn in Archie’s side by repeatedly stepping between him and Veronica but always means well. In Riverdale, the guy is a full-on mobster.
Here, Hiram engages in illegal activities and has no resemblance to the ultimately soft-hearted Mr. Lodge of the comics. This only makes Riverdale feel as farther away from the comics as possible, which isn’t a good thing. It would have been nice to have at least one character pay homage to the original material.
6 Saved: Plutarch Heavensbee - the hunger games
Phillip Seymour Hoffman may have sadly passed away, but we can still remember him fondly by his final performance, which was one of his most masterful. Like Finnick, we never truly learned Plutarch’s allegiance right up until the end of the film, and credit needs to be given to the actor's portrayal of the character.
Plutarch played his part perfectly, playing to the Capitol’s demands while staying secretly loyal to the Resistance. Unlike Coin, this man didn’t wreak of antagonism from the start. The likelihood of him being a baddie all the time made him more interesting than he actually was, and that can only be a good thing.
5 Hurt: April Young - the vampire diaries
The high-strung fangirl characters are always a task to put up with. Becky from Supernatural, Daisy from Bones, and April from The Vampire Diaries. April’s shtick usually comprised of her being in awe of everything that had to do with vampires.
For some people, this type of behavior did come across as charming but on the whole, April’s characterization wasn’t something to be crazy about. Characters such as hers are only okay in extremely small doses and fortunately, April didn’t dominate entire episodes. Whenever she was on, though, she failed to make a mark for herself in the fan base. She was rude to everyone around her except Rebekah, so her constant antagonism was just a turn-off.
4 Saved: Sirius Black - harry potter
Sirius Black was absent for the entire plot of Prisoner of Azkaban¸ which meant his portrayal in the film needed to be nothing short of masterful for us to care for him as much as Harry grew to. Lucky for us, the task fell on Gary Oldman.
Oldman brought the best out of Sirius: his tormented persona, his depression, and the mischievousness that the character carried. It was too bad Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire had him in small doses as Sirius’ relationship with Harry was the backbone of Order of the Phoenix; we would’ve loved to have seen more of that. Still, Gary Oldman managed to give a brilliant performance in the scenes that he did have. Rest well, Padfoot.
3 Hurt: Johanna Mason - the hunger games
It’s one thing to feel wronged by what’s happened to you, and another to become so completely rotten that everyone finds you hard to bear. Johanna was far too self-righteous in her own pity party, and because of that, she was constantly overlooking the fact that everyone was getting hurt by the Hunger Games, not just her.
You could argue that Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch had it worse than her, but Johanna made it seem like she was the only victim of the tournament. She always had a snide remark to throw around, and the elevator scene in Catching Fire was so out of the blue that we knew straight away that this was a person we’d have a difficult time sympathizing with.
2 Saved: Mikael - the vampire diaries
Actors like Sebastion Roche are born with charisma. Roche had previously played the angel Balthazar on Supernatural and carried forward that penchant for fantasy material in The Vampire Diaries. Mikael was another charismatic performance by Roche, who stole every scene that he appeared in.
The actual character is nothing to write home about, considering his violent tendencies, but what made Mikael work so well was because of the performance that Roche gave. Naming Mikael’s attributes won’t make him stand out in the slightest, but play clips of Sebastian Roche playing the character and you’ll understand why he deserves a spot on this list. Now, if only Roche would return to Supernatural, we’d all have cause for celebration.
1 Hurt: Pansy Parkinson - harry potter
Is there anyone in the whole world who would pick Pansy Parkinson as one of their favorite characters? We’ll bet there isn’t. The Slytherin student’s only attribute was to be a mean girl who took pleasure in bullying others.
There aren’t many people like her in real life, with Pansy’s only role in the Harry Potter series being a constant cruel figure for the main characters’ Hogwarts life. She even tried to give Harry up to Voldemort in the last film. In the book, she takes pleasure particularly in bullying Hermione for being born from non-magical parents, and for her romantic life. The films definitely toned down her nastiness but what little we saw of her was already too much.
Can you think of any other characters that may have hurt or saved these franchises? Let us know in the comments!