How do you make an emotionless and detached character likeable? I was told that the character Galadriel from The Rings Of Power is unlikeable, because she's too strong and too cold and smug. So I was wondering how to make an emotionless and detached character likeable. Let's say the character is anti-social, emotionless and detached. Is there a way to make that character likeable without making the character develop into a social character, which is the polar opposite character of what he is?
A character can be beloved for a variety of reasons.
- A character can be outwardly cold, but still demonstrate their emotions. What people project to the outside world often does not reflect their inner thoughts and feelings. A father may work himself to death to earn money for his family. Even though he doesn't show affection, his actions tell you what he really feels.
- A person can be incapable of emotions, but arrive at likability by reasoning or being directed. An AI character, for example, might do likeable things because they develop a moral code. A robot programmed to protect a kid at all costs (where have I heard that? Hm.) will be liked because of the noble things it does, even if the reasoning is not emotional.
- A character who remains unemotional due to compelling reasons will be liked by the reader who eventually comes to understand their deeper motivation. A person with numerous enemies, for example, might be very careful to show no warmth towards people so those enemies don't exploit their weaknesses. This is usually built up to and then revealed, or else shown through internal monolog.
- Rule of cool can make even evil characters so much fun as to be at least enjoyable.
- Motive can create empathy for even seemingly unfeeling characters. if not make them beloved. An understandable motive, like revenge or trauma can move people from disliking a character for many reasons. A killer exterminating the people who wiped out their family might be the bad guy, but people can still be drawn to the righteousness of their cause or at least sympathize with their brutal childhood.