Rebuilt Pedestal

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Some characters find out that their idols were not the people they thought they were, or see them do things that goes against their previous respect for them, such as a mentor who joined their enemies. Other times, they resent a person they would otherwise have admired, such as a parent who abandoned them.

But there is often more to the story than that, especially when the formerly admired character is mentioned to be a Broken Pedestal early on in the story. The characters typically learn more about the event or decision that caused them to lose faith in the person they once admired, sometimes circumstances that explain or justify the action, and sometimes that they were completely mistaken. This leads them to decide to reconcile with the mentor, and sometimes, learn a significant personal lesson in the process.

Rebuilt Pedestals are typically broken by the time they are first introduced, unless the revelation that caused them to break and the revelation that restores their admirers' faith, are tied in to the main story.

Compare Warts and All, in which the admirers accept the person for their flaws, and the pedestal may not have been broken in the first place. This is sometimes hand-in-hand with Good All Along when it involves an apparent Face Heel Turn.

There will be some unmarked spoilers ahead, for the rebuilding and sometimes for the breaking.

Examples of Rebuilt Pedestal include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Code Geass, Kallen initially hated her mother for staying as a maid, seemingly out of love for her father, but learned that it was out of love for her that she did so.
  • In the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist, the older of two Ishvalan brothers is quite bitter toward his mother, who ran out into the foyer of the home where the two boys were, then when soldiers arrived, ran into the bedroom seemingly out of cowardice, being killed when a shell hit. He eventually finds out that her eyesight had deteriorated, and she was running back to check on her children, not knowing where they were, when he opens the locket and finds eye medicine inside.
  • A few cases from Naruto.
    • Itachi Uchiha. Sasuke looked up to him before he massacred his clan, but after realizing he was forced into it, avenging what happened to him becomes his motive for revenge.
    • Quite a few filler characters also count; the princess in the Land of Vegetables arc realizes that her father regretted having her sent away as a hostage so his nation could survive, and Utakata realizes that his master wanted to extract the Six Tails for his sake.
    • Kakashi goes from being ashamed of his father breaking the rules to save his comrades to believing he did the right thing in Kakashi Gaiden.
  • In One Piece, Laboon desperately tried to break through the Red Line to reach his crew, believing that they sailed back to West Blue rather than circumnavigating the globe on the Grand Line, also forgetting their promise to return to him. It’s eventually revealed that they had been killed on the Grand Line. One of their crew, Brook, came back to life with his Devil Fruit power, and is determined to return to Laboon to fulfill his promise
  • Yoruichi for Soifon in Bleach, as Soifon initially hated her for leaving her behind after fleeing Soul Society, but apparently came to forgive her, as in fillers and manga extras, addresses her with the same respect and shows the same admiration she had when she was younger.
  • In Muhyo and Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, Biko is initially shocked at her teacher Rio’s betrayal of the Magical Law Association, but comes to forgive her after she rejoins the heroes.
  • In Mai-HiME, Natsuki temporarily enters a Heroic BSOD after learning that her mother was supposedly planning to sell her, but later decides to believe in the mother inside her heart.
  • Mai (Konami's daughter) from Popotan has a severe grudge against her namesake (one of the main characters), because she never came back to her mother before she died, despite the two of them being best friends who had promised to see each other again. In the last episode, once she's back in the same time period as Konami, Mai has her promise not to resent her for not being able to come back, since her time travel is out of her control. Judging from her daughter's attitude towards Mai in the same episode, it worked on her as well.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam. At the beginning, on learning that Master Asia tried to destroy humanity, Domon considers him a Broken Pedestal. But after the final battle and learning Master Asia's true purpose and the fact that he never resorted to infecting himself with Devil Gundam Cells, Domon re-earns the respect he had for his master, and cried for his death shortly after together reciting the motto of School of The Undefeated Of The East one last time.
  • Flame of Recca. After Mikagami fought against Kai, he's told that the one who killed his sister was his master Meguri Kyouza. Although utterly shocked, Mikagami already spotted some irregularities from that statement, and during the eventual fight with Meguri Kyouza, it was revealed that Meguri Kyouza didn't actually kill his sister, but failed to prevent her death by Mori's men, thus blames himself for it and becomes a Death Seeker. Mikagami forgave him and once again respects him.

Fan Fiction


  • Tony Stark’s father in Iron Man 2. Tony had initially thought of his father as highly distant and was upset to learn about Stark Corporation’s dealings, but after learning of how much his father had done for his sake and his commitment for a better world in the sequel, began to respect him more.
  • A variation of this was done in Inception, as Cobb and his team’s mission is to plant the idea in Fisher Jr.’s head that his father wanted him to find his own path in life by causing him to once again respect his father.


  • Harry Dresden has a major falling-out with his mentor, Ebenezer, in the sixth book of The Dresden Files upon finding out that he is the Blackstaff, a member of the White Council of Wizards with special carte blanche to break the Law of Magic in which Harry strongly believes. They eventually reconcile for the most part.
  • Harry Potter goes through this with Dumbledore of all people in the final book. Possibly the 5th to a lesser extent after Dumbledore explains why he's been ignoring him.
  • Danny Saunders and his friend Reuven forgive Rebbe Saunders for his harsh treatment of his son Danny when he explains why he thought it necessary and how much pain it cost him as well in The Chosen.

Live Action TV

  • The Highlander tv series went through this in a major story arc. Duncan finds out that his Cynical/Big Brother Mentor Methos is a Retired Monster that was a member of four Immortal marauders who went on an epic Rape, Pillage and Burn spree across multiple continents back in the Bronze Age. This also included Methos turning Duncan's Sexy Mentor Cassandra into his Sex Slave. Duncan angrily declares their friendship over, but after Methos prevents the reunited Horseman from taking over the world, helps Duncan bring them down from the inside and expresses regret for his past actions, they patch their relationship up.

Video Games

  • Garrosh Hellscream in World of Warcraft, grew up thinking of his father, Grom Hellscream, as a villain for leading the orcs to drink demonic blood and be corrupted, but realizes that his father also gave his life to kill the demon responsible for their curse.
  • Raine in Tales of Symphonia despises her mother for abandoning her and Genis, but in a side quest, eventually learns that the Imperial Research Academy had sought her for her intellect, and she did what she had to in order to protect them. To an extent, this applies with Kratos, as Lloyd starts out disliking him, then realizes that he can benefit from his experience, then is outraged by his betrayal, then questions his motivations before concluding he’s still his enemy, then is shaken by the revelation that he’s his father, then finally accepts him.
  • In Final Fantasy X, Tidus hates his father for abandoning him and his mother, as well as for the way he treated him while he was around. Over the course of the game, he learns about his father being taken unwillingly to Spira, and going from wanting to get back to being willing to help Braska with his pilgrimage, and toward the end, finally admits that he’s glad to have him as a father.
  • John Morris for his son Jonathan in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Jonathan resents his father for only teaching him the basics of fighting before dying, and that he can’t use the Vampire Killer whip as a result, but after realizing that using the whip shortens the life of the wielder, he comes to realize why his father did what he did.
  • Mr. Hanekoma, also known as CAT, in The World Ends With You. Neku is amazed to find out that he’s CAT, the one person he admired, but is gradually shaken as signs seem to point to him also being the Composer, Neku's main adversary. It ultimately turns out that he isn’t.
  • Averted in Jade Empire. After realizing that Sun Li masterminded the plan to steal the Water Dragon’s power, Princess Sun Lian wonders if this reduces her father’s culpability, but realizes he was still to blame. This is played straight in one quest in the Necropolis, in which the Open Palm solution is to convince the ghost of Mister Ren that his wife didn’t mean to poison him and feels terrible about it.

Western Animation

  • In Generator Rex, Rex comes to resent his brother Cesar in season 3 for seemingly betraying him by siding with Providence under Black Knight. The brothers make up in the Grand Finale after Cesar reveals the reasons behind his actions.