So, here we are again, dear Portal fandom. Today I am here to bring you something nobody asked for — a good, long chat about our favourite sassmaster AI.
If there is such a thing as fighting for a character’s reputation in a fandom, that is what I have been doing for GLaDOS since the day I completed my first playthrough. She is one of the most misunderstood characters I know, if not the most misunderstood. What may the reason for that be?
Well, it is not hard to understand. Such is the fate of complex characters, aka those characters whose story and personality naturally include contradictions, doubts, morally grey areas. For audiences made by people like us, sadly used to clichés due to a ridiculous overexposure, it is just too easy to grab a character with so many layers and shove their whole existence in just one of them.
That is how supervillain!GLaDOS, offensively-clichéd-mental-illness!GLaDOS, omnipotent-evil-goddess!GLaDOS and many, many more were born. Now, let us all be honest with ourselves, and take a long, hard look at the character they came from.
Obvious, isn’t it? They suck. No surprise in that.
The true story of this character, the one that exists under a pile of gross generalizations, is beyond ethical and emotional judgement. It is told in the background, and it nearly passes unnoticed; despite this, it involves most of the strongest human conditions, such as death, revenge, hatred, misunderstanding, fate, irony, love.
It is a tale that I, for one, deem worthy of a different kind of attention. The post you are about to read is the result of over three years of speculation, thoughts and writing — I will try to write, as concisely as possible, the ideas I experimented with in several meta posts and about one hundred stories.
Without further ado, esteemed test subjects, here is everything I will ever have to say about GLaDOS...Full text (highly recommended)