Chandra O'Connell (Return of the Scorpion King)

The question whether or not this character is a Mary Sue is hard to answer. My beta said to me once: Yes,she is one - strangely I like her despite of it. The premise of teh story does not help to argue against Suehood. This is an Alternative Universe (AU) fanfic. The only canon character who appears is the Scorpion King and I paid no attention to the prequel of the same name. So my main criteria for Suehood (warping the character's behaviour around her) does not really apply here.

The idea was to focus on the villain you would have expected from the few minutes at teh beginining of The Mummy Returns, not this teddy bear who suffers from Reformed Villain syndrome. Whether Chandra is there a not would not change how I intent to write the Scorpion King.

As you saw on the mainpage, Chandra scored 87 points on a Litmus test where more than 50 already deemed her as unredeemable. On the other hand, the writer's test who has no bias towards relationships says: "Chandra is a healthy character with a promising career ahead of her."

Pro Suehood

Chandra has several properties that are often found in Mary Sues, that probably evoke the thought immediately in anyone who is familiar with the Term "Mary Sue". If you want to read the story unspoilert, I have hidden the text in the box below - you will have to mark the text so it becomes visible.

For once, Chandra is a half-goddess, yes - I am serious. She even saves the main protagonist thanks to them, just as she discovers a special godly power in a very threatening situation. She learns to deal with a phobia she has much better, she is very beautiful thanks to her godly origin. Her beauty is also what makes the villain spare her. She lost her parents on her 18th birthday, she is rich and gues what I would like to be a rich heiress. I even like her name, although I did not spend more than 30 seconds thinking about it.

Do I hope that the reader will like her? Yes, I sort of do. Maybe that seals her fate, but if I haven't bored you to death yet, consider reading on.

Contra Suehood

While Chandra certainly had a good start in life and that god-business gives her the edge in the final confrontation, nothing comes really easy to her. For the most part she struggles. None of her relationships ever worked out, she never seems to keep friends around for long. Her benefit is just that she can go skiing in Aspen after a bad break up.

She is trapped in a very bad situation - either she shares the Scorpion King's bed or she faces a ditch filled with scorpions. The role of subserviant woman who is honored by this option is not someting she manages to play well. Therefore corporeal punishment and unwanted sexual contacts become new and bitter experiences that have a lasting impact on the relationship between the characters.

When in a later chapter her mother, the goddess Isis, appears Chandra does not believe it to be real. The idea that she has to be a counterbalance to the influence of Farak, the king's right hand man, Chandra attributes to her subconsiousness.

As she realises that she has to use her femine viles to improve her situation and convince the Scorpion King that Farak does not provide all the necessary information. She fears that an attempt to conquering the world might lead to a catastrophy. However, sleeping with the king leaves a bitter aftertaste and she struggles bitterly against the pitfalls of misogyny that will leave her always less trustworthy than Farak in the eyes of the Scorpion King.

The only advantages from her godly nature are basically the excellent health she enjoyed all her life, being beautiful and often admired, the fact that the Anubis warriors can not harm her and her newly acquired power to control scorpions.

Given all that, I do not feel that being a half-goddess gives her that much of an edge. That she is a pawn of the gods who move her across their game board is in my opinion something that ties nicely in with the tenor of The Mummy Returnsy. Or she will say at one point, when asked why she is going to risk her life: "Saving the world is a family tradition."