Hero: Selfish, self involved (as defined by OUAT)
Here’s the thing with the main heroes lack of acknowledgement regarding Belle, I actually think they <i>do care</i> about her. It’s A&E and the writers who don’t give a fuck about her character at all as an individual person. Not much about her character matters to them, outside of her relationship with Rumplestiltskin, and how she acts a prop to link his storyline with the rest of the mains. I love Belle, Rumple, and Belle. But let’s face it, Belle gets reduced to a tool for the other characters to use against him somehow. For instance, they need Rumple in the underworld, so they thought let’s have Emma exploit her as a pawn to blackmail him to go because we need some way to involve him and are too uncreative to come up with a better explanation. Oh, Belle’s in a sleeping curse, but we need some sort of unnecessary conflict between Rumple and the rest of the gang. Let’s give him the deus ex machinna magic dildo crystal because he thinks that he has a shot of waking Belle up with it, but we also need for it to fail somehow to account for Emilie’s maternity leave, so let’s have Henry try to destroy magic. Plus, we’re too lazy to come up with an individual personal motive for Hyde to want Storybrooke right now, and we need a main character to act as a link to get him here. We’re all about keeping Rumple both sympathetic and shady, so let’s use him as the link. Let’s have him make a deal with Hyde in which he sells the town to him in exchange for unrevealed information on how how to wake Belle from the sleeping curse.
The point is that A&E and the writers really suck at planning, and they are so eager to move on to the next new shiny plot that they forget to humanize these characters outside of their closest relationships that act as obvious links in the storyline. Any normal person would at the very least inquire about their acquaintance and their family’s well-being in small talk, but this is OUAT where inane plots trumps deep, humanizing, and consistent writing for characterization these days. Unfortunately, Belle falls into the category of the character most used as an unacknowledged plot device, so while it seems like the rest of the characters besides Rumple, don’t care about Belle, they do, but it’s just that A&E and the writers do not.
After a point, though, the bad writing becomes the characterization. Can I forgive Henry for not showing any concern for Belle? I can, because there’s been positive moments in the Belle and Henry relationship and only this one plot driven oversite.
However when is the last time Snow showed any concern of friendship with Belle? Have we even seen her say thank you for babysitting? For that matter when is the last time Snow showed any concern for anyone outside of her family group? Snow offers up Belle like a prize to Hyde with no concern for her, only using her as a weapon to try and hurt Rum. Like Regina has. And Hook. And Emma.
Where in the last two years have see seen anyone care about Belle? Or have any interest in her when she’s not helping them? We saw no one other than Will and Rum care when Regina took her heart and used it. No one showed any concern or appreciation for her when she saved the entire town from Rum by kicking him out. Has Emma apologized for sending someone to kill Belle? Has anyone even thought of her?
Emma used to have a friendship with her but that’s not there anymore. What positive moment has she or anyone had in regards to Belle beyond using her?
We’ve seen Charming actually seem to care about her. And Henry. Ariel. Will. But who else?
This, however, wasn’t just about Belle. It’s about the fact that anyone this show calls ‘hero’ is selfish and self interested. And it’s a long time since Emma or Snow have thought of anyone outside of their small circle. Hook never has. Regina doesn’t. Charming for the most part is Snow’s shadow. I think a part of the reason Belle has to be put in a coma/amnesia/etc is because her trying to actually be a hero and care about people makes the herocrites look bad.
“so while it seems like the rest of the characters besides Rumple, don’t care about Belle, they do,”
Where, though? Honestly, I’m racking my brain for any moment.