Heroic Characters Who Come From Evil Families

Over 200 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Heroic Characters Who Come From Evil Families
Voting Rules
Vote up the heroes who prove evil isn't genetic.

There is nothing quite like characters who come from evil movie families. A reminder we are more than a product of who raises us, these characters prove a good person can come out of the most harrowing of circumstances. A reminder that purity of heart can be found in the darkest of places. A reminder that those who are fundamentally virtuous can be borne from those who are undeniably abominable.

This is Sirius Black rebelling against the Dark Arts-obsessed Black family in the Harry Potter franchise. This is Rey shunning her Palpatine bloodline to live her life as a Skywalker in the Star Wars films. This is Gamora and Nebula breaking free of their adoptive father's harsh worldview and becoming heroes who help take him down for good. You can't choose your family, but you can choose your disposition. 

  • 1
    203 VOTES
    Sirius Black
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Talk about a masterstroke of casting. The team behind Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban decided getting Gary Oldman, who was mostly known for his villainous roles at that point in time, would be a good idea - and boy, were they right. A member of the "pure-blood" Black family of wizards, Sirius was born into a clan of evil magic-wielders who thought they were better than everyone else. Do names like Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy ring any bells? Yeah, the Blacks were that kind of family.

    But Sirius rejected them from the start, eventually being sorted into Gryffindor instead of Slytherin. The casting of Oldman lends credence to the idea that Sirius could be as evil as the rest of the Black family before the reveal that he's a heroic figure. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a solid flick, you guys.

    203 votes
  • 2
    173 VOTES
    Photo: Matilda / Sony Pictures Releasing

    Matilda may be a little rambunctious and a tad bit of a troublemaker from time to time, but the girl is practically a saint compared to her parents (played to perfection by Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman). Those monsters wouldn't even enroll her in school! And sure, Matilda can make a television blow up with her mind, but at least she's considerate to others! The only thing the Wormwoods care about is themselves, and that certainly doesn't include Matilda.

    Thankfully, Mara Wilson's character ends up being adopted by the delightful Ms. Honey by the end of the film as her father is hauled in by the FBI due to complications from his seedy car dealership. Wouldn't life as a child have been easier if you had telekinetic powers? 

    173 votes
  • 3
    120 VOTES
    Photo: Hellboy II: The Golden Army / Universal Pictures

    If you couldn't tell by his outward appearance, Hellboy is half-demon. Luckily for humanity, Hellboy not only rejected his demonic nature but also was not subjected to misuse by the Third Reich and Grigori Rasputin as was intended. No, Hellboy ended up being raised by the kindhearted Trevor Bruttenholm.

    He may have a prickly attitude, but seeing that he uses his "Right Hand of Doom" for the good of mankind, he probably deserves a pass. And he shaves those demon horns off, people. He's doing his best!

    120 votes
  • 4
    153 VOTES
    Photo: Guardians of the Galaxy / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Whatever way you slice it, Peter Quill's dad is a massive jerk. Ego the Living Planet, the Celestial wonderfully portrayed by Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, is definitely a little less bonkers than his comic book counterpart, but he is somehow even more of a bad guy. As was revealed near the end of Vol. 2, this version of Ego essentially wanted to take over the universe by terraforming each world into a version of himself. How would he do this? Well, he'd visit thousands of planets and impregnate a member of the dominant race on each of them to try and sire a new Celestial to start the process.

    Peter Quill ended up being the only successful child born from this wild plan. Peter ended up being much more kind and much less power-hungry than his father, thank goodness.

    153 votes
  • Gamora And Nebula
    Photo: Avengers: Infinity War / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    As the adopted daughters of Thanos, Gamora and Nebula were never going to come out unscathed. The Mad Titan doesn't seem like the touchy-feely type, does he? Considering he had these two fight each other for his entertainment as children, probably not. And yet, by the end of Avengers: Endgame, these two children of a genocidal maniac had bested their father and earned their place among Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

    Sure, it took Nebula quite a bit longer to turn to the heroic side than her sister, but she got there eventually! All it really took was playing some finger football with Tony Stark while stranded in space to prove that to audiences worldwide.

    131 votes
  • 6
    114 VOTES
    Photo: Cinderella / RKO Radio Pictures

    How in the absolute heck did Cinderella come out of her childhood unscathed? It may be a Disney adaptation of a folktale, but come on. She's basically turned into an indentured servant by her own stepmother for years and years. And yet, she remains a kind-hearted woman who takes care of animals and thinks of others before herself... including her horrific stepmother and stepsisters.

    Is the plot of Cinderella more than a little trite and cliche? Of course, it is. But the message of being a good person against all odds is still there. 

    114 votes