literal life ruiner [lit-er-uhl] [lahyf] [roo-in-er]
Def.: a character who, through their actions, ruins the life of one or more other characters (or attempts t0). Not to be confused with the colloquial tumblr definition of “life ruiner” (which is “someone who constantly ruins your life with their perfection, and smiles while they do it,” as seen here).
5. Claire Saunders (Amy Acker, Dollhouse)
I have very confusing feelings about Claire as a whole. She fascinates me, and for most of the first season I really did like her. Meta-Claire wasn’t nearly as cute as, say, meta-Mellie (Miracle Laurie), and sleeper Claire… well, really it’s only sleeper Claire that’s the life ruiner. It’s not Claire-the-mostly-realized-imprint-person’s fault that she was programmed to shoot Bennett (Summer Glau). Even if there was a weird I-don’t-even-know-what undertone to Claire’s interactions with Topher (Fran Kranz) that made it make a little teensy bit of sense in a way. It’s the fault of goddamn Boyd (Harry Lennix). But since this is a lady list, and since Claire’s body was the one pulling the trigger, well. I’m pretty sure there was a reason Topher wouldn’t take his meds from Claire when it was the future and he was crazy.
4. Nandi (Melinda Clarke, Firefly)
I also have confusing feelings about Nandi. She’s lovely, and arguably one of Inara’s (Morena Baccarin) closest friends, and she does seem to feel genuinely bad about having slept with Mal (Nathan Fillion) once she realizes Inara’s feelings for him. But not all literal life ruiners are intentionally so, and Nandi set in motion a disastrous happening that could very well have sunk the Mal/Inara ship, as it were. Imagine if Serenity hadn’t happened, for example. We wouldn’t even have the hope of their maybe admitting their feelings to each other that it gives, all because what happened at Nandi’s made Inara turn tail. It’s not Nandi’s fault, but she almost ruined whatever hope of happiness they might have in each others’ lives.
3. Amy Madison (Elizabeth Anne Allen, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Now, Amy starts out a monster-of-the-week plot, and it could be argued that her mom almost ruined her life, but like the magicks, it seems to run in the family. Amy accidentally wreaks havoc on every woman in Sunnydale with that pesky love spell, then turns herself into a rat, but these are fairly harmless incidents. No, her literal life ruining is in season six, when she becomes un-ratted and she enables Willow’s (Alyson Hannigan) magical drug habit. It’s her fault that Willow gets involved with magical drug dealer Rack (Jeff Kober) and it’s her actions that make it harder and harder for Willow to quit the magicks. She even curses Willow in season seven, out of little more than jealousy, and apparently she becomes a full-fledged Big Bad in the comics. It’s because of Willow’s magic addiction that she almost loses her friends, does lose Tara (Amber Benson) for a while, and almost ends the world; it’s because of Amy that the addiction is even worse than it already would have been.
2. Maddie (Alice Krige, Deadwood)
The relationship between Joanie (Kim Dickens) and Maddie is never fully explained, but it’s clear they knew each other before Maddie came to camp. She brought with her some girls, so she and Joanie could open a classy brothel, the Chez Amis, but she ended up enabling the murder of two of the prostitutes in her employ (Doris [Erica Swanson] and Carrie [Izabella Miko]) at the hands of Wolcott (Garret Dillahunt). Maddie is fully aware of Wolcott’s tendencies, but he’s paid her well, so it doesn’t matter. She then gets murdered by him herself, leaving poor Joanie to clean up the mess in the literal sense and in the sense of what her life has become. And Joanie doesn’t recover until the Chez Amis becomes a schoolhouse and she can see that she’s done something worthwhile and not destructive, so her life is also ruined for a while there.
1. Gaia (Zuleikha Robinson, Rome)
Woman strong-arms her way into Vorenus’ (Kevin McKidd) employ and makes eyes at him and at Pullo (Ray Stevenson). Pullo is with Eirene (Chiara Mastalli), who was once a slave girl of similar social status to Gaia, but now, being Pullo’s woman, she’s been raised up. The two are antagonistic. Now, the rational thing to do would be to accept it and go about having her relationship with Mascius (Michael Nardone). Bitch away. But Gaia chooses instead to give Eirene abortion drugs, unbeknownst to her. These drugs then kill her. That is pretty literally a life being ruined. And Pullo’s, too, since even if she gets into his bed, Eirene is his only love.
–your fangirl heroine.