Here's something that Tolkien once said about imaginary worlds. They are very fragile, moreso than you think (this is paraphrasing, but it's essentially what he said). Fictional worlds are constructed with very precarious balances of power. Normally, they do this for storytelling purposes, often so the hero's deeds can really have a far-reaching impact. So it can be useful for a dramatic tool.
Originally Posted by Qvalador
Now think about all the Legendary Pokémon and what happens when that balance is pushed even just slightly out of tune. You pretty much might have the apocalypse on your hands. They're not acting in character when they do this. They're acting this way because something happened to their own personal world or space to disrupt it, and they're not rational.
So what's my point? Well, characters' personalities aren't set in stone. One good push by something can oftentimes completely and sometimes even irrevocably change them.
Ash is a goofy, but determined kid who wants to be a Pokémon Master. But what would happen if one day Professor Oak called him and told him that his mother had died? Or worse, if she had been murdered, possibly by a Team Rocket assassin as retaliation for him always interfering with their plans? Doesn't seem so unrealistic, does it? After all, it has been established in canon that they are willing to do anything to get what they want. You can't tell me Ash's personality wouldn't change from that, knowing that his mother was murdered by people that he met on his journey, and that he was indirectly responsible because he chose to always get in their way. Not only would his personality change, but it would likely change the whole scope of his journey, at least for awhile.
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