Walter White Like Transformations

Lucifer - in both The Sandman and later in Lucifer - struggles with acknowledging what he is…the physical embodiment of WILL. His brother Micheal may have the creative impulse but without Lucifer it will never be used.

So God creates a being filled with all the will in the universe and not a drop of conscience. The entire 75 issue run of Lucifer is about the title character being outraged that, even though he has the will to move worlds and be free, he’s doing it at the behest and creation of another: God. He’s trapped in a conundrum he can’t escape no matter how hard he tries.

A truncated version since it takes place within a single movie: William “D-FENS” Foster in Falling Down.

But doesn’t he go from God’s greatest creation to the rebel that will be the Devil? Again, long time since I’ve read it, but doesn’t Lucifer also muse about whether he did really had a choice to rebel, to Morpheus? There was also a short story by Gaiman about a murder in Heaven where Lucifer decides God may be unfair? And this may start him on the path to rebellion, but again, maybe it was God’s plan for Lucifer all along?

So maybe, yes, at “the behest” of God.

But with regard to the OP, the fairest of all the angels becomes the Devil, even if he isn’t “a fishwife looking for souls come to market (to paraphrase), or caring about punishing sinners”, he swears destruction on Morpheus, and could be arguably said to bring it about, based on his conversation with Delirium towards the end of The Sandman series. (Again, IIRC, from many years ago.)

Wesley is the strongest example from the show(s), but Spike, Cordelia and Willow could also be mentioned.

In Pale Rider, Hull Barrett (played by Michael Moriarty) is inspired by the courage of The Preacher (Clint Eastwood) and becomes a fellow ass-kicker.

In The Closer, Brenda becomes not just a brilliant cop who everyone loved except the incompetent cops and prosecutors, but a psychopathic manipulator who will arrange the deaths of people she can’t put into the slammer.

This is another one IMO like Breaking Bad. It’s not so much that she changes, but her ruthless is slowly revealed by circumstance. Her poor hubby Fritz should have run away as fast as he could.

This pretty much. His circumstances change and he adapts to them which his innate “arrogant pride before everything” character allows him to do. His fundamental personality does not change.

But, is this really true? Wasn’t there a flashback to a scene when he worked at Sandia NL with the future wife of the big corp co-founder. It seemed like they were having fun listing the chemicals that made up a human as a fun, flirtatious, “way of working together” in that episode?

Yeah, she goes on to marry the other guy and Walter sells his shares in the company he founded. Isn’t that where it starts with the pride? After selling out to the company that he founded, because Skylar is pregnant, which goes on to make millions without him on “his idea”, while he becomes a HS chem teacher, fuel his anger?

This is like getting dumped by the first girl that you ever fell in love with; and he can’t recover ego-wise, ever.

And, in the case of the company, he lost billions by getting out early. Which may have fueled Walt’s desire to match up with meth in terms of money empire.

I’d say just about everyone from the show Angel went through a significant transformation, with the possible exception of Angel. Lorne, Fred, and Gunn all went through signicant changes. Hell, even Harmony did.

I’m not seeing how your examples disprove the “pride bordering on arrogance drives his behavior” hypothesis. If anything they support it. He makes a lot of (seemingly) socially and morally dysfunctional decisions because he will not ask for help, or accept help, or admit vulnerability or weakness. His personality is not changing, his behavior is changing as circumstances get more desperate and extreme.

But that brings up the question, is a good person one who is good because they lack character flaws, or one who manages to do good by suppressing their bad impulses. I would say that Walter White was a good person - a loving husband and father, a good teacher - before his cancer diagnosis shook him up, despite the fact than he had (usually) concealed character flaws.

Walter White did undergo a transformation in how he behaved, because he allowed his id to take over. But if we were judged on whether we were good or bad on the basis of our id, many of us I think would be like Walter.

All these Walter White examples and nobody points out that Jesse Pinkman’s arc took him from a selfish non-caring punk to a moral and empathetic man.

As Walter lost his humanity Jesse gained his own.

IIRC, in The Sandman, when Lucifer is talking to Dream while he’s locking up Hell, he says something about caring so much back in the beginning of things, before the Fall. I think Lucifer asks Dream if he remembers what he (Lucifer) was like back then.

Lester Nygaard on Fargo (Season 1).