Top 10 Movie Scenes Where the Hero Spares the Villain
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Top 10 Movie Scenes Where the Hero Spares the Villain

VOICE OVER: Matthew Wende WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
Script written by Mark Sammut

A true hero saves everyone, even their greatest enemies. From Spider-man to Batman, and Bilbo to Luke Skywalker, these heroes couldn't bring themselves to kill their nemeses. WatchMojo counts down the top movie scenes where the hero spares the villain.

Special thanks to our user Jacob Koopmann for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10Movies+Scenes+Where+The+Hero+Spares+The+Villain
Script written by Mark Sammut

Top 10 Movie Scenes Where the Hero Spares the Villain

Sure – what could possibly go wrong? Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Scenes Where The Hero Spares The Villain.

For this list, we’re looking at famous moments were a hero decides that the villain is worth saving. We are primarily focusing on the hero's actions, so whether or not the villain takes them up on their offer is of less importance. And, of course, SPOILERS ahead.

#10: Spider-Man Saves Vulture
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)

Everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood wall crawler is one of the cleanest superheroes in the business. Each of his big screen outings make it a point to show Spider-Man preventing a large scale disaster – usually at the expense of his secret identity. Although he pretty much never delivers the fatal blow, Spider-man rarely goes out of his way to save the villain. But that changed with “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, when he risked his own life to try and save the Vulture, who just so happened to be the father of Peter Parker's love interest. Plus, it's Michael Keaton – nobody wants to see Batman die.

#9: Wick and Cassian
“John Wick: Chapter 2” (2017)

Keanu Reeves' portrayal of the hard hitting “retired” hit-man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of revenge is nothing short of brilliant. Wick uses guns, his fists, and a goddamn pencil to kill off anyone who has every wronged him. He does not do it for fun, or money, but if you are in his way – then you are about to get got. Cassian is nearly at Wick's level, and their rivalry is ferocious while still being respectful. But after a gruelling fight on a train, John wins by stabbing one of Cassian's vital arteries. With his rival helpless but breathing, Wick heads out to continue his kill streak.

#8: Indy Tries to Save Elsa
“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989)

So, Indy, you'll leave Marion tied up in a Nazi Camp to not give yourself away, but you'll risk it all to save Elsa Schneider? You know, an actual Nazi? Elsa Schneider is a complex character; one that values knowledge for its material rather than historical value. She worked with the Nazis but didn't believe in the Swastika, and she seemingly cared for Indy and Henry while constantly putting their lives in enemy hands. But it still doesn't make sense that Indy would try to save her, when he knows full well she would only do the same for him if it benefited her.

#7: Woody and Buzz save Lotso
“Toy Story 3” (2010)

Lotso is one mean spirited teddy bear. However, Woody and Buzz can’t help but be heroic, as it seems to be hardwired into their personalities. With Andy heading to college, a mishap sees the gang sent to a daycare center run by Lotso. Of-course, underneath Ned Beatty's calming voice lies a cold-hearted villain who abuses the other toys. Lotso's backstory is heartbreaking, but that does not justify his behavior, so we expected the worst when Woody and Buzz decide to save him from certain death. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t take Lotso long to make them regret it

#6: Harry Potter Stops Sirius from Killing Peter Pettigrew
“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004)

It is not easy being the chosen one. Especially when your entire future is determined by a prophecy and a scar left by Hogwarts' worst student. Harry Potter is, for all intents and purposes, a normal teenager. He cares about his friends, wants to do well in school, and values life. After discovering that Peter Pettigrew was responsible for the death of his parents, and pretty much every horrible thing to ever happen in Harry's life, it would be understandable if he just sat back and watched Sirius kill the little rodent. But no – Harry is better than that...and we still had five more movies to go.

#5: Bilbo and Gollum
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012)

The Hobbit Trilogy may not be as widely loved as the Lord of the Rings films, but if there is one scene that received almost universal praise, it’s the one between Bilbo and Gollum. While lost in a cave, Bilbo runs into Gollum and finds the ring of power. Gollum threatens to eat him, as he rambles on about his precious, forcing Bilbo to turn invisible by wearing the ring. At this point, there is nothing stopping him from slashing Gollum's throat. But instead, he shows mercy, an act that has a huge impact on the future of Middle-earth.

#4: Utah and Bodhi
“Point Break” (1991)

Those who surf together, die together. Or not... After a string of daring heists, FBI agent Johnny Utah goes undercover within the surfing community to discover which gang might be behind the robberies. While undercover, the G-man gets introduced to the charismatic Bodhi. Eventually, Utah realizes that his new friends are actually a group of bank robbers known as the Ex-Presidents, and chases Bodhi down into an aqueduct, only to hesitate to take the easy shot. As a thank you, Bodhi kidnaps Utah and frames him for armed robbery. It's a lesson Johnny doesn't learn from.

#3: Captain America helps Bucky
“Captain America: Winter Soldier” (2014)

Apparently, the power of friendship can survive anything. During World War II, Steve Rogers went from a nobody to Captain America with a few light injections. On the flip side, his best friend – Bucky Barnes – ended up as a test subject at the hands of Hydra. After being brainwashed to do their bidding, Bucky reunites with Steve in the present day, only now the two are on opposite sides. Once Cap realizes who the Winter Soldier is, he prioritizes saving his friend above all else, and refuses to fight him. For once, it did not blow up in his face, as Bucky returned the favor almost immediately.

#2: Batman and The Joker
“The Dark Knight” (2008)

This entry could very well go for any of Batman's villains, as the Dark Knight lives by one simple rule - he will not take a life... usually. Characteristically, the Caped Crusader decides to save the Joker, despite the fact that the Clown Prince of crime has already ruined Harvey Dent and killed countless innocent people. However, Batman does this not for the Joker's sake, but for his own. If the Joker represents chaos, then letting him fall to his death means that Batman was broken and gave in. By saving his arch nemesis, Bruce saved himself.

#1: Luke and Darth Vader

“Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi” (1983)
Cinema's most famous father and son; there are a lot of reasons Luke decided to spare Darth Vader, besides genetic favoritism. Throughout episodes five and six, Vader shows a desire to turn Luke to the dark side, but not to actually kill him. Sensing some good lingering within his father, like Obi-Wan before him, Luke spares Darth Vader in the belief that he could still be an ally against the Emperor. Although Jedi are not entirely against killing, Luke would have been consumed by the dark side if he'd killed his father, and in turn, would have prevented Anakin's redemption.

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