Here is a nice little editorial waxing philosophically on the put-upon nature of the Wolfman character in fiction. “In every reimagining or riff on the character, the Wolfman is a tragic figure.” So says the linked article. I can’t think of any example where this statement is wrong. There are stories where the werewolf is something of a superhero. (I think first of Robert R. McCammon’s excellent novel THE WOLF’S HOUR.) Or where it is stupidly depicted as hunky boyfriend material for underage girls. But this is the Wolfman specifically we’re talking about. So yeah, he’s always struggling against his fate, and he always has the audience’s sympathies. Can you think of any case where this isn’t true?
In the 2010 remake of THE WOLFMAN, Larry Talbot as portrayed by Benecio Del Toro almost succeeded in breaking out of this star-crossed situation. One could argue that he *did* manage it. He ends up being the “good” werewolf fighting his father, and he manages to achieve some small degree of self-control there at the end, where he manages to keep from killing Emily Blunt. Not always a tragedian, then. Just usually. This is appropriate, as the werewolf is first and foremost a metaphor for the higher natures of human beings struggling to overcome their animal urges.