In both TV and real life, people can turn bitter when they learn that they were born out of wedlock. Being an illegitimate child can make a person feel unloved, jealous, and angry. From the evil to the pitiful, here are some prime examples of TV characters who are bitter because of their parentage.
Juan Borgia, "The Borgias"The Borgia family is a bit of a mess. The Pope fathered Cesare, Gioffre, and Lucrezia with Vanozza. However, Vanozza isn't even his wife: She's married to a man named Theo who lives out in the country. Juan, however, is the son of Vanozza and this other man. But nothing is ever simple where the powerful Borgia Pope is concerned.
Even though Juan is the only son born to a legitimate pairing out of the whole bunch of kids, he gets treated like the Pope's illegitimate child by those in the know. And of course, the Pope has the power to retroactively make his children legitimate, complicating things even more. Juan is so insecure about his position as the Pope's seeming son that he attacks and brutally beats his real father, and is disgusted when the Pope suggests he marry Sancia, another illegitimate child. All of Juan's status comes from his ties to the Pope. Without that, he'd be nothing, and that knowledge haunts him.
Dr. House, "House"There's arguably been no bigger jerk on TV in recent years than the bitter Dr. House. Perhaps it all links back to his family history. You see, Dr. House's parents were married...just not to each other. No wonder he's terrible at interpersonal relationships.
Tess Mercer, "Smallville"Over the course of "Smallville," fans got to see two versions of Tess. The first Tess is strong, manipulative, corrupt, and powerful. She's also the illegitimate daughter of Lionel Luthor, though she doesn't know it at first. The version of Tess from Earth-2 is also born out of wedlock from Luthor stock, but with a twist. This version of Tess was raised by Lionel Luthor alongside his legitimate children, but with the knowledge that she wasn't a legitimate child. This turned her into a whiny, bitter mess of a person who alternately wanted to kill her father and worship him. Oh, and she's having a creepy relationship with Clark, who is her adopted brother in that alternate world.
Jon Snow, "Game of Thrones"Few TV shows explore the consequences for children born out of wedlock as deeply as "Game of Thrones." One of the show's most notable illegitimate kids is Jon Snow, who isn't always happy with his lot in life. Tyrion gives him some good advice, however: "Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you."