Morgan Freeman’s character, Ned Logan, is not a revolutionary character in the sense of westerns, but rather an evolution or revisionists view of a common character. Black characters in westerns have typically been looked at as the secondary player or “other” in the film. In The Unforgiven, Logan is looked at as the martyr and driving character of the story. He goes from being Munny’s partner in crime, to being the driving force behind his revenge. Typically, black characters are ones who can be sacrificed or are just bellow the level of women in the film. Logan is an able minded and capable character who becomes the reason for the climax. So the role has evolved from one of second class, to driving force.
Clint Eastwood’s character, William Munny, is an alpha male cowboy, but in a much darker sense. He seems to lack respect for the law and the town, in exchange for revenge for Logan. At the end of the film, he kills Little Bill and threatens anyone else who even crosses his eyes. It’s a movement away from the typical alpha male cowboy and establishes a much more violent and ruthless one in its place. He still is fighting for good to a degree, but he is hurting many innocent and undeserving people along the way.