Hello there! I have survived the Game of Thrones premiere which was beautiful and awesome! How I fair the rest of the season is a toss up. I’m sure you all will hear my tears and woes at length.
So guys. Villains.
How’s that for an intro?
But really, I have always loved villains. Most of my close friends know that my favorite characters in books/movies/shows tend to be villains. I don’t know what it is that fascinates me so much about the evil ones–maybe because they always seem to be so much more layered and multifaceted than the heroes. Maybe I was growing up in a different time where heroes were less relatable. They always made perfect choices and did the right thing and knew what that was, unlike kid me who was a little bit selfish at times and didn’t like to eat her green beans at dinner.
My first villain love was Darth Vader. I’m sure it wasn’t love at first sight, but sometime around the first time I saw The Empire Strikes Back (I was nine) something in me recognized that DV was just misunderstood. There was something there that we weren’t seeing. I wanted to know what that thing was. One of my favorite villain backstories has to be that of Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. There’s a lot of pain there, and maybe was a little on the cliche side, but I love it. I hate bad guys who just exist to cause heroes strife. I need some backstory with my baddies!
I read a Tom Hiddleston interview once in which he said, “Every villain is a hero in his own mind.” (Hiddles plays Loki in the Thor/Avengers movies by the way).
Here is a short list of some of my favorite villains and why they will always have my heart! Even if they’d rather just pull it out of my chest…
1) Severus Snape
Snape is one that kind of skews that line between hero and villain. Perhaps he’s more of an anti-hero. I started reading the Harry Potter series after the sixth book and right before book seven came out. The big marketing tag for the final book was “Snape: friend or foe” because *spoiler alert* he had just killed Dumbledore. I had faith throughout the series that Snape was indeed a friend. I know JK had a big pay off coming for us, and she didn’t disappoint. Snape’s final chapter at the end of Deathly Hallows–with it’s large and painful backstory–had me in tears. So much so that I had to take a half hour break before I could finish the rest of the book.
2) Darth Vader
Darth Vader is a great tale of what can happen when a hero chooses Path B instead of Path A. We didn’t have his complete story until the prequel trilogy came out, but let’s look: he was raised by a loving mother, then taken in by Jedi’s who are inherently good (though I could argue things about Jedi’s in a whole other post), and taught by Obi-Wan Kenobi. He has all these great influences yet in the end, when tragedy strikes and fear grips him, he chooses the dark side. Darth Vader is classic greek tragedy. Instead of letting things go, he attempts to take destiny in his hands, and then ends up fulfilling it. #oops
Okay everyone, please stop judging me for writing a character from The Vampire Diaries on this list. Yes the show is cheesy and poorly written 8 times out of 10, but Klaus is one of the darkhorse, amazing things about this show. Part of me wonders if that is large in part thanks to Joseph Morgan, the actor who plays him, who seems to have a great understanding of his character. Klaus was introduced as the big bad of season two, out to sacrifice heroine Elena as a means to his own end. We are at season 4 now and Klaus is still hanging around, when rumor has it the writers had intended on having him defeated and killed in season three. During that time, we’ve seen him as a human before he became one of the world’s first vampires, we’ve met his entire family, and we’ve also seen the beginnings of what might be a man falling in love with one of the good guys. Klaus definitely fits the “hero in his own mind” category of villain. And soon he might get his very own show soon! If that doesn’t say GREAT character and villain, I don’t know what does.
I was on the phone with a friend the other night, discussing awesome disney villains. His vote was for Scar and mine was for Hades. I think it’s another reason why I love villains so much more: sarcasm. It’s something that seems to evade most “heroes”, especially in Disney movies (maybe not in later movies). Hades was so likable and funny that you kind of forget until the very in that he’s not the one that you are supposed to be rooting for.
5) The Joker
Okay so I don’t know much about The Joker outside of any film version of Batman. But what I do know is this: he has no definitive origin story. Anywhere. There seems to be no reason in particular that The Joker is evil. I know earlier I said that I like to have my villains with a bit of backstory and know where they’re coming from, but I think not knowing where The Joker comes from makes him that much more interesting. The fact that he seems to exist just to torment Batman and wreck havoc on Gotham is more than enough for me. “Some men just want to watch the world burn,” is what Michael Caine’s, Alfred, says in the Nolan version of the movies. I mean, what’s a more intimidating backstory than that?
Who are your favorite villains? Or do you, unlike me, prefer the heroes?
Wishing you all a wicked Wednesday! 😉