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Villains you love to hate

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, April 19, 2019
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One of the best types of villains are those that you love to hate. Despite how much you would love for them to shuffle off the mortal coil, they continue to captivate you with their malice and determination and you know that when they do leave the plot, whether deserved or not, you will miss them.

They can range from devilishly charming (see Loki from the MCU) to fueling your desire to get up every morning in the hope that this is the day they die (see Harry Potter’s Umbridge). Regardless of who or what they maybe, you want them to stick around just a bit longer because somewhere deep down, you want them to stick around even if it is just to give you a reason to get up in the morning.

These types of characters are often charismatic and, in turn, you want to know how the protagonist is going to react to them. Often times this results in banter or downright hostility. There could be a cat and mouse dynamic such as Light and L from Death Note, or my personal favourite, Walter White and Gus Fring, both villians in their own right but different sides of the same coin.

I won’t go into too much spoiler territory here, but when you watch a protagonist come up against someone who embodies either the traits that the hero wishes they had or when they finally meet their match, it is interesting watching who will triumph over who and how they did that.

The villain is a counter balance to the protagonist and it is their role to push the protagonist into action and, with any luck, do it in an entertaining way.

Who is your favorite villain? Is there a particular villainous trope that you like? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!

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comment

anonymous?

Jason Moon at 3:07PM, April 19, 2019

I've always enjoyed a sexy female villain in stories. So relatable, and no matter how evil their deeds are I still love them

Gunwallace at 1:28PM, April 19, 2019

Just watched Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves with the kids. Alan Rickman steals the show as the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham. His performance is so gloriously over-the-top from start to finish.

ShaRose49 at 9:03AM, April 19, 2019

I also really enjoyed Justin Pin from Next Gen—Just gross hens so bad but in a fun way. My own villains tend to be more sympathetic but also menacing—but my current villain is anything but sympathetic

ShaRose49 at 9:01AM, April 19, 2019

Villains are a ton of fun to write. My favourite villains of all time are usually villains who are just SO GOOD at being evil—where there is no act too despicable for them, but they’re really chill about it. I want to mention Varian from Tangled: The Series. He’s obviously not the most evil by a long shot but he gets so menacing and just relishes every bit of revenge and since he used to be an innocent kid it’s all the more impacting.

bravo1102 at 7:38AM, April 19, 2019

When I created my villains I just went with "I'm doing what I want to do and don't care about you." Selfish and self-absorbed and a bit cynical. Long was the most fun with his constant quips. Darth Theda I did a total turnaround from Grey guy Bob. The Falasnorians were just "other" . Our concept of evil meant nothing to them. And the readers liked them.

bravo1102 at 7:30AM, April 19, 2019

I like old time villains or their parodies. The first Fu Manchu movie with Boris Karloff, he considered it so over the top that he deliberately overplayed the role and had fun. Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Herbert Lom, Charles Middleton( Ming the Merciless) were all great villains.

bravo1102 at 7:19AM, April 19, 2019

My favorites are the antagonists in Mel Brooks movies like Burning Saddles, Spaceballs and Men in Tights. There's also Alan Rickman and David Wsrner portrayals of various baddies in movies. I like them diabolical and just loving what they do. As Charles Grodin said in the Great Muppet Caper when asked why he was doing it, "Because I'm the villain "

Banes at 7:04AM, April 19, 2019

My comic doesn't have a whole lot of villains - I write other stuff in different genres where villains are more important. I like 'em strong and scary!

Banes at 7:03AM, April 19, 2019

Gus Fring is definitely a favorite of mine - he seemed like the person Walter White was trying to be, or could become. I often think of Dormmamu from Doctor Strange when the topic of villains come up. He's a monster-god of Death and Pain - a mind-bendingly powerful Lovecraftian being. In spite of his inhumanity, I guess he still has enough personality to make him compelling to me!

KAM at 6:37AM, April 19, 2019

As for making villains charismatic, I once wrote a hated storyline where the protagonists weren't heroes and the villain was the nicest guy in the story. Whoops!!!

KAM at 6:34AM, April 19, 2019

It's kind of tough to say who's my favorite villain. Some villains are perfect for a storyline, some villains are fun, and some villains vary according to the writer. I like the original Green Goblin, but haven't liked him since he was brought back from the dead. I didn't like Hobgoblin when he first appeared, but rereading those stories I noticed things I overlooked on first reading which have boosted him up in my opinion.

usedbooks at 5:21AM, April 19, 2019

When I started Used Books, I was awful at writing villains. I systematically killed off my early attempts to replace them with better ones. I have some I'm really proud of now.

usedbooks at 5:17AM, April 19, 2019

I prefer the "make it personal" antagonists over the "big picture" ones -- the ones that have a fixation on a particular protagonist or maybe only one person even realizes they are a villain. (Or maybe the villain that only one person can thwart for whatever reason, so it becomes personal on the other end.) Like Professor Moriarty in the original story (can't recall the title off-hand). I am also partial to Q from Star Trek. And my favorite villain ever is Bill from Gravity Falls (somewhat Q-like but so much eviller).


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