Chillin' Villain Style
Yesterday I asked my Instagram and Facebook followers to help out with a poll about external antagonists. Do you prefer your bad guy to be Relatable or Evil?
And the answer is....
Which is perfect, because the inspiration for the post was a chapter I wrote in the effort to bring in my antagonist's perspective. He does a nasty thing in Tri-Marked (working title). He will, being the antagonist, drive a lot of action through the series.
So, sorry Sauron, a famed baddy you might be, these days we want to see our antagonists bleed. Though, my husband argues Gollum is the true villain of LOTR. In that case, he is totally relatable and in line with the very relevant Instagram poll, which, by the way, certainly helped to justify the 1500 words I wrote.
Thinking about my favorite villains, a recent one is from Uprooted by Naomi Novak. At first, you think the evil in the Woods is your basic malevolent force. But then the back story and bam, not only is the villain bleeding, but you're bleeding, as well!
Rick Riordan takes villains to a new level with his spin on Gods and myths. Not only are some of these beings fated to be evil, but he goes on to show how they were made that way, how they're choices pigeonholed them and, in the case of Loki in the Magnus Chase series (my personal favorite), how he enjoys the role even if he hates the circumstances around it.
All that said, some of my favorite stories have evil as the villain. My favorite childhood book is The Farthest Away Mountain and the Witch in that story hates white and wants power, no backstory given to why. The Nothingness in the Neverending Story and Gmork who serves it are driven by the basic need to destroy. Pure evil villains certainly have their place. It's an easy release for the reader, an excuse to hate in return in the safe environment of fantasy that sparks an elemental sense of victory that can be refreshing in it's simplicity.
Who are some of your favorite villains? Did you relate to them or simply love to hate them? Please leave a comment to let me know.
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