February 9th, 2008, 04:05 AM
Jo'ou-sama no Shimobe
There are many types of villains. Any of these types can be made into a good villain. It's all in the execution. Of course, personal taste will incline people more to certain types, as we see from the diversity of responses here.
February 18th, 2008, 10:59 AM
I didn't do it!
I don't think I realy have a favorite kind of vilain. In my reading, I've encounter plenty of them that I liked equaly. On the other hand, there are some traits that I don't like in vilains. Per example, when the bad guy wants to destroy the wolrd just for the sake of it. I have nothing against vilains who have a human side, but I find it VERY annoying when the vilain turn out to be a poor misunderstood good guy.
Latly, I've realy enjoyed the altruist vilains. An altruist vilain is a evil doer who thinks he's doing the right thing. I don't mean someone who did a mistake. It's someone who does evil actions, but in his twisted mind is convinced that it's for the greater good. You can't talk this vilain out of his destructive path, you can only destroy him.
February 19th, 2008, 06:33 PM
I've seen some very striking replies to this thread, and it has inspired me to write a story. I'll be sure to post it here whenever I have a few good pages written.
Originally Posted by Fred Gallney
But like most of you, I personally enjoy the villian who gradually finds their good side and ends up dying a hero... make sense? *cough*Darth Vader*cough*
Oh and the villian Barnes from the movie Platoon... they say the only thing that can kill Barnes... is Barnes and he believes he is doing what needs to be done.
Last edited by US_TOML; February 19th, 2008 at 06:43 PM.
January 10th, 2009, 05:52 AM
People these days are getting tired on the hero issue because characters like Superman and Batman have powers and gadgets we could dream of. I have decided to create a story that is based on a villain and tries to save only his friends. He would not put himself in the way to save people and unleash terror in the world.
I asked my friends and family about watching or reading a story about a normal guy becoming a villain and they would love to see it immediately. Already I have started writing the draft of my story but this villain ain't no human. He is a wolf, who becomes a demon, the Emperor of Eternal Darkness.
If you want to know more about my story, post a reply ASAP.
January 10th, 2009, 01:47 PM
I don't have any particular preferences, but I love hateable villains.
Nothing will be sweeter than watching Achamian kick the CRAP out of Kellhus.
January 10th, 2009, 03:24 PM
work in progress
This is a really interesting thread, and I'm glad it came back up. Villains really are what move a story along, and I think that in fantasy they're all the more important because they're often forces of nature that threaten the world itself with their ideals.
I think that the best villain is one whose personality you genuinely like. A person you've grown close to over the course of a book, a former ally of the hero who suddenly reveals his true nature. I find it heart-rending when someone who you've come to sympathize with, someone who you've been rooting for throughout the course of the book, suddenly betrays his friends and shows his true side. The inevitable conflicts afterward are all the more painful because you can remember the times when the villain saved the hero, or had a meaningful and emotional conversation with him.
The best villain should be one who is undeniably doing acts of evil, but who tries to justify them. A manipulator, a betrayer, someone morally wayward but with enough humanity left that you can identify with them. Someone who's so twisted that he thinks that what he's doing is actually the right thing to do. Someone you can pity.
January 11th, 2009, 09:46 PM
The right villain for the right story. I don’t think there’s one ‘best’ unless you’re trying to say that one type of story is better than the other. A merciless, puppy-killing monster who wears all black and smokes a stinky cigar can be the perfect villain for one story and a cartoon character in another. I do think that a villain should:
1) Reflect the hero in some way. If the hero is a shining paragon of virtue, then the bad guy ought to be rotten. If the hero is ambiguous then the villain should be as well. If the hero is a chaotic agent of freedom then the villain ought to be a methodical agent of order.
2) An actual threat. Whether the villain is a ‘bad guy’ or just the person the hero is in conflict with, they need to have the capability to present a real threat. Sometimes an author is so intent on making an awesome hero that they neglect the villain. Breakaway falls into this trap when it pits a bionic superwoman against mere mortals.
3) Motivation and logical behavior. A villain presumably wants something and acts in what they view as a logical manner to get it. Sometimes though, the villain gets bitten by the stupid bug and does things for no reason or does them in a way that makes little sense. I think this happens because the author wants something to happen and simply shoehorns it in, or they’ve created a situation so dire they can’t think of any way for the hero to survive/triumph on their own.
Evil for evil's sake is not 'groundless.' What you mean is that within the philosophical framework you operate within, it doesn't make sense. I also know people who claim that good for good's sake is groundless, that any action for any reason other than one's own pleasure is groundless, and that any action that doesn't promote the survival and propagation of one's genes is groundless. That’s fine, as long as you realize that a character in another person’s work isn’t beholden to your philosophy and will act within whatever frame of reference they or the setting has.
Originally Posted by Triceratops
This is especially true in fantasy, in which the metaphysical laws are created by the author. If I say vampires are soulless abominations – mere corpses inhabited by demons from hell who are able to take on human mannerisms but find joy only causing pain, suffering, and death – then that’s the reality of my setting and ‘evil for evil’s sake’ fits in it fine.
Last edited by hippokrene; January 11th, 2009 at 10:01 PM.
January 12th, 2009, 11:36 PM
But what is the point on making a story about a hero when people know he or she is going to save the world? I think people are getting tired of watching the same storyline through the last ten years or so, perhaps even more.
I know that the story I am doing is just about a wolf who becomes a villain, but at least it is something different. I have researched on villains for a while and here are some reasons of what makes them become this way:
1. Power and Control
5. Unforunate Accidents
7. Superpowers (optional)
Villains used to be normal citizens but if they came across one of these reasons, they do become the bad guy and will do anything against the hero.
Not even once people feel sorry for the bad guy since the good guys crave for attention. Which is why I never watch new movies like Iron Man because it is all the SAME STORYLINE, SAME EFFORTS TO WIN SOMEONE'S HEART AND SAVING THE WORLD! It is never going to be different in the film or video game industry.
January 13th, 2009, 02:49 AM
i agree with you about the metaphysical laws/philosophical framework part of fantasy stories (i mean, how can we justify "magic" in our stories but not "evil for evil's sake"). however, the problem i have with many modern authors is that they use the evil archetype for their villain seemingly out of laziness and lack of creativity. sure, in SOME stories/settings, an "evil for evil's sake" villain fits the story, and the author makes it work. this is especially true in settings where there are distinctive "good" and "evil" figures/gods/kingdoms etc. if that's the setting in which the story must exist, then fine, it fits within the philosophical framework. if the rest of the story/plot is good i can look past it. however, there have been stories where there is just a villain. and he's evil, just cuz. sure they MIGHT throw in a half-baked motivation (greed, power, parents were killed when young, etc), but mostly he's just there to give the story a direction and the hero someone to fight. if the writer is skilled enough to create an interesting hero, then an equally interesting villain can't be that hard.
Originally Posted by hippokrene
January 13th, 2009, 05:26 AM
I most certainly agree with you Gekkeijyu, and hope my post did not imply otherwise. I did not mean to advocate a certain type of villain or suggest that the 'pure evil' bad-guy always works.
January 13th, 2009, 06:58 AM
contains traces of nuts
I like my villains sexy ;-)
Ideally I want magnetism, I want charisma, I want to be tempted to join their side, but their actions and the effects they cause should always get in the way. But I want to feel tempted. And I want to feel scared of them. Specifically, of what they might do next.
Somewhere between Meryl Streep in the Manchurian Candidate and Antony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs is my perfect villain.
Actually I think I'll ask Jonathan Demme to direct the film of my novel
January 13th, 2009, 08:26 AM
Damn fool idealist
I think a good villain is someone who you'd follow in a heartbeat if they were on the other side.
January 13th, 2009, 02:31 PM
There are no sides. Everyone's point of view is perfectly valid to them. From the point of view of "evil", if there was such a thing, "good" is in the wrong.
Originally Posted by DailyRich
A ideal villain has an aim, a philosophy that he believes in. He is never out to intentional cause harm or "to do evil" for it's own sake.
A well rounded villain makes good arguments and his point of view is almost borderline valid to "the other side". He is the sort of person with whom you can sympathise at times. He's complex and is passionate about his aim and even shows compassion.
There is nothing so simple-minded and childish as the concept of good and evil. Biblical nonsense that is rampant in art and literature.
Last edited by Arash; January 13th, 2009 at 02:38 PM.
January 13th, 2009, 07:12 PM
Damn fool idealist
"Other side" doesn't necessarily mean good or evil. It just means the villain is on the side opposing you.
January 14th, 2009, 09:50 PM
I agree that evil for evil's sake is groundless unless the author is writing an story about good versus evil that treats the conflict maturely, not as another regurgitation of LOTR or WOT. I'm trying this out in a story where an entity similar to Satan--whose only earthly manifestation is a voice, although I'm considering possession--is poisoning the inhabitants of an isolated monastery. The monks have their own flaws and secrets that all sort of intertwine for the worst possible scenario. Hauntingly familiar travelers start showing up for strange reasons, and the troubled abbot's secret is investigated to unveil the workings of that ultimate evil villain. The villain, being somewhat parallel to Satan, is in the background pulling the strings, and it's the not-quite-evil-but-shades-of-gray characters who actually propel the plot and do the damage. So my totally evil villain is indirectly opposing the mystery-solving hero of the story, while the not-quite-evil antagonists are his physical nemeses. But I'm fascinated by the concept of a ghostly creature who is evil for evil's (and ambition's, I suppose) sake--because that's simply his role in the universe.
If that block of text makes any sense, you scored an 800 on your reading SAT.