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  1. #31
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    Well, King is usually known for writing horror, but I seriously disagree (as most readers probably would, as well..); some is on the edge of fantasy, and some is *pure* fantasy. Indeed, the Dark Tower Series ranges within the best fantasy I have read... (well, I have not read much fantasy, but still, I like it *G).
    (Okay, the last book of the series, Wizard and Glass wasn't all that convincing but I hope it'll get better).
    The Eyes of the Dragon and The Talisman are fantasy as well.


    Anyway, Flagg is one of King's characters that show up in various books- in different worlds and timelines. The connections are NOT always too obvious. Fitz can probably tell you more about it all (I have read these novels a long time ago and may not remember correctly). For instance, he's the main bad guy in The Stand and The Eyes of the Dragon; he's also starring in The Dark Tower cycle *g. He uses other names, most of the times with the initials R/F.

    There's the Crimson King as well (as much as I can remember they are indeed NOT the same but much different); he is mentioned in The Dark Tower, Hearts in Atlantis, Insomnia and, if I am not mistaken, Bag of Bones (which was a very fine book).

    One of the things I like most about King's writing are the connections between his books.

    Enough loose comments for this one :-)


    -- Elessar

    [This message has been edited by Elessar (edited February 01, 2002).]

    [This message has been edited by Elessar (edited February 01, 2002).]

  2. #32
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Elessar

    You've pretty much got the main thrust of his appearances.

    Though I don't recall him being mentioned in Bag of Bones

  3. #33
    You've got me thinking, Mith... I cannot think of any true fantasy books in which the villian just made me shiver. That's always been my biggest complaint about the genre. There are very few great villians. The villians in Fantasy works tend to be evil incarnate. They stand up and shout, "I'm evil", and they do awful things, but they lack... deceit. In my mind, a great villian needs to be more than just a big strong opponent for the hero to kill. A good villian needs to operate behind the scenes and his influence needs to be wide and varied.

    I love a book in which I have no idea what the villian is doing. Or even who the villian is. I think my favorite villian of all times is Iago, from Othello. There's something to be said about a villian who remains the hero's best friend until the very end. Who tricks and manipulates the hero, but does nothing overt to call attention to himself.

    Fantasy, as a genre, lacks that. I'll keep thinking, but I can't think of any great villians from true fantasy books...

  4. #34
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    I think that's part of the definition of fantasy, though, you know?
    I mean, we've been into this before a little time ago. That *IS* fantasy: *usually*, the lines are drawn pretty clearly between "good" and "bad". It's one of fantasy's main characteristics; and being so, having a villain as you just depicted it is a little hard to achieve.
    Sure, they should be pretty bad- for instance, they should operate behind the scenes and you shouldn't know what they are doing. But not to know who they are? Hrm, I can hardly imagine this as being fantasy. I may be proven wrong if such a story exists and is clearly accepted as fantasy; but I've yet to read one.


    -- Elessar

  5. #35
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    I dunno Elessar, I think we've got some decent examples here. The bad guys from A Song of Ice and Fire seem to be all human and quite deceitful to boot.

  6. #36
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    Yes, maybe *g well, okay, it was just a thought. I'll have to read some more (Martin, ..).

    Fitz: I was wrong, I've been looking it up. Somehow I thought that the "outsider" helping Sara towards the end was the Crimson King, but that was, of course, nonsense. It's been a while since I've read it, must have confused it with "Insomnia" ...


    -- Elessar

  7. #37
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    what makes a villian creepy? What makes a villin trully chilling?

  8. #38
    That's an excellent question, JBC. As a writer, I'd be very interested in what people think makes a really great villian.

    Here's my thought:
    Deceit. Manipulation. That's why I liked Needful Things so much. The villian seems to the town to be on the up and up. He's providing a wonderful service, and people are happy to have him around. But really he's turning the whole town against itself. He's creepy because he can do such terrible things without people noticing. He doesn't lift a sword. He doesn't fling magic at people. He manipulates them. He tricks them into lifting swords against each other...

  9. #39
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    I never really hated clowns, since I'd never really seen any and I don't read horror... and then I saw the Buffy episode where Xander gets chased by that nightmare clown, and it just totally creeped me out. Now I understand. Clowns are evil.
    As far as villians that squicked me, it's probably due to my own arachnaphobia, but the spider goddess from the Deed of Paksenarrion really really bothered me. Climbing all over the place on her web, with all her spider minions spitting sticky venom stuff... *shudder* Also, although she wasn't *really* a villian, the leader of the Hands in the Death Gate Cycle was disturbing because she was so amoral. She'd kill you without blinking, and not even blink after. I've always found that more chilling than the angry villians. It makes me view my fellow human beings with serious suspicion. I'm terrified of the amoral, but the immoral I can deal with mostly.
    Even though I know I've been bothered by quite a few villians, that's all I can think of. And the spider lady definately tops the list. She was sneaky and evil and... spidery.

  10. #40
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    what makes a villian creepy? What makes a villin trully chilling?

    I was hoping that through the recommendations in this thread I might find out for myself

    I've never read Donaldson, do intend to, but I'm told Lord Foul is not only more powerful but also smarter than his opposition. That's one thing I think is important. He has to be clever.

    Then of course I like the villain with an attitude that just cannot be calculated or can be anticipated.

    Thirdly, there's appearance. This is different for everyone individually. There are so many factors (face, very lean or just big).

    I'll give an example. Anyone who's read some of Moorcock's Elric stories could have encountered Dr. Jest. This is a man who just does his job. But his description, so very thin, very thin mouth/face/body/pincers etc. He was frightening. In the end his victims were just limbless and all cut up, but always barely alive. This seems to me like the ultimate torture.

    The Tickler of Martin's Song of Ice and Fire is a slightly less scarier version of him

    Fourthly, intention.


  11. #41
    Snazzy Dancer Alucard's Avatar
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    what makes a villian creepy? What makes a villin trully chilling?

    Anything affiliated with clowns. I can't say this enough. Clowns are not funny. By any means. If someone decided to hog-tie and drag one down the road behind a truck, that might be funny. Otherwise, creepy creepy people.

    And I'm with you on this one fitzflagg, cats too. Eyes that shine in the night, the attitude that they are far superior to you, the habit of displaying their buttholes, they to go into my book of truly chilling.

    Maybe someone should write about a Homocidal clown who feeds the entrails of it's victims to it's snooty, butthole-displaying cat. That would certainly freak me out.

  12. #42
    Barcelona! milamber_reborn's Avatar
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    LORD FOUL??????

    Am I missing something or that an unoriginal name.

  13. #43
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    Does seem a bit on the cheezy end of the name scale IMO.

  14. #44
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    Yeah, the name sucks.

    There are many poor Fantasy names though. One of them being "Pug" from Magician. No offense Milamber

  15. #45
    Snazzy Dancer Alucard's Avatar
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    What about Mrs. Coulter in the his dark materials trilogy? Her little golden monkey Daemon gave me the creeps.

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