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Worst Fantasy Villains

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Black Dragon, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Guy

    Guy Inkling

    Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig +1 on that! Man, I could rant for pages about that.
    I've read a fair amount about serial killers, despots and sexual predators to try and understand evil people, and the concluson I've reached is that when you strip away all the trappings, they really are pathetic people. When you look at what makes an evil person, what motivates him, how he thinks, it inevitably turns out to be something pathetic, childish, and/or petty. Look at the number one example of evil in our time - Hitler. Read his suicide not. If the ideas expressed in it ain't pathetic and childish, I don't know what is. Evil people tend to have enormous egos and pride, to a degree most adults would consider infantile. Just as we want to know what motivates the hero, we want to know what motivates the villain. If he's motivated by some warped sense of morals, he's deceiving himself. He's refusing to face realitity. He's rationalizing, justifying. He's doing wrong and on some deep level he knows it, but he refuses to admit it, even to himself. If you ever read about the gunmen and outlaws of the American West, you'll see a recuring theme of "everyone I killed was in self-defense" or "they all deserved it." Read prison interviews with serial killers. They rarely take responsibility for their actions. I think the source of most - if not all - human evil is self-deception, refusing to honestly look at things, refusing to take responsibility, and someone who does that, regardless of how they dress themselves up, is petty and childish, and a writer developing a villain will ultimately end up at that point. I tend to agree with the criticisms about Anakin's/Vader's character development in the Star Wars prequels. I have a lot of criticisms for those movies in general, but the theme I think Lucas was going for - that underneath all of Vader's black armor and that sinister exterior lurked a truly pathetic individual - I'm totally on board with. I think it's the flip side of developing the hero in such a way was to show his flaws, weaknesses, doubts, etc. I think perfect villains are as boring as perfect heroes. I like to see heroes who, underneath their strong confidant appearances, have doubts and fears and insecurities (as long as they aren't too numerous, else the hero also becomes pathetic) and occasionally makes the wrong choice or takes the wrong course of action. The flip side is villains who, underneath their arrogant, sinister, invincible appearances are really pathetic, weak, frightened people.
    Jess A likes this.
  2. Misusscarlet

    Misusscarlet Minstrel

    Worst evil doer ever. Grendel. Worst period. Though he was also misunderstood in a lot of ways. But he was still a terrible evil creature.
  3. Galbatorix for me. I just don't like the he's bad because he's nuts nonsense. Not a compelling reason for me to fear him or really even dislike him. Quite the fail if you be asking me.
  4. I had to reach for a minute to remember who Galbatorix was. I'll have to agree. He's sort of randomly insanely evil, without having the epic supernatural demigodness of someone like Sauron.

    Still, I'm interested to see how Inheritance ends... if it ever does. PAOLINI, Y U NO WRITE FASTER?
  5. KingArthur

    KingArthur Dreamer

    I agree with Aegle the emperor was not even effective as a bad guy. Point's only go to those that get something done.
  6. KingArthur

    KingArthur Dreamer

    And Scar from the lion king you get no points for terrorizing a child.
  7. Centerfield97

    Centerfield97 Troubadour

    Didn't even think of Theon, he died pretty much after only a few PoV chapters lol
  8. Elder the Dwarf

    Elder the Dwarf Maester

    I thought my brother and I were the only people in the world that knew about Men in Tights. Hilarious movie.

    And King Arthur how dare you diss Lion King? Scar was very convincing and frightening to my five year old self. I agree with the Galbatorix comments, but I'm wondering what some of you guys would give as a background for a villain. Most criminals I can think of come from a rough childhood: abusive parents, forced to commit crimes, etc. I don't see why this shouldn't translate to villains in a novel.
  9. What makes you think Theon's dead? :)
  10. Klee Shay

    Klee Shay Troubadour

    Lord Foul from the Thomas Covenant books. Too cliché for me. Strange I should say that.
  11. I have to complain about the prequel Star Wars villains as well. I liked the originals, like Moff Tarkin and Jabba the Hutt, but the characters who were bad guys simply because they were evil through and through? Doesn't do it for me. Apart from Dooku, because I'm a big Chris Lee fan. At the risk of an argument I have a lot of complaints regarding the prequels, but we've all been there before so I'll shut up now.
  12. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    Peter the Puppy's Most Wanted...

    Psy-Crow from Earthworm Jim--Wait, this is the list for greatest villains of all time, right?
    WyrdMystic likes this.
  13. Says you. :p

    Count Dooku was delightfully arrogant and occasionally hilarious. ("Oh no! This is not my fault! They've gone too far! This is madness!")

    It's really too bad they turned him into "Darth Vader without the helmet" in the Clone Wars cartoons. They had exactly one Sith Lord who actually seemed to have a sense of humour and they totally dropped the ball.

    Oh, and General Grievous is one of my all time favourite villains. Ever. Period.

    I will never understand why people object to that so much.

    I thought it was totally in character, and a nice echo to Luke's "Nooooo!" in TESB as well.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  14. urcool91

    urcool91 Acolyte

    But OMG wasn't Darth Maul awesome? I wish he hadn't died :frown2:.
  15. charleshudgen

    charleshudgen Dreamer

    The worst villain character for me, I would say Black heart from Ghost Rider. Also, I'm not saying this one is the worst, just want to add variation. I'm not pleased with how they did Two Face in The Dark Knight. The first half was great and the changes with how they made him Two Face worked, but he's a villain who deserves more than being an after thought in the Joker movie. And then killing him at the end in that way was lame.
  16. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

    I have mixed feelings on this. Scar was not the villian to me, you see. Mufasa was. Mufasa wanted all of the meat to himself, so he drove the poor hyenas away to eat rotten elephant jerky. Scar was only a bad ruler due to his stubbornness and the drought, he had fought so long for the Pridelands that he had no intentions on leaving.
  17. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

    I suppose it's cheating to name awful villains from awful books. (Succiu in Chronicles of Blood and Stone is painfully one-dimensional, but she's arguably better-written than most of the rest of the cast.) So, bad villains from books that are actually decent . . .

    Javanne in The Dying Earth. We never learn anything about who she really is or why she allied with the demons, and she never has a stronger motivation than arbitrary sadism. She could have been used as an example of the banality of evil, but instead, she's just banal. (Compare Liane, who's almost likeable despite being a thug and a murderer, and Mazirian, who's so awful he becomes compelling.)
  18. WyrdMystic

    WyrdMystic Inkling

    Voltan(?) Hawk the Slayer. So bad cant remember if that's the right name. Whiney, cliched, pitiful. My brother got the girl....boohoo. she scarred me....boohoo. I killed her....boohoo.
  19. i feel the same way. i was hoping he'd be the villain for the next installment, The Dark Knight Rises, but nooooooo, they had to kill him!
  20. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Joffrey is worse. At least Theon wants something, and he grabs it for a moment. He's stupid, but he's at least a player in the Game of Thrones, one of the first to lose. Joffrey, on the other hand, is a spoiled idiot who likes to terrorize everyone, who thinks he's playing the game but is only just the wildcard disaster deck you draw a card from when you roll snake eyes. He's a total failure as a villain.

    Err . . . . it's pretty typical for the mentally ill to have above-average intelligence. A lot of mental illnesses are about causing drama, hating your friends, obsessing over specific ideas, or thinking only about yourself. Psychologists sometimes analyze famous characters like Darth Vader or Tony Soprano, and they often fit pretty comfortably into some cluster of the commonly defined personality disorders.

    So, I would say mental illnesses are a great place to look for creating villain characters.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012

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