How well do you know your literary villains? Take this quiz to see if you can guess the villain after hearing the plot from their side of the story!
Don’t get me wrong, there are a myriad of examples of fantastic villains that have been conjured up throughout the years, but let’s face it, for every Lady Macbeth or Captain Ahab, there is a King Galbatorix or a President Snow to match them. For every complex, multi-faceted antagonist, there is a bland, one-dimensional baddie who does wrong simple for its own sake.
We see it time and time again, and it’s not just exclusive to literature. Why did Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars want to take over the galaxy? Why did the xenomorph in Alien want to kill everyone on the Nostromo? Why does Pazuzu possess Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist? It’s because they’re the bad guys! Who cares what motivates them? As long as they’re faceless threats that the good guys can stop!
A few days ago, an article titled “Let Villains Be Villains” was published here on Bookstr, where the argument is made that an antagonist being “pure evil” does not necessarily mean they lack nuance or complexity, and I whole-heartedly agree. A good villain doesn’t need a redemption arc. A good villain doesn’t need to be conflicted. A good villain doesn’t even need to believe that they’re in the right. In my opinion, all a villain needs is one word: motivation.
You can have the most diabolical, mustache-twirling evildoer with no redeemable human qualities, and he will still work as a villain for your story as long as his motivation is inherently human. Pennywise in It only ate children to survive. Hans Gruber in Die Hard only held the Nakatomi Plaza hostage to make a profit. Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest only forced her control over the patients of the psychiatric hospital because of the sick pleasure she derived from dominating over men.
While all three of these characters are inhuman, what motivated them was, at its core, human, and therefore relatable. We all want to survive, we all want to make money, we all want to feel pleasure. Every good villain is motivated by the same thing we are, the only difference is that they are unchecked by moral conscience.
Featured image via entertaining evil
A hero is only as good as their villain. What happened to the days of maniacal laughter?
How do you feel about a childhood book series being totally changed in a movie adaptation? The new Artemis Fowl movie being released by Disney this year is changing its main character, 12 year-old Artemis, into a good guy, instead the villain he famously was in the book series.
image via my kids timer
“Artemis Fowl” had been compared to “Harry Potter” in the past, but this comparison didn’t sit well with the author of the series, Eoin Colfer. His response was that Artemis is an anti-Harry Potter figure, someone who robs and kidnaps and is largely unbothered by remorse.
In the first book, Artemis’s father, Artemis Fowl I, goes missing, and his mother goes mad with grief. Artemis and Butler, someone he relies on for protection, discover a portal to the fairy underworld, and Artemis kidnaps a fairy and holds her for ransom in order to fund his search for his father. The fairies fight against Artemis for doing this, and he has to fight back against their powers.
The trailer above opens with a dwarf named Mulch Diggums being investigated by a mysterious voice. The mysterious voice asks Mulch about the man he works for, to which Mulch replies, “This isn’t the father; it’s about the son,” grinning all the while. We then see Artemis Fowl I praising Artemis Fowl II for his growth in strength and intelligence surpassing his expectations.
When Artemis senior disappears, Artemis junior receives a phone call that his father stole something important from an unknown group, and that he should return it or face consequences. Butler then has no choice but to reveal Artemis senior’s underground lab to Artemis junior, stating that he has protected the world from secrets that could destroy Earth.
In the quest to find his father, Artemis partners with Mulch Diggums as well as a LEP elven reconnaissance officer named Holly Short. There are then scenes of action-packed fighting against an otherworldly army.
image via football 365
The problem with this movie, according to hardcore fans of the book, is that it’s a far departure from the “evil genius” character that is seen in the books. The above Nerdist article links some of people’s opinions on the upcoming movie (I featured two I liked).
As you can see, some people are just… not happy. Their reasoning isn’t far off, though. The fact that the new Artemis Fowl movie features Artemis as a hero rather than as a villain is probably an attempt from Disney to make the film more kid and family oriented. Nevertheless, the entire premise is changed, and when that happens the film just doesn’t honor the novel it’s adapting.
Of course, if this doesn’t deter you, you can go see the movie in theaters when it releases. It’s not a bad premise, but the hardcore fans will probably be passing on this one.
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Featured image via GameSpot
Billie Eilish’s “bad guy,” the smash hit from her new album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? recently overtook Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” as the number one song on Hot 100. In honor of Eilish’s success, we’ve made a list of the 9 baddest bad guys in literature.
9 – Captain hook
Image Via disneyclips.com
Who can forget this one-handed pirate who terrorized Peter Pan and the Lost Boys during all their adventures!?
8 – Grendel
Image Via J. R. Skelton’s Stories of Beowulf
You might recognize this Old English baddie from Beowulf, one of the oldest epic poems. Talk about a blast from the past.
7 – Iago
Image Via Pinterest
No, not the parrot from Aladdin. This one’s another oldie-but-goodie. Iago’s the main antagonist of Shakespeare’s Othello who plots to deceive and destroy the play’s title character.
6 – Sauron
Image Via LOTR.FANDOM.Com
This guy’s the actual factual lord of the rings. ‘Nuff said.
5 – Moriarty
Image via BBC.com
Described as “the Napoleon of Crime” by Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem, Moriarty’s one of the few people to ever give Holmes any real trouble (the other being, of course, Irene Adler in all her awesomeness).
4 – Hannibal Lecter
Image via Imdb
Made all the more terrifying by Anthony Hopkins’ performance in the adaptation, this serial killer and cannibal is the horrific focal point of Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs.
3 – Patrick Bateman
Image Via ImDB
Another villain made all the more famous by his theatrical adaptation, this psychotic murderer terrorizes the shallow, corporate world of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho.
2 – Lord voldemort
Image via imdb
One of the most bone-chilling villains of all time. I doubt many book-lovers have forgotten about the most evil wizard of all time!
1 – Pennywise
Image via Imdb
While the source material for this adaptation may have been quite a bit…stranger than the theatrical release showed, I think we can agree the 2017 film really captured what makes this creepy clown so downright terrifying.
Did we miss any of your favorite villains? Or are these really the baddest of them all?
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