I wanted to talk about true villains again. Yet, I noticed I did it once . . . twice . . . kind of a third . . . and I’m sure those aren’t the only ones. I seem to remember a few more times because the concept of a true villain continues to gain my attention. Why is that?
- More often, you see villains who have some noble traits. It may be distorted or twisted, but they have a sense of honor or something that one can respect. In other times, they are villains who think they are heroes. This time I’m talking about villains who know they are and enjoy the evil.
- Considering that someone can be fully and proudly evil causes one to look into his or her own psyche. How can one turn into what others would call a monster? Is it possible for anyone to fall into that abyss? What would it take for me to transform into such a thing? This level of curiosity might be unique to me.
- There is a big obsession with villains turning into heroes later on in a story. This means they are either not fully evil at the start, influenced by another, or will be met with a bizarre level of forgiveness. Don’t get me wrong. I like to see characters earn redemption as long as it is worked for, but then you get the sense that the villain wasn’t full evil.
- Nearly every time I talk about villains, people bring up those that either get redeemed or demonstrate a noble side. For every Azula mentioned, I seem to receive around 5 Prince Zukos. That would be one utter psycho for every 5 villain-turned-hero types, which makes me wonder if the truly evil characters are rarer than I realize. Do authors simply not like creating that kind of character?
Those a really the big four reasons I keep wandering back to this topic. Don’t think I’ll ever get over it completely. To me, a villain is what drives action and evolution in a story more than the hero. You may have these calm side stories that involve romance and personal growth, but the villain is who keeps the main story going. Once they bow out, the hero loses almost all resistance to their own path. It’s a cornerstone to many types of fiction, which is why we may remember the villain before the hero.
So, does anyone else find themselves wondering about truly evil villains? I’m sure I’ve asked this before.