Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Villains Done Right

I admit The Vampire Diaries (TVD) is one of my favorite shows on television. Why? Because the writers know what they are doing.

Just one of the impressive things is watching the writers create three dimensional villains.  The villains are not just "after" the heroine/hero. There's a real purpose with relatable motivations. Damon was determined to be reunited with the person he thought was his true love.  Katherine sought to bargain for her freedom (while staying alive!) after being in hiding/on the run for 500 years. Klaus wanted to become the unstoppable hybrid and create his own bloodline (family) because he felt rejected and unloved by his own family. Though these characters are ruthless and do unthinkable things to accomplish their goals (and are all about retribution), the writers also ensure that the audience sees their vulnerability and understands their motivations. By doing so, the "villains" have become fan favorites. Fans want to see them happy, even though they have done horrible things and their actions often conflict with the best interests of the heroine/hero.

What book, television show, or movie do you think created a villain done right?

8 comments:

M.V.Freeman said...

I *LOVE* Vampire diaries--and you are correct--they know how to make three dimensional bad guys--so much so, I know want Klaus to have a happy ending...(Just like you mentioned!)

I have no other suggestions at this time...because well. I'm a bit obssessed by this one.. :)

Lexi said...

Great post, Kat! Three dimensional bad guys are tough to write and write well. I know I've said this before, but George R.R. Martin does villains very well, too. :-)

Cari Hislop said...

I've never watched the Vampire Diaries, but speaking of bad Vampires, I loved Spike in Buffy. He was my favorite character on the show. I also loved Scorpius in Farscape. He's an evil ruthless sociopath, but he has his reasons and he has an end goal (to utterly destroy his paternal species because they raped and killed his mother who he never knew). Deep down he just wants to fit in and be normal somewhere, but he'll never be normal. I would hazard a guess that without an all consuming crusade he would end up consumed by the fact he'll always be an outsider.

Meda White said...

I'm hearing a lot of talk about the villains on the Walking Dead. Merle and the Governor being the ones that come to mind. When you learn a little about their backgrounds and motivation, it's hard to hate them as much.

I'm also a fan of Klaus on TVD and I hope Caroline falls for him.

Ginny Lynn said...

Dammmmmmoan. Sorry. He just gets to me :-[

Louisa Cornell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louisa Cornell said...

Erik Northman in True Blood comes to mind. There is an art to creating a sympathetic villain and it gives a reader or viewer so much more angst!

Suzanne Johnson said...

I don't watch much TV so I haven't seen Vampire Diaries. I love villains who aren't so much villains as morally ambiguous characters who don't mind crossing lines to suit their purposes. One of my favorites is Trent Kalamack in Kim Harrison's Hollows series. I've gone over the course of 11 books from despising Trent to hoping he'll end up being Rachel's Happily Ever After...not that she can ever fully trust him...