Friday, March 16, 2018

Confessions Of A Villain-Lover: Why Villains Are The Best

They cringe. They stare. They judge. “Are you sure?” they ask. Yes, I’m sure. I love that character the best. I am a villain-lover. And because I am sure I’m not the only one who has been called to the defense of these fantastic (if not exactly ‘good’) characters, here are a few reasons villains are the best

1. It’s about the POV

Often, the villain is the hero of the story in his or her own point of view. We only see them in an antagonistic light because we are viewing the story from the hero’s point of view. Take Erik Lehnsherr (AKA: Magneto) for example; he is motivated by his desire to protect mutant kind from the horrors non-mutant humans have unleashed on them. In his point of view, he is the hero.
Erik sees himself as a hero
2. Relatability is key

It’s more interesting to watch a character struggle with right and wrong rather than to watch a character who easily chooses right. We want to see characters that we – flawed, mixed-moraled human beings – can relate to. For example, watching Regina (AKA: the Evil Queen) struggle with her desires for vengeance and power on Once Upon a Time is far more entertaining than watching Charming save the day.

Regina is relatable

3. They have vision

(..and ambition and brains)

Villains are often working to bring about change, whether on a global or a local scale. They have a vision. Whereas the hero (generally speaking) is only working to prevent this vision from becoming reality. The hero is against change and has no vision of his or her own. For example, in the Avengers film, Loki envisioned a better world for the mortals of Earth under his rule, while Thor was only concerned with making sure that world never existed.

Loki has a vision
4. They are having fun

The villain revels in being who they are. They are free from the restraints of the law and social acceptability. They are enjoying life. And dang it, that is fun to watch. Look at the Joker, for example – he seems to enjoy life more than the perpetually scowling Batman does.

The Joker is having fun
All that being said, loving the villains does not mean we necessarily condone their actions. We simply love their relatable, ambitious, fun selves. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Are you a fellow villain-lover? Who is your favorite villain?


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