Friday, 9 December 2016

#Blogmas 2016 - Day 8 - The Jingle Bell Tag : favourite villains

The meme itself originates with Richard @ The Humpo Show. I've tweaked it though in that I am doing it over the course of 6 days instead of as one single post. Today is day 5.

The Categories

  • “All I Want For Christmas Is You…” | What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree?
  • “Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…” | What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most?
  • “It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” | Which book has most festive look to it?
  • Elf | What book unleashes your inner child?
  • The Grinch | Your favourite villain…
  • The Holiday | Name your favourite TWO couples…

The Grinch

Your favourite villain…

At first I thought this prompt was easy and then I realised that it's harder than it seems because there are several kinds of villains and therefore 2 ways to interpret the prompt. First you have the sympathetic or redeemable villains. These are the ones whose motives you understand who you can sort of forgive because even though they're doing totally the wrong things and making all the wrong choices you can see what led them to that. A lot of Potterheads feel like Severus Snape fits into this villainous archetype - my personal feelings about Snape are complicated so I haven't forgiven him but I see how he fits it.The second major type of villains are the totally and completely irredeemable ones. The ones who had absolutely no excuse, who you will never, ever understand or forgive. These are your Dolores Jane Umbridges. The last major type of villain that comes to mind is the completely off the wall, bat shit crazy villains who are just total and complete trainwrecks that you hate but also can't help but enjoy. The Joker is the classic and prime example of this type of villain. So after all that consideration I'm left with figuring out which way I want to interpret the prompt. Do I take it to mean my favourite in that I love them? Or do you assume that it means they are my favourite because they are so good at being bad? I've decided to just make it easy on myself pick 2 of each.

Villains I love

1. the Queen of Hearts of Alice in Wonderland

In any iteration of this character I can't not enjoy her. She runs the gamut of villain-y depending on the adaptation. In the original she is just an off the wall, what the heck is going on villain that definitely commands your attention. In Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars series she is just so very, very good at being bad. She can also become a totally redeemable villain when she's cast as the protagonist in an adaptation. When you see things through her eyes you understand how she came to be the character that she is and you can develop some sympathy for her.

2. Tyrion Lannister of A Song of Ice and Fire

Sometimes in a George R.R. Martin's novel it can be really hard to point to a character and definitively say they are a villain. The Lannisters are pretty much the exception to that they're all safely in the villain camp as far as the vast majority of the other characters are concerned. Within that villainous family though you've got Tyrion Lannister the youngest son of Lord Tywin, He's damn smart. He's hard to label as 100% villain because of all of House Lannister he is redeemable and sympathetic. He does bad things, but never anywhere near as bad as some of the things the rest of his family does, and he's always very good at explaining the reasons behind his choices of action. He's realistically probably closer to an anti-hero than he is either a straight hero or straight villain. In fact that's exactly what TV Tropes has him labelled as.

Villains I love to hate

And now you see once more how big of a Potterhead I am - both of these choices are Harry Potter characters.

1. Draco Malfoy

Draco is the stereotypical school bully character, he's really very good at filling that role. He is an awful, spoiled, snobby, racist, bratty child with no real redeeming qualities (until Tom Felton got cast as him and gave him a vulnerability in the films that is never glimpsed in the books) while a student at Hogwarts. He goes wholly and completely out of his way to make Harry, Hermione, and Ron's lives harder. But really that's why he loves him. Because he brings Harry's trials down to a relatable more human level. Think about it, how many of us can sympathise with Harry dealing with Death Eaters and Voldemort constantly trying to kill him? Not many if any of us because that's not the type of experience one generally gets to live. But I bet most of us (I know I have) have experienced the type of villainous bully that is Draco Malfoy. And for that reason I love to hate him. Tom Felton's portrayl however transforms him into a much more sympathetic villain who we all feel is redeemable and I know J.K. Rowling has said she feels the same about that which is why I suspect that book!Draco in the Deathly Hallows epilogue and in Cursed Child has become a redeemed much more sympathetic character as a grown-up than he ever was as a child.

2. Severus Snape

I did mention Snape at the top of this post so I thought choosing to talk about the complicated feelings I have about Snape was a good idea. I am not a Snape fangirl. I respect the character for the flawed, imperfect being that he is. But he is a horrible person and definitely not someone I like even though I enjoy reading him. I do get that he has gone through a lot and that there's a lot of pain and strife in his back story. However I cannot forgive him for the abuse he was allowed to dole out to innocent school children. He is not a man that should have ever been put in charge of children in the first place let along left in charge of them for so long. I recognise that Alan Rickman (may he rest in peace) is mainly responsible for what I love about Snape, but I think even more than that is the way Angie plays him when we roleplay. She has played Snape ever since I met her and she just plays him so well. She writes Snape the same way that Tom Felton plays Draco, in such a way that I can't not love him and can't not at least sort of forgive him for his behaviour.


  1. Why thank you for your kind comments about my roleplaying abilities, I'm glad I gave Snape a more redeeming side for you to love. However I too feel like his background is not enough to justify his behaviour towards students. One can kind of see his animosity towards Harry given James' behaviour towards Snape but what the hell did Neville Longbottom do to deserve that level of pure vindictive bullying by Snape? That's when I lose my sympathy for him

    1. Of course! I've always admired your abilities at roleplaying sweetie. I thought we had similar thoughts about Snape, especially regarding his treatment of non-Harry kids.