Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Perfect Villain

Yes, we're supposed to root for the "home team," or in this situation, the protagonist, but sometimes you can't help but root for the villain. Heath Ledger's Joker is a great example. I am a huge Batman geek, but Heath Ledger was so perfect as the Joker, that in certain scenes I was rooting for him. He's a likable villain.

So, do you write a villain that's relatable and can be understood, or do you write a villain with a sadistic mind that you find yourself wanting to murder? 

It all depends on the story. In some books, you need your readers to hate the villain. You want the reader to rip their heads off, feel the pain of your protagonist. But sometimes, your story needs a villain (still evil) with a sense of humor to lighten things up. 

What's your perfect villain? Is he funny or mean, tall or short, fat or skinny, does he have a scar, is he a master of Krav-Maga? Details on the villain can make or break him. 


  1. OOOOh I think my favorite thing about writing is the villain. I have many current WIP's and all of them have completely different villains! I know one of my favorite villains in movies is Loki from Thor/Avengers. I love that he believes in himself. He has an ego for sure but I love just how confident he has become that he will win.

    And I agree with you on the Joker. LOVE HIM! Anyway, I love writing villains who have a sense of humor and I love writing about villains who are just pure evil who never even crack a smile, unless it's one of creepy MUAHAHAH smiles. :)

    And it's really cool that you posted this. I just started a monthly meme called 'I <3 the villain' and I spotlight one villain a month and talk about why I love them! (My first one was this month and I started with Loki).

    Konstanz Silverbow

  2. I'm not a big fan of Loki, but that's only because I'm not a big fan of Thor--they're the superman and superevil's of the Marvel Universe, and have almost no weakness.

    My favorite villains are Joker and all of Batman's (I'm biased!), Red Skull, Green Goblin (and most of Spider-Man's--Doc Oc, Chameleon, Venom), Magneto, etc.

    I'll check out your blog, sounds very interesting!

  3. I think the best villains are those you can end up liking in some way. Maybe it's simply pity, because you know their background and what made them the way they are, but the most complex villains are those you end up rooting for. Not exactly a villain, but "Dexter" is one of our favorite television shows. When you can write a serial killer that becomes the hero for whom you CHEER, then you've really accomplished something! Great post, Spencer.

  4. Thanks Rob! I know what you mean. When I saw the Dark Knight Rises, I was rooting for Bane on some of the parts. You can't help but being drawn to certain villains.