Apr 24, 2016

Nefarious Tales #7 || The checklist for a perfect villain

Hi guys!

Today's the last day of Nefarious Tales! The week has just flown by! While we come to the end of the villain week, I want to thank all the bloggers who joined the tour and posted about their love for villains in their blogs along with me! Thanks for everyone who participated in the twitter chat! Special thanks to Jillian who designed the banner and Nova who gave the encouragement for me to execute this crazy idea when I first bounced off my ideas on her! THANK YOU EVERYONE! 

As I like to call myself a villain expert, and have read about quite a number of villains to pick a good one from a mediocre one, today I like to share my checklist for a perfect villain!


1. The villain's motive

The villain's reason's for all his actions is one of the major factors that make me like or dislike a villain. It's interesting to see that motive which drives them so far, and force them to make the choices they make. It's often described in a backstory, or something that's crystal clear from the start, or sometimes only revealed at the end. Whatever it is, I believe a stable reason is always important, unless an author is talented enough to pull off a character like Ledger's Joker, who has no reason but only the desire to cause chaos. These villains are tricky to master, so a reason is always a safe bet.

2. A villain should be unapologetic.

Sometimes I don't like legendary villains like Darth Vader, because of this reason. To me, a villain should accept the fact that he is indeed the villain. I hate those villains who whine throughout the story about how they were forced to do what they do and regret their deeds. To me a villain should know what he's doing is wrong, but still do it, voluntarily.

3. He has to be a reflection of the hero's darkest side.

This is something I realized after analysing villains for Lit. A perfect villain would be a reflection and a caricature of the darkest part of the hero. I think this is what makes the link between the hero and the villain powerful. This can be done in different ways.

  • The villain and hero start off at the same point, but chose different sides. I think a perfect example for this would be Voldemort and Harry Potter. Both Tom and Harry are orphans, have a lot of potential, teachers' pets and rebellious. But they chose two totally different paths, from their selection of houses to their ultimate destiny. What makes the books so powerfeul is that Harry could have easily been the next Voldemort, which makes the latter's power on the hero's conscience so intense.
  • The villain openly showcases the hidden dark qualities of the hero. Even heroes are human beings. They have their weaknesses. So when the villain is a person who has the same weakness or worst quality as a hero, but chooses to act on it, rather than to keep it hidden like the hero, it again makes their link powerful, because the villain will constantly remind the hero of his weaknesses and will cause self doubt and insecurities.
  •  The hero and the villain wants the same thing, but for different reasons, and their ways of achieving it would be different. This will show the sharp contrast between the two characters, and since the goal of both is the same, that climax where the goal is achieved by one party is made intense.

 4. If the villain has henchmen, their chemistry should be remarkable.

Whether it's a strict master-follower relationship as Voldemort and the death eaters, an adorable one like Gru and the minions, a hilarious one like Yzma and Kronk or my personal favourite between Victor, Sydney and Mitch, the dynamics between the villain and his henchmen/sidekick or companion has to be noteworthy. Together they should be one force, and their abilities and motives should work together. I am a huge fan of villain teams and squads - which makes me super excited for Suicide Squad - and most of the time, the relationship the villain has with his fellow villains and companions tells a lot about him - about his character, his soft spots and his weaknesses.

5. His fall from grace should be gradual

Most of the times, when we meet villains in books, they are powerful, mighty and undefeated up to that point. To put it this way, when we meet them, they are sitting in a high throne, planning to make the hero pay for his rebellion. So when such characters meet their end, if it is abrupt and sudden, it ends up being ridiculous. So when such a villain meets his final fate, the readers should know how he got to that point from that high place in his throne. That fall from grace should be gradual, detailed and slow. If possible, this fall in the villain's POV would be a glorious thing as well! A recent YA read, which I think did this well was C.J.Redwine's Shadow Queen! Queen Irina's fall from her power, the weakening of her magic and the deterioration of her conscience is perfectly portrayed in the story!

That's my personal checklist for a perfect villain! What do you think makes a good one! And how have you enjoyed the villain week overall???

Don't forget to check out the other posts of Day 7!

Meleika @ Endless Pages - Why everyone needs a villain in their life
Adriyanna @ Life Writings of a Reader - Backstories of Disney villains
Ava @ Bookishness and Tea - Favourite villains and why I love them

And make sure to enter the INTL giveaway!!!

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