I taught ESL for several years and one day we were talking about the protagonist and antagonist of a particular story. When I asked about the
qualities of good characters, etc, and I will never forget one of my students Mohammed said to me with eyes gleaming
"But teacher the bad guy is always more interesting."
I had to agree.
ATS, who is your all-time favorite villian?
I would have to go hands down with Judge Holden of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian.
What made him such a terrifying man?
He was a giant of a man- near 7 feet, completely hairless, albino. His face was described as serene, childlike. He had small eyes and small hands.
He seemed to have the ability to be in several different places at once. Stories of him circulated but no one knew of his origin. He knew several
languages, was a skilled musician, a graceful dancer. He had an unnatural affection for children, and some who were last seen in his presence were
never found alive again. He kept a book in which he would sketch artifacts he found, and once done with his record would destroy each object with
When asked why he did this, his answer was:
"to expunge them from the memory of man."
No-one ever saw him sleep. He led a party of murdering mercenarites through the wild west and ransacked villages leaving everything in ruin. He was
a nihilist entirely without scruples and spared none. He once bought five puppies from a small Mexican boy and promptly threw them in the river. At
one point in the novel, he acquired a half-witted boy who he kept in a cage and led around on a leash made of leather. He was prenaturally
His view on war:
"Suppose two men at cards with nothing to wager save their life. Who has not heard such a tale? A turn of the card. The whole universe for such a
player has labored clanking to this moment which will tell if he is to die at that man's hand or that man at his. What more certain validation of a
man's worth could there be? This enhancement of the game to its ultimate state admits no argument concerning the notion of fate. The selection of
one man over another is a preference absolute and irrevocable and it is a dull man indeed who could reckon so profound a decision without agency or
significance either one. In such games as have for their stake the annihilation of the defeated the decisions are quite clear. This man holding this
particular arrangement of cards in his hand is thereby removed from existence. This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the
authority and the justification. Seen so, war is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one's will and the will of another within that
larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of
existence. War is God."
A moral relativist: "Moral law is an invention of mankind for the disenfranchisement of the powerful in favor of the weak."
Ready for the scariest thing about the Judge? His character was based on a real life figure! I wrote a thread about it a little while ago but gave
it a stupid title so chances are you never saw it. Read more here:
So how about you, my dear readers? Which literary character gave you real life nightmares?
edit on 25-9-2016 by zosimov because: paragraph breaks (sorry bout that)