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Who is your favorite literary villian?

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posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 10:44 PM
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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 care.

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 intelligent.

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:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

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)




posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 10:51 PM
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The Lorax. Definitely.




posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 10:54 PM
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a reply to: EternalShadow

Ha. Good choice!

Care to elaborate?

Edit: I did just realize that my pick had no nuance to him whatsoever-- straight evil, a rather flat character. I'd say that the antagonsts are more interesting when they're a bit more sympathetic. Judge Holden was the stuff of nightmares but no redeeming qualities at all.
edit on 26-9-2016 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 11:15 PM
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Dr. Frankensteins monster. Intelligence and strength. Plus he's ugly as sin.



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 11:18 PM
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a reply to: MiloTheMarauder

I'm a bit embarrased to say I've yet to read Frankenstein! Thanks for the reminder.



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 11:21 PM
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Lord Foul . Managed to urn everything the hero did to right evil against him .
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant , the Unbeliever
Warning - series is full of dark times.



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 11:28 PM
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a reply to: Gothmog

Interesting.. thanks for the recommendation (and the warning!)

Just looked it up on goodreads and I can see character you mention had quite an impact on the reviewers.




posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 11:29 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

One of my favorites next to Dracula and House of Leaves.



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 11:32 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Svidrigailov, the predatory paedophile in Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky uses him to show us what real evil is like — the contrast between the murderer, Raskolnikov, who is actually weak and foolish man driven by circumstances, and Svidrigailov, who does evil by choice, is brilliantly made. He also demonstrates the ultimate futility of evil, its destructive pointlessness.

Interesting that his last words are ‘I am going to America’.


edit on 25/9/16 by Astyanax because: of a pronoun.



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 11:36 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

One of my all-time favorite books.




posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:01 AM
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Leland Gaunt from Needful Things.

Smooth, urbane, and evil.



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:10 AM
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Who is your favorite literary villain?


The Geteit Chemosit from M. John Harrison's Viriconium novels.




posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:28 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

Buzz Windrip from the book It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. For those of you that don't know the book, its about America falling under a Nazi like dictatorship where Buzz Windrip, the American Dictator ended up ruling the US with an iron fist at the expense of people's freedoms.



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 12:57 AM
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a reply to: zosimov


One of my all-time favorite books.

As we see from your screen name.

But your question was who our favourite villains were, and Svidrigailov is nobody’s favourite. He is just too evil, and unlike a few other villains mentioned in this thread, too true to life to be likeable.

My favourite literary villain is Harry Flashman, the bully of Tom Brown’s Schooldays. Not so much for his performance in that muscularly Christian Victorian bestseller, but for his later incarnation as the horny, pusillanimous, flatulent anti-hero of a series of brilliant novels by George MacDonald Fraser in which Flashman, now in the British Army, lies, bluffs, scarpers and fornicates his way across the Victorian world, managing to be present at, inter alia, the retreat from Kabul, the charge of the Light Brigade, the siege of Khartoum, the Indian Mutiny, the battles of Harper’s Ferry and Little Bighorn, the destruction of the Summer Palace in Beijing, the Anglo-Zulu War and just about every other significant military incident of his era and meeting such contemporary notables as Abraham Lincoln, Otto von Bismark, John Brown, Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria (several times; she had a soft spot for him). He also sleeps with — inter very much alia — Lola Montez, Lily Langtry, the Dowager Empress Cixi of China and the bloodthirsty Queen Ranavalona I of Madagascar. He ends his career as Sir Harry Flashman, VC, KCB, KCIE and hero of the British tabloid press.

If you haven’t read them, Fraser’s books are action-packed, hilarious, saucy in a pre-feminist sort of way and meticulously, meticulously researched. I recommend them to any lover of a damned good read.



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 08:44 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

Good point, I thought about that after posting last night. It's the word "favorite" that threw me off; the Judge could be the favorite of none- Satan perhaps.

The book series you mentioned sounds fascinating! Your description was excellent-- brought to mind Gravity's Rainbow (perhaps it was its scope and absurdity that reminded me). Thanks for the recommendation! I will definitely look into it.

I suppose my favorite villian right now is Ahab. He still has enough humanity left to garner sympathy from the reader, and who couldn't admire his courage and tenacity?

Thanks for the great contributions!
edit on 26-9-2016 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 09:09 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

I think I would have to go with Randall Flagg (aka R.F., Walter O' Dim, etc) from the Stephen King universe (all of his novels take place in a world where he exists in some form). He has soooo many elements that make him the perfect villain.

For one, he's timeless (possibly immortal or outside of time) and is able to sometimes play the anti-hero. Depending on the persona he is operating under, his power varies, as does his personality. The most consistent trait about him is his servitude towards the Crimson King, even though his specific relationship with him may wax and wane.

But yeah... immortal sexy sorcerer with an unorthodox way of reading Tarot? Giddy up.



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 09:18 AM
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a reply to: Abysha

Good choice! You and another poster above got it right-- Steven King can write one heck of a villian!




posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 09:20 AM
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a reply to: Dan00

Oooh, creepy


Remends me a bit of Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater. Ever read it?

Thanks,



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 09:45 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

Moriarty



posted on Sep, 26 2016 @ 09:54 AM
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originally posted by: zosimov
Who is your favorite literary villian?


The God of the Old Testament. He's a mean bastard.



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