I have to confess that it’s not uncommon for me to like a villain more than a hero.
And honestly, I don’t think I’m alone here. Sometimes, the villain is intended to be likeable — you know, the charming sociopath type which we’ve seen many times — but more often than not, villains are intended to be dislikable. Think of your favourite novel. Now think of the villain and the hero. Which do you like better — and why?
It’s all a matter of characterization.
Heroes are the good ones. The ones that do the right thing. The ones which you’re supposed to be rooting for. They try to be novel and brave and do all the right things all the time. And the heroes, usually, are the ones that come out on top. Does that mean I have to like them? Nope. I usually don’t. Heroes are the ones who always seem to be striving for perfection… and, often, to some degree, find it. But I find them BORING. Good heroes to me don’t have to be “likeable” in every sense of the word, and they certainty don’t have to be perfect. But they do have to be REAL. That’s not to say I don’t have my favourite heroes. I love Frodo and Samwise and Jon Snow. I love Hermione and Harry and Gandalf. There are literally hundreds of heroes I like out there, but I also have my fair share of favourite villains, too. Let’s list them.
- Voldemort (why yes, I did like him. A terrible person he may’ve been, but INTERESTING.)
- Severus Snape (probably not a “villain”, but you go through most of the books thinking so.)
- Ben Linus (from Lost, I always found this guy interesting. He could be an awful person… but he DID care. Take his daughter for example.)
- Jaime Lannister (HEY, give me a chance here. He has FANTASTIC character development. Abhorred him at the beginning of the A Game of Thrones series… but he changes and he grows and I actually really like him. (Maybe not so much in the show. They changed a few things I didn’t like.))
- Moriarty (BBC version, guys — admit it. You liked him too.)
- Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston in Thor — actually this guy reminded me a bit of Moriarty; charming, but with a crapload of faults to come with.)
- Tyrion Lannister (not sure I’d reeaallllly consider this guy a “villain”; he’s done some bad things, but does that make him a bad person? I don’t know. Seriously though. Go find me one person who’s read the books/watched the show and doesn’t like this guy.)
Then there are the villains you love to hate. They’re always fun.
*cough* Joffrey Baratheon *cough*