October 4: All About The Villains -- I don't think we've done a villains topic since back in November 2010 so let's revisit: top ten favorite/most compelling villains in books, top ten of the most vile villains/bad guys in books, top ten villains I secretly (or not so secretly) love, favorite tv villains, favorite comic book villains, ten "villains" of contemporary lit.
So this is kind of going to be a hodge-podge of the above offered ideas. There are plenty of villains from history I can discuss, but there are definitely some book/tv villains I love/hate who will be on the list as well. So, here we go, my complete mess of a list. You're welcome.
1. The Overlook Hotel - The Shining
Yes, a building can be a villain. If you do not understand how, then clearly you have not read one of the greatest books of all time. Stop reading my blog and go read The Shining right now, I'll forgive you.
2. Angelus - Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel the Series
I mean, come on. Okay, so David Boreanaz is super hot and looked REALLY good in leather pants. So, there's that. We did not really get a major glimpse into just how evil he was, at least not on Buffy. I think Joss did the right thing with that though, because BtVS was definitely lighter when compared with Angel the Series. Angelus was a really bad vampire. He easily could have become another Master had the gypsies not gotten ahold of him. There is STILL an on-going debate among fans as to whether or not he loved Buffy just as Angel did. I am of the opinion that he was not in love with her, so much as obsessed with her. And Joss was way too smart to ever imply that he was in love with her, because that would be kind of the ultimate good girl/bad boy/emotionally and physically abusive relationship. And ain't nobody got time for that shit.
3. Richard III - King of England; last Plantagenet ruler
Let me tell you who I am tired of: these ridiculous Ricardians, that's who. Philippa Langley is one of the most obnoxious of these supporters of the last king to fall in battle, and is so beyond anything that can be taken seriously. Look, it is more likely than not that he ordered the boys, his nephews, to be killed. It's terrible. The killing of children is something that is not easy to accept in any century, nor should it be. However, one has to frame this episode in the time it occurred. This period was a brutal and merciless time. Kings consolidated power constantly to keep themselves on the throne and got rid of any threats necessary, even young ones. It does not make it right, and it still makes him a villain, and these apologists had better just accept that fact that it is likely he had them murdered to get/keep the throne for himself. End of story.
4. King John - Eleanor of Aquitaine's wayward son
How unfortunate he is the last of Eleanor's children to be king. If only Richard could have outlived his horrible younger brother. I mean, okay, so Richard did not care one iota about England and preferred being on Crusade or in Aquitaine, but still. John is easily the worst king in the history of England. And that's saying something, because Richard II and Edward II also had some issues.
5. Arthur Mitchell - the Trinity Killer, Dexter
Yeesh. I don't know what else to say besides that. Easily the most formidable opponent Dexter ever faced. And he killed Rita. Bastard. Jon Lithgow was phenomenal though.
6. William the Bastard - Or Conqueror, if that's your thing; first Norman king of England
Ugh. I have such a love/hate relationship with William. And the love part is not even for him, because he really was a horrible person, but love for the high-spirited and formidable woman who would marry into his family within a few generations: Eleanor of Aquitaine. First of all, I adore the Anglo-Saxons. Alfred the Great and his grandson Athelstan are among my most favorites. When Edward the Confessor died, the Witan ultimately chose Harold Goodwinson as king. William flew into a rage because he believed Harold had vowed to support HIM in his claim to the throne of England. This has been a matter of much speculation for nearly 1000 years. Either way, William invaded, Harold was killed at the Battle of Hastings (the 950th anniversary of this battle is coming up in about two weeks!), and William had himself crowned. His son Henry I became king, and when Henry's son Henry was killed when the White Ship sank, he made his barons swear an oath to his daughter Matilda. Of course, as soon as Henry I died, everyone supported Stephen, Matilda's cousin, instead. A nasty civil war erupted and dragged on for years, further decimating a country who had seen a large-scale invasion already. Finally Stephen agreed that Matilda's son Henry would be his heir. He would become Henry II, Henry Plantagenet, marry Eleanor of Aquitaine, and become father to Richard the Lion Heart and John Lackland. But William is still a villain to me, because I have also had a soft spot for those Anglo-Saxons, whose reign he brought to an abrupt and violent end.
7. The Real Ali Delaurentis and her Ali Cats (or whatever they were called) - Pretty Little Liars
Okay, I admit I binged on this series when falling behind on my Goodreads challenge. I liked the first book well enough that I checked out the remaining 15 because I thought it was a great idea. Turns out it was a TERRIBLE idea because the books were clearly meant to end at book 4, then at book 8, then at book 12, and finally the series was put out of its misery at book 16. Seriously, I was cool with the first four books. Then when the plot got ridiculous, I meandered my way through anyway and ended up thinking, okay, even book 8 is plausible. The series should have ended there at the very maximum. But when you have a popular tv show as a companion, it is easy to keep writing garbage to get that money. I did not think Ali was a great villain, so much as by the end I really truly wanted her to off these dumb girls and put us all out of our misery.
8. The bored girls in Salem Village, circa 1690s
These girls really just piss me off. And some of them were not little girls, but older teens who apparently also needed attention. So many innocent lives were lost because of their shenanigans and it is infuriating. For a society that was not typically interested in what women had to say, they sure listened up when these little girls started shouting about spirits and the devil. Ugh.
9. Gavrilo Princip - assassin who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand
It is hard for me to call him a villain, but that is how he has largely been looked at throughout the century since he assassinated Ferdinand and Sophie. I mean, yes, he is a murderer. But it was easier to see the purpose behind his actions after reading 'The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin who Brought the World to War' by Tim Butcher. He became a real person then, as so many history books do not even name him, but simply refer to him as the assassin who lit the fuse that exploded into World War I. He is someone worth reading about.
So, there you have it. Who are your top villains, real or otherwise?