Welcome to the YA Indie Carnival,
ladies & gents!
This week’s topic is…
The Villainous Villainy of… um… Villains
Evil laughter. Excessive mustache twirling. The dreaded monologuing. World or galactic domination. Damsels tied to railroad tracks. Lust. Greed. Power.
We all love to hate the villain. But what makes a bad guy so… GOOD?
Maybe it says something disturbing about me, but a well-written villain can often become my favorite character in a story — their role often determining the quality of a plot. Stories are propelled by conflict, because, as we all know, without the conflict there would be no story. There needs to be something that brings the hero/heroine to his/her knees, to test their character, to put the things and people they love in danger; something that they must overcome, to fight against, to conquer. The villain provides this necessary upheaval in the plot to keep things interesting, and as such they have the opportunity to be the single most intriguing character in the entire story… if done right.
One of my all time favorite villains is this guy right here:
Blog, meet Scorpius. Creepy, right?
Scorpy is the main baddie from the sci-fi show Farscape, his over-arcing aim being to gain the wormhole technology that’s locked inside our lovable hero’s — John Crichton’s — head. Simple enough goal, right? You’d think so wouldn’t you? <snort> So what makes him my favorite villain?
Scorpius is complicated, he’s devious, he’s intelligent. The writers spent time developing him; giving him a complex and heartbreaking back story of a mistreated, half-breed child who was considered weak in a society that tolerated no weakness, never truly belonging to either race, and handled with scorn and contempt due to circumstances over which he had no control. It provides the viewer with a context through which we can view his current actions. Though I, of course, don’t want to see Scorpius prevail over the good guys and though his nefarious deeds can be unforgivable, I feel pity and compassion for the lonely, oppressed child he once was and for the vengeful, consumed person he’s become. In the present, he relentlessly pursues Crichton, doing whatever he can to foul up his plans, manipulatively using whatever leverage he has to try and convince Crichton to give up the one thing Scorpius desires above all else — the technology that will allow him his revenge. Through the course of the story Scorpius also develops a complex and strange symbiotic relationship with Crichton that provides another layer of depth to his character, and creates yet more conflicted feelings in the viewer.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this:
Do I like Scorpius?
No. Not really. He’s a bad dude. We won’t be hanging out any time soon. Plus, he dresses like an escapee from some twisted S&M video.
Do I respect him?
Absolutely. Despite his questionable fashion choices, he’s proved time and time again throughout the story that he’s a manipulative and formidable enemy, and one that relentlessly tries to worm his way into my sympathies. It’s because of these incredibly polarized feelings that his character is able to generate that he has become my favorite villain.
Now, seriously, go Netflix Farscape. You won’t be sorry.
So….villains? What’s your take on them?
P.S. – None of these Farscape images belong to me. They belong to whoever currently owns the rights to the show.
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