Friday, 10 January 2014

Friday Faves || Favourite Villains

So for this week's Friday Faves I'm going to talk about my favourite villains. Sometimes people like redeemable villains. Sometimes there's also something awesome about an unapologetic bad-guy. This list will probably have both.

And I have to say, this ended up being harder than I thought, initially.

So! Incidentally, also a Top 5

The Capitol (The Hunger Games)
One of the most sinister forces, but also frighteningly familiar. It's just terrifying how the Capitol and high society is so drawn to the glamour of the games and so quick to pointedly ignore what they're actually doing. They want love stories and Victors and treat people as things to be paraded around. They're completely oblivious to the suffering in other Districts, willing to overlook that their heroic figures are murderers and worst of all that they're murderers because they were forced to be.

It's ironic how this parallels the media that exists in "our world". Especially when you look at how the marketing is being done for the movie adaptations. The love story and love triangle features heavily in the ads. There are make-up campaigns inspired by Capitol/District fashions. And though the movies themselves do a good job of drawing narrative attention to President Snow, you still miss out on the greater evil here--the society that has been built around reality TV murders.

It's not too far-fetched, when you think about it. And that is the most frightening part of all of it, I think.

Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter)
I have a lot of complicating feeling about Harry Potter in general, which is definitely to be the subject of a later post, but Draco has had a place in my heart for a long time. I know he's more of a minor antagonist instead of a true "villain" but indulge me.

Okay, confession time: I stopped reading Harry Potter after I finished The Order of the Phoenix. I never made it on to books 6 and 7. I think someday I'll probably try to finish the series, I think I'd like to, but again, I have complicated feelings about the series. Which is not the point of this post.

Though, it sort of ties in, because some of my complicated feelings come from the treatment of Draco as a character. I really liked him as a foil for Harry, but continued to be disappointed at his lack of character development. He was a flat character who hadn't really grown since he was 11 and he had all kinds of potential (in my mind, for redemption, but just as easily for more complex evil) and I was disappointed that he didn't seem to be going in that direction.

I think--actually, I know--this is one of the reasons I relate so much to Cath in Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, because her love of Baz reminded me of my love for Draco. (And yeah, okay, I shipped Harry/Draco, sorry not sorry.) So while Draco isn't necessarily one of those villains on this list because he particularly frightening or evil or whatever, but because I've had a soft spot for his character for a long, long time.

The Gray Man (The Raven Cycle)
Oops, I kind of have a thing for villains that are completely unbothered by how terrible they are. And again, the Gray Man is probably more antagonist than villain, but I just came to adore him. It was totally unexpected.

It was probably because of his manner. He was just so unbothered by being a hit man and played it off so straight. It was charming. That and his observations while he was working. How breaking a lock is easy, but putting it back together, not so much. How he was careful not to disturb Gansey's model of Henrietta, even while being prepared to ransack the place. Be still my heart.

Doctor Impossible (Soon I Will Be Invincible)
Full disclosure, I have not read this book in a dog's age. Like 2010. But I remember Doctor Impossible's character voice being really fun to read. It was charming, funny and completely devious.

Queen Levana (The Lunar Chronicles)
This is more of the proper unconcerned tyrant of a villain. She doesn't care who she steps on or how in order to meet her ends. She's not interesting because she has some redeeming qualities or hidden depths, but precisely because she does not.

She's ruthless, terrifying, vengeful and a little bit mad. The fact that she can manipulate people in basically any way imaginable is a horrifying thought. I cannot wait to see her violence in action in the next two books of the series.

What do you think? Is your list different? Feel free to link your posts about your favourite villains in the comments! I can't wait to hear your opinions! And check out the list of Friday Faves to see what topics are coming up.