Thursday, July 26, 2007

Best Moustache-Twirling





Who’s the worst fictional villain you can think of? As in, the one you hate the most, find the most evil, are happiest to see defeated? Not the cardboard, two-dimensional variety, but the most deliciously-written, most entertaining, best villain? Not necessarily the most “evil,” so much as the best-conceived on the part of the author…oh, you know what I mean!


Now this is really a fun question! I mean, what's a good book without a good villain?? In the literary world, they come in all shapes and sizes. And I'm sure many are going to choose Lord Voldemort, since it's been a Harry Potter couple of weeks. But if I had to to choose just one, I'd have to say Randall Flagg from The Stand by Stephen King. He was truly evil! Trying to take on a such a sweet spirit like Mother Abigail?? What was he thinking?? Stephen King KNOWS how to write a villain, too. Flagg is evil incarnate. And he was not just out and out bad. He was a master of using a person's weaknesses against them. Very psychological he was.


Classically, there a quite a few villains that I could throw in the mix. Inspector Javert in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. Of course, with Javert all is kind of grey. Is it fair to label a man a villain when he was trying to do his job? Then again, it is fair to label a man as a convict for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family? But my love for Valjean made me hate Javert....ALOT! So he gets the label of villain from me.


What about Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier? She spent so much time trying to undermine the second Mrs. de Winter, I was constantly rooting against her. The second Mrs. de Winter was so insecure, it made all of Mrs. Danvers actions seem even worse. But she was just plain mean!!


What about Iago in Othello by William Shakespeare? I mean, he was supposed to be Othello's friend?? What could be worse than a villain posing as a friend? He actually made Othello believe that Desdemona was unfaithful, ruined his reputation and caused him to commit suicide. Pretty sick stuff!!


Finally, just for fun, see who your movie villain inner-self is:





21 comments:

teabird said...

Mrs. Danvers! Good choice.

Trish said...

Ohh, Oren, huh? I love those movies! I decided to pass up Grindhouse, though. It looked a little too gratuitious (even for Tarantino).

Stephanie said...

Thanks Tea! I was trying to come up with a female villain!

Trish - I LOVE Tarantino!! I guess if I have to be a villain, O-ren is a fun one! Grindhouse was just good plain fun! A little on the bloody side, but fun all the same!!

Debi said...

Oh, I'm so glad I wasn't the only one to think of Randall Flagg. I'm with you, he is "evil incarnate".

cj said...

Mrs Danvers! What an excellent choice! That whole coustome ball scene is chilling.

cjh

Stephanie said...

Debi - Any time there is a question about good vs. evil, or villains vs. heros...I always come back to The Stand! Such a great book!

CJ - I know! Setting up the Second Mrs. de Winter with the SAME costume! Brilliantly EVIL!

Chris said...

Mrs Danvers, for sure! I'll have to check what villian I am.

Stephen said...

I'd forgotten about Iago - in fact Shakespeare opens up a whole catalogue of villains!

Cee Cee said...

Great blog! Love your cartoon villain. I'm going to have to try the movie villain.

Stephanie said...

Chris - Mrs. Davers was the meanest!! Hated that woman!

Stephen - You are so right. Shakespeare had some of the best villains around. Othello is just my personal favorite!

Cee Cee - Thanks! When I think of moustach-twisting villains, Snidely Whiplash just popped into my mind!

John Mutford said...

Hey I just commented over on another blog that Iago was one of my favourite villains. I loved that his motives seemed so sparse- it was almost like he was evil just for the fun of being evil.

Barbara H. said...

It's been years since I watched Othello, but I somewhat remember Iago's deceptiveness. I don't remember much about Rebecca -- that was even longer ago -- and I've never read Stephen King. And, of course, I agree with the choice of Javert. :-)

MyUtopia said...

THis is hard question this week!

Literary Feline said...

Great answer, Stephanie! I haven't read Othello, but if it's movie form, I'll make a point of watching it (reading Shakespeare and me--we don't mix well).

Voldemort, definitely one evil dude. Javert is a good choice too. I haven't yet read The Stand, but I plan to--and now for yet another reason!

Alice Teh said...

Wonderful answer! You've outlined quite a few fellows there. LOL.

jean pierre said...

i've only read the first two harry potter's but i think those dursley people must be of the worst villains i have experienced. i think they speak to a fear of mine of being adopted by people like that...

jean pierre said...

i don't know this mrs. danvers - but that flagg bloke was definitely very bad in the movie version that i saw.

howzerdo said...

Great choices! Javert was the villian in Les Mis - since no one roots for him. But it's interesting that he was just doing his job.

Rhinoa said...

Mrs Danvers and Iago were both nasty people. I haven't read the others though, but they sound pretty vile too. Good choices :)

3M said...

Hi Stephanie! I just ordered The Namesake from a Stephanie T. on paperbackswap and wondered if it was from you? Just curious!

J.S. Peyton said...

I just wanted to add that I'm with you all the way on Iago. He was the first villain to impress me with just how evil he really was. It reminds me of something I read in The Shakespeare Riots by Nigel Cliff a while back. Cliff recounts the story of how, at a playing of Othello, an audience member was so disgusted with Iago's behavior that he jumped up and yelled, to paraphrase, "I'll have you run through, you damned villain!"
Any villain who can invoke that kind of response deserves the mantel of best (worst?) villain, if you ask me. : )