Ah, villains. Some stories cannot be stories without them. You may have your antagonist in some, but others need that vicious, evil person wreaking havoc on one person, or many peoples’ lives.
Villains can be fun or tormenting. On one hand, you’ve got those you love to hate, or even hate to love. Then there are those who give you headaches because what they do to others is so hateful and their lack of empathy is mindboggling.
But all bad people have reasons for being bad, and their actions have motives that have deep roots. Some would argue that no one is born evil, and those who do become villainous were corrupted due to abuse or a insecure world. But no matter the circumstances, bad people chose to do bad things. Is it ever understandable? Could we ever do the same things if we lived the same lives as them? Let’s take a look at some well-known characters who chose to dark road:
Regina – “Once Upon A Time”: I got the idea for this post while watching Once Upon A Time this past Sunday (BTW, season 3 is going very well so far!). Even though the curse is broken now, Regina still seems reluctant to admit she did awful things to nearly everyone who crossed her path. Instead, she plays the victim card and feels misunderstood. This is because her evil ways were born when a young Snow White was inadvertently responsible for Regina’s boyfriend to be killed by her own scheming, manipulative mother. Taking cues from her mother, Regina spiraled into dark ways as a way for revenge on not only Snow White, but everyone else who seemed happy. These days, Regina is trying to be good for the sake of her son, Henry, who is really her step-grandson (long story). But she’s got a lot of soul searching to do, especially with her self-centered, self-pitying ways. And with all the killings, curses and other abuse she’s done, Regina has a lot to take responsibility for. But can she, with her tendency to be selfish like that?
The Joker – “The Dark Knight”:Seriously, I could not have this post without this character. Who could forget the late Heath Ledger’s turn on Batman’s main nemesis after Jack Nicholson made the Joker a comical villain you actually enjoyed watching? But with “The Dark Knight”, we have the Joker with a major chip on his shoulder, and his behavior can only be defined as being a true psychopath. Maybe it was the way Ledger portrayed this character, but I really felt while watching the movie that there was no hope for redemption here. The Joker was cold-blooded. Period. The entertaining part was to see if the Joker would be defeated and luckily he was. Now if he were to just be arrested and locked up for life, could he have ever let go of his rage and face what he made himself into? I saw no hope there. I only saw a person unable to experience any emotion, and therefore, unable to realize the pain he had caused to others.
Bill Compton – “True Blood”: He started out as one-half of a popular TV couple, but by season three, vampire Bill Compton’s true nature was revealed. It further unveiled itself by season five, which led him to turn into a power-hungry, bloodthirsty vampire, fueled by
the terrible writing on the show his conflict over him being one. Could Bill ever go back to being a good guy, though? Well, sometimes you can never go back being what you once were, and there’s no way for Bill to be that southern gentleman/creature of the night again. But he could still tap into his good nature, if he still has it. Sometimes darkness can overwhelm someone’s goodness, and it can cast a very long shadow.
Lestat – “The Vampire Chronicles”:Here’s a villain turned guy you love to hate and hate to love! I felt in “Interview With The Vampire”, the brat prince himself was villainous in the way he tormented Louis, even though Louis was whinging and moping around for decades. Lestat in the first of Anne Rice’s vampire novels was to me the charismatic villain, who is so charming when you first meet them. But then you spend more time with them, and you see that charm is covering up sinister ways. Well, Lestat did get redeemed at the end. Once Louis and Claudia broke away from him, he no longer could be that engaging creature of the night. He lost the two people who fueled him, and his dark energy was gone. At the end, Lestat was a shadow of his former self. That’s karma for you. Of course, Anne Rice fans know he reinvented himself as the delighted bratty vampire who was still charming, yet knows not to cross the line anymore.
There is redemption for those who chose to do wrong, but its a long road to get there. And who will support you along the way? Can anyone ever understand why some choose to do wrong? I’ll explore that in my next post!