April 20, 2016 • Cee • Discussion

Who screams for villains? We do!

Mishma at Chasing Faerytales is hosting an awesome week long celebration for Villains called Nefarious Tales! That’s right, we are celebrating villains because villains are awesome. There’s a bunch of awesome posts—from lists of favorite and least favorite villains to discussions of why we love villains. Villains, villains, villains!

The Older I Get, The More I Appreciate Villains

As kids, we’re engrained with the notion that we have to root for the good guys—the ones who are trying to defeat ~evil and save the world. The ones the media tells your to root for. And like any impressionable kid, we believe that we should only like who we assume to be the heroes and not the villains.

For kid-Cee, I couldn’t relate or understand villains. They scared me. They were an acquired taste that I couldn’t wrap my head around because the media told and showed me that villains are not to be liked. I was supposed to like the pretty princess, not the wicked octopus lady. The villain’s stories weren’t worth my time, but boy oh boy, the media was completely wrong.

I don’t exactly know what the turning point was, but I had a sudden realization:

Every villain is a hero in their own story.

What we usually assume as the heroes are the villains. If the view point is flipped around, who would you say is the hero in a story that’s focused on, say, Ursula from The Little Mermaid’s point of view? It would be Ursula. She’d be the hero, and we’d be rooting for her.

As I got older, I was no longer under the spell that everybody in the past tried to sell me. I started to understand that we are complex human beings with different personalities, wants and desires, and values.

Take these other villains: Selina Kyle, Mystique, Loki, Magneto, Harley Quinn, Victor Vale. When we peel the layers of armor and defense off these “villainous” characters, we will see a complex, yet fascinating person who has a different set of values that are a bit skewed, but it doesn’t mean their viewpoint makes them completely evil or not worth rooting for. It’s just a different exploration in how these characters approach their problems.

Not everybody’s values and such will be closely aligned with each other. We all have things about ourselves that people will not like, and that’s okay. Everybody’s flawed. Let’s be honest, people with flaws make the most interesting of characters. And villains are fascinating. Just look at Vicious—an awesome book about two villains who are proof that “every villain is a hero in their own story.”

In honor of this villain celebration, Mishma is giving away an awesome villain-inspired mystery prize pack she’s curated. Anybody can win this because it’s INTL!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to visit the other stops for today:

You can also check out the different types of villains post all week!

There will be a villain Twitter chat on Friday, April 22 7PM EST with the hashtag #NefariousTales. Come join on the villain discussion!

Have you always liked villains even when you were little? If so, what appealed to you as a kid? If not, why not and what changed? 


9 Responses to “NEFARIOUS TALES • The Older I Get, The More I Appreciate Villains”

  1. Tonyalee says:

    I’ve actually always liked villains. I think reading/watching them growing up, I was more drawn to them because they FELT more complex, ya know? lol gosh that sounds weird. I’ve always been a believer in balance, and not everything being so black and white. I like being challenged on what is right or wrong, ya know? Villains challenge that! :)

  2. Alexa S. says:

    Ooh, yes! I was much the same way. When I was little, I rooted for the good guys because that’s all I knew how to do. But the older I get, the more I find the complex back stories and personalities of villains to be SO interesting!

  3. Jess says:

    I definitely get what you mean; when I was younger, I just wanted all the bad guys defeated. I wanted to be the hero, the chosen one. However, now I realize that these villains are actually pretty complex and have their reasons for some things. In some cases, I don’t actually mind if they win!

  4. YEAH! I love this post Cee, and I 110% agree with everything you’ve said. I think this is why I love books like Fairest / Vicious / The Young Elites – they all show events from the villain’s perspective. It’s so eerie yet fascinating at the same time to see how a villain thinks. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

  5. Alyssa zech says:

    I grew up always rooting for the good guy. And I feel like I still do. :/ although I have been appreciating the Flux of books where even the ‘hero’ is making tough choices, struggling to know the difference between right and wrong.

  6. Definitely the same! I was so scared of all the villains when I was little (Like Rasputin from Anastasia. STILL freaks me out). They often make villains look ugly/unattractive as well. How does that make sense?! It just makes kids think that someone who they think is ugly is probably also evil. These are not good values to teach our children, Disney/everyone else!
    Also. You’ve just made me super excited to finally read Vicious.

  7. Every villain is a hero of their own story – I just love this line! I think as we grow up, we see villains with new eyes, rather than the typical way we are told to look at them as kids. And as we analyse and look into their characters, it’s truly fascinating to see their layers unravel. As a literature student, villains and antiheroes are my favourite type of characters to analyse! I think I fell in love with the complexity of their characterization.

    YES FOR VICIOUS!!! I just love that book to death. It’s truly genius!

    Thanks for joining the event and for the amazing post, Cee! <333

  8. Alexandria says:

    I read the title of your post and went, “Yes! ‘Tis me!” I only started liking villains recently, like in the past 6 months or so (previously I just hated them, but in the way villains are meant to be hated). I think I have Callisto from Xena: Warrior Princess and Lucretia from Spartacus to thank for that, because they’re such complex characters and they have excellent motives for being evil. So thanks to them I have a new appreciation for villains and need to remember to include them in my own writing (I have a fantasy novel (well, a duo) planned but haven’t created a villain yet, so this is a good reminder!). It gets boring when the characters are all good. Give me characters with dark sides! Give me characters who do some evil shit!

  9. This is completely my point! Whenever anyone questions why I usually end up loving the villains more than the heroes I always ask them why it is that they like the hero so much. The answer I get is so often ‘because they’re the good guy’ that it’s hard to take them seriously. It’s not because the character is interesting that they root for the good guy, or because they can relate, or because the character is funny/complicated/any adjective that remotely hints at an interest, it’s because they’ve been conditioned to think that whatever is ‘right’ is what is ‘good’. But in any other story, the villain (who I always find to be more interesting, messy, funny, generally just a better conversation piece) would be the good guy. And even so, the good guys are usually so boring and contrived. Give me The Darkling over Mal any day!

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