Villains drive the story. Without someone in the way, the hero has no challenges. Without challenges there is no story. Why do we love some of our villains and hate others?
The role of villains
In a story, the villain isn’t always the bad guy. The villain is the character who gets in the way of the hero. They have goals that conflict in so strongly that only one of them can win. The character who wins the conflict is the hero.
The cool thing about this is that the hero doesn’t have to be wrong about their goal. In romance we see this situation often. The villain is the mother who knows what’s best for her daughter or son. The conflict is about the child wanting a different future.
Why do we sometimes love them, or feel sorry for them?
If an author has done a great job with the villain, we feel emotions about them other than hate. Villains are always the hero of their own story, that is what makes them fascinating.
In the case of the Harry Potter series, I was amazed by the treatment of Professor Snape. I know that the target reader saw him differently from the way I saw him, but I always knew he wasn’t the villain that he was painted. The reason? He had too much depth. And then it was revealed that he was on Harry’s side, he didn’t turn into a nice guy. The best of villains stay true to themselves.
Who is your favorite villain?
Enjoy mysteries? For Charity Deacon, a private investigator with a nose for trouble, curiosity is just a way of life.
Like wizards in trouble? Quinn Larson is a wizard. His life in the shadow world of the Vancouver Real Folk is a quiet one, and he’d prefer if it stayed that way.
Time for a romantic fantasy? The prophecy that will save them rests on her decisions, but can Madeline accept her new purpose in a place so far beyond everything she’s ever known?
Don’t care for series? Mystery, Science Fiction and more to come.