3.01.2011

Lists! Villain Edition!

Who likes to make lists?

I do.

I came across this post yesterday, courtesy of Sierra Godfrey, who I like for her ultra-mad list-making skills.  In the post, Ms. Sokoloff talks about using lists to help unclog your writer's block.  She suggests, for example, making a list of your top ten favorite opening paragraphs, if you're struggling with your beginning.  Or listing your top ten heroes.  You get the idea.

When you have your list, you can analyze the patterns that emerge to see what things you are drawn to and use them to shape your own perfect...whatever.

So here is my top ten villains:

  • Professor Umbridge (from HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX).  Although this list is in random order, she is by and far my favorite, most hated villain.  The first time I read that book, I was sick to my stomach with frustration and helplessness.  She is so vile and manipulative, and she likes to make people BLEED.  I hate her.
  • Michael "Goob" Yagoobian (from MEET THE ROBINSONS).  Ah, Goob.  Classic bowler hat/cape/mustache combo, dumb as a box of rocks.  But I can't help but feel for him, because all he wants is a little love.
  • Septimus (from STARDUST).  He's cold, calculating, and heartless, killing off his brothers to try and become the next heir to the throne.  But he's so dang cool while he does it.  Plus, he can sword fight while he's dead, with two broken legs no less, which was so grossly hilarious to me.
  • Severus Snape (from HARRY POTTER).  Maybe not a villain so much, but I added him because, ooh, I just loved to hate him.  And, he made things rough for Harry despite trying to keep him alive, which is villain-y.
  • Prince Charming (from SHREK).  Prince Charming cracks me up.  He is so vain and spoiled, so bumbling, but still able to incite some real trouble.  And when he puts on his play, I almost die laughing every time.  What a jerk.
  • Captain Hook (from HOOK). His mind games with Jack make me want to put my fist through the TV.  Run home, Jack! 
  • Vector (from DESPICABLE ME).  He's obnoxious and spoiled and has financial backing.  AND, he wears jumpsuits.
  • Ari (from MAXIMUM RIDE). Another one of my very favorites.  Max and the other kids have been grafted with bird DNA, which gives them wings.  One of the scientists, Ari's father, finally decides to help them escape from the testing center where they're being tortured, and he leaves Ari behind.  Ari decides that the only way he can get his father's attention is to be turned into an Eraser; he is an eight-year-old boy in a twenty-two-year-old body, with werewolf-like capabilities.  All he wants is his father's approval.  And he hates Max, not just because he's programmed to kill her, but because she never noticed him at the testing center.  He wanted her friendship and didn't get it.  So now, he wants to kill her, and also keep her all for himself.  He's a messy bundle of emotion.  My favorite part, though, is when he follows Max to a store to attack her and sees a woman shopping for a bra.  He's totally grossed out, because he's still an eight-year-old boy on the inside.  So funny.
  • The Baroness Rodmilla (from EVER AFTER).  Classic evil-stepmother, but I like that her hatred is fueled by jealousy that her husband loved his daughter more than he loved her.  I like the scene when Danielle is brushing her hair and she shows some of her pain and vulnerability, but I also love that she's ready and willing to throw her own rotten daughter under the bus at the end.
  • Modin (from DRAGON'S MILK).  He posed as a trustworthy helper and betrayed in the end.  This man ruined it all for me.  I have a hard time trusting anyone who comes along and offers help in a story and it's ALL HIS FAULT.  My little third grade heart almost couldn't handle treachery of this magnitude.
Looking at my list, I've learned some things:  1) I like my villains to be human, to be motivated by emotions like past heartache or longing for acceptance.  2) I don't watch scary movies with really scary villains because I'm a scaredy-cat.  3) My taste in books and movies is running at an alarmingly kid centric pace these days.  4) I rely on my villains for some comic relief.

So there you go.  Look for my amalgamation of these guys in a bookstore near you sometime in the future.

Who would be on your list, and why?

10 comments:

Michael Offutt said...

I honestly think that the best bad guy is Darth Vader. He's just so evil.

Jeigh said...

Darth Vader is a great one. He especially creeps me out when he's still Anakin.

Wesley said...

Oh Jeigh, I love this post with ALL my heart. I will be posting my own villian list on my blog shortly. I completely agree with you on Professor Umbridge. HATE her. Oh and about Vector...it's warm up suit...like pajamas? hahhaha quiet down fish

Wesley said...

Oh and this is chels :)

Luanne Hardy said...

I loved it! Before you even requested it I was thinking of my favorite villians. Goob is my ALL TIME favorite villian.
I actually can't really say that I like any other villians but I do think some are more evil than others. The more evil they are the more they make my skin crawl. Such as:
The witch from Stardust
Snape
Umbridge
Voldemort
Harry's Uncle and Aunt (are they considered villians?)
Ursula
Jafar
And others I'm sure.

I did just realize that I do really like The Phantom. He's one of those villians that you are kind of rooting for because you feel bad for him. At the same time you want him to leave Christine the heck alone.

Jeigh said...

Ooh, yes, Luanne, The Phantom totally creeps me out!

Sorry, Chels. Warm-up suit, whatever, his pear-shaped body just can't handle it.

Martinelli Gold said...

Baroness Rodmilla is an excellent call. I think she'd also be on my list. This is a great idea to pass on! Thanks for sharing!

Matthew Rush said...

I came over here from Casey's blog, and am now following.

Nice to meet you!

Jeigh said...

You too, Matthew. Thanks for stopping by!

Callie Leuck said...

Umbridge: SO AGREED. On all counts.
Septimus: I didn't even realize he was a villian. Great character.
Severus Snape: Such a great character. Not black-and-white.
Hook: FREAKING AMAZING. That is all.
Vector: Oh how he makes me cringe!
The Baroness Rodmilla: They did a good job with her.

What I'd add/adds I agree with:
Anakin/Darth Vader is a great one.
Ursula scared the hell out of me as a kid.
Erik/Phantom - from the book because he's a creepy as heck character and wonderfully developed.
I'd have to also add Marak the goblin king from Clare Dunkle's "The Hollow Kingdom" because I spent the entire book trying to figure out if he was a bad guy or a good guy. I don't care if it's a YA book, I love it.