I probably spend too much time thinking about fictional villains. Mostly I think about why villains talk so much when they could just do the things and maybe win?! I also think about the villains and anti heroes that are loved in their own ways and what makes a well written villain.
Some of the things that really makes a villain great are the complexity of their character, the background to their story, the reasons for what they do. (As the quote next to this says, every villain is a hero in [their] own mind and when that shows? It can make the character really great.) Lauren Martin wrote about some of the reasons as to why this generation is obsessed with the anti-hero and the villain, including that these characters can be flawed and complex in ways that heroes might not be. Sophia Jacobbs wrote about how Loki has gained such a following, despite frequently being the villain.
This is mostly related but also off topic but something I’ve always wondered is why do villains seem to talk so much (and ultimately ruin their plan)? I mean look at Voldemort at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It would have been so easy to be like “bam Harry Potter is dead and I win”. But no. He just has to talk to the returned Death Eaters and then challenge a 14 year old boy to a duel.
I mean I can see the appeal – you’re an evil powerful wizard who managed to terrify most of the wizarding world and Harry’s a tiny little wizard with like, no training. But still. Voldemort could have so easily won in book four AND Harry managed to beat him all the way back when Harry was just a baby so to be completely honest, I don’t know what Voldey was thinking. Also I’m not the only one to think about the ways in which Voldemort could have totally won throughout the books but didn’t.
At one point, Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog does the same thing – he announces one of his plans on his blog and is thwarted by his nemesis Captain Hammer because (you guessed it!) he announced what he was going to do pretty much to the entire world. (Okay so he announced it on the internet which is basically the same thing.)
The Nerdpocalypse also wondered about why villains talk so much about their master plans (and how that can be their downfall) and wrote that:
…why would a super villain share their plan with their rival before (or after) it is completed? In truth it is because whether or not they’d like to admit it the hero is the closest thing the villain has to an equal. To let them die, or for the plan to succeed, without the hero knowing everything that went into it would leave their accomplishment devoid of that acknowledgement.
Maybe I’m spending too much time thinking about villains that don’t exist outside of movies, books, or television shows. And I still have many more questions about villains but for now, I’ll leave it at that.