How to Create the Perfect Villain
a blog by ♠ Aldrin ♠
Hello again and welcome! My God, these blogs are coming one after the other, aren’t they? Well ladies and… fewer gentleman, the emphasis of this blog is going to be villains, and how to make your own great villain. But before I begin and jump into this, I need to say that you can have more than one kind of villain. You choose how your audience perceives this villain. I’m going to show how to make all of these good types of villains, and how not to design a bad villain. So without further or do-!... That’s an odd phrase… Without “further”… or “do”… doesn’t quite make sense… Hm…
Okay so let’s talk about first, the classic kind of villain. You know the one, the most common of them all. I like to refer to them as “You fool!” Villains. The ones with deep, husky voices who just want to see the world go to ruin. Very serious, very stern. Such villains are Saruman and Count Dooku, (Christopher Lee did such a good job as those characters…) Ultron [Movie Version] and Voldermort. These villains see themselves as superior, so if you want to design your villain like this, make them have a lot of arrogance, prowess, and... I want to say “lift” in their views. See themselves as top-dog, and that the heroes underneath them are “fools!” The heroes’ views are lower than them, and the heroes have no way of stopping their plans and ideologies, yet they always do. Or do they… we’ll cover that later, trust me! You’ll see why I put ‘Ultron [Movie Version] later on. Now these villains are quite easy to master, you can write one very easily. They tend to have power over others by means of fear. They’ll assert this superiority through their strength, making their followers do as they wish, maybe because they want to, or maybe because they have no choice. Their way of having no choice could indeed be through terror and threats, or it could be through manipulation and control. They have control over these followers through psychic and possessive means, perhaps.
Okay, the next villain type I am about to describe is a very, very tricky villain to knock on the head. You’ll have to pay attention for this next villain type, but if you really get it right, you could make some really memorable villains that your readers thinks “I love this villain!” It’s tricky to design these villains because everyone is meant to follow the hero and love the hero. It’s hard because with this villain, you have to make your readers feel sad when they go, because they loved that villain so much. These villains are the 'Loveable Villains.' Such examples are Vaas Montenegro from FarCry 3, The Joker from The Dark Knight, and Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter!! Eeee! <3) from Harry Potter. Why these three? There are so few of these types of villains, because they’re so hard to crack down, but all of these three have things in common.
The “You fool!” Villains are all mentally secure, partly. They think what they are doing is right and never want to show weakness. Bellatrix, The Joker and Vaas all don’t care if what they do is right or wrong, and are all somehow psychotically screwed up. Because of this crack in their minds, this makes them unpredictable and fun to play around with as a writer. They can be humorous, treating everything like a game and be relaxed. More laid back than the “You fool!” Villains. The Joker laughed as Batman beat the hell out of him; Vaas pressured Jason to run for his life as Vaas’ men chased after him; Bellatrix giggled and cheered as she set Hagrid’s house on fire. Yet at some points though, they may be serious and intimidating, and what makes it intimidating is because it is unexpected and often gruesome, because again, they don’t know (or maybe even like) that what they’re doing is sadistic and cruel. For instance, the Joker cut open a man’s cheeks to tell him a story; Vaas attached and tied a cement block to Jason’s hands and then pushed the block into deep water; Bellatrix tortured an innocent young girl by chewing on her wrists and cutting words into her arm. All of these times, they’re serious and when they get serious, they get scary. The fact when they snap a person’s neck and pop it off, it’s not a big deal.
Going back onto my last point, this is the hardest point and mostly up to you, is to make them mercurial. What the hell are they going to do next? How and what will they do when they face up against your hero or protagonists in general? Both Vaas and The Joker put a protagonists’ pistol up against their own head, either gambling with a coin for whether they shoot, or intimidated them to do it through peer pressure. Because maybe they enjoyed the rush of having death in front of them, or knew that even if the protagonist pulled the trigger, chaos would still endure. This is why it’s tricky to master, because you have to get inside the mind of a psychopath, which I know I can do quite easily because duh, I would happily boil a man alive.
Last, but most certainly not least, is making an unstoppable villain. This villain is rare – very rare. Only once have I seen this type of villain played out properly and well. Ultron from the comics, as all you Marvel super fans will know (I’m looking at you Pikachunicorn!), was much, much, much cooler! I may get this wrong, but this is what I have researched about him. Now a lot of you may not know what he was like in the comics, or maybe you do. But for the purposes that you may not know, I will say what he was like compared to the film. So, in the film (really, this isn’t a spoiler) Ultron is a sassy robot who is quite unstoppable. He makes thousands of clones of himself, is super intelligent by making an entire city a meteor to crush the earth, and his conscience is even engrained on the internet. Pretty cool. But he is eventually stopped, as usual. In the comics, he is much different. Ultron in the comics is cold-hearted in personality, as you’d expect a robot to be; not sassy and sarcastic. His words of dialogue go more like “Destroy Avengers: Mission objective, reactivate clones and counter attack.” Almost… eerie. Like he knows how to do it, and every step. No personality or emotion. Everything that can go wrong is fixed, everything that can happen is measured and analysed. His “brain” worked like a computer. But much cooler than that, he really was unstoppable. The Avengers try to put an end to his schemes and plans, but he always came back. In the film, the fact he was on the internet was simply glazed over, with Vision just going “I’ll tap you’re head. There, you’re now erased. Bye-bye.” In the comics… He was like a virus that they couldn’t get a hold of! He was slippery, and you can’t delete everything on the internet all at once, can you? Ultron knew this, so when Ultron and his army faced up against the Avengers, the Avengers won of course. But Ultron just came back, again, and again, and again because the Avengers could do NOTHING to get him off of the internet. So eventually, they cheated and went back in time to the point where Ultron didn’t exist. Now that may seem like he was stopped, but he wasn’t. He never was, the Avengers just made him not exist by going back in time. This is the last villain. The one that is so powerful, the heroes can’t do a thing. If you can create a villain like that, you really will be a keen writer and one to break barriers.
Well that’s all I have to say, and now, I know this blog was long and arduous to read, but if you have any questions, ask away! Remember, prowess for type 1, unpredictability for type 2 and sheer unstoppable…ness… for type 3 are the three keys to each one. I will answer all of your questions happily if you have any! So until next time my muffins, I’ll catch you later!
A big thank you to ♠ Aldrin ♠ for writing this blog and creating the villainous banner :-)