Villain Week Finale – Liches and Other Undead

The struggle of saving Liches and the Undead for the final day was really painful, but worth it in the end. Why? Because there was, believe it or not, an actual order to this week. The posts began with tyrannical, evil leaders, a sub-type of villain characterized by a constant craving for more power, and it ends with Liches and the Undead. Like Old Gods and Invading Species, Liches and Undead don’t necessarily want power. Their motives aren’t always known. More often than not, however, these three types of villains (well, it’s more a guaranteed thing with the Old Gods and the Liches) are all about destruction. Invading Species may show up and eradicate any resistance before continuing with their plans. They may be doing so to pave the path for world domination, or they could be setting up for planetary destruction. The Old Gods could very well have deeper motivations that aren’t always made clear through their actions, but the ultimate goal usually seems destruction and the further-spreading of madness.

Liches, however, and their Undead legions are delightful in that their endgame typically revolves around one guiding principle: the eradication of all life. Unlike Invading Species and Old God counterparts with the same goal, the Undead have one added trick that helps make them such a formidable agent of chaos: the more death they cause, the greater their own numbers become. The Undead, however, are notorious for not being the easiest creatures to keep indisposed. There’s necromancy for raising new undead creatures (or bringing back the fallen ones), viruses and plagues that lead to undeath, and so on and so on. Whether created by magic or malady, once the Undead show up they are guaranteed to keep on keeping on until they are stopped at the source. Not all Undead are subservient to a higher power, such as Liches, as evidenced by The Walking Dead and George Romero’s (Whatever) of the DeadContinue reading

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The Wednesday Villain – The Power-Hungry Subordinate

Praise Odin it’s Wednesday and the worst of the week is probably over with. Probably. Shit, I certainly hope it’s over with at this point. Also, I realize that all of the types of villains I’ve featured so far are power-hungry. That shouldn’t be particularly surprising. This post feels even more ridiculous since the writing process involved in it has now spanned the entire day and I’m still only on the introduction. Bonus points because I at least managed to start organizing my living room, and I trimmed my beard for the first time without completely shitting it up. Please don’t judge me too harshly for that last bit, as this is my first real attempt at not being perpetually baby-faced. Right. So, moving on.

Today’s all about the Power-Hungry Subordinate. These are the bad guys waiting for the right time to make their move, stepping out of someone else’s shadow in hopes of casting a far greater one of their own. That’s not to say all villains classified as this type are working for other ne’er-do-wells, however. Some of the best-known Power-Hungry Subordinates find themselves trapped answering to a horribly cheerful, aggressively positive force of good. Such a dreadful fate. I wanted to try arguing these sneaky minions find themselves on a mission to overthrow a Tyrant, but I fear I might be venturing dangerously far into the realm of wishful thinking.

As with other types of villains, they can be pitiable. The Power-Hungry Subordinate seems to have a greater capacity for being sympathetic figures as they are typically in situations that have driven them to extremes, even if they do have broken moral compasses to begin with. I’ll get to that a bit more in one of the examples, though. Continue reading

Tuesday Villain – The All-Powerful Sorcerer/Sorceress

The word sorcerer apparently really trips my brain up for some reason, which is a bit embarrassing really since my genre of choice is fantasy. I’m also far more tired than is conducive to writing a blog post, so I better get my ass moving or this will conclude abruptly with a bunch of garbled nonsense from my face slamming against the keyboard. This post is technically late, and I wish I had an excuse. Instead, I was watching videos of Markiplier getting scared out of his mind while playing Five Nights At Freddy’s. Whoops?

All-powerful magic users are a prevalent part of popular culture. They’ve been a big deal for a long time, and they can be sagely advisers just as easily as they can be agents of profound evil. As a former practitioner of the dark arts, via my Warlock in World of Warcraft, I feel it’s my responsibility to weigh in on the dark and light sides of sorcerers and sorceresses, both of the good and bad variety. Tonight’s, of course, is all about the villainous ones. Continue reading

Preferred Varieties of Villainy

This has nothing to do with tonight’s post, but Fall Out Boy’s “Immortals” has been my jam since I watched Big Hero 6 a couple nights ago. I may not know what the Hell half of the lyrics are, but it’s fun listening. Also: it probably has a bit of a boost in how much I like it because I associate it with Big Hero 6, which is an absolutely phenomenal piece of cinema. Relating to movies, music, and so on, I’d like to take a moment from tonight’s post to say goodbye to Screen Robot. I found out it’s shutting down today. Screen Robot was one of the first homes to my writing that I didn’t create. I’m sad it’s gone, but as their Twitter pointed out I should be happy it existed and so I am.

Here’s a transition sentence because I’m feeling all sorts of lazy right now. Don’t you judge me, damn it.

It’s safe to say by this point I’ve established I prefer villains over heroes. One could even go so far as to say I’ve belabored that point, but that’s wrong because there is just so much to love about the wonderful world of villainy. Seriously, people: who do you think has more fun? The unlucky bastard who has to travel all the way to some far-off evil lair, getting battered and bruised along the way, or the evil genius with the frickin’ doomsday device? The answer’s obvious.

Villains are simply more fun to write. There’s no denying that, and with so many varieties of villainy it’s easy to get lost in having fun while writing them. I’m going to keep this relatively simple because I don’t want to write a thousand pages on this topic. There will be plenty of other blog posts down the road on the same damn topic anyway. Without compelling, well-written villains, even the best heroes aren’t any fun to watch. Their victories become hollow and bland. Here are just a few of the many entries one might encounter in a proper gallery of rogues. Continue reading

What’s in a title: villain versus antagonist

Today I learned the lawn at my new apartment is a real behemoth. Everything is actually quite sore. Fortunately for everyone, however, I will not be talking about that in this post. I also make no apologies for any typos that sneak through as my hands really hurt. God damn it.

There’s something about having a degree in English/Writing, being a writer, and a tremendous fondness of language that makes for me being picky about words. I focus on that before diving into this topic for a reason. I’ve heard two perspectives on this topic. One says that villains and antagonists are not the same thing, while others say those are two words for the same thing. Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective and how the writer, artist, director, or other creative-type is choosing to use the titles and their respective roles in the story? You could argue that, yes, and I’m sure it could be argued pretty well. This part, by the way, is a bit painful to admit.

They aren’t, at their core, the same thing. Both may spend portions of a story appearing to twirl their mustaches (lady villains and lady-antagonists don’t waste time with such frivolous appearance-based activities), but there are crucial differences that prevent the words from being interchangeable.  Continue reading

Problem-solving, and a terrific quote

I was big on problem-solving today. I had the choice to either face the problems that have accrued lately or just say the hell with it and let them crush me. I chose the former, of course.

The good that came of those solutions is that I won’t have to work fourteen days in a row, even though I still have a couple double-shifts. Such is life. I also decided I need a new bank after finding out the replacement debit card I requested after the business with my previous one getting stolen (the info was stolen, anyway) had never actually been ordered/sent out/whatever. That’s some pro-level incompetence right there.

Tomorrow will feature a post about picking your poison, in which I talk about bourbon and my choices of booze. Monday will focus on the difference betwee villains and antiheroes (no spoilers for that yet). For now I’d like to share aa great post Joe Lansdale, an author whose wisdom I was pointed to by Zachary T. Owen (a writer of remarkable skill and wisdom of his own). I’ve not read any books by Joe Lansdale, but I think that’s something I need to correct eventually. Eventually. Hoping you all, dear readers, are having a great weekend. You should like Joe Lansdale’s Facebook page, by the way, and check out his works (like my lazy, simple self needs to as well). I lay no claim to this Facebook post, obviously; it’s just some damn good food for thought.

Ding! Character’s done.

I’d like to say, dear readers, I wish you were all here so I could share some of this delicious hot apple cider I’ve mixed with Maker’s Mark, but I’m also a terribly selfish person and I don’t think Jason would approve of me having a ton of strangers in his house for no reason other than sharing my booze. I’m making today’s post right at the start of today, as it’s a most auspicious occasion. I get to meet Jason’s new girlfriend, which means it’s my duty as Jason’s best friend (or at least as one of the people who holds such status) to pass righteous, evil judgment on her!

My nefarious ways aren’t the focus of today’s post, however. Continue reading