Favourite villain? Ooh, that’s a fiendish one. (See what I did there? Ha.)
My immediate thought was Voldemort from HP series, but that’s too obvious. But actually? That remains my choice.
Voldemort isn’t just an evil villain who’s out to get the world, a Hitler, a general fascist. I mean he is those things, but we get to learn so much more about him. In HP6 all those memories that Harry gets to see in the pensive… Tom Marvolo Riddle is a real person. Maybe he has become the simple epitome of evil, and nothing more, but you can see how he got there. He was a child. Horrible and awful things happened to him, and he didn’t respond in a healthy way. Him and Harry are so alike in many ways; Harry could have been Voldemort if he hadn’t had the support and guidance that was generously offered him.
And actually, that’s how I think of everyone in the world. People who we may call ‘evil’ (e.g. Hitler) – they are actually a sum of their own experiences. No one is born evil. I don’t believe in evil. I feel sorry for bullies, and people who commit atrocities because there is something within them – a mistake, genetics, experience, misguidance – that means they believe they are doing the right thing.
To make it topical: the mass shooting recently in LA. That man truly believed that he was doing the right thing. Obviously, it was not: he was wrong, misguided, twisted. But he thought he was right. I’m not advocating terrorism or trying to defend him, but trying to understand the world he lives in. Of course, I feel for the victims and their families, that goes without saying. Their lives have been torn apart. But so has his.
I guess I like villains that feel real. Not just ‘evil.’ Because there is no such thing. Every single person has the propensity to be good, but some people are led the wrong way. They deserve our pity too.
(I hope no one slams me for saying this. To make it clear: I’m not condoning murder, or any act of violence or aggression. It’s just a belief I have of the world. There are no ‘bad’ people. And I’m not saying that in a naive sense.)
Well, there we are: a rather philosophical entry today!
What does anyone else think? How can we help people who feel the need to act in such horrific ways, before it comes to pulling a trigger?