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The_Usernameless_Horror

The Best Villains Ever

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Snoopy
Care to clue us ignorant 'Merkins on this? Wink

 

Sure. Norfolk is in American terms the Deep South of the UK. One of the poorest areas it features a large area of reclaimed land called the Norfolk Broads (think manicured bayou). This means that there are lots of villages, windmills and houses that are physically unreachable by road to this day. In the 1920's and 30's it was, unbelievably, worse still.

 

The people are a mix of UK people including lots of traditional farmers, who combine a short-sighted willingness to do anything to make money (tourism, drugs, whatever) with lots of racism. Add to that its quite rare for "incomers" to add to the gene pool (hence the cousin shaggers thing, rather than the sheep shaggers of Wales) and very low educational standards (Why bother? There aren't any jobs).

 

Most Norfolk people can have an IQ test simply by counting their teeth. Incidentally the Norfolk accent is also intended to make the wielder sound dimmer than they are. Fortunately I am second generation Norfolkia with a strain of London which appears to have won through.

 

Doctors in the UK have a short code phrase that they use for stupid patients: "N4N". If you see that in your medical notes it means that the doctor considers you "Normal (for Norfolk)".

 

Watchers of Walberswick was a classic White Dwarf adventure featuring Deep Ones. Its set in the right place.

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Sinclair
I am seriously dubious regarding the sanity of the person who wrote that webcomic... anthropomorphic animals + emotional cruelty + eternal rape and sodomy? 8O By the outer gods, Y'Golonac LIVES...

 

You think that's the worst it gets? IT'S THE INTERNET! :cry:

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Thorulfr
I am seriously dubious regarding the sanity of the person who wrote that webcomic... anthropomorphic animals + emotional cruelty + eternal rape and sodomy? 8O By the outer gods, Y'Golonac LIVES...

 

See what I mean? When it comes to villains, I think Drip has them all beat. 8O

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Snoopy
Here is a villain that is sick, cruel, and completely without honor or redeeming qualities: Drip, the personification of the deadly sin 'lust' in the web comic Jack (WARNING: EXTREMELY mature subject matter)

 

 

Great. :oops: Makes Bukkae seem like Pride and Prejudice...

 

I was hungry before reading that. Not anymore....

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Thorulfr

Great. :oops: Makes Bukkae seem like Pride and Prejudice...

 

I was hungry before reading that. Not anymore....

 

Yeah, but a heck of a powerful story, isn't it?

 

Sort of like the difference between CofC and Kult - In the former, the you are doomed because the universe doesn't care, you're just in the way; in the latter, you are doomed because the universe DOES care, and is out to get you.

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Sinclair

Anybody read "Transmetropolitan"? Because the Smiler is a pretty twisted fellow.

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Snoopy

I have to say a big yes to that. Great cyberpunk series.

 

That said, I am not sure that the Smiler is a true villain. He lacks the strength of purpose to be a villain, rather than just a weak, nasty, little man that needs a slap (any resemblence to current presidents is purely coincidental... :?). Sure the Smiler's the president, but why and to what end? As Spider notes all he's done as president is just cover up how he got there.

 

Now The Beast, he's a true villain. He knows what he wants, and why, and revels and delights in the power that being the President gives him. The casual cruelty, the disdain for human feelings and emotions, and the utter delight in his supposed 'lack of power' to help others when all he has to do is lift a telephone, shifts him firmly into the villain category.

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Snoopy
Sort of like the difference between CofC and Kult - In the former, the you are doomed because the universe doesn't care, you're just in the way; in the latter, you are doomed because the universe DOES care, and is out to get you.

 

This is true. And yes its powerful, in a macabre kind of way. But personally its just a step too far. Who'd have thought that I would have actually have found a slowing down place...? Must be getting old. When I was in my twenties I wouldn't have blinked at Jack....

 

Which might explain why I don't run (although I do own) Kult, and do run lots of CoC.

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Thorulfr
This is true. And yes its powerful, in a macabre kind of way. But personally its just a step too far.

 

The point I like (the one that really makes the story for me), is when Arloest says to Jack "It's OK, I know what I'm getting into." and Jack replies "No, you don't."

It's the whole 'Faustian bargain gone bad" schtick, but with the added twist of realizing too late that the worst torments are the subtlest ones.

 

This, of course, could go rambling off into a discussion of the conventional view vs. the Swedenborgian views of hell: In the former, the worst torment is supposed to be the knowledge of separation from God; in the latter, hell is a warped sort of kindness, since while the damned suffer in hell, their souls are such that they would suffer even more in heaven... but I'll resist the temptation. :wink:

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Sinclair

Faustian bargain nerdery: What exactly does giving your soul to the Devil entail? I mean, if someone evil's soul would end up in Hell regardless, I figure anybody handing it over in exchange for something is getting a good deal. Why? Because anybody willing to sell their soul to the Devil probably isn't getting beyond the Pearly Gates.

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Thorulfr
I mean, if someone evil's soul would end up in Hell regardless, I figure anybody handing it over in exchange for something is getting a good deal. Why? Because anybody willing to sell their soul to the Devil probably isn't getting beyond the Pearly Gates.

 

Well, now we would have to get into the whole Calvinist "predistination vs. free will" debate - If one has free will, then there is always the possibility that they might be convinced by one of those pesky evangelists to convert at the last minute, and get off scott-free. If the Devil had a signed contract, that might have precedence over being 'saved', allowing him to lock down posession of the soul. In addition, in the stories, most of the contracts had a set time limit: three years, seven years, etc. This allows the Devil to collect sooner than waiting for the foolish mortal to die a natural death.

Now, if you are a strict Calvinist, perhaps you can view an evil person 'selling their soul' much the same way as one of the Elect doing good works ... it is just the sort of behavior that is expected of someone based on the state of their predestined fate. They are not saved or damned because of their behavior; their behavior is a reflection of the ultimate fate of their soul.

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kingofthemorlocks

But wasn't Faust saved on his deathbed by the angel Margaret?

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Bruinsfan

Depends on the version. I believe Goethe's Faust is saved at the last, but Marlowe's rides the Down escalator.

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Samhain

Hi! First post in this forum.

 

Favorite TV villain: The Smoking Man from the X-Files. Covered Roswell up, assassinated JFK, survived the alien civil war. Heck, even killing him would have been unsatisfying.

 

Favorite movie villain: Clarence Boddiker from the first Robocop. Gleefully tortured the hero, did tongue tricks with a grenade pin, assaulted a cyborg hand-to-hand--all while wearing wire-rimmed spectacles. Gave the name "Clarence" a viciousness I never thought it could have.

 

Favorite book villain: Professor Moriarty. Killed Sherlock Holmes. 'Nuff said.

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Thorulfr
Depends on the version. I believe Goethe's Faust is saved at the last, but Marlowe's rides the Down escalator.

 

And, of course, some of the popular medieval grimoires, in addition to giving the rituals for summoning the devil, include helpful advice about how to hopefully outwit him, and what to do afterward.

 

...what they seem to forget is that the devil will have seen all these stunts at least a dozen times before... :twisted:

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cynick
Favorite book villain: Professor Moriarty. Killed Sherlock Holmes. 'Nuff said.

Um, no he didn't.

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Samhain
Favorite book villain: Professor Moriarty. Killed Sherlock Holmes. 'Nuff said.

Um, no he didn't.

 

Actually, "The author tired of his character! With rising fame, the need for ready cash had passed, and he was weary of inventing plots. The detective, he told himself, was taking his time and attention from more serious work. The public clamor was still enormous, but Conan Doyle...had had enough. In the twenty-fourth story of the series he killed his hero off.

 

God in heaven!

 

You may read all about it in the appalling chapter called The Final Problem: how the wicked Professor Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes's old enemy, caught up with him at last, in Switzerland; how they grappled together on the brink of the Reichenbach Falls, then plunged together into the depths, locked in each other's arms.

 

'That's that,' said the murderous Doyle, with a sigh of satisfaction."

 

--Vincent Starrett's introduction to the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Easton Press, 1981, pages xi-xii.

 

Of course, the public outcry compelled Doyle to resurrect Mr. Holmes. But that's not Moriarty's fault. :wink:

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themaninawhitecar
You may read all about it in the appalling chapter called The Final Problem: how the wicked Professor Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes's old enemy, caught up with him at last, in Switzerland; how they grappled together on the brink of the Reichenbach Falls, then plunged together into the depths, locked in each other's arms.

 

'That's that,' said the murderous Doyle, with a sigh of satisfaction."

 

--Vincent Starrett's introduction to the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Easton Press, 1981, pages xi-xii.

 

Of course, the public outcry compelled Doyle to resurrect Mr. Holmes. But that's not Moriarty's fault. :wink:

 

Have you seen Neil Gaiman's twist on the relationship between Moriarty and Holmes?

 

http://www.neilgaiman.com/exclusive/StudyinEmerald.asp

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Rusty-Spoon

My vote goes to Vincent Price as either Dr. Phibes or Matthew Hopkins in Witchfinder General - classic villainy :twisted: !!!

 

The trouble with someone like Darth Vader is that he's far too Pantomime to be really villainous - compare him say Pinhead from the Cenobites and he looks very tame.

 

Question: What qualities do people think makes a good villain ??? I always find the banality of evil in a character to be the most villainous aspect - to do something terrible that they just accept as ordinary.

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The_Silent_One

My favorites:

 

John Doe from Thomas Ligotti's short story "The Frolic"-Possibly my favorite villain. The way he is characterised screams Nyarlathotep, if you read closely.

Hannibal Lector-I think I heard somewhere that 92% of serial killers have no sense of humour. As with Doe, how can you not love one that does?

Hounds of Tindalos-The very premise is interesting. "They are lean and athirst!"

Various doctors in Ligotti's prose-The ultimate cures for the ultimate ailments: Life and sanity.

Leviathan-If you've ever read Jewish folklore, you've got to feel sorry for him.

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TomBedlam

He was a truly awful spectre of a man, a force nature maybe a god, maybe a devil.

 

"The Judge" from Blood Meridian.

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The_Usernameless_Horror
This is an interesting thread, many of the nominees being ones who are somehow redeemed at the end (Vader), ones who's villainy is done for a noble purpose (Ozymandias and Dudley Smith), or ones who actually do good when they feel like it (Lecter & Hyde).

 

It could be argued that if you only do good when you feel like it you are evil through and through.

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Nollvane

What, no Godzilla?

 

Seriously, cool thread.

He's been mentioned here a couple of times, but I gotta say Fu Manchu. He's classic old-school villainy: ruthless, calculating and unfeeling, but also brilliant, charismatic and honorable. Check out Gahan Wilson's story "The Power of the Mandarin" for a great tribute.

 

I've actually always thought that Prof. Moriarty was kind of a cipher in Doyle's original story, but I'll admit that he's been fleshed out in interesting ways by later writers.

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Scaevola

My favorite villain ever was SHODAN from the System Shock games. Other than that, I'd go with the Alien Queen from 'Aliens' or maybe the Predator.

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thor

I have a new person: Dr. Breen, administrator of Earth in Half-Life 2. I actually started to feel sorry for what I was doing when he began to first plead, than beg for me to stop screwing up his plans; that the Combine would obliterate Mankind if we pissed them off; that he had "laid the plans for humanity's future as something far greater than we could imagine".

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