Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sympathetic Villains

I was just thinking about some of my favorite characters from books and movies. They are often supposed to be the villain of the piece, yet I find myself hoping they'll be the heroes in the end. Severus Snape, for example. Or the Phantom of the Opera. Not nice guys, surely, but...but... Gee, I want them to WIN. And then there was Alan Rickman's portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham - he was so funny and engaging, it broke my heart when he was killed. Of course, I love any character Rickman plays even though I wish he would do more comedy, but I digress.

When I read Cheyenne McCray's "Forbidden Magic", I found myself rooting for Junga toward the end -- she's really a bad gal, but I hope she somehow gets a happily-ever-after by the end of the series.

Then there was Cyrus in Jennifer Armintrout's "The Turning". Again, not a warm and fuzzy guy, but I wanted things to turn out well for him, even though I also loved Nathan.

I guess it's a little scary to think about what this says about me... I've always loved the troublemakers. My cats have always been psychos, my daughter is a handful, and the men I'm always drawn to aren't necessarily "bad boys", but they generally aren't the ones your parents would love, either. The strange thing about that is I've always had a reputation as a "goody two shoes" - maybe I'm attracted to that spark that is either lacking or deeply hidden in me? Only my therapist knows for sure. (grin)

Does anybody else love these misfits as much as I do? Do you long for their redemption, or their triumph, and maybe even feel a little guilty about that?


  1. Alan Rickman is fabulous as Severus Snape. I want Snape to turn out to be the good guy. *g* The same with Phantom of the Opera. He was so much more interesting than the heroine's love interest. (I hate to say "hero", because he never was to me.)

    Wasn't Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter the most memorable character in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS?

    The bad guys in my books are never totally bad. It would be different if I wrote about serial killers, but I write relationship books. The bad guys are just mixed up people, and some a little more mixed up than others.

  2. Oh, Edie - I love Snape! :) I'll be heartbroken if she kills him off in the last book. And I agree 100% with your take on the Phantom. Have to admit I've never seen SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, but I would imagine Anthony Hopkins was compelling - he's such a good actor.
    I like your take on why the bad guys in your books aren't truly bad - it also leaves the door open for them to have their own story, as well. (Sequel, anyone?)


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