baroness emma orczy, brian jacques, c.s. lewis, castaways of the flying dutchman, disney, disney fairies, j.m. barrie, j.r.r. tolkien, lord of the rings, peter pan, redwall, return to neverland, secret of the wings, star wars, the chronicles of narnia, the clone wars, the pirate fairy, the scarlet pimpernel
Hello, and welcome to another list! This time, we are discussing the Top Ten Villains who Made an Impression on Me.
I mentioned in my TCWT post that I was thinking of posting this. Well, here it is, realized. 🙂
- Tash, The Last Battle, The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. Basically the demonic opposite of Aslan, Tash was a four-armed beast with a vulture’s head and demanded human sacrifice of his worshipers. Honestly, if Tash was not the father of lies (and desensitization), who’d want to serve him?
- Darth Sidious, The Return of the Jedi, Star Wars. Was there ever any quibbling? This villain is something of an archetype, but oh Force, he pulls it off with charisma. Darth Sidious made an impression on me, mostly because he was THE villain, back in the day when I was wide-eyed and clutching my teddy bear as I watched The Return of the Jedi for the first time. I mean, most villains want the hero dead. Sidious wanted Luke’s soul. How creepy is that?!
- Gabrielle Damien (Mademoiselle Guillotine), A&E’s Scarlet Pimpernel trilogy, based on the books by Baroness Orczy. Both blatant and shockingly vile, Mademoiselle Guillotine has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. What earns her a place on this list, though, is her hatred for Catholicism and disrespect for the sacred, coupled with her utter disregard for human life or dignity. Surprisingly enough, Damien was shot by the series’ main villain, which redeemed him, slightly, in my eyes. (That alone should tell you exactly what I think of Damien.)
- Maguda Razan, The Angel’s Command, Castaways of the Flying Dutchman trilogy, by Brian Jacques. She was a sort of mafia-boss-slash-mother-of-evil-slash-abomination. Think Sidious’ insanity crossed with the White Witch and then throw in a splash of Tash, and you have Maguda Razan. She kidnapped Ben basically because she wanted to feed off of his nightmares and the memories of his time on the Flying Dutchman years before.
- Shift, Ginger, and Rishta Tarkaan, The Last Battle, Narnia. Shift and his cadre of liars made a special impression on me. I was as enraged by their deceptions as the heroes of the story were (after reading the book, I had a dream where I was chasing Shift through Narnia, walloping him with a frying pan. I have counted it as one of my sweetest ever.) Their respective, well-deserved deaths (claimed by Tash, losing the power of speech, and claimed by Tash) were received by me with vindictive feelings of justification.
- The White Witch, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Narnia. The White Witch was a conniving deceiver, and I still think she hasn’t been portrayed correctly on screen. In the old BBC movies, she looked overdone (though that’s due to the style of the times), and her acting seemed overly dramatic. However, she was the better of the two portrayals, in my opinion. (Those movies also had the perfect Peter, too… *sigh* In fact, all of the Pevensies, Jill, and Eustace were perfectly casted. It’s the costume design and the special effects that I have problems with.) The White Witch in the new movies seems a bit too exotic for the role. (I have not seen the new movies. But from what I have seen, this is what I think.)
- Moriarty, Sherlock, based on the books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Moriarty is one of those generic villains who wanted the hero dead in the original. However, his intellect earned him a spot on this list even before the BBC series. Andrew Scott’s acting brings the character of Moriarty to new levels; from mere brilliant criminal mastermind, he goes to total insane psychopath, playing a game against Sherlock. The biggest difference between Moriarty and Sherlock is that Sherlock has a reason to live, while Moriarty is “bored” by life, and his only reason to live is to play the game. (Also, is he coming back in Season Four?!)
- Cluny the Scourge, Redwall. He was the Redwall villain. He made a big impression on me mostly because he was almost like an orc only he was a rat, and I was eleven, I think. It was the more kid-friendly version of orcs, actually. 😛
- Grima Wormtongue, The Two Towers, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Sauruman was an also-ran, competing for this spot, but though he managed to nearly permanently wreck the Shire, it was Wormtongue I felt made the bigger impression. There’s something in the human psyche that despises a truth-twister, and as a truth-twister Wormtongue definitely qualifies.
- Captain Hook, Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie. There was no way I was going to leave the number one villain of childhood off this list. (Sid, aka The Destructive Kid Next Door, from Toy Story was the only other person I’d consider for this spot, and he comes nowhere near to what I felt from Hook.) Hook was scary. He wanted to kill Peter. He was able to use Peter’s cockiness against him. That’s what I liked about him as a kid.
Pros as a teenager/young adult: Hook is the most sympathetic villain you will come across in children’s literature. He is wonderfully fleshed out, and even has more backstory than Peter, though parts of his past are shrouded in mystery. Since Peter symbolizes the innocence and wonder of childhood (in my fanfiction re-telling of Peter Pan I go so far as make him a metaphor for fairytales and the far reaches of the imagination,) Hook thus symbolically, by extension, wants to do away with the innocence and wonder and imagination of childhood. Yet he still feels bad about it! (“No little children to love me.”)
And last but not least, for a word about Hook in The Pirate Fairy. In my opinion, Hook (played by Tom Hiddleston) was the best part of The Pirate Fairy. Without him, it would have been just another Disney fairy movie, (No offense, Secret of the Wings), with its corresponding message of “follow your heart”, “believe in yourself”, and “have faith” (well, scratch that last one, it’s actually from Return to Neverland.) IS THERE ANYBODY ELSE IN ALL THE WORLD WHO WANTS TO SEE A REMAKE OF Peter Pan, only with Hiddleston as Hook and Asa Butterfield as Peter?! (And a properly vindictive Tinker Bell, from which Disney has recently strayed?!)
Anyway, Tom Hiddleston played a thoroughly entrancing Hook, making us feel like he was a good guy who’d fallen in with bad companions, until the turn-about near the end, when he shocked us by the fact that, though he is able to believe enough to fly (grown-ups flying is still really nausea-inducing for me, unless it’s the Return to Neverland version of Wendy; in my opinion, it detracts from the mystique it should have–Disney, please do your research!), he is the mastermind of the pirates’ plan.
The other thing I’d love to see with Hook would have to be a story where he ends up helping Peter, Wendy, Michael, John and the Lost Boys to save Neverland (or helps Wendy, Michael, John, and the Lost Boys to rescue Pan.) Actually, this is the plot of the latter part of the retelling I’m working on, though it would be nice to see other people’s takes on it as well. 😉
- Captain/Admiral/Grand Moff Tarkin, Star Wars. No, actually, there is no number eleven. 😛 Tarkin is just the runner up. As is everyone else after him on the list. Tarkin struck me as evil because he’s a sociopath who doesn’t care who gets in his way, and he will stop at nothing to see the Jedi removed from military service (mainly because of their MORALS, which is vile in the extreme,) and vilified as well, if possible. Tarkin is a good example of why, after the Clone Wars began, for the Jedi there was really no good way out. They are keepers of the peace, not soldiers, as Master Windu explains, but once they’ve begun as a part of the fighting, they are no longer able to withdraw, due to people like Tarkin, who would gladly perpetrate all kinds of atrocities if the Jedi were to leave the field of war. Also, the war has horrible effects on their young (Ahsoka Tano’s inability to relax, for one, and Barriss Offee’s fall for another), and not just on their young: Pong Krell, a full Jedi Knight, is allured by the power the Dark Side offers and falls. (In fact, Obi-Wan and Anakin’s journey is actually a microcosmic allegory for what is happening to the Jedi as a whole. Ever since Qui-Gon’s death, Obi-Wan has been doomed to failure with Anakin by both his own promise to train Anakin and his [often conflicting] oath to serve the Republic and Jedi Order. Obi-Wan’s unwillingness to talk about his emotions, furthered by Anakin’s tendency to throw it back into his face when he summoned up the guts to do so, exacerbated the problem, sending them, inextricably linked, in a downward spiral, which ended with Anakin’s fall, which wounded Obi-Wan in a way that he never recovered from. Similar things happened with the Jedi Order and the crippled, failing Republic.)
- Pong Krell, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Yes, most of my villains are from Star Wars or Narnia, I’m well aware. -_- This guy is the reason why the Jedi were vilified in the latter years of the Clone Wars. As explained above, he sold out his loyalties to the Republic and Jedi Order in the hopes of gaining a place in what he believed to be Dooku’s “New Order”. In the process, a bunch of clones were murdered, including Waxer, the trooper who befriended the little girl (Numa) back in Season One. (I am still in shock from Waxer’s death. And it’s been almost two full seasons since Umbara!) Umbara was an attempt on the Clone Wars writers’ part to show the darker side of war, and was the first incident of friendly fire actually shown on the Clone Wars. Man, did they nail the story. :’-( (I totally wanted to see Obi-Wan finding out about Krell’s treason and come and fight him and be incredibly awesome and do some tail-kicking, but it didn’t happen, and I guess the episode was more effective this way. However, there was a darker side to the clones taking Krell down; they proved that clones could, in fact, defeat Force Users, even those of dubious alignment.)
- Sauruman. He laid waste to the Shire, desecrating something we held sacred. And he was killed by Wormtongue, partially redeeming the Rohan traitor.
So, there’s my list of Top Ten Villains who made an impression along with three runner-ups. (Sorry Dooku did not make it onto the list, he’s awesome and I love to write him, but he didn’t make nearly the impression on me that even Cluny did.) I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading, and God Bless!