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Who's your favorite villain?


When I was a kid, my favorite bad guy was Dr. Zachary Smith from the TV show, Lost in Space.

   
I know, I know, he wasn’t exactly evil (though he did try to sabotage the original mission), but I always loved how he used Will Robinson as a human shield in times of danger and the way he argued with the Robinson family’s robot (except when he was hiding behind it).
 
I also like The Master, from Doctor Who (back in the days of the third (and my second) doctor, Jon Pertwee.


                                                
 
These days I enjoy the spiteful, sadistic Professor Snape, played by Alan Rickman – who was also excellent as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Hans Gruber in Die Hard.
 

Overall though, I’d have to say my favorite villains are The Dursleys from the Harry Potter books (though Rickman’s portrayal of Snape comes in a close second).  

                                               
 
There’s something delightfully mean about the way Harry’s step-parents forced him to sleep in the cupboard beneath the stairs for the first eleven years of his life. Especially when we later discover there was a perfectly good bedroom he could have used, but they’d given it to their spoiled brat of a son as a spare bedroom (in which to keep all his unused toys etc).
 
So far, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Potter movies (with the possible exception of the last one), but I think the producers made a huge mistake when they decided not to make use of so many of the great Dursley scenes from the books. 
 
How about you?
 
Who’s your favorite villain? 


ETA: 1:20pm  Ooh!  I forgot Spike 

                            

What was I thinking?



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Comments

mary_j_59
Feb. 1st, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
Um-Jon? Snape's not a villain. He's a hero, and a very great one. Whether he likes Harry or not (I'd say he doesn't ) is beside the point. He does the right thing, even if it goes against his inclinations. Even if it costs him his life. If he's not a hero, there are no heroes in these books.

And I'm afraid the Dursleys just bore me.

Rowling did, however, manage to write one truly scary and believable villain. Dolores Umbridge. I would also nominate Dr. Melanie Powers, from the "Green Knowe" books as both malevolent and believable. And Saruman, of course! Also Fagin and Bill Sykes, among others, and possibly Madame DeFarge. Steerforth . Wackford Squeers - gosh, Dickens has a lot of over-the-top types! So does Muriel Spark. And you're right about Dr. Smith; he's great fun.
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
When I'm trying to decide whether or not Snape's a villain, I end up sounding like Topol in Fiddler on the Roof 'On the one hand... On the other hand' etc.

I currently come down on the side of evil villain (he did kill old Dumbly-dore, after all), but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise :)
mary_j_59
Feb. 1st, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
Have you read all the books, Jon, or are you just going by the movies? If you haven't, I'm not going to spoil you at all. If you have, I could spend some time trying to persuade you, though it would probably be futile.

(Resistance is futile - that line reminds me of several other great SF villains, starting with the Daleks and ending with IT in A Wrinkle in Time!)
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
I've read all the books. I can see why you think he's a hero, but I'm not convinced.
mary_j_59
Feb. 1st, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Well, then, I really do think there is nothing I can say to you. I despised Dumbledore (who set up Snape's murder and lied to Harry for years) after DH, and actually didn't like Harry very much, either. If you think Snape - a soldier in a war - is a villain for obeying a direct order from his commanding officer, I really don't think we agree at all about what makes a villain.

Oh - a few more for you. The Tisroc, in Horse and his Boy, is clever, ruthless and delightfully creepy - and Jadis is something else again! No question about her villainy!
jongibbs
Feb. 1st, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
Lol, don't take it personally, Mary. I just feel that Snape relished being mean to Harry throughout the series in a very much unherioc way :P
snapes_angel
Feb. 2nd, 2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
Actually, Voldemort killed Dumbledore. Remember Dumbledore's withered hand, from trying to chase down one of the Horcruxes? Earlier on in the series Snape sort of hinted at that. Book one, in fact, talking about putting a stopper on death. Personally, I think he kept Dumbledore alive when he should have died, and though it wasn't quite planned for in this particular fashion (character-wise, not author-wise), Dumbledore's death was just releasing the stopper. As we saw in book 7, death didn't stop Dumbledore from looking after Mister Potter. Also, Harry and Ginny named one of their sons Severus.
jongibbs
Feb. 2nd, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
You guys seem to have read the books way more times than I have :)
snapes_angel
Feb. 2nd, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
My daughter got me hooked on the series. The character of Professor Snape intrigued me. I do think that Alan Rickman softened old Snape up quite a bit, though (Snape was more hardcore).
mary_j_59
Feb. 2nd, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
He did and he didn't. In some ways, Book Snape (my favorite - Alan Rickman is badly miscast) is a gentler and more honorable person than movie Snape. Have you read Terri Testing on this?
snapes_angel
Feb. 2nd, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
No, I haven't. I did come to appreciate Mr. Rickman's portrayal, a necessary one for the cinema; but I like literary Snape better, too. Honorable, well, there was some honor to his actions, and a nobility as well (self sacrifice for the greater good ultimately, first wherever reputation he'd build over the years after Voldemort's failed attempt tp kill Harry, and then afterwards, when he apparently killed Albus Dumbledore), and then in book 7.

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