March 4, 2011

Book Blogger Hop, March 4, 2011

This week, the Book Blogger Hop question is: 
"Who's your all-time favorite book villain?"
What is it about villains that we love?  My husband gets frustrated with me because I always like the bad guys in a movie.  Does this make me evil?  I think not.  I love a complex character and a great villain is complex.  I guess that makes me... complex?
Here are my criteria for great villains.
1.  A great villain has a past.  The story is written in a way that we learn what makes the villain so bad.  If we know the villain's past, we can feel sympathy for them.  If we feel sympathy for them, we can root for them a little bit- even if we hate them.  Take Helen in Wait Til Helen Comes.  Helen dies in a fire when she is a girl.  We find out that she started the fire, and her entire family dies in the fire.  I hated her up until that page- and then I understood why she was so evil. 
2. A great villain has motivation.  There is something they need or want.  I think motivation makes us relate to a villain on a more human level- because we may have the same motivators in our life- wealth, power, strength, knowledge.  The Warden in Holes is so motivated by wealth that she is blinded with rage and anger.  This makes her a great villain, because deep down, we can feel that same desire for wealth.  We still don't like her, but we understand her.  
3. A great villain is ALMOST pure evil.  They are about 99% evil.  They can level an entire city, but then turn around and save the puppy from drowning in the river.  Just when we think we know them, they surprise us.  That makes us wonder if there is more there than meets the eye- if there is something more to love.  Do you agree with me and who are your favorite literary villains? 
My favorite villain is:
President Snow in The Hunger Games.
I detest that man.  He is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, yet he is smug and full of himself.  The way Katniss describes him- just makes my skin crawl... I love to hate him.  Spoiler: In the last book, Mockingjay, he redeems himself on his death bed.  He reveals information to Katniss that forever changes her life.  He didn't have to do that... was it kindness or him being vengeful?  We don't know, but we thank him for his confession.   

Book Blogger Hop


  1. uhm as of this writing i couldnt decide which villain i hated most. urrgghhh i cant think. its been an exhausting day at work and i'll answer this question when i can.

    stopping by your blog and im your newest follower!

  2. I enjoyed reading your run down on what makes a villain real. While I don't generally root for the bad guys, I can see where you are coming from. I also chose President Snow from Hunger Games. :)

    New follower from the hop. Happy Friday!


  3. Good pick! I'm stopping in from the hop!


  4. Hello! I'm a new follower from the Hop! I also wondered the reasoning behind Snow making his deathbed confession. Was it him trying to make amends for his wrongdoing? Or was he still being a terrible human being? Hmmm....
    Have a great weekend!

  5. I have to say I hated Severus Snape as much as Harry Potter during the 1st 6 books. However SPOILER ALERT!-in the last book when Severus lies dying and asked Harry "look at me" - you he wants to see Lily's eyes as he dies. Then when Harry as an adult, give one of his sons the middle name of Severus, I was so very touched.

  6. I love the way you break down a villain. You really need to read my books and you will feel very differently when you are done! I promise! BUT you are the second blog I have read today that talks about Snow and Hunger Games....looks like I might just have to get me a copy of that book!
    I am your newest follower and added you to my blog roll....come on over and check out my stuff!

  7. Hopping through. New follower!
    I think Pres Snow is a great villain...all the more because he's not the sole source of evil in Katniss's world.
    My Hop

  8. I haven't read the Hunger Games but I've been hearing so much about them.

  9. Fantastic the detailed answer...President Snow should be the VILLAIN OF THE YEAR...I hated him.

    I love this week's question..Stopping by from the Blog Hop.

    Stop by my blog for a book giveaway:


    Chelsey Emmelhainz of HARPER COLLINS is graciously providing FIVE copies for five lucky winners.

  10. thanks for stopping by my blog.
    good explanation of what makes a good villain, i totally agree. :D

  11. I think it should be Count Olaf in The Series of Unfortunate Events or Voldemort in the Harry Potter Series.

  12. President Snow from The Hunger Games is quite a villain. That whole thing with blood on his mouth? And leaving white flowers as his, “I’m gonna get you” calling card? He seems to take way too much pleasure in systematically murdering children. I think his deathbed confession is done solely to bother Katniss as much as possible. Evil to the core! Right to the very end!