Villain Chat: The Importance of Villainy

Where would we be without villains?


Nowhere, probably.  In Wreck it Ralph, Ralph goes to a meeting for Bad-Anon, which seems like a place for bad guys to just vent and confess things that bother them.  They close the meeting with the bad guy affirmation, which is pretty dang lovely.

“I am bad, and that’s good.  I will never be good, and that’s not bad.  There’s no one I’d rather be than me.”


Villains are so important to movies, books, video games, everything, because without them, we don’t have a plot.  Batman and Joker will never kill each other because they need each other.  We need the Joker to always mess stuff up when Gotham is getting too nice, and we need Batman to keep the Joker in his place (Arkham).  That was the theme of the Harry Potter series, Voldemort and Harry would always fight, or both would die.  Harry technically died, but he came back; Voldemort was stretched so thin with all of his horcruxes that he couldn’t come back.

In a lot of Disney movies, it’s very easy to tell who the villain is.  They usually have more intense eyebrows than the other characters, they skulk a lot, and they favor the color green.  But that isn’t a bad thing.  If we didn’t have them, the movies would be too happy.  We thirst for conflict, we want to hate someone when we watch movies and read books.  In serial pieces, we know who the main villain is because they keep coming back; Count Olaf (Series of Unfortunate Events), Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter), Doctor Doofenschmirtz (Phineas & Ferb), Darth Vader (Star Wars), and many others are so vital.  Readers and viewers have more time to hate the villain because the series is extended over however many books / tv shows / movies.  And that’s what we want.

The villain also makes the hero into a hero.  If Princess Leia hadn’t needed Ben Kenobi, would Luke have ever learned about his father?  If Voldemort had not chosen Harry to try to kill as an infant, would he have had a family and a really great life with them?  It’s hard to say either way, but the writers decided to have a villain because it would be a boring story otherwise.  Remember, the next time you hate a villain with every ounce of your being, you’re supposed to!





All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.