Let’s Talk Bookish: what makes a good villain?

I’m finally back: the first week of school was a killer and I didn’t have time to read ONE page, or even check up on my blog. So, I’m back, but a day late. Anyways: today I’ll be discussing a good villain – what makes a good villain and personal favorites! Let’s Talk Bookish is as always hosted by Rukky @Eternitybooks!

A complex or twisted personality

Personally, I don’t like it when a villain is 100% completely bad and has no moral compass whatsoever. Instead, I really like it when the villain is torn between being good and bad, when he more than just a killer and has personal issues to deal with. For me, that makes it more real and therefore also relatable and more unpredictable because the personality then plays a role!

An intriguing backstory

Another thing I’ve really come to appreciate is a great backstory that explains the character development. A complicated childhood or a traumatic experience: something that made the villain loose trust in humanity and explains the actions. That’s way more interesting than just a bad person that was born bad and we don’t know or understand why. Plus, I really love it when the protagonist discovers the antagonist’s past and can use it to outsmart him!

Personal ties to the protagonist

This doesn’t always have to apply: but it’s more intriguing when the protagonist and antagonist have some former relationship, had to endure something together or just had some sort of former contact. It just makes the whole plot more personal instead of the protagonist fighting the dictator or bad king but never having seen the person or just fighting him to save the kingdom: I mean yes, understandable, but where is the conflict between the characters?

My favorite villains:

  1. Voldemort vs. Harry because of the personal relationship: the murder of Harry’s parents and him not being able to kill baby Harry was the basis of this great development. Were it Ron vs. Voldemort, then were are the ties? I mean, yes, Voldemort is evil no matter who fights him, but we want the one on one and scar hurting, visions and manipulations.
  2. The villain in Red Queen: I won’t describe this any further because of the spoilers, but to anyone who knows the book – because it isn’t black and white, he has moments of strength and then doubt, he’s torn and has a complicated childhood and then the ending…
  3. Valentine and Jonathan in The Mortal Instruments: while I don’t consider this series to be a plot-masterpiece, it plays a great role that Valentine is Clary’s father and then Jonathan her brother because it complicates everything and makes it a family-matter…

Well, that’s it: who’s your favorite villain and what makes a great one in your opinion? Feel free to comment! Happy reading!

Author: Blogger Books

I'm a huge fan of Draco Malfoy, I love scones and tea time, I don't like horror movies and obviously I'm a huge book nerd.

17 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: what makes a good villain?”

  1. I didn’t even consider the personal ties to the protagonist thing, but I think that’s a very good point! I love when they’re connected so it makes even more sense as to why the villain is so focused on the protagonist, even if they seem like a nobody at the beginning of the series.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with most of your points, but I have my apprehensions about the personal ties with the protagonist thing. What attracts me most towards the villains in stories is the magnitude of actions they can execute to justify their motives. I think villains should be given more attention than the protagonists. Don’t you agree?

    Liked by 1 person

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