A while ago I wrote a post about what it was that made villains so sexy. Ever since then I’ve been amazed at how often search engines have brought people to my blog based on searches for ‘sexy villains’. Clearly I am not the only one who finds them intriguing!
So, in a shameless bid for fame and fortune I’m baring my soul to reveal the book, movie and gaming villains who make my heart skip a beat. As I’m old and dignified I won’t mention any other parts of my anatomy that may be involved.
Movies and Series
The first entrant in this category is the Sherlock Holmes character played by Benedict Cumberbatch, an English actor who is not ‘pretty’ at all. Nonetheless the rare moments of softness in his otherwise prickly character make him utterly fascinating. Technically Sherlock Holmes is one of the ‘good guys’ but his personality places him squarely in the ‘here but for the grace of god be a villain’ category. And yes, the redemption of his personality is a major drawing card for me.
Another modern entrant is Loki, the arch villain from The Avengers blockbuster movie. Played by yet another English actor, Tom Hiddleston, Loki is cunning, powerful, gorgeous and ‘adopted’, with all that that implies. 😀 I rest my case.
Last but not least is John Cusack in the role of Martin Blank, a professional assassin in Grosse Point Blank. Cusack is gorgeous I have to admit but what makes the character of Martin Blank so appealing is the fact that he goes over to the ‘good’ side for the sake of love. This is redemption with a capital ‘R’!
Anyone who has ever played video games will recognize the next uber villain – Sephiroth! Final Fantasy 7 by Square-Enix [Squaresoft back then] created a number of very memorable characters including Cloud the uber angster and Vincent the revenant, however all of them paled beside the arch villain, Sephiroth. Beautiful, powerful, broken. The following video clip is not from Final Fantasy 7 but it does show Sephiroth rather well and, well I just love the graphics! What more can I say?
Square Enix is my favourite game developer and one of the reasons for that is that they have had an uncanny knack of creating villains and heroes who all struggle towards redemption.
My second favourite gaming ‘villain’ is Sydney Losstarot of Vagrant Story fame [see concept art on the left].
Although Vagrant Story never achieved the commercial success of the Final Fantasy series, it remains my favourite game of all time, along side Final Fantasy Tactics and Sydney remains one of the very best villains ever to be redeemed. That may be a bit of a spoiler but so be it.
And now to books. Back when I was a great deal younger I became obsessed with one particular character created by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. That character was Raistlin Majere. He was a mage, self-obsessed, cold and seemingly without too many redeeming traits and yet… I loved him. I think I was attracted to the element of power teamed with a certain pathos. Or perhaps it was the hint that redemption was at least possible. I make no apologies although I do cringe just a teeny weeny bit.
In the Death Gate Cyle, Weis and Hickman create a far more rounded character called Haplo who starts out as a bit of a bad guy and ends up as a hero. I loved him as well. Again the redemption theme.
Moving into the present day I have found myself becoming very fond of a character in the Norothian cycle [by M.Edward McNally]. The name of this character is John Deskata and he is both hero and villain. This duality in his nature becomes apparent in book 3, The Wind from Miilark. I hardly need to say that the possibility of redemption is a huge part of John Deskata’s allure.
So there you have it. I’m sure you will have your own favourites but I wonder if you find the redemption theme as intriguing as I do? I’d love to know what you think so please tell me who you find irresistible… and why. 😀