Toil and Trouble: villain themed post today! My favorites in all shades of grey and …no darkling! Blogoween Level 2 day 4

Today on Blogoween Soph @ Bookwyrming Thoughts has asked for a villain theme!

Toil and trouble or would I want a villain as a roommate, in a haunted house or ….

 

Maybe if they looked like Lucifer Morningstar I wouldn’t mind … 😀 

Well I don’t know if I’d want all the ones I’ll mention below as roommate but I love talking about villains!

Not the totally black villain who are easy to hate because it’s obvious there is not a shred of compassion in them like Voldemort and the likes.

No.

I love talking about the villains coming in shades of grey *and I am not talking about Christian Grey here…*.

They obviously are not the white knight but they are not evil either. Some of them might even be more interesting than the hero.

And of course the big question is: why are they the villains in the story?

Take Rhysand for example. He was the villain in the first book of the ACOTAR series. Because we rooted for Tamlin. Because Feyre was “programmed” to see Rhysand as the villain. Because it worked for Rhysand to be seen as a villain as it was a mean to protect his people.

Then suddenly in the second installment, he became the white knight. The one saving Feyre.

Why?

Because the author chose to make Tamlin into a villain and Rhysand a white knight. Talk about role reversal and manipulation of the reader!

Yet I love Sarah J Maas and her books but my point is: someone is a villain because the author chooses to make us see him as a villain. And of course writes things accordingly because readers are no fools!

And an author can also choose to blur the lines. To make him or her a villain but maybe not totally evil. Maybe he or she would be worthy of redemption…

The queen of grey villains is none other than ….Holly Black!

I love her books because she never goes for manichaeism! There is always more than what we can see on the surface.

In this she may be writing the most “real” characters because as human beings we all are complex and we all have darkness inside.

I have three favorite villains today and two have been Holly’s creation.

The first one is one that’s been gushed over these past months: Cardan.

Let’s be real here: Cardan is a bully. Plain and simple.

He wasn’t easy to read and honestly he won’t be impressive as a hero in the first installment. For all his bullying he lacked substance. I think this is precisely because he did not want to hurt Jude but he was jealous yet fascinated.

“Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.”
Holly Black, The Cruel Prince

Of course every bully can be seen as a villain. But when you learn what has been done to Cardan all his life you can not avoid empathizing and you begin to understand his motives.

It left me conflicted as I had an unimpressive hero, a bully and still I commiserated for what happened to him. The last sentences gave me hope that the next installment would see a formidable and ruthless king arise.

See? Much promises and complex feelings here.

By the way this picture of Cardan is from one of my Fairyloot boxes and has been designed by a fantastic artist: Merwild!

 

My second villain of the day comes from my first Holly Black’s books.

It was the one setting the tone: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

I was fascinated by Gavriel!

He was a vampire, a bad guy, really crazy sometimes. He could be very vicious, violent yet he was loyal and could show compassion. He was sexy, clever and mad! Talk about a fascinating mix! He was not far from being a psycho yet he had his moments and he made me laugh!

This was simply brilliant and settled my love story for Holly Black’s writing.

Something to ponder about villains:

“Isn’t every hero aware of all the terrible reason they did those good deeds?” Aware of every mistake they ever made and how good people got hurt because of their decisions? Don’t they recall the moments they weren’t heroic at all? The moments where their heroism led to more deaths than deliberate villainy ever could?”
Holly Black, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

 

And my last villain for the day is a little more black and less grey. But he is one I would have loved to see redeemed anyway.

He never stood a chance against fate.

His father predestined him to be soiled, to be dark. To crave death and power.

I am speaking about Sebastian Morgensten, Clary’s brother.

He had tainted demon blood forced upon him even before his birth and had never really a choice.

Yet there are moments in the story where I felt his longing. His longing to be a good brother. His longing to be different. His death was really moving as he was regretful and grateful to be gone, to stop what he had done.

This is one of the rare “dark” villains that I would gladly have saved.

That’s it for today, nothing really crazy but rather something dear to my heart 😀 

Oh and to answer your question: yes I would welcome Gavriel as a rommate provided he liked me of course!

Now do tell me what villain you like or would be ready to share a room with?

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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14 Replies to “Toil and Trouble: villain themed post today! My favorites in all shades of grey and …no darkling! Blogoween Level 2 day 4”

  1. I love characters like Rhysand!! And I love your point about us seeing characters as the villain if the author chooses to portray them that way. And I love morally grey characters. I also really get your point about Sebastian- he may have no morals, but he does have moments of longing to be better, which I really appreciate! (actually I think Clare is great at creating more complex villains!) And I get what you mean about Gavriel too!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I agree with you Cassandra Clare writes really great and complex villains! They can love the kids yet deceive them. They often have bee hurt before or shunned and pushed to rebel.

  2. I love Holly Black too. Did you know she sends back signed book swag if you send her a letter and a self addressed stamped envelope? I got signed Cruel Prince swag that way, but I want to get some Wicked King swag as well so I’m going to send another letter. 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh Amanda thank you for the tips!!!!! I would love some Wicked King book swag 😉

  3. So many great ones! And right now I’m drawing a blank after reading your choices. LOL

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha but Laura you have more villains than I do LOL

  4. GAVRIEL!!! Oh my gosh, I never see anyone talk about Gavriel. Love, love. love him. TCGIC was one of the few stand alones that I ever wished (desperately) was a series. I need more Gavriel!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Tanya that’s why I try sometimes to stay far from the obvious because as much as I love Rhysand etc. other heroes deserve some love too 🙂

  5. I wouldn’t mind if all villains looked like Lucifer Morningstar either!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahahah Krystal I know ;-)))

  6. Lucifer is such a complex and awesome character! And I definitely love villains as much as heroes, especially those are are complex and grey! I’d go with Moriarty just cause he’s always so insane and fascinating at the same darn time! 😛

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha Moriarty yes!!!

  7. Great choices, Sophie! I love Lucifer. I hope they bring the show back. I haven’t tried these books, but your recommendations have talked me into checking them out 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh I would love watching Lucifer again Jacquie!

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