Villains Are Better Than Heroes

As you’ve been reading my blog, or The Old Ways, or anything about or by me really, you may have noticed I have a slight soft spot for the villains of any story.

The Grim Reapers. The masterminds. The mad scientists and the fallen angels, the gods of death, the wicked goblin kings, the voracious dragons, and the evil wizards.

And I know what you’re going to say… “Oh, it’s because Tom Hiddleston plays Loki and you really fancy him. BOR-ING.” Well, no. It’s not that.

Well, mostly not that.

Well, mostly not that.

I think it all began when I was younger, and Disney gave their villains all the best stuff. The best songs, the best lines, everything. I’ve still got a CD of Disney Bad-Guy songs I sing along to. Blame Disney for making their villains so damn cool. The Evil Queen, I mean just look at that glare:

evil queen

Maleficent was so cool, she got her own movie! Yet even when Disney films weren’t at their best, I’m talking about the Disney Dark Age, the villains were incredible. Hades, Yzma, Ratcliffe, all funny and quirky and sassy. Don’t even get me started on Hades’s sass.

hades

Every medium of entertainment must have an element of conflict. Every good book, movie, or game has to have an engaging antagonist to move the story along. Whether they’re funny, dark, sinister, charming, misguided, or just basically on the wrong side, a good villain will always impede the hero from his ultimate goal.

lestat

A good villain is powerful. No one wants to read a story where the hero pokes the villain and he/she gently deflates like a flan in a cupboard. No. A good villain fights for what he/she wants. And fight to the death if necessary. Powerful people don’t like relinquishing their power, so they’ll do anything they can to keep themselves at the top of the food chain. It makes it especially fun if the villain has already fought to put themselves at the top of said food chain.

I always like a villain who has a sympathetic motive. Someone who believes they’re fighting for something good, like love or acceptance. It’s like, they want to be a good person, but they just don’t know how to do it. *cough*Loki*cough*. Sorry. I have a cold.

But yes, sympathetic motives. It casts the hero in an awkward situation. The villain is wanting to do something good, but is going about it the completely wrong way. Does the hero stop them? Kill them, even? Tension gets high, tempers overboil, people make mistakes and other people die.

mab

Heath Ledger’s Joker is an absolutely fantastic example of a sinister and mysterious villain. We know absolutely nothing about him. Who is he? Where did he come from? Are those stories about his abusive father and gambling wife true? What made him into the psychopath we see in The Dark Knight? No one knows. And it’s best that way. The Joker went out with a bang, and Heath Ledger’s performance cemented the image of a twisted, manical, almost gothic Joker into everyone’s mind.

the joker

And before you ask about Harry Potter, yes I prefer Bellatrix and Umbridge as villains over Voldemort. I find Voldemort to be quite… cartoonish. I know that sounds really stupid, but I find Bellatrix and Umbridge to be more believable and therefore more interesting, whereas Voldemort is more inhuman and monstrous. His humanity and empathy is gone, leaving only a beast. I’m not afraid of beasts. I’m afraid of the villains who talk to you, who can think, who are clever. They’re the best villains.

smaug

For more information on why dark is the best side to be on, check out this handy dandy guide to being evil HERE.

vader

So what is this all building up to? Why the title? Why am I obsessing over villains in this post? Because I’ve done it. I’ve succeeded in my original goal. Like any good villain, I planted the seeds of my plan a long time ago, and now I’m watching them blossom.

That’s right.

#TeamErlik is now a thing.

People who have read The Old Ways or are currently reading The Old Ways are all sympathising with Erlik. I’ve had people say to me “I understand why he’s doing what he’s doing” or “I feel really bad for him”, and even one instance of “I want to hug him”. Someone even referred to him as a “poor guy”!

I’m so happy you’re all falling under his spell. He’s disgustingly charming and you’ll all become Erlik fangirls before this series is over. Whoops. Did I just say “series”? …

bellatrix

Better get busy, I’m being pestered for the sequel after that devilishly tempting cliffhanger at the end of The Old Ways. But do tell me all about your favourite villain in the comments below! I’d love to know I’m not alone in my strange love of evil 🙂

Blessed be

RK )O(

rumple

Morgana

ursula

lucifer

tywin

 

EDIT: RK apologises for the prolific use of Gifs in this post. She has no willpower.

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I’m Terrible With Deadlines

I’m two days late for my regular blog post! I’m a terrible person, I’m so sorry… I don’t even had an excuse, I just forgot 😦 I’m sorry, guys. I think last weekend’s events are catching up with me. Been recharging my batteries. Introversion, for the win!

So, what’s new? Well, it’s my birthday in two days, and I’ve got absolutely nothing planned at all. Well, I’m going for a Chinese with my parents on the nighttime, but that’s about it. I haven’t planned to meet any of my friends or anything. I should probably get on that. To be honest, I hadn’t really noticed my birthday was so close o.O

I might send a last minute message around.

Birthday Dragon! :D

Birthday Dragon! ^-^

Anyway, we’re getting close to the end of the editing stage before zooming The Old Ways off to the formatter. And, of course, what do we find? An enormous gaping plot hole -_- *facepalm*

It’s easily fixed, so that’s not so bad. I’m really surprised we haven’t picked up on it before… I suppose it’s in the middle of a really intense chapter, so people aren’t really paying that much attention to the one particular character who falls into the plot hole.

We’ll fix it, no worries.

Also! (eep, this is exciting!) I’m going to be interviewed by Dianna Gunn at The Dabbler! :O Keep an eye on this fantastic site for upcoming news about new books. And if you subscribe, you get some pretty awesome writing and planning resources!

(And I am absolutely not jealous at all about how cool her website is… 🙂 )

I promise I’ll try and keep up with my regular posting schedule from now on.

Blessed Be!

RK )O(

What even IS centaur anatomy?

Centaurs

SRS FACE

Seriously, this question has bugged the life out of me for ages. I don’t mean a few weeks, no. I mean at least a year. I’m yet to find a suitable answer.

Okay, so centaurs are horse bodies with man bodies grafted on (getting technical now, people). I get this. But the horse bit has organs.  It’s the main body of the horse. It has organs; stomach, lungs, heart, liver, etc. You know organs, you can fill in the blanks.

But the man bit is the body of a man. Or woman, I guess. I’ve seen Narnia, female centaurs exist. But the human bit also has organs. Heart, lungs, stomach, etc.

My question, do they have double the amount of organs? That seems very poor planning. So, they’ve got a heart up top, and underneath as well? Are they Time Lords? They got two sets of lungs? That’s a whole lot of breathing going on. What, do they pant with every breath? Two stomachs? Why? Do they eat double the amount? Do they have to eat grass and hay to satisfy the horse stomach? While also eating meat to satisfy the human stomach? Do they get back problems because of the way their spines just… sort of… curl?

I don't trust this. It has no kidneys.

I don’t trust this. It has no kidneys.

What even IS centaur anatomy?! You’ve no idea how much this bugs me. I seriously hope someone, someday, answers this for me, because short of that, I’m gonna have to kidnap a centaur and ask him or her. Or dissect one. Which is a rude thing to do to a guest when you’ve just offered them shortbread.

Other things bug me too: what’s a unicorn horn made of? Is it keratin, like a rhino horn? Or is made of pure magic, like that one episode of Charmed suggests? What makes the spark at the back of a dragon’s throat that ignites its breath? Does a phoenix ever get bored? Why does my copy of Smoke and Mirrors keep disappearing off my bookshelf? Is Neil Gaiman stealing it back every two weeks? And what is Tom Hiddleston really made of?

Puppy smiles and fangirl screams, is the answer to that last one.

The answer to that last one is actually puppy smiles, rainbow sparkles, and fangirl screams.

And why is it, even though I’ve combed through Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at least 24 times (seriously, I can practically recite the entry for the Lethifold), can I not find any reference to three-headed dogs? Because, really JK, the only theory I can come up with is that Fluffy is actually Cerberus, and he’s just on loan from Hades. Takin’ a holiday from guarding the entrance to Hell, just gonna go hang out with Dumbledore and his crew.

This is not cool. These questions irritate me.

 

In between banging my head against the wall, hoping to answer these deep and profound questions, I’ve been working with E.J. Runyon, a genuinely lovely lady from across the pond, who has been helping me edit The Old Ways. I want to say how it’s going, but there are spoilers, and… hhhnnnggggg, so many spoilers. Let’s just say, it’s a fantastic experience and I’m learning so much ^-^ oh, and my first chapter is a beautiful experience. It’s so shiny. Yes, I am a Firefly fan. Browncoats forever!

 

Blessed be,

RK )O(