Good and Bad Is Tricky…

Some people frown (and often move away from me) when I tell them that Dr. Hannibal (the Cannibal) Lecter is one of my favorite characters, EVER. I see their point, for it must be difficult to reconcile that a person can be sane and still admit to like a flesh-eating serial murderer. But like Granny Weatherwax said, in Witches Abroad, “Good and bad is tricky… I ain’t too certain about where people stand. P’raps what matters is which way you face.” With that, my Wicked Luvs, I welcome you to the Heroes & Villains Blogfest.

A bit more on the things I like about Hannibal… The doctor is brilliant, honorable, openly ruthless (I can’t stand pretenders. If you like to eat stir-fry brains just say it), and he is hilarious in ways that go beyond dark: “I collect church collapses, recreationally. Did you see the recent one in Sicily? Marvelous! The facade fell on sixty-five grandmothers at a special mass. Was that evil? If so, who did it? If he’s up there, he just loves it, Officer Starling. Typhoid and swans - it all comes from the same place.” 

Stryker, from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Series, is vicious, sucks souls for dinner, and I like him and understand his motives. His dad, Apollo, is a major bastard god who cursed him (and his entire race) to die at the age of 27, in order to punish a few people who displeased him. Stryker does a lot of terrible things to stay alive, and were I in his shoes… Well, let’s just hope that’s never the case. But who knows, like Stryker said, “In every house, there was always one malcontent jealous prick out to destroy everyone else just for spite. The entire history of the earth was written in the blood of those betrayed by the very people they’d foolishly trusted.” 

The third villain I really like, I can’t even call villainous all the time. Lord Havelock Vetinari is just… uncannily special. And so are his words: “I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs, a very endearing sight, I’m sure you’ll agree. And even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged onto a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters, who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature’s wonders, gentlemen. Mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that is when I first learned about evil. It is built into the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.” 

Terry Pratchett’s Esmerelda Weatherwax is my favorite heroine in literature *If you see her, don’t tell her I called her a heroine. Knowing her, I’m sure that would piss her off* Granny is full of timeless wisdom. I love her words on knowledge: “They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.” I suspect that if Granny had her hands in solving world issues, things would be much better all around. She has already explained her theory: “You can’t go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world for people. Otherwise it’s a cage. Besides, you don’t build a better world by choppin’ heads off” 

She has showed her trouble solving wisdom in more than one way: “There’s no grays, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people like things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.” And again: “The thing about witchcraft… is that it’s not like school at all. First you get the test, and then afterward you spend years findin’ out how you passed it. It’s a bit like life in that respect.” 

Tiffany Aching followed Granny Weatherwax almost step by steps. She even sounds like a young Granny (if Granny cared for reading, that is): “Yes! I’m me! I am careful and logical and I look up things I don’t understand! When I hear people use the wrong words, I get edgy! I am good with cheese. I read books fast! I think! And I always have a piece of string! That’s the kind of person I am!”

Tiffany’s powers of deduction are extraordinary: “All witches are selfish, the Queen had said. But Tiffany’s Third Thoughts said: Then turn selfishness into a weapon! Make all things yours! Make other lives and dreams and hopes yours! Protect them! Save them! Bring them into the sheepfold! Walk the gale for them! Keep away the wolf! My dreams! My brother! My family! My land! My world! How dare you try to take these things, because they are mine!”

So… who are your favorite villains and heroes, my Wicked Luvs? And why do you like them?
by Philip Bonneau, during the “opening of ‘Heroes + Villains Issue #2’”

Quotes from:

Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
Equal Rights by Terry Pratchett
One Silent Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Want more?
Then hop onto someone’s back, and visit the Heroes & Villains Blogfest cyber-home.
Fine, just go ahead and click yourself there ;-)

40 comments:

  1. Heroes and villains eh? This is indeed a tricky subject. Subjectively enough, I admire the same qualities in both. The ability to see what need be done in a situation, rationalize it, then say "screw the details" and blow something up. I suppose my favorite hero at the moment(who is not a hero at all) would have to be a character I am currently writing about. Timothy Collinder, it was he that said "In one hand I have a wand that will heal your wounds, and in the other, one that will incinerate your bones. My ability to remember which is which is a virtue, and you are taxing my virtue.". The villain would perhaps be simpler and more easy to relate to most. .now a real warrior would have asked about the little red button on the side of the weapon"..."BOOM!" As quoted from Zorg from The Fifth Element. He didn't even pretend to be good, it was amazing! Absolutely no inclination to act as anything other than he was, a business man, a sower of chaos and discord. Through he actions life kept going. Or that is how he perceived his actions. ~Dragon

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    1. I can't choose between my own lead characters--I love them all *sigh* Right now, the one who intrigues me the most is Soledad from "AlmaMia Cienfuegos." That girl has issues...

      When it comes to other writers' heroes and villains my favorites have always been among those characters who blur the lines between good and not so good. They feel more real to me. And I always love reading about real people ;-)

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  2. LOL - OK I love this topic. While there I have my fair share of heroes I love, there are also some villains that just made the ride so much more enjoyable. Here are some of my favorites in the Rogue's Gallery:

    Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty: As much as I loved he beautiful hand drawn animation of the movie, what I really love is wicked Maleficent. She had so much style and perhaps from remembering moments in my life as the unpopular girl, there may have been a bit of naughty wish fulfillment in watching her curse the folks who left her out.

    Bester from Babylon 5: Oh how I LOVED to watch Bester in action! Cold, calculating, yet completely understandable. Although I loved the good guys on B5, I always was on the edge of my seat wondering how Bester would screw with them yet again.

    Nakago from Fushigi Yuugi: LOL, although I can go on (and on and on) about my affection for the heroes of this series, Nakago's villainy was the driving force of all the action in this series. By the very end of the series there's an explanation for all of it (and oh that explanation!) but there were 50+ episodes of him evilly outmaneuvering his foes, like some sadistic chess master. Love to hate? Yes (he screwed with some of my favorite heroes of all time!) But there is admiration for his evil brilliance too.

    Princess Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender. One of the best compliments I ever got was when playing a game of Mafia on line with some friends. I got such a reputation for lying and backstabby-ness when I played the villain role I got called Princess Azula by one of the other players. Born gifted and presumably twisted, this mean girl to end all mean girls could play with the big boys and outmaneuver them all. Her little speech to the leader of the secret police in the Earth Kingdom still makes me smile. ("You were never even a player")

    Honorable mentions:

    Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon A Time: Although this show has jumped the shark for me many times at this point, I still want to know what ol' Rumple is up to. I get him. Dark, evil, sure...but he's one of the few things that are still cool about a series where Dark Helmet's pronouncement of "Good is dumb" fits all too well.

    Tyrion Lanister: Not really a villain, he's no angel either. And I am hardwired to root for the short wise-ass. Here's to you Tyrion - hope you make it!

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    1. Maleficent is completely awesome. Who won't love someone with that name and those ovaries! So, are you as excited as I am about Maleficent the movie, coming out next year? And played by Angelina Jolie, too! Hey, maybe we can meet half-way for the release, and cackle (I mean, giggle) like school girls as we watch it.

      If you like the Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon A Time, you must read The Witch's Boy by Michael Gruber. I won't tell you anything about, but I have a feeling you might like it very much.

      And Tyrion... well, I would put that giant dragon right next to Lord Vetinari.

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    2. I am super excited for that movie! LOL, I guess somewhere in Jersey worlds will collide next year!

      Adding that book recommendation to my Amazon wishlist!

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    3. Or you could always come and stay with me overnight. I'll even cook *cough, cough*

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    4. Ooh! That could be fun!

      LOL, in NYC it might be more fun to sample some cheap but yummy hole in the wall places :)

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    5. There is this Peruvian/Dominican/Korean restaurant (yes, all three in one) that makes my head spin and my tummy dance. The food is always what I miss the most while away from NY.

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    6. Oh we MUST go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    7. Jolies' Maleficient better have that wonderful costume Disney gave her!

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    8. Let's see how it goes. But I'm very, very, very excited either way ;-)

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  3. I was going to The Cannibal too but my list would have been way too long. So I see nothing wrong with any of you selections. Thanks for joining our blogfest! You have intro'd me to Terry Pratchett!

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    1. Hilarious! I was going to choose Gollum, and didn't because mine would be too long as well. Thanks so much for hosting.

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  4. Hannibal Lecter is a great villain. I think it's his calm and sane manner that makes him so memorable and creepy.

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    1. Memorable and creepy, indeed. Dear Hannibal stays with a reader (or a watcher) way after experiencing his adventures.

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  5. I wish I had known about this blog hop, I would have loved to join in the fun! I agree about Hannibal, and I think it's that honorable streak that does it. There's a line from one of the movies, when someone asks Clarice if she's not afraid Hannibal will go after her. Her reply is something along the lines of: "No. I can't explain it, but Hannibal would think that was rude."

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    1. That reminds me of a scene in The (perhaps too sexist for your taste) Dresden Files. One of the Faerie Queens walks into a scene, and says, "Stop this rudeness!" to one of her subjects who has just shot a few people, dismembered another, and is holding a gun to yet another...

      Hannibal would have probably think the scene was too uncivilized for his taste lol

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  6. I don't think I've ever felt so remiss for having not read Terry Pratchett. Which, honestly, is an appropriate feeling given how pretty much everyone I've ever known who has read him has absolutely adored him. I should really do something about this.

    But I do love Mr. Lecter. His intelligence make for some of the best back and forth i've ever heard in dialogue.

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    1. Terry Pratchett's writing rules! I love the wit of his characters, and their souls.

      Hannibal? Well, you already know about him ;-)

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  7. Those sound like some great heroes and villains. I've always been partial to the characters from mythology, since they're larger than life while still having human flaws and concerns.

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    1. Mythological figures make great characters, indeed. They can get in all kinds of trouble, and find ways (or powers) to solve them.

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  8. My favorite villains are the ones that think they are heroes. Those and the totally evil and psychotic ones.

    Tim
    The Other Side

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    1. Psychotic characters keep a story going, especially when they don't know they are nuts.

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  9. I definitely get why you like the Hannibal character! Especially this younger version... My friend knows the producer of the show and he had heard (from producer) people did not like Hannibal's accent.... frankly, it adds more to the character... Can u believe how the character has evolved since the first show????omg!. dude has knife skills don't he??? LOL

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    1. I haven't seen the show! Did you say "knife skills?" I must watch then. I can alternate between Hannibal and Dexter ;-D

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  10. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Series is going on my TBR list. :)
    Hannibal is an excellent choice!
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

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    1. I love the first 15 or so books in the Dark-Hunter Series, after that something happens... my favorite is Devil May Cry. Sin is so delicious ;-)

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  11. Great post - I love your quotes; they bring the characters to life so well. I keep meaning to read The Silence of the Lambs - I love the movie, but have never read the book. My favourite villain is Loki - he's bonkers.
    Tasha's Thinkings

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    1. The Hannibal books are yummy. I like them all. I just re-read Hannibal Raising, and wow.

      Loki is one of my favorite characters. Bipolar gods tend to inspire great fiction ;-)

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  12. Loved reading about your favorites!! I've found that lots of the time, villains have a better sense of humor than the heroes they oppose. Dr. Lecter is my favorite as well, so intelligent, and so serene. I had fun remembering the sources of your quotes!

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    1. Unless you are reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld, there everybody is freaking fantastic. You know? I need to go back and read Witches Abroad...

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  13. Love Esermelda Weatherwax - her wisdom is great, but we won't tell her we called her a hero . . .

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    1. She is a magical whip, isn't she? I adore Granny ;-)

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  14. Hero...I haven't read about many of those! I have pretty high expectations. Soldiers & they save lives as that's their job. They are the Nations' Children, but a 'heros' label, I think, belittles their job & performances. Feel the same about those I read about. Many fun people, fine characters that I would like to hang around with. But can't think of any that I would term a 'hero'.

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    1. It is easier to find a person (or three) who performs does something heroic than to find an actual hero. And sometimes the definition of hero needs to be not so flashy, methinks.

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  15. Oh, Hanibal is a greeeat choice - I've only ever seen Silence of the Lambs once, because I'm too scared to watch again, but his character has stuck vividly with me. And yes, I like the blends of evil. :)

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    1. "[B]lends of evil." What an interesting phrase. I wonder what that would look like if we make it into a collage of our favorite (or not so favorite) literary characters...

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  16. Sometimes villains are so much more interesting. My favorite is the Wicked Witch =]

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    1. And the best tales are those where its hard to just hate the villains or blindly love the good guys.

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