About Villains:

With Halloween just a few days away, here’s a post to celebrate the spookiest time of the year(at least in European culture)! Sometime ago, Alex of Valourborn introduced the Villain Awareness Month to her readers. After an apt description of villains, she calls upon her readers to, at least for the month of October, applaud our most worthy villains.

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It took me quite a while to write this post as I mulled over various questions revolving the subject.  I wanted to know what makes a villain evil, what makes a villain an apt villain, and more importantly; how to justify their rightful existence. As I sat atop the high throne of my grand castle in Minecraft, I pondered, I contemplated and meditated to the point that I levitated.
Villains: Valourborn

“You’re bandits. You’re the bad guys. And I…am the goddamn hero.”

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My data set consisted of various historical tyrants, common folklore, fairy tales and about 200 video game titles. My header speaks for itself. In the end, I came to a rather odd closure in my “spiritual pursuit” to sate my existential angst of villainy.

But for the record, I’d pick Handsome Jack.

I'm sorry, Eggman/Robotnik!
I’m sorry, Eggman/Robotnik!

I know I’ve been a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog ever since I was E for Everyone, but ever since people started calling you “Eggman”, things just weren’t the same anymore…

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So anyway,

I was thinking – is there anyone who makes a conscious effort to be evil?
Let us stipulate that, for the sake of discussion, being evil is to continuously commit acts that are highly detrimental to others in earnest. Being evil is almost invariably accompanied by a lack of morality, most would say.
But here’s where I hit a road block; as long as a person sees his or her actions as morally verifiable, then he/she is simply acted on the basis of that moral stand. We use words like moral fibre and we think we know its going to stir the hearts of the public. It would help us rally against those who stand opposed to us. We go through “Ethics and Morals” themed classes early in our childhood and learn about common beliefs in morality.

But?

I think there is no absolute morality.
Morality is just something we think of, a basis for the us to judge our own and the actions of others. I think morality is subjective. It is merely a set of guidelines formed through the general consensus of any particular cultural ethos of any particular community. Think of the people we normally considered Evil: Hitler, Stalin, Josef Mengele; if they all operated according to they regard as moral.

They each had an individual ethos, most of the time considered to be radically different from the rest. However, as long as they lead their life according to these beliefs, they become the paragon of their own fictive morality. As we’re seen from the case of Handsome Jack, from the start to the end of the game, he insists that he is doing strong, although in the perspective of the Vault Hunters and the player, it is clearly the opposite.

As long as humanity continues to function with individual thoughts, we would always come to a point where our different opinions will be juxtaposed and locked in conflict. That is how villains and heroes are born.

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This is a post written by PP1MT
He doesn’t think that people can be inherently evil.
Most of them just try really hard to be assholes.
And before you go, please check out

VALOURBÖRN

4 thoughts on “About Villains:

  1. Great post! 😀

    I like that you discuss morality and how it varies greatly from person to person. We judge villains based on what we consider to be acceptable or unacceptable, but just look at some of the dramatic, emotional back stories behind the wickedest of villains. To them, they’re enacting justice for past wrongs committed against them. Should we blame someone for seeking justice, when often we would want to do the same thing?

    1. Thank you for reading and the generous reblog!

      Yes! That is exactly what I’m trying to hint; perhaps all villains are but misunderstood pursuers of justice.

      For the sake of appeasing our desires, for revenge and for “progress” and in some twisted stories, they become the fuel for nightmarish actions. But here comes the question; are the notions of villainy and heroism a fair one?

      Who are we to pass judgement? I don’t think its fair for us to simply take on a role of exteriority and assume a superior position over those who have done society “wrong”? There’s hardly an answer to this; no philosophical remark, no clever rebuttal can turn this around.

      But only a change of heart.

      1. You’re very welcome 🙂

        It feels like you can ever only be accountable for yourself when it comes to moral rights and wrongs. We can never fully understand what another person is experiencing, so how can we properly judge their actions? This makes it so hard to define justice though–we have to have a vision of what evil is, or else society would start to crumble. So how can we accommodate the viewpoints of everyone?

        Only a change of heart, indeed. It’s a shame that so many people never take the time to get that far.

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