This topic has been staring at me from my yellow legal pad list all week. FAVORITE ANTAGONIST. UGH. I’ve probably gone through 20 different characters trying to figure out who to write about. Not even kidding.
You see, I am a villain sympathizer. I always have been. Maybe it’s the black sheep in me, but growing up, the villain songs were always my favorite in every Disney movie. I mean, come on. They are the most interesting people. You’ve got Ursula, Maleficent (I can’t WAIT for that movie, btw), Gaston, Governor Ratcliffe (weirdly, a personal favorite of mine, not sure why I love his fat ass so much), and, of course, the most villainous of all villains–SCAR.
They all just seem so broken and misunderstood. And I know people hate that. There are huge discussions on Tumblr from the Villain Haters of why we shouldn’t make up backstories for villains and make them loveable. But, for those who are equally broken and scarred, or the outcasts, or just the shy and misunderstood, we relate to those villains. They are–in their plotting and planning–strong where we can’t be. They are going to stand over the blonde and beautiful and be the king of everything. And then, when their plans don’t happen exactly how they expected…we understand that too.
So when it came time to pick a favorite antagonist…I couldn’t. I went through so many people and I just couldn’t make them bad enough. Snape…no…he’s good in the end, right? Draco…ugh…he’s not good enough to be called a villain, just a whiny little bitch (here comes the Slytherin hate). I even had this really deep monologue with myself about Dorian’s picture soul…but no, that’s just way too complicated and reaching.
I thought about Joffery. God do I hate Joffery. But I don’t think he really halts a pure mission. Which is the good and bad thing about Game of Thrones. It is so far from normal story archetypes. Oh George RR Martin…you are a cruel and marvelous master.
No no no, this is just not working. I could not find anyone who truly fit the profile of Antagonist. Surely I’m missing someone here. Someone who fully opposes the hero, and is a true obstacle to the end goal of the story.
And then it hit me. There is only one person who I know to be hated more than Joffery in recent literature. Only one person more cruel, creepier, and chill inducing.
Madam Undersecretary Profressor Dolores Jane Umbridge.
*Shudder* God that woman terrified me. She seemed to be everywhere at once, and blocked every mission Harry and his friends attempted. And the pink. And the CATS. I can’t even write about her without shivering.
JK Rowling used Umbridge as a vehicle to deliver a sociopath into Hogwarts. With a eerie smile planted on her pink facade, she sucked the life out of the school, while bringing on harsher and harsher punishments. And then, to make everything worse, she rose to power in the Ministry of Magic, doing the same thing there…on adults.
Even I, a diehard villain sympathizer, could never love Umbridge. Good lord, this woman terrifies the hell out of me. I may have nightmares tonight just from thinking about her so much today.
What villain truly scares you?