For the last installment of E.R. King and Deana Barnhart's Killer Characters Blogfest - the baddies addition - I had trouble. It's not that I don't like villains, I DO. It's just that there are many, many to choose from. Also, the baddie doesn't have to be as good, as finely drawn as the MC. We don't need to sympathize or understand them the way we do the MC and SC. But it's so much better when we do.
For me, I picked what terrified me the most. The evil in the prosaic. Zombies and unsparkly vampires do suck (no pun intended) but they don't terrify me like these ladies do.
When asked what my least favorite HP book is, I answer Order of the Phoenix, hands down. I know it's unfair because it's a great story. But Umbridge nearly ruins it for me. She makes my blood boil. She makes me want to hit something. She makes me want to hide behind Peeves (which, of course, would be useless.) She's so potent because she's not a Death Eater, because she's part of the establishment that should be protecting HP and his pals instead of terrorizing them and turning Hogwarts into the gulag. She's the perfectly bad combination of injustice mixed with brutality - all wrapped up in pink tweed jumpers.
You don't have to raise a hand or even raise your voice to be a baddie. All you have to do is manipulate people around you to ruin someone's happiness. Enter Fanny Dashwood. In the early pages of Sense and Sensibility we see Fanny slowly chipping away at her weak willed husband's good intentions of providing for his father's widow. Even a deathbed promise to his father to take care of Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters, a few words from Fanny and the Dashwood girls are nearly destitute. Why does she do it? Mostly it's just greed, but I think there's also an element of wanting to keep them in their place - below hers. She is insensitive and casually cruel and thinks nothing of destroying Elenor's dreams.
If she has a first name, I don't remember it. It's like she was born 'Danvers.' All I can say about Danvers is - CREEPTACULAR. She's the viper in the nest, a possibly psychotic housekeeper perfectly placed to make the new Mrs. DeWinter miserable. Danvers will also never let her forget that the old Mrs. DeWinter was far better, more beautiful and more accomplished than she will ever be. Danvers undermines everything the naive Mrs. DeWinter tries to do. She sabotages her and subjects her to psychological warfare. It ain't pretty, especially as Manderly burns to the ground. If you haven't read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, you should. Danvers is seriously twisty.
So, who are your favorite 'antagonists'?
I want to give a shout out to Deana and Emily and a BIG thank you for hosting a great blogfest. Happy Halloween ladies!
Check out the other cool posts on the blogfest here.