Monday, July 9, 2012

Battle of the Hero's and Villains!

Most people watch movies and read books and immediately pick out who is the Villain and who is the Hero.  Who is good and who is bad.  Right vs Wrong.  Beautiful vs Ugly.  I could go on but it doesn't matter how I word it, the meaning is the same.   So. . . what if we were wrong? 
 What if the person we deem evil, is really the good guy?  

I'm going to use certain movies as examples (they are easier than books to reference). 

Movie #1: The Phantom of the Opera:

*Spoilers from the movie*

The Phantom

The saddest thing about this movie, is the fact that most people don't even realize the Phantom of the Opera (or Opera Ghost) has an actual name.  (And I don't mean just in the movie)

I have only met three people who knew the Phantom has a name- It's Erik.  

Right off, he is deemed the bad guy but how can one say that without knowing who he is?  Erik wasn't born evil.  He wasn't born a murderer.  He was taunted, tortured and beaten because of his looks.  And the only way he was able to free himself was by taking away the life of the man who held him prisoner like an animal.  

I'm not saying that was his best choice or the right choice, but it was the choice he made and despite that choice one girl still helped him.  She could see the pain he was going through.  Now understanding a little bit about his past, do you still see him as an evil phantom out to kill everyone?  

Well maybe so but let's go a little deeper.  Are you aware that he didn't really know what he was feeling?  He thought it was Love and so he felt hurt when Christine didn't feel the same.  And Christine still cared about him, just not the same way.  What Erik felt was lust.  But the moment when she kisses him he realizes that what he did was wrong.  He begins to understand what he really felt and he knows that he cannot hold her prisoner because he truly understands what love is.  

And while Erik is going through this learning process and making mistakes and learning from them,  what is Raoul doing? "Protecting" Christine because he loves her.  But if you truly love someone, would you honestly use her as bait to capture someone you believe to be a monster?  
Would you tell everyone that he only way to end The Phantom of the Opera is to kill him because he is evil? Raoul knew what happened to Erik and yet he still deemed him a monster.  He never gave Erik a chance to change.  

So, truly is Erik/Phantom of the Opera/Opera Ghost the bad guy?  Is he truly Evil or has he made mistakes he doesn't know how to fix? 

Movie #2: Harry Potter Series


Harry Potter
Severus Snape

I'm pretty sure by now everyone is aware that Professor Snape was never truly a bad guy.  But most people were upset when they believed that he was.  And most readers jumped right to the conclusion that he was evil.  Right from Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.  Everyone believed that he put a hex on Harry's broom and he kept getting in their way.  When I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I cried like no other while reading about who Snape really was.  What he did for Harry.  
And more tears were shed when I watched the movies!  

In this case, he truly was never a bad guy.  But he had to show everyone that he was so that he could keep Harry Protected.  And that is what makes it so sad and beautiful.  He gave away everything to make sure Harry Potter was able to destroy the man who killed the one person Snape loved.  And even through all of that, Snape cared for Harry.  He just couldn't tell him that.  

I was so mad at J.K Rowling for killing everyone throughout the Harry Potter series but when I read what really happened with Snape, I couldn't care about any of the other characters.  I didn't care who lived or died.  I wanted Snape back.  I wanted to turn back time and fix it.  Make everything alright again.  

Snape has truly become one of my favorite literary characters because of what he did.  (And Alan Rickman did an incredible job playing him).  Snape is my favorite. . .Always. 

Movie #3:   Avengers

*Lots and lots of Spoilers*

Nick Fury, Avengers, Shield Agents

This movie is the opposite.  I'm not defending Loki (although he is my favorite villain ever. . . but we will discuss that later this week). Yep you guessed it,  I'm calling one of the mentioned above 'good guys' a bad guy.  Wanna guess which one?  

Nick Fury.  And no, I'm not really deeming him a villain but he is pretty evil.  Now, every  super hero has to make sacrifices and maybe do a little evil to make a lot of right happen.  But Nick Fury is ruthless and lied to all the Avengers just to make sure they would work together.  Yes, Phil died.  Yes, he died believing that the Avengers were the only ones who could stop Loki.  And Yes, he really did want Captain America to sign those vintage cards.  
But telling them that he had the cards in his pocket, AND wiping blood on them to make it convincing, Was. Just. Wrong.  You don't do that. You don't.  Yeah, yeah, yeah the Avengers needed the push.  They weren't getting along but did they really need to be lied to?  

Stooping so low as to "planting" cards (and putting blood on them) is something a villain would do.  That is something Loki would do. The good guys shouldn't do it to each other just because they can't get along.  

No, Nick Fury is not a villain.  But he can be pretty evil.  

So do you agree?  Disagree?  

They do this with a lot of cop shows.  NCIS, Numb3rs, NCIS LA, Unforgettable, Suits, White Collar, Psych, Monk,  CSI, Law and Order. . . etc 

They have "Guests" come on and pretend to be good guys and it turns out that they are the villain(s) and vica versa. . . They make you think one person is the villain and really they are the hero.  

So who is your hero? And who is the villain? 


  1. I love a villain with a heart.(in movies) And in real live, I don't want a villain, but complex is good.

    1. I do too. It's part of why I love Loki! (From Avengers). He feels real.

  2. Interesting. I love a three dimensional villain. I had a stepmother who was like that. She had crazy PMS and I believe she could have killed the day before her period--incredibly violent woman. She was going through this at a time when they said there wasn't any such thing as PMS. I didn't have any sympathy until I got older myself. Still don't like her. Still hate what she chose to do. But I do have some compassion for her now.

    And Snape still isn't a good guy. Even Jo, when asked about him after the release of Deathly Hallows refused to call him good. His goals to bring Voldemort down were self-serving. But like my stepmother, I did learn to have some compassion for him. The snake. (Sorry. Anyone who can treat kids the way he did is a snake.)

    1. Sorry about the stepmother.

      But I really believe Snape is a hero. He may of treated Harry badly but he always loved him. Sometimes you have to hurt the people you love most, to save them in the end.