Sunday, July 29, 2012

TSS: Characters I'm Supposed to Hate but Actually Love

character collage

Hello, Sunday Saloners! I decided to go with something lighter this week, since I've been encountering a lot of characters in the past few weeks who are villains so awesome I kind of secretly root for them.

Do you have characters you know are loathsome but you still like them? Maybe the writer sets us up to sympathize with the devil, so to speak, or maybe there's just something about the character that you identify with. Either way, despite that fact that you know you're supposed to be rooting against the character because they do Bad Things, you find yourself disappointed when the story just kind of dumps in the dirt of Villain Hell and moves on.

  • Lady Audley from Lady Audley's Secret--Lady Audley is pretty evil. But I have to admit a part of me was kind of rooting for her. Can anyone really blame her for taking advantage of the men who treat her like a child? If it wasn't for one action--which I still don't quite believe--I would have been happy to see her get away with it all.
  • Brian de Bois-Guilbert from Ivanhoe--The book may be called Ivanhoe, but the character of Bois-Guilbert gets more page time and is more interesting than the hero. Despite the fact that Sir Brian participates in some questionable activity, he's really not a bad guy. His biggest mistake is falling for a woman who clearly isn't that into him.
  • Julian from The Forbidden Game trilogy by LJ Smith (also: every bad boy character from every LJ Smith novel)--I picked Julian because he was the character I was most flabbergasted didn't wind up with the heroine--whatever her name was--but this could really go for any bad boy in any LJ Smith novel. They're always more interesting than the do-gooder heroes.
  • George Wickham from Pride & Prejudice--Am I the only one who isn't convinced Wickham's that bad? Yes, I suppose by Mr. Highfalutin Darcy's standards he's super flighty, but maybe he just likes to have a good time and is misunderstood. I keep waiting and waiting for an Austen adaptation where Wickham's the hero and it never happens.
  • Bananach from Wicked Lovely--Bananach is the embodiment of war and discord, but practically speaking she's what the Beatles would call a mixer. She likes stirring things up. And that's what keeps the books interesting! Plus I think she's really funny.
  • Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon a Time (yes, I know that's not a book, but it's a bookish character)--Rumple is the only person on this show who has any sense of humor. That's worth my loyalty right there. Plus he looks good in a suit.
And these are just the characters from the top of my head--I'm sure there are a lot more characters out there who are so bad they're good. What are some of your favorites?


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