, , , , , , , , , , ,

Note: As you read this, Kati and I are currently trudging up and down the trails at the Whiskeytown 50k.  If all goes well we’ll tell you about it Monday.  If it doesn’t…well, let’s just say we’ll never speak of it again.  🙂

Meanwhile, we recently put up a post about the greatest villains, which led to a debate: who is more evil? Cersei Lannister, or her son, Joffrey? (For those of you unfamiliar, both of these characters are from George R.R. Martin’s “A Game of Thrones.”)  I’m going to go ahead and call that debate a draw…mostly because I don’t want to admit when I’ve lost (facts have no place in a debate, Brian!).  😉

But, it started me thinking about the nature of evil.  I didn’t originally label Cersei as a true villain because ultimately I started to pity her by the most recent book of the series, and she does have some redeeming qualities (debatable, I know).  Still, most great villains have something about them that’s good, something the reader can relate to.

One of the great complex “villains” I’ve read about is actually one of the main protagonists of the book “The Golden Key” by Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott.  Great book, kind of disturbing.  Since a lot of the book is told through his point of view, as a reader you’re forced to understand where he’s coming from as he becomes increasingly evil.  Driven by love, ambition, and a blinding selfishness, he ruthlessly uses those around him and causes great pain.

So, I’d like to open it up to all of you – who are the best “complex” villains out there? And what makes them so complex?