We are indoctrinated to adore the hero and loathe the villain from an early age. But see, it was easy back then, the hero was intrinsically good, did the right things, was on the correct side of morality. The villain, easily recognised by their obviously evil deeds, was the one to ostracise, and cheer as they went down. But as movies and audiences evolved, storylines changed. So now while the hero has a backstory, the villain has one too. The characters are now firmly in the grey category, and we find ourselves tormented – sure the hero does the “good” things but we can find sympathy for the villain who comes from a troubled background, his actions justified because of the cards they’ve been dealt.
These villains don’t follow the rules, they continue to do as they please, something we all want to do in real life without the fear of consequences. Dare we say, that we perhaps live a little through them? These fictional villains are power-driven, focused on their motto or revenge, follow their own set of rules, and don’t give a second thought to what other people think, offering the kind of escapist fantasy we all seek. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that they are played by actors that would be considered good looking by most standards.
Personally, I love a villainous character where the writer adds a great origin storyline. The portrayal becomes more realistic and engrossing to witness, and sometimes these villains end up grabbing more attention and sympathy than the heroes, be it in a dark romance book or a Marvel movie. There is a big reliability factor as well, because we humans are not flawless.
Discovering commonalities with the antagonists forces us to confront our own dark side.So, in case these fictional red flags dudes are on your reels explore page and Pinterest boards, scroll down to know some of our favourite villains we are secretly pining for:
1. Ryu Si-oh from Strong Girl Nam Soon
Sometimes the lead hero winning in the end doesn’t fill you with warmth and happiness because there’s a chance you were rooting for a handsome villain who has a depressing backstory. Last weekend, when Strong Girl Nam Soon’s finale aired, Twitter went into a frenzy because, even though the title kept Nam Soon’s character in the centre, everyone couldn’t help but feel bad for the villain, who has a long list of crimes to his name. His character’s writing was stronger; it led to everyone cheering for him, but it doesn’t justify his behaviour, which was repeatedly shown to be manipulative and inhumane.
2. The Darkling from Shadow and Bone
Dark, sexy, troubled, revengeful, and most importantly, played by the fan favourite Ben Barnes. Based on the bestselling book of the same name by Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone’s whole fandom summons this character’s name. The Darkling has always captured the audience with his determined motives and ruthless nature. A sinister villain, the readers and the screen audience couldn’t help but swoon over this character, despite his problematic moves.
3. Coriolanus Snow from The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes
We all know President Snow is big-time evil. But in this prequel, Coriolanus, we witness an orphan student who is determined to restore his destitute family to their former splendour. It makes us see this broken boy as a human being with ambitions for a better future and one who must make decision after decision that will shape the sort of person he ends up being. We can’t help but sympathise with this struggling Coriolanus.
4. Jang Jun Woo from Vincenzo
2 PM member Ok Taecyeon portrays Vincenzo’s antagonist with ease. He is the unexpected villain—a deranged psychopath. Jang Jun Woo enters the story with an adorable, puppy-like demeanour, but he is actually the CEO of one of the largest organisations that disregards morality, causing harm to a great number of people. Obviously, it’s an evil, villainous figure. But with his charming smile, Taecyeon makes it hard to hate the psychopath, even when you can see the wickedness in his eyes.
5. Darco Malfoy from The Harry Potter Series
A blonde boy with an evil father—we are sold. There’s a long-going debate about Draco’s fan following: should people sympathise with him or not? Draco has a spectacular façade, yet his inner life is sad and depressing. Like any other teen, he got furious, confused, jealous, and boastful at times, but like any other teenager, he also has a sensitive nature and is terrified of his father, who has pushed him into the world of darkness. He puts a lot of effort into giving the impression that he is unconcerned and rude, but we know otherwise.
6. Killmonger from Black Panther
Killmonger is a classic metaphor and representation of the effects of the slave trade and white imperialism. His character represents the modern black man who suffers as a result of losing his culture, country, home, title, and family in a complex storyline. He makes a very valid argument for why, when the atrocities of white imperialism and slavery existed, did Wakanda do nothing? He’s angry and feels betrayed. These are definitely emotions that fans relate to and perhaps that’s why the fence is where all of us are sitting.