Yes, in the villain post I pointed out that villains can be the more interesting characters. That does not mean we do not want to see the villain get his ass kicked.
Voldemort was entertaining and fun to read, but when he got what was coming to him you want to cheer, right. The end of the villain is the climactic ending most want to see, even if it is not the actual ending of the book. Remember the Walking Dude in Stephen Kings, The Stand. That scene where he gets blown up may be the only scene in any book where you cheer a nuclear bomb going off. The villains keep the action and drama going so their demise, or arrest, or comeuppance is always welcome in a well written book. The more evil the bad guy/gal, the more complex and strange that character is, the more payoff when the end comes. When the battle for Narnia was won and the White Witch was done, it was satisfying, right? It may seem obvious, but it I do not think it can be overstated how important a satisfactory ending for the antagonist is. For that you need a good Hero.
I mentioned Gandalf in the previous post and he is the ultimate Hero. He is wise, strong, a wizard and almost unstoppable. When he is stopped, he comes back, which is exactly what a hero should do. It gives us hope. He is not that complicated, not really. He is someone who cares about everybody, that is his job no matter how hard it gets or whether anyone appreciates it or not. Aragorn and the Rangers are the same in The Lord of the Rings. No one knows much about them but they are the ones that keep darkness at bay. They believe that is as it should be. Harry Potter s an interesting hero. Flawed? Certainly, but it is very satisfying when he finally gets his shot at Voldemort and it works. Done deal. Something else that the end of the villain is good for. A satisfying wrap up. I like stories with a good wrap up. After the climax, housekeeping for the remaining characters if you will. More on that at another time. The whole story, not just the wrap up, is good if the antagonist is good. Otherwise the story will fall flat.
Do you think the villain has to be smacked down by a great hero, or not?
- Thankful for books, and the villians, who is your favorite? (writingwithwolves.wordpress.com)
- Heroes vs Villains (wesleyvoght.wordpress.com)