Welcome to the A to Z challenge. Over April, I've looked at attributes and the journey of complex villains. Today, I want to look at practices we find among the greats.
- Plan. Like chess masters, they are several steps ahead of the protagonists. Great villains make for great heroes/heroines.
- Have a vision of the future. Its usually dark, and replaces our version of utopia with his/her vision of dystopia, but they 'know' just how the world should look.
- Develop a brand or reputation, using fear as well as the promise of riches to control others, without having to lift a finger.
Looking at President Snow from the Hunger Games, we see them all.
- Snow was a master manipulator, playing the long game. In his younger days, he poisoned his allies, anticipating they would one day be his foes and carried the threat of poison to keep his allies and foes under thumb. He changed the rules when needed to throw others off their game. For example, he implemented the Quarter Quell to try and harness Katniss' rising popularity and quench the growing thirst for rebellion.
- He obsessed with maintaining the dystopian vision of Panem in which the capitol kept the districts underfoot through the Hunger Games, tribute and terror. The capital is cloaked a cynical display of color and culture of elite privilege as the rest of the country starves.
- Snow, like many dictators, has his army that he ruthlessly wields in the districts and, as noted above, has a reputation for using poison to control his cronies. His brand, the white rose, gives his evil a veil of civility. His use of the media and cult of celebrity further hides the rot of his world under glitz and glamour. As he steps up his game, he forces Katniss and her allies to up theirs to the point of creating foes, like President Coin, who come to reflect his evil in the battle to defeat him.
What other practices do you find common among villains great?
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