For our villain spotlight this week, I’ll be looking at two very different characters that both, none the less, fall into the ‘crazies’ category.
First is Bellatrix Lestrange, of Harry Potter fame. In the books and especially the movies, Bellatrix is sadistic, crazy and loves every minute of it. As one of Voldermort’s top death eaters, she is a force to be reckoned with it. And she is nuts.
Helena Bonham Carter brought her perfectly to life in the movies, having her skip about, laugh and sing at all the most inappropriate moments. The aftermath of Sirius Black’s death and Dumbledore’s death are noticeable examples. And she’s so happy, it’s almost hard not to laugh. And you feel terrible for it.
She’s makes you hate her and love her all at once, drawing in your interest. Which is what any good crazy should do. They should fascinate you and make you want to know more.
The second villain is just as much an interest magnet. Zane Venture, from the Mistborn trilogy, is a mysterious, powerful character plagued constantly by voices telling him to kill everyone around him. He has a great presence every time he’s on the page and you want to know more about him. Also, everyone should read that trilogy, because I said so.
Unlike Bellatrix, however, Zane tries to suppress his madness. He is a much more serious character and has a lot of elements of a mastermind in him. But I still place him in the category because he really is pretty off his rocker. A little less obviously than Bellatrix, and he carries himself entirely differently, but he is none the less a crazy.
That’s the key to a crazy villain. They don’t have to make sense, but they should tempt the audience to want to make sense of them. Get that right, and you have a solid villain like these two baddies. And a little excitement for any plot.