Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Villains and Villainy- The Lucifer Figure

Hello and welcome back to the villain series where we’re tackling the many different shades of villainy and honoring some of the best representatives. Or… shaming them. Depending on how you look at it.

Today let’s look at the baddest of the bad. The trope that aims for hell more than any others. Yep, I’m talking about the Lucifer figure.

The devil is one of those things a lot of villains choose to emulate, mostly because he is the symbol of pure evil for many people. So many dark traits from this guy. He’s a deceiver and a trickster. He’s governed by pride and ambitious to a fault. He’s unrepentant and opposes all things good. A Lucifer figure is ALWAYS the big bad guy. Never a henchmen. They’re the one running the show and often the shadow on the wall, the puppeteer of all the other villains in the story.

Take Sauron for instance. We don’t see him much but we see his influence. We see the destruction his armies sew across Middle Earth. But we rarely see him or hear him speak really. It’s his presence that matters. It’s his work.

Or take Father from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. He controls the homunculi and is the driving force behind most of the wrong doings across Amestris. His servants do most of his dirty work and he rarely gets involved in the action himself (except at the end), but we feel his power none the less.
And that, I think, is the secret to pulling off a good Lucifer figure. Unlike other villains on this list, you’re not trying to make them human. If you want a straight up, pure evil, nonredeemable villain, keep them in the background.

Its easy to overplay your hand with a super evil villain and they can become ridiculous if they get too much page or screen time. But if instead you focus on the destruction of their evil, we’ll feel their presence without even meeting them. It will make them over all stronger.

Sometimes its okay to have a pure evil villain. But don’t leave them in the spotlight for too long or it will seem like you're trying too hard. Let their deeds speak for them.

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