View Full Version : Lets say your a power crazed super villian...

07-05-2007, 06:47 AM
I'm having trouble getting completely into my villian's head, so I thought I'd cheat and ask ya'll to run some ideas by me-

My villian is bent on world domination. He's already taken over his own country, and is attempting to (fantasy warning, and infodump) 1) free the dragons from stone by use of my MC- the Dragon Child (she is born with the blood of dragons so she can use blood magic- as opposed to normal human magic- to free the dragons. Not a guarantee that she will, but she is growing in her power.... and 2) once the dragons are freed he has figured out how to control them and thus rule the world (and this ties into how they got petrified in the first place)

So, he's trying to do all this, and I can't figure out what motivates someone to crave world domination. I'm thinking too much violence at home growing up, maybe some people abusing their power above him... but other than that, I'm stumped.

He is a bit of a nutter, and that increases when the MC escapes and he can't figure out where she is- a lack of control and he don't like it!


07-05-2007, 07:09 AM
Power lust. Power is a heady drug for some. They get a little and then it's not enough, they not only want more, they need it. Yes, a lot has to do with control too. If they don't have total control then someone above them will and that doesn't make them the top dog anymore.

A bad childhood could be used but it isn't always that way either. Some people are just born that way. I knew one growing up. Everything handed to them on a platter yet they were a control freak and sadistic. So, maybe growing up your character always had everything handed to him and whatever he wanted came easy. How would he react when another character thwarts him?

But, your baddie will still need a crack in his armor, even some small thing that isn't bad.

07-05-2007, 07:14 AM
Well, if he doesn't take over the world, it'll fall into chaos, won't it? Wars. Feuds. Petty thugs with swords proclaiming themselves king or warlord. Refugees starving or turning to banditry. Nothing and no-one in their proper place. What the world needs is a single strong, wise, and ruthless leader, someone with the power and authority to simply crush the conflicts before they spiral out of control.

I mean, he's only being cruel to be kind.

In case it's not obvious, I'm saying that it's all about control. The impulse that drives him to take over the world is the same reason he has to (for example) always have the salt shaker in the exact same spot relative to his plate. Maybe he was one of those refugees himself, or maybe one of his parents was an unpredictable headcase, but either way, I bet he grew up amid chaos, never knowing where his next meal was coming from, never knowing whether he was going to be hugged or kicked in the teeth. At some point, he figured out, consciously or not, that there was only one way to be absolutely sure that he would never be ambushed again. And that's to control. Absolutely. Everything.

But, of course, that's just my interpretation.


07-05-2007, 07:22 AM
Oooo, that just inspired a lot of ideas... such as:

Scenario one: Our evil guy grew up as an only child and an overindulged lordling. He likes bossing people around, and doesn't like it when he discovers the real world contains people that wont listen to him or expect him to listen to them.
Scenario two- he grows up in the chaos Izunya describes. At first he dreams of a peaceful world, like that which exists (relatively) on the peninsula (where the MC lives, but this is when he is young and before the MC is born) and it's four countries. Then, he realizes thats an idiots dream- the peninsula has its wars and skirmishes, and he's gotta fix it.

But, your baddie will still need a crack in his armor, even some small thing that isn't bad.

yeah, um, I'm a little short on those... maybe regret? His army killed many of his friends during the bloody take-over of his own country... hmmmmmmm

Awesome ideas!

07-05-2007, 07:54 AM
yeah, um, I'm a little short on those... maybe regret? His army killed many of his friends during the bloody take-over of his own country... hmmmmmmm

Awesome ideas!

I hear ya. I have the same problem. Let's see. What was his relationship with his mother? Maybe there was something special between them? Even if she's dead he might have something that was hers that he treasures and looks at a lot. Or the same scenario with his father.

Someone in his life that he loved and admired maybe had a certain pet so now he always keeps the same kind of pet?

He has a passion for beautiful things: paintings, sculptures, horses. Aha! Horses. Right down your alley. He treats his horses better than anyone?

Just thinking off the top of my head here and I don't know if his parents are alive or dead, or if he has horses. I'm betting on the last, though. :) I know you do have horses in your story.

07-05-2007, 08:06 AM
It seems that for many control freaks and power mongers their desire for control/power is directly proportional to their absence of internal control/power. Because of this character fault/lack of character, they are never able to feel they are in control/power and they are driven to madness with this overwhelming fear of being out of control/power.

Like my ex.

Colin McHale
07-05-2007, 08:51 AM
You might want to look up some info on the first Chinese Emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

He took over the "world" (basically all of China) around 250 BCE. His motivation? Well, at that point China was divided into warring feudal states. Qin saw this, and thought things could be better. A unified, China, in his vision, was meant to be.

It wouldn't come without a price. To achieve a unified China meant war. To achieve a unified China meant defeating all the other states. And it meant killing many, many people.

Qin was prepared, and he was ruthless. He ordered the execution of many prisoners of war. His armies swept through the other states, conquering them one by one. Finally he attained his goal, and all of China became unified under one state: Qin.

Now, why did Qin think this way? He didn't want to unify China because he was simply an evil maniac (though some might try to tell you otherwise). He wanted to unify China because he saw it as better for the whole of China. He wanted to set up a dynasty that would last for thousands of years. He foresaw great prosperity for the people under a unified China. In short, he had reasons for doing what he did--even though he knew he was murdering people, destroying states, and trampling tradition.

Of course, he eventually went insane after taking mercury tablets (under the false belief that these would grant him immortality, poor guy), and was probably one of the most paranoid rulers in all of Chinese history. His dynasty was also the shortest lived. Anyway, that's another story entirely.

I think when you're creating a "bad guy", if you want to make them more like a real person, you should look at real world examples. Even Hitler didn't see his visions of world conquest as evil.

07-05-2007, 08:53 AM
Well, it's funny you mention horses b/c the people of the peninsula (again, where the MC lives) are all horse lovers. They value them highly, and it's helped them develop a strong war horse. A successful horse breeder has nearly as much (public) status as a Lord.

So Villian's people (his countrymen or his gathered army) should contrast that- horses are to be used. They are dumb beasts. Maybe not everyone is that extreme, but overall...

(I haven't thought about the horses and how it affects various cultures in my novel at all. I swear. Nor do I pull them in symbolically every chance I get. Nope. No symbolism. And I certainly didn't base my Epilogue around a horse and how he affects my MC. Never.)

Kdnx- thanks for confirming what I was aiming for as my antagonists major personality disorder

Back to the antag- Hmm, perhaps a special relationship with his (dead?) parents. I'm toying with the idea having most the 'grandparent' generation be dead in my novel (that is, everyone the age of Aurelia's grandparents, or the evil guy's parents). This could have major social impact (and the reason for the mass exodus has to do with a surge of magic and monsters)

I see there's another post, I should stop rambling ;)
Ah, thanks for the real life example. The ends justifing the means might make perfect sense due to the nature of dragons in my novel (Earth's protectors)


07-05-2007, 09:02 AM
I think Colin's right on this one. Qin Shihuangdi is an excellent example of a ruthless totalitarian ruler who didn't see his actions as evil, but rather part of a plan for the greater good. Another example might be Napoleon. He sought world domination, but he did it under the auspices of spreading democracy and the French revolution.

I can never write villains who are just purely evil, because very few people are pure evil. Most of the time, enemies are just people with objectives that run against your own. Even Hitler, twisted as he was, had many "admirable" policies. He was, after all, Time's man of the year in 1938, one year before he started WWII. And who was man of the year in 1939? You guessed it - Stalin.