Scariest Villain in the Discworld

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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby raisindot » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:25 pm

Penfold wrote:I personally find the concepts behind Sir Terry's villains more scary than the individual villains themselves. :D


Agree with you. Other than Vorbis, and maybe Wolfgang in several parts. I can't really think of a villain who is consistently 'scary' throughout an entire a DW book. Even the Cunning Man is more of an 'effect' than anything else, since he only physically shows up at the end of the book and has no lines.

Powerful villains, funny villains, annoying villains, boring villains, complex villains yes, but "scary' is hard to find. Maybe that's to Pterry's credit that for the most part, he refuses to give in to the old school version of the totally menacing, diabolically laughing villain and instead created adversaries who were the way they were because of their upbringing or culture, rather than simply a desire for power.
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby TimBou » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:02 am

raptornx01 wrote:i wouldn't add Mr Tulip. he did have a bit of redemption. Mr Pin on the other hand.....


Excellent point... how could I forget the potato scene! D'oh!
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby TimBou » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:12 am

raisindot wrote:
Penfold wrote:I personally find the concepts behind Sir Terry's villains more scary than the individual villains themselves. :D


Agree with you. Other than Vorbis, and maybe Wolfgang in several parts. I can't really think of a villain who is consistently 'scary' throughout an entire a DW book. Even the Cunning Man is more of an 'effect' than anything else, since he only physically shows up at the end of the book and has no lines.

Powerful villains, funny villains, annoying villains, boring villains, complex villains yes, but "scary' is hard to find. Maybe that's to Pterry's credit that for the most part, he refuses to give in to the old school version of the totally menacing, diabolically laughing villain and instead created adversaries who were the way they were because of their upbringing or culture, rather than simply a desire for power.


Excellent points. He does take the trouble to humanise many of his villains doesn't he - to get inside their skins? They are just people (or gods, or dwarves, or whatever) like the rest of us who happen to do bad stuff.

There is a very interesting thread in Small Gods (and in many other DW books but that is the one that springs to mind for me) about people fighting evil running the risk of becoming just as bad as the evil they are fighting against - Sergeant Simony is the one singled out but Urn and even Brutha are also at risk of it. But the strange thing is despite Pterry's awareness of this he still makes it clear that people like Vorbis, Mr Pin, Reacher Gilt etc. are still accountable for the consequences of their actions.

And of course the struggle of Vimes against his inner Beast is a big part of his character development. His answer to this seems to be to make sure everything is done by the book rather than dispensing arbitrary justice as Vimes the beast would - e.g. with Carcer in Night Watch. And Carcer is NASTY and doesn't have much to recommend him from what I recall of reading the book for the first time earlier this year.

Your comment about the diversity of villains is interesting. I think of Cosmo in Making Money who I think has to be one of the most incompetent villains in DW because he's handicapped by his irrational obsession with mirroring Vetinari. But he still does some real evil in amongst the insanity and is clearly a villain.

Again, in Men at Arms d'Eath and Cruces both do very bad things, especially Cruces, but there is the question of whether it is really them or whether something else (the gonnne) has taken them over.

This is one of those eternal debates that I don't think has any final answer - good and evil, free will and responsibility etc. etc. Good to know they have the same problems in fantasy worlds!
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby Maladict » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:18 pm

Not the worst, butI find Count de Magpyr (Vlad and Lacrimosa's father) rather scary - somehow the enslavement of the people in Escrow reminds me of Nazis in the countries they occupied. Being 'milked' for blood may not be the worst fate imaginable, but it is disturbing, a blatant show of disrespect for personal freedom.

Then there's Lily 'Lilith' Weatherwax... who didn't respect anyone or anything, and tried to control a whole nation 'for their own good'...
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby Penfold » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:42 pm

Maladict wrote:Not the worst, butI find Count de Magpyr (Vlad and Lacrimosa's father) rather scary - somehow the enslavement of the people in Escrow reminds me of Nazis in the countries they occupied. Being 'milked' for blood may not be the worst fate imaginable, but it is disturbing, a blatant show of disrespect for personal freedom.

Then there's Lily 'Lilith' Weatherwax... who didn't respect anyone or anything, and tried to control a whole nation 'for their own good'...

This is where I find the concept rather than the individual villain the more frightening; the thought that people would accept those sorts of things happening and actually be convinced to be happy about it, rather than acting against it. :)
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby high eight » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:56 pm

1/ Vorbis
2/ Carcer
3/ Andy Shank

Mainly because I've met roundworld equivalents of all of them. "Carcer" was probably the most dangerous in that he could kill you without even blinking but "Vorbis" was the worst because he lived in a world of his own where normal rules didn't apply and changed reality inside his head to fit in with his own version.

Andy Shank is the embodiment of the mob. A football crowd, a demonstration, police 'controlling' a demonstration...... He is there in all of them and more. The really scary thing is that he is everybody - and everybody is him.

What about scary (anti) heroes? There are a few of them that I wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley: - Pepe (for several reasons :D ), 71-Hour Ahmed........
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby francis » Wed May 02, 2012 9:35 pm

Carcer's by far the worst of the lot to my mind because he's not even fuelled by some sort of will to power; power is simply a means to get away with more bloodletting. It's a tie between him and the von Uberwalds for me.
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby fids » Thu May 17, 2012 8:18 pm

71 Hour Achmed had potential but we were blindsided as he's Vimes in a turban.

No one wants to meet the Agony Aunts

Carcer for me as it took a quick search to see Vorbis is from Small Gods, a book I read years ago and have forgot. perhaps its time to revist the bugger.
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby The Mad Collector » Fri May 18, 2012 7:02 pm

fids wrote:Carcer for me as it took a quick search to see Vorbis is from Small Gods, a book I read years ago and have forgot. perhaps its time to revist the bugger.


Definitely worth rereading, Small Gods improves rhe more you get into it and get to understand the plot lines and also the sharp digs at religion in its various forms and how people use and abuse belief systems
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby SpyViolette » Sat May 19, 2012 5:19 am

I don't think Vorbis is scary, but probably because whenever I think of him I picture that part in the desert when he's all out of it. For me Teatime is the worst. He's just such a classic psychopath, and in the movie he's portrayed as impossibly creepy. I agree with whoever said the Auditors, but of course if you've got some chocolate they aren't much of a problem. :)
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby raptornx01 » Sat May 19, 2012 12:51 pm

The whole of hogfather is creepy when you really dig into it.
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby SilentAssassin » Sun May 27, 2012 9:31 pm

I found Teatime to be the most disconcerting, Wolfgang as well of course. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D But teatime has influenced me with some of my characters from a book i am planning. So therefore i consider him to be the most scariest. :o He completely fits the thread.
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby Tonyblack » Sun May 27, 2012 9:54 pm

Welcome to the site, SilentAssassin! :)
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby serendipnick » Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:19 pm

I'd have to cast my vote for the Cunning Man as well. To be honest, I found the others well-written but not really keep-you-up-at-night scary. The Cunning Man, however, was pure, implacable evil and somehow really terrifying.
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Re: Scariest Villain in the Discworld

Postby =Tamar » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:58 am

serendipnick wrote:I'd have to cast my vote for the Cunning Man as well. To be honest, I found the others well-written but not really keep-you-up-at-night scary. The Cunning Man, however, was pure, implacable evil and somehow really terrifying.


The Cunning Man is scarier than the others because he can't be stopped. Teatime almost managed to become a magical personification but was stopped by Susan using Death's sword. The Cunning Man is already beyond that.
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