In every story, there has to be a villain. Why? Because if there wasn’t at least one evil character who does terrible things, the story simply wouldn’t be very interesting. You can only hear so much about good characters who do most things right before you get bored out of your mind. Villains often make a story what it is. And when a fictional character is portrayed as evil, then they kind of automatically become the worst, which means we only see them as evil. When that happens, we ignore their backstory, and forget that, hey, maybe we should be feeling sorry for them instead of hating them.
Villains become villains for a reason, and usually, that reason is that their life has kind of, well, sucked. When you think about the awful things they may have gone through that have turned them into the way they are, it’s hard not to feel some sympathy for them. Why is any of this important? Well, it’s important to remember this for real life evil people too. Sure, some people do horrible things for no discernible reason. But most of the time, there is a reason, and it’s usually sad. This Ask Reddit thread on fictional villains we should feel sorry for got me thinking about it, and I wanted to share it with you guys. Here are some fictional villains from movies and TV shows who you should actually feel bad for… instead of just hating their guts:
Draco Malfoy from Harry PotterDraco definitely isn't the main villain in Harry Potter (obviously), but he is without a doubt still a villainous character. But, uh, I can't help but feel kind of sorry for this kid, who seemed destined to become evil because of how he grew up. User jolieminou[S] says, "Draco Malfoy. Poor boy is raised in a family of bigots who indulged him and set a path for him from birth. It's unfair to compare him to Harry, who was also raised by bigots, but is nothing like them. At the start of the series, Draco is 11. Harry is an exceptional boy, I don't know many children who'd stand up to others, including grown adults, like he does." This explanation from user lugarsin makes more sense to me: "I like Draco, too. He has every reason to turn completely evil, yet he doesn’t and keeps hesitating - not able to kill Dumbledore and not able to hand Harry over to Voldemort, even under the threat of his and his parent’s lives. In the end, he becomes a good father and a friend to Harry so there was someone good in there all along. I think more could have been done with his character."
Warren from Legally BlondeIf you've ever seen Legally Blonde, you know that you are immediately taught to despise Warren for breaking up with Elle. And yes, the dude is a jerk about it - but was it REALLY that bad? User jolieminou[S] says, "Warren from Legally Blonde. Okay so he wanted to take himself more seriously now that he's pursuing his profession, and wanted to date someone who had similar interests/goals. But his ex-girlfriend abandons her life and follows him to his school where she can try to win him back." It IS kind of weird when you think about it that way. If Warren wasn't such a jerk in other ways, I'd feel more sorry for him.
Sharpay Evans from High School MusicalI haven't seen High School Musical, but even I know that Sharpay Evans is the villain - the spoiled, snobby, bratty girl who pitches a fit when things don't go her way. Well, maybe we should feel a teensy bit sorry for her instead of immediately claiming she's the worst. User camlop says, "Sharpay Evans from High School Musical. She is the most qualified and most ambitious, but then these two total rookies come in and steal her show from her. Yeah, she should accept that she can't get everything she wants, but I definitely understand how she feels." Makes sense!
Darth Vader from Star WarsOkay, don't yell at me, but I've never seen Star Wars. So, I'll let user dadsmeatwagon explain this one: "Anikan Skywalker/Darth Vader. Born to a slave mother without a father; raised by saber wielding evangelicals & told he was "the chosen one"; gets consistently undermined & berated when his unorthodox but effective, methods don't align with the way the Jedi do things. Finds a woman he cares so deeply about he will kill for her, but has to keep his love/marriage secret because Jedi can't marry; he can't tell any of his peers/friends about the happiest day of his life. He returns to his home world to save his mother only to find her barely alive, & he holds her as she dies in his arms. He couldn't save her sooner because the Jedi were training him. Then, the Jedi deny him the title of Master because of he's a hothead. Meanwhile, Senator Palpatine praises Anikan, and gives him what the Jedi have denied him, pulling him into the dark side. Vader really is a tragic character. He's a victim of circumstance; a product of his environment."
Harley QuinnIs Harley Quinn REALLY that bad? User co_lund doesn't think so, saying, "Harley Quinn. Because she is the story of the smart, ambitious girl who fell in love with a manipulative abuser, and even though she is smart, it's very hard for her to see his evilness and escape. Textbook abusive relationship. I guess that resonated with me. She commits evil deeds for him like a pawn because she loves him, and when she's away from him she acts like a ditz because playing dumb is what protects her from getting hit. She is smart, but she doesn't let it show."
Miranda from Mrs. DoubtfireMiranda isn't exactly painted as a villain in Mrs. Doubtfire, but she's definitely the character everyone rolls their eyes at and hates. And that's not really fair! User lagerbaer says, "The wife in Mrs Doubtfire. Not technically a villain, but we're meant to empathize with Williams' character because he's such a "cool" dad. But holy shit, he's undermining his wife at every step, offloading the unpleasant part of parenting (you know, discipline, stuff like that) onto her, forcing her to be the strict, lame, uncool mom while he gets to reap the rewards of being the cool dad who throws a ridiculous house party for his son's birthday."
Skyler White from Breaking BadTo be honest, I hate Skyler and even I'm not sure why. Her husband totally made her life miserable and he was the worst! User tabby_whiskers says, "Skyler from Breaking Bad. She wasn't a villain as such but she got a ton of undeserved hate. When you look at the situation from her perspective it was pretty shitty and none of it was her fault or her choice."
Frankenstein's Creature from FrankensteinI didn't feel sorry for Frankenstein's monster until I read the book. I'll let user RaichuRose explain: "Frankenstein's creature. In the book there's more sympathy on him, but every movie about that story TOTALLY destroys the purpose of that book. The creature is abandoned by his "father" (Dr. Frankenstein) because he's gross looking. Every person he meets tries to kill him, because he's gross looking. He finds a hole to live in next to a family's cottage and does nice things for them, like bring them firewood, while they sleep. He learns their lsnguage just by listening. One day, he decides to visit when only the blind man is home and tries to make friends, but the son Congress home and tries to kill him. He watches his creator tear literally tear apart his future wife, that he only asked for so that he could have a companion that wouldn't shun him. All because a whiney scientist tried to play god and then didn't take responsibilities for his actions."
Dr. Horrible from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along VlogI'm not familiar with this movie, but lots of people on the thread agreed. User JoyfulStingray says, "Dr Horrible!! He really wanted to fix the world - just in a...different way. Which meant teaming up with villains. He was a person who loved others, but he got caught up in trying to keep up with the Evil League of Evil's expectations and lost his humanity trying to achieve it."