"I met him, fifteen years ago; I was told there was nothing left; no reason, no conscience, no understanding; and even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes...the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply...evil." — Dr. Sam Loomis, about Michael Myers
Characters who are more than just villains. They're well written and almost soulless and highly destructive, emotionally and physically, with little to no regard for life. They're complete monsters. In order for a villain to qualify as a Complete Monster, they need to fulfill the following conditions:
- The character needs to be an individual. Groups don't have moral agency, and the category's about the worst possible villain. If there's a team of two or three that meets all of the requirements, they can be accepted, but no groups.
- The villain needs to be heinous by the standards of both the established universe and how it would be treated in real life. There's a major difference between some elementary school bully which can easily be forgiven, and say... My Little Pony with a character from Saw.
- The villain's misdeeds need to be seen first-hand by the audience, or at least the after effects of said misdeeds. If the bad guy does something monstrous but it barely serves any role in the story or gets ignored, it won't count. However, if the bad guy has a pattern of doing their crimes, offscreen or not they can still qualify.
- The character needs to have done some terrible action that had made them irredeemable, and unable to have a proper redemption arc.
- The villain has to hold nothing back with the resources they have.
- Connecting to the second pointer, the villain also needs to prove themselves to be exceptionally evil. It's possible to have more than one monster within the same work, but those monsters each need to prove themselves to be bad to the bone. If there are a bunch of characters in the story all committing terrible acts, but none of them stand out above the others by going that extra mile, then none of them can be this category. If one villain is doing atrocities worse than another villain in a work, only the worse villain will make the cut.
- They are completely devoid of altruistic qualities. They show no regret for their crimes. They can't have any loved ones they genuinely care for. (The "love" needs to be possessive or manipulative)
- The villain needs to be in control of their actions and be aware that they're doing wrong and willingly choose that path. For example:
- An animal acts on instinct and learned behavior. No matter how vicious it may be, it's not truly responsible in a moral sense for what it does.
- Children, for the most part, lack developed moral judgment, so they can't be held fully responsible for their actions. Sure, there are a handful of notable exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, they don't usually mean any actual harm.
- If someone who is under mind control, brainwashing, or was programmed from birth, they're not responsible for their actions... unless it turns out that it was some other form of manipulation and they merely used it as an excuse to do what they'd wanted all along. The person who controlled them, however...
- Someone who is clinically insane might not be held criminally responsible for their actions, and the same standard apply here.
- Elemental forces of evil, like devils and demons, may be compelled by their nature to act as they do, and thus lack the capacity to choose a different path. This can vary by work, of course.
- Robots and other automata, such as the undead, are essentially pre-programmed, and so are not making choices. Robots or undead that are intelligent/free-willed enough to exercise choice may qualify, though.
- There can't be any attempts to present the character in any positive way. Even if the bad guy has a sympathetic backstory, it's possible for the villain's actions to be so disproportionate and so despicable, that their troubling backstory no longer justifies their actions.
- Most importantly, the one thing that makes a complete monster who they are is their defined motives. There's a difference between being a true monster, and just being a Generic Doomsday Villain. If the villain doesn't have a proper motive or reason for their actions and practically comes out of nowhere just to cause chaos, they're not really a true monster, they're just boring, dull, and a prime candidate for the Loathsome Characters Wiki.
All items (24)