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Villains on Trial

This year at Dragon*Con, we are going to hold a trial for various villains of literary science fiction and fantasy. Fun, right? Unfortunately, I'm having trouble deciding which villains I should suggest to our fearless leader, vampry. Any ideas, peanut gallery?

I would say Satan figures (like Sauron, the White Witch, etc.) are out mainly because they're not meant to be ambiguous - and also because we would have a lot of trouble role-playing an unblinking eye. *g*

ETA: And just to clarify, we're looking for villains from books, as we are the literature programming track. *g* (The number of media suggestions makes me wish we could collaborate with the media track, though.)

Comments

Ooh! What a cool idea! What laws would you use for various villains, though -- the laws of villains' cultures/countries/worlds, or the American laws, or the laws of whatever cultures/countries/worlds their heroes were from?

For example, would Scorpius be tried in a Peacekeeper court, or a modern American court? Would Mr. Moriarty be tried in a 19th century British court? Would the Master be tried in a modern American court/ a modern British court/a Timelord court/a 1960s court? (With reasonable assumptions made for various laws for fictional locations.)

I think it might be interesting to have a trial for *heroes*, too. How would John Crichton hold up in a Scarran or a Peacekeeper court? (Or hell, even a modern American court, really.)

Um, sorry, I know that's not what you asked -- I got carried away with the idea. :)
Good questions! I'll bring those up with the mailing list.
Lord of the Rings: Saruman; Denethor (Could he be considered a villain? Well, he committed a crime, anyway, so there is something to put him on trial for.)
Seconding the Denethor recommendation. Was it wrong for him to try to get the ring to defend Gondor?

Morally ambiguous figures for you

The Shadows

Dukat (fit to plead?)

The Silurians/Sea Devils from Doctor Who

The old school Watchers' Council from Buffy

V from V For Vendetta

Re: Morally ambiguous figures for you

Lots of good media ideas, but any more ideas from the literary side, i.e., from books?

(Bah, I hate this convention's balkanization.)

It occurred to me as I was doing my cardio that perhaps instead of trying main villains, we could try their willing accomplices, who tend to be more, ah, complicated, shall we say.

Do you go to Dragon*Con? If so, you might be interested in joining our mailing list:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DCSFLit/
And by the way, I just realized that I haven't put you on some of my, ah, special interest filters. This has been fixed, so you should see more of my journal now. ;)
Okay, non-satanist book villains for you (btw, if comics are counted as books, you can include V whom Londonkds suggested - V for Vendetta was a legendary comic by Alan Moore long before it became a film:

Harry Potter: Petter Pettigrew
Dolores Umbridge (ah, the banality of evil! Also, the defense could go for the "was authorised by the ministery in everything" line)

Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy


Lord of the Rings: Smeagol/Gollum

Lord of the Flies: um, every surviving boy on that island except Ralph?

I, Claudius:

Livia (if anyone dares!)

Oh, I love this idea!

Narnia: Edmund, Eustace...or you could put Polly and Digory on trial for original sin!

Lord of the Rings: Boromir

SIlmarillion: oh, pretty much everyone - Feanor, Maedrhos, Maglor, the rest of the Feanorians, Finarfin, Fingon, Turgon, Galadriel (conflicting evidence from different versions!), Maeglin...lots of others.

You could put the vampires Armand and Lestat on trial, but you'd probably end up convicting Anne Rice for inconsistent writing. Still, it would be fun.
And Turin, for sleeping with his sister. DX

Nobody's mentioned Sauron yet? Whuuut? And Ungoliant. I'd totally dig seeing a giant-ass spider on trial for war crimes.

EDIT: Sauron, oh, right. Satan figure. XP But my comment on Ungoliant stands.

Edited at 2008-05-23 06:34 am (UTC)
Steerpike from the Gormenghast books would be interesting (if enough people are familiar with the books)... you could get into the whole question of an insanity plea, because he has an awful lot of the traits for antisocial personality disorder (though enough of the book is written from his POV that we know he can tell right from wrong, he just doesn't care, which I know is a major sticking point in insanity pleas)
-Thuvia or Tar Tharkas from John Carter Warlord of Mars.
-Several characters in Ender's Game (The series) by Orson Scott Card
- The Morlocks and the Eoli from The Time Machine could be villains.
-Dr. Moreau in the Island of Dr. Moreau but H.G.Wells
- The Great Benefactor in We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
-The Planet Solaris in Solaris?


Those were some I had in mind...