My theme for the A to Z challenge is Villain Archetypes.
Yes, 26 descriptions of some of your favorite villains of literature, TV, and movies.
April 6th – E is for Evangelist
Evangelical villains are some of the most despicably evil archetypes. They portray themselves as messengers of holiness, or arbiters of the church, all the while bilking the unwitting masses out of money, devotion, souls, or whatever dark desires they need to exercise. They can be affiliated with any religion, not necessarily a monotheistic one. Literature, TV, and movies are riddled with priests, shamans, and holy men with less-than-holy motives for their ministrations.
Although there are some real-life examples, the worst tend to come from fiction. More often than not these evil-doers play the role of main antagonist, and have a myriad of minions (mostly unwitting) brought about through their supposedly inspired motives. A somewhat blunt instrument, the Evangelist as a character is usually irredeemable to the highest degree, and often their motives aren’t disguised (to the reader/viewer). While simplistic, they’re often memorable since Evangelists portray themselves as forces for good.
The Evangelist isn’t necessarily solely for darker, more mature stories. Some children’s stories or kids-focused TV shows and movies will use a lighter form of the Evangelist as their antagonist. It’s also often employed in supernatural stories or morality tales. These bad guys often get what they deserve in the end, winding up with some kind of cosmic justice for the lies, misdirection, and using a higher power to further their own designs.
Famous Evangelist villains:
- Frollo (from Hunchback of Notre Dame)
- Brother Blood (DC)
- Cardinal Patrick Roark (from Sin City)
- Bishop Anthony Liliman (from V for Vendetta)
- Cardinal Richelieu (from 3 Musketeers)
- Reverend Harry Powell (from Night of the Hunter)