A to Z Challenge – F

FMy 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 7 – F is for Fascist

To avoid splitting this category up into like 8 different letter (i.e. cheating), the letter F will represent all the genocidal, tyrannical, ultra-evil villains affiliated(ish) with fascism, like Nazis, Al Qaida, North Korea, and all sorts of dictatorships and ultra-national establishments, both fictional, and spawned of real-life villains.

Fascists are the ideal arch-villain. Defined as “radical authoritarian nationalism” usually vested primarily in one key dictator, their fascists beliefs bestow righteousness in their evil deeds, making them much more terrifying. Whether it’s a religious doctrine (real or fake) or national zeal, these villains are absolutely sure what they’re doing is right, or at the very least condoned by a higher power. And while the tyrants at the head of the fascism hierarchy are usually the most intimidating, it’s the henchmen that are often the truly scary villains.

Lower-level leaders (Captains, Lieutenants, Cell Leaders, etc.) tend to be the ones portrayed as supremely irredeemable in most fascist fiction. These are the ones that will torture, murder, and order atrocities to be committed by their subordinates with smiles on their faces. Occasionally the lowest level of fascist villain may be portrayed as slightly sympathetic, I’m-just-following-orders light, but they almost never get a chance at true redemption in the storyline. Between the inherent social stigma and their remorseless portrayal in all types of fiction, we see most fascist villains meet rather messy and often appropriate ends (Think end of Lost Ark).

Motivations for the fascist villain are fairly simple, which leaves a creator open to explore the depths of their evil without worrying too much about backstory. The interesting, and often terrifying, details of these baddies lie in what they do, not why they do it. These aren’t villains you root for, they’re the ones you despise. Convenient but complex, any writer that takes on one of these as a protagonist at any level is also accepting the predetermined notions that come with them. While this limits some creativity, it grants a built-in feeling towards the fascist character, and gives the audience a character they’ll inherently love to hate, and feel satisfied when they get what they deserve.

Some Famous Fascist villains (omitting any real-life examples):
• Red Skull (Captain America)
• Dr. Doom (Marvel)
• Hans Landa (Inglorious Basterds)
• Voldemort and the Death Eaters (Harry Potter)
• Grand Moff Tarkin (Star Wars)
• Horus (Horus Heresy)

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3 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge – F

  1. Red Skull was the best in terms of fascist villains…how about the Indian Jones villains? If those, my favorite was probably the villain from the lost arc, that guy even made a simple coat hanger creepy

    Like

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