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 9 – H is for Hedonist
This particular villain seems mostly harmless, but can be one of the most vile antagonists if their appetites for indulgence reach the extreme. As an arch-villain, the Hedonist would be the powerful figure with indulgences that put the protagonist at risk. He may be an Emperor, with a bloodlust so extreme he watches gladiatorial competition with unholy relish. The worst Hedonist allows his gluttony to reach into realms forbade by morality all in the name of quenching his thirst. Young children, women, familial ties, even opposing nations and organizations will not keep the Hedonist from what he craves.
Typically powerful, rich, influential, or a nasty combination of the three, this villain can pay, maneuver, or leverage his way into his indulgences. Never without accomplices, he (or she) is usually surrounded by henchmen, subordinates, and occasionally peers implicit in obtaining or covering up the Hedonist’s deplorable vices. Most of these flunkies are ultimately expendable, and easily replaced. The protagonist is usually harmed, offended, or incensed at the Hedonist’s lack of compunction over the chaos his indulgences bring about. Arguably the least sympathetic of all the archetype, this villain almost never has any redeeming qualities, and instead is loathed by the audience almost as much as the hero.
The Hedonist is a versatile arch-villain and can fit into many settings to create an entirely unsympathetic, loathsome antagonist. The key to their villainy is their lack of sympathy or regard for those beneath them or the consequences of their actions. Evil at the most basic level, these are the creepy bad guys you boo out loud at movie theatres, and then you cheer loudest when they inevitably meet their timely and appropriate end.
Famous Hedonist Villains:
• Dr. Frankenfurter (had to; of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame)
• Dorian Grey (The Portrait of Dorian Grey; He was a baddie in LXG)
• Robert Baratheon (Game of Thrones, not exactly a villain…but kind of)
• John Willoughby (in Sense and Sensibility)
• Commodus (Gladiator)
• Jabba the Hutt (Star Wars)