A to Z Challenge – O


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 16 – O is for Orator

The Orator is a villain that is master of deceit, dominance, and manipulation through spoken words. Silver-tongued and black-hearted, this antagonist can seemingly talk anyone into anything, whether its aimed at large group or a single person. Similiar to the Con Man, this villain is even more insidious as his goal is often not to get something out of his targets, but to control or manipulate them. While rarely an arch-villain, the Orator is an essential henchman or flunky as he is often charged with swaying the will of the masses, or a few key people, at the behest of the arch-villain.

When playing the main antagonist role, the Orator is usually in a position of trust and power. Plenty of ecclesiarchal villains were master Orators as their occupations provide the perfect platform to convince the public of whatever he desires. They take lies and deceit to the ultimate level, applying them on a grand scale and swaying an entire populace with their twisted rhetoric.These are some of the easiest villains to hate, as the audience can usually see the depth of their betrayal to their listeners. We can’t help but feel sympathy to a mass of people misled by somebody they trust.

Orators are also gulty of that favorite of villainous tendencies: Monologuing. Nothing makes these bad guys happier than stating their entire horrendous plan to the hero’s, just in time for them foil it all in the last 20 minutes or 15 pages. These are also the types, sadly, that will fall into the unfortunate narrative trap of talking during a fight scene (which is a no-no, for any medium). These baddies love to talk, whether they should or shouldn’t, and it makes the audience love to hate them all the more.

Famous Orators Villains:

  • Frollo (Hunchback of Notre Dame)
  • Adrian Veidt (Watchmen)
  • President Snow (Hunger Games)
  • Cardinal Richelieu (Three Musketeers)
  • Syndrome (The Incredibles)
  • Horus (Horus Heresy)

4 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge – O

  1. Good list and good post. I was watching old x-files episodes a few weeks ago, and there was a character that through his power of oration, he was able to get people to do things that they clearly did not want to do. It was creepy…how do you question a guy with such powers of oration? How do you catch him? Sometimes the best villains are the ones who seem above the most people’s ability to catch…but of course, not for a clever hero(ine).

    Liked by 1 person

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