In my experience reading books and watching movies, I have mostly come across antagonists who I wanted to be defeated naturally because they are the bad guy and I want the good guy to win. However, I haven’t really hated most of them so much that I really passionately wanted them to die, because they were either funny, or their evilness was simply entertaining. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in the Thor series is a good example of this. He is the bad guy, yet everyone likes him because he’s just cool and kind of a fun character. I can think of probably a thousand antagonists that I have enjoyed watching. Yet I still have come across a few characters that I have wanted to burn in hell with all my heart and soul. Here are a few samples that I have a feeling most people will agree with.
Geoffrey Lannister, Game of Thrones: In this show based in a medieval world, Geoffrey is made King of the Seven Kingdoms to the early death of his father. And let me tell you, this kid is the biggest spoiled brat the world has ever seen. And he totally abuses his power to basically be an asshole to people. For example, he made his fiancé watch her father be beheaded for “treason”. And then, later on when the same girl’s (who is now no longer his fiancé) brother is killed, he requests that the head be sent to him so that he can put it on the girl’s plate on her wedding day. Like, what the actual hell. I’d also like to throw in that his parents were brother and sister. So yeah. Don’t have sex with your siblings, kids. Demon-children will be born.
Next up we have a more famous one. Abigail Williams, from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible made me want to put my fist through the screen/page. In the time of the Salem witch trials, Abby had an affair with a married man named John Proctor (the protagonist). Basically, the way the story goes is that the trials were triggered by Abigail trying to get John’s wife Elizabeth killed because Abby wanted to be with John. And because this little son of a gun couldn’t control her freaking hormones, more than a dozen people died.
Finally we have Dolores Umbridge from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Now this lady just kind of comes out of nowhere and starts taking over Hogwarts (I’m just going to assume you know Harry Potter). She gets sent from basically the wizard community leaders to help the school out and she starts making major reforms in the school. Mainly, she changes the curriculum so that the kids are learning about magic as opposed to performing it. Who the hell would want to do that? Here’s something really cool and powerful and amazing you can do, but I’m not going to let you do it. I’m just going to teach you about it. It’s like learning about books in English but not reading them. Or learning equations in math, but not actually using them and practicing them. It is, to an extent, useless. I think Umbridge is especially annoying because of the fact that she came from nowhere and started making all of these stupid rules. I mean WHO ARE YOU TO SAY WHAT ANYONE CAN AND CAN’T DO?!
Well this was exasperating. In conclusion I would just like to point out that these movies/plays/books/TV shows have been extremely successful and achieved fame. Just saying that there may be something there. Evil characters may be the key to writing good stories.