03-03 Reasonable Authority Figure
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03-03 Reasonable Authority Figure

Fri, 16th Aug, 2019

BMR on Fri, 16th Aug, 2019

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You know what I really don't like? When the Evil Overlord™ kills off underlings for "failing him for the last time". It just really doesn't make sense. I mean, sure, you could say something like he's trying to instill fear in his minions. But you know what that actually instills?


And when the hero comes in, captures a guard, and threatens the dude into revealing the Evil Plan™? Sure, the guard might say something like, "No! If I tell you, he'll kill me!" At which point, the hero always says something like, "Well, he's all the way over there, and I'm here, so who are you more scared of?" At which point the guard crumples and gives away the Evil Plan™.

Really, any Evil character worth his salt is probably quite intelligent, as you would need to be in order to form your Evil Empire. And you know what the smart move there is? Treat your minions with care and respect. You take care of your own, because the more loyal they are to you, the better your chances of advancing your Evil Plans.

Hero: Give me the password to the Evil Computer Servers!

Lowly Minion: Never, I won't betray my boss! I would rather die than betray him!

Hero: You fool! Doctor Villain von McEvilson doesn't care about you, he'll discard you like a used tissue once you've served your role!

Lowly Minion: That's not true, when Doctor vo McEvilson found out my daughter had leukemia, he personally visited her at the hospital, and gave me paid leave days so I could be with her! He even told the Evil Hospital not to charge me, and that he would pay for all the medical costs! And I'm not the only one, when Sally at Evil R&D went into premature labor, he personally carried her to the EER--

Hero: EER?

Lowly Minion: Evil Emergency Room, we have a branding thing going here.

Hero: Oh, I see.

Lowly Minion: He personally carried her to the EER and stayed with her until her husband could arrive. None of us would betray him, so do your worst!

Hero: You guys do know you're the bad guys, right? I mean, it's right there in the title, Evil Organization Inc.

Lowly Minion: Yeah, but do you heroes give your people full dental?

Hero: ...no we don't...

Lowly Minion: See? So do whatever you want, you're not getting anything out of any of us.

So yeah, treat your minions with respect, while looking out for all of them and making sure they're taken care of? You get a loyal Evil Workforce who love you and would die for you. Treat them as disposable pawns? Sure, they'll die for you, but only because you force them to. And soon as the chance arises, they'll abandon ship.

Heh, sorry for the long rant. It's just something that irks me. So here we have it, an antagonist who's not particularly villainous, and who is quite reasonable with his demands while treating his underlings quite well. My favorite kind of villain.

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HiFranc on Fri, 16th Aug, 2019

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It’s one of the reasons that Deus is a good character in Grrl Power. He’s a neutral at best but he supplies the heroes and has improved the lives of quite a few people.

I also remember this exchange from the movie Enemy at the Gates (dialogue copied from IMDB’s quote link for the film):

Danilov: [from the back of the room] Give them hope!

[Khrushchev turns around and strides down the line to Danilov]

Danilov: Here, the men's only choice is between German bullets and ours. But there's another way. The way of courage. The way of love of the Motherland. We must publish the army newspaper again. We must tell magnificent stories, stories that extol sacrifice, bravery. We must make them believe in the victory. We must give them hope, pride, a desire to fight. Yes... we need to make examples. But examples to *follow*. What we need...

[he glances quickly at Khrushchev]

Danilov: ... are heroes.

Nikita Khrushchev: [Khrushchev looks around, then leans in closer to Danilov] Do you know any heroes around here?

Danilov: Yes, comrade. I know one.

Link to quote section:


Link to main page for the film:

...(RockB) on Fri, 16th Aug, 2019

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@BMR: Fully agreed. You can be evil everywhere, but keep your minions at least a bit safer than everybody else. Paying them is one thing, getting their loyalty is well above that.

@HiFranc I wouldn't say that Deus is outright evil, he just doesn't let anything or anybody get in the way when he wants something. But he doesn't kill or destroy for fun.

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