A Case of Two Villains

I have been working toward writing better villains.  In my last novel, Avalon, S.C., we have JD who is an OK but not a great villain.  Since he’s not really “the antagonist” of the novel, it’s hard for him to be a great villain.  But he’s in there swinging.  To be truthful, he tried out for the part of the antagonist but blew the audition.

So, determined to do better in The Adventures of Sir Kay (NOT! the real title), I created an antagonist.  Count Maleagans.  He has awful taste–his colors are babyshit brown, and his great hall features the amateurish tapestries of his ex-wife–but his real fault is that he’s stuck in the “past.”  He believes that Uther was a great king; Arthur not so much because of that whole “might doesn’t make right” thing.  A noble should be able to do anything he wants.  So far he’s foiled Kay’s quest for true love just by being ornery.

OK, admittedly: Maleagans is not the sheriff of Nottingham.  But I’m at least claiming small progress.

By the way, Morgan le Fay is around again.  SusanH considers her the villain after she committed the unpardonable sin of sleeping with her sister’s beau.  but I’m still sympathetic toward her.  I guess we’ll have to see how things turns out.

So then this other villain shows up: Father Ignatius.  He started off as a very minor character–a caricature of the overzealous priest/missionary, forerunner of the priests of the Inquisition, etc.–but somewhere along the way decided to pull off a masterful scam.  He elevated the Grail story from just a rumor to a full-fledged legend.  Preached repeatedly his visions of seeing the Grail, which he described in detail.  Got the Knights of the Round Table off looking (again! they’d done this once unsuccessfully before).  Planted a goblet that he’d brought from Rome, then told Galahad where he dreamed it was.

Oh, the fiend!  Messing with true love is one thing, but messing with one of our greatest legends?  Why, that’s just going too far!

Fortunately, with Sir Kay on the job, such a scam has no chance of success.  But what self-respecting villain is dispatched 60% through the novel?  I guess Maleagans better step up his game.

On a curious side-note:  JD was given to Nimue, where he was “sentenced” to a year of pampering with his every desire catered to before being sacrificed for the good of the land.  I’m considering giving Father Ignatius to Morgan.  Maybe that’s my problem with villains: they always end up getting better than they deserve.

chicago_exhibitA “false Grail,” alongside a more realistic depiction of what the Grail might look like



3 thoughts on “A Case of Two Villains

  1. Since “The Real and True Story of Sir Kay” is an episodic quest–even a “coming-of-age” story as middle-aged Sir Kay discovers true love–it seems that more than one villain is appropriate. Given the comedic voice–wonderful!–any truly harsh villain might feel discordant.

    As for Morgan, since the Arthurian legends are being developed ala Rusty, perhaps she can be redeemed in this tale. But redemption requires her to pay a significant price. Hmmm.

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