A letter found in the archives of the Realm Leapers. It’s assumed to be a follow-up to a previous letter written about the unfortunate stereotypes villains are subject to.
To whom it may concern,
Thank you kindly for your willingness to speak up on the wrongs done to villains everywhere. All the stuff against wearing black, hiring incompetent minions, resorting to brooding as a pastime, and indiscriminate killing holds as true today as it does then.
I’ve no idea how many people read my letter or if it made a difference, but at least I said what I needed to say. That’s the mantra of all the heroes, right? Do what needs to be done and what is right, regardless of if people notice it or not.
See, even villains are open to learning new things.
Actually no. I’m not even joking about that. Because you know what? Villains have values too.
Do you think we just randomly steal and kill and are fine with it? Are you insane? We’re people, okay? People have a moral code written in their hearts.
Oh, sure. Some of us ignore it. Some of us twist it. A few of us are touched in the head and don’t even notice. But for the most part, as a human race, people have a need to be right.
Even when they are wrong, they are right.
Villains are people too.
So many of your so-called heroes are arrogant knuckleheads. They have one view of right and assume everything else is wrong. Hence we are deemed tyrants, villains, or worse.
Well, you know what? We have thoughts on this right and wrong thing too. In which situations is it acceptable to kill? To steal? Which people do we need to defend? What situations will we not join but not stop?
I’m not claiming to be perfectly right here, understand. I’ve seen enough to know that there is a deeper code to morality than either the stances of heroes or villains.
That’s my point. The hero’s version of right and wrong isn’t the standard for actual right and wrong. Who cares if it might be closer to the deeper code than mine.
I have reasons for what I do, okay? So you do. So does anyone else reading this. Look me in the eyes and tell me that everything you do is perfectly in accord with an impartial system of right and wrong regardless of what you want?
Yeah. That’s what I thought.
Another thing I just want to point out.
People like us.
Not the people who are actually fighting us, of course. But a number of those strange distant people who read the accounts of our exploits and side with the heroes tend to cheer for us too.
That’s actually the reason I am writing today because it bewilders me. How can they view us as evil yet love us anyway? Where’s the disconnect?
Are they imagining what we would have become if we’d chosen differently?
Do they think our humanity and care for those we love is somehow truer because of its stark relief against other more ruthless aspects of our life (that’s so unfair to the other side who tries so hard to care for people while failing over and over, you know)?
Do they just think the weapons and presentation are cool? Because that’s a valid point but I don’t think most people are that shallow.
Or is it true that some of these so-called readers actually understand our reasoning and how we got here, see lesser cases of such paths in their own life, and have the audacity to sympathize with what we’ve chosen to do with ourselves?
I don’t know, but it might be best if you found out. If you do, I’d love to hear it. Having readers care about us is very annoying. There’s so much pressure to reconsider one’s options.
Please let me know why readers like villains at your earliest convenience.
Politely, until next time,
An anonymous villain
While the Realm Leaper files remain an unsorted mess, I know there are other letters by heroes, mentors, and annoyed damsels just waiting to be unearthed. Comment below to let us know who, or what, stereotyped unfortunate you’d like to read about.
This is great. I’ve read all of the previous ones of this style, and it fits right with them perfectly. I love it. The humour, the honesty and the fact it is telling the truth of the ways of fictional villains and the minds of readers is just brilliant.
And in answer to the question raised by mysterious villain, I have to say it is all the above. It depends on the villain. And the readers taste too. With me personally, I’ve experienced things similar to the all things you mentioned that could be the reasoning behind love for villains. I mostly care about how convincing the villains are. If I can believe their motivation and reasoning and belief, I can understand and relate, even though I would never agree with them. I hope that helps. Whoever you are.
So funny and so true!!!