Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Good Bad Guys

(Photo from
I’ve just been catching up on some of the vampire stories that have been made into TV series – True Blood and The Vampire Diaries – and I’m also eagerly awaiting the final instalment of the Twilight films.

Something struck me about all these though – the fact that I don’t like any of the heroes!  I much prefer the other guy (in the case of Twilight) and the bad guys in the other stories.  I have to admit I thoroughly disliked Edward Cullen with his controlling ways and strange supposedly protective measures when it came to his girlfriend; Jacob Black is so much more passionate (and yes, alive!).  I find Bill Compton deadly dull (sorry, bad pun), while Erik Northman, the Viking vampire, is mischievous and fun in comparison.  And I can’t for the life of me like Stefan Salvatore.  His brother Damon may be evil, but he’s never boring!

Erik Northman (Wikipedia photo)
So is it just me, or does this seem wrong somehow?  Surely in a story we should be rooting for the good guy, the one who is trying to do the right thing (and in this case, abstaining from drinking human blood in order not to hurt anyone)?  Of course we all love a really well written “bad boy” story, but those normally end with him being reformed by the heroine and turned into the good guy at the end.  Or the reader is shown from the beginning that he’s just hiding his true colours behind a façade and needs to fall in love in order to be saved.  But that’s not the case with these vampire stories as far as I can see.

It could of course have something to do with the fact that I personally find the actors portraying the bad guys more attractive, but I read the books first and felt the same way.

Jacob black (Wikipedia photo)
I don’t really have an answer here, I guess I’m just kind of thinking out loud.  But I’d love to hear everyone else’s take on this – discuss please?

And please come back on Sunday to hear from Liz


  1. You're not the only one who likes the "bad" guys more. There is just something about them that makes them even more delicious than the heroes. :)

  2. Thanks, Chanpreet, glad it's not just me :)

  3. I don't watch any of these programmes, as I don't like vampires. But my vote goes for the man in the top pic, after he's shaved. x

  4. It's always good to compare the two :)

  5. The wicked characters are always the more interesting characters, in my opinion. They are the fun characters. It doesn't mean that we'd want to live with them, though!

    Liz X

  6. Sue - I think he looks great either way :) (His name is Ian Somerhalder, sorry should have added that to the caption)
    Chris and Liz - yes, I always compare them and in this case definitely came out in favour of the bad guys! Wouldn't want to live with the good ones here.

    Thank you all for your comments.

  7. Bad guys in real life are more trouble than they're worth, but it's perfectly safe to like them in fiction. And I'm saying this because I'm probably deadly dull myself :-D

  8. I wonder if it's because the bad guys are unpredictable, a bit risky? As Henriette says, horrible in real life (everyone wants to know that their date will turn up as arranged, not decide to stand you up because he wants to go white-water rafting), but in fiction that unpredictability translates into excitement and inscruitability. Plus stubble.

  9. The thing about these 'bad guys' is that they aren't bad at all. They're maybe a bit feisty, a bit rough around the edges, but do we really like actual 'bad guys'. I have the theory that Christian Grey wouldn't be the hero he's become if he was purely and simply a control freak who abused women. A major part of his character was vulnerability caused by the abuse he received as a child - doesn't that immediately brings out that maternal instinct, the need to make the man happy, to compensate and basically, to become indispensable? All of the bad guy heroes have good points. Surely a true bad guy wouldn't have any?

  10. Henriette - yes, I guess they would be hard to take in real life, but I'd be willing to give it a try :-)

    Jane - excitement and stubble, what could be better!

    Liv - yes, hopefully they do have some good points - Erik Northman definitely does, and of course, Jacob Black. Not sure about Damon and haven't got round to reading about Mr Grey yet ...

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