Monday, October 8, 2012

Villain of the Day- Oct 8th

"You cannot hide... I SEE YOU"

"You do not seriously think that a hobbit can contend with the will of Sauron?"

"Give up the half-ling!"

"Do you not know death when you see it? This is my hour!"

In continuing with my accidental trend of talking about all things geek, we are going to look at what many have called the Bible of all Geeks, The Lord of the Rings. I have often said that Tolkein is about as close to Homer as we're going to get in this modern age, and the villains he created for Middle Earth only help reinforce my belief. Most of the characters in this series fit our idea of typical literary archetypes, his villains of course being no exception. Sauron, the title character and main antagonist, is pretty much like the devil in that all he wants to do is create misery and chaos and either kill or enslave every living creature in existence. Those that he can't do that to, he twists them and manipulates them into doing his bidding. A prime example is the white wizard Saruman, who is also one of the main antagonists, though he only shows up briefly in the final installment. Saruman was a pure and wise wizard until Sauron got to playing around in his head and actually convinced the wizard that to join him is the better idea than fighting him. And he really takes that to heart. It is one thing if he joined Sauron because he felt that he had no other choice, but he dives into this alliance very willingly and even helps him create whole armies of hellish minions numbering in the thousands. The other people that have been twisted by Sauron's deceit are the Ring Wraiths. Having started out as being wise and great kings in their own lands, the dark lord has now taken them and turned them into his personal errand boys, leaving Mordor to hunt the one that has the ring and lead his armies into battle. Chief among them is a man known only as The Witch King, a very powerful and skilled sorcerer who it has been said cannot be killed by any man. Each of these baddies are awesome in their own way, from the Ring Wraiths dark over powering presence to Saruman being played by Christopher Lee whose deep voice and towering height make him all the more intimidating. Even Sauron has this creepy vibe to him even though we never actually see any characters interact with him all that much. It probably has little to do with characters talking to him, and more to do with how characters talk ABOUT him. Every time someone even utters his name, you know that he is bad news. There's no reasoning, there's no negotiating, he just wants to watch the world burn.

"The half-ling was dear to thee, I see. Know, then that he suffered greatly at the hands of his host"

And one more guy that shows up here that is creepy beyond all reason is The Mouth of Sauron. Unlike the Ringwraiths, you don't really know what his story is, or how he ended up working for Sauron. He is just the servant who acts as Sauron's voice to his armies. He probably even outranks the Witch King since he is the one that sits by Sauron's side and is the first to greet the army marching on the black gates. He even taunts them by giving them evidence that Frodo has been killed as slowly and as painfully as possible. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot I can say because he only shows up for about 5 minutes in the extended version of the final movie, and his appearance in the books isn't that long either. But the little screen time that he does have is pretty memorable, and is among many scenes that should have been left in the original draft.

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