Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Villians

On Road Trip Wednesday the bloggers and readers of YA Highway each answer a prompt on their blogs. Visit them all to see everyone's take on the question.

This week the ladies ask: Who are your favorite Literary antagonists?

I love this topic.  Of course a hero isn't much of a hero without their villian. I'm got two faves, both old school and modern.

First, Old School Style:

Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. She is downright chilling, evil, manipulative, and totally takes advantage of our sweet protagonist. 

While watching Downton Abbey lately I couldn't stop yammering about how fantastically diabolical Siobhan Fenneran (O'Brien, here on the right) would be in the role of Mrs. Danvers. She's already got the costume.

Second, a book written more recently (but set in the past):

Mrs. Holland from The Ruby in the Smoke by Phillip Pullman. Has there ever been such a mean, hateful, and cruel woman?  She abuses (and possibly kills) children, and tortures ailing men with the misfortune to fall under her care. 

Here she is, played by none other than Molly Weasley (Julie Walters), though I can say that she was even scarier on the page than in this BBC film. 


Don’t forget to stop by YAHighway to see how everyone else answers today’s prompt!


  1. Interesting choices! I've (sadly) never read these, but am very intrigued now.

    I never like the evil woman though. Okay, hardly ever. When I think evil ladies I think Mommie Dearest, Cinderella, and Annie. And my stomach churns.

    Great post!

  2. Thanks to you, I finally picked up REBECCA from Borders on Monday! (You inspired me to read it in earlier RTWs). Can't wait to read all about Mrs. Danvers.

  3. Well, if you're kicking it old school...Madadme Defarge from A Tale of Two Cities. I loved Rebecca so much. Truly one of my all time favorites.

  4. I haven't read that first book, but totally agree about the second! She's a bad one.

  5. Alison- I always feel a little old when I harp on about Rebecca, but Mrs. Danvers is such a baddie, I can't help it.

    Rebecca- and Rebecca! Yay! I hope you like it. :0) I am also IN LOVE with the movie.

    Mdme Defarge, yes she is a cold one. Redefining old school.

    Kaitlin- Mrs Holland is super scary!

  6. Rebecca is on my TBR list and I think I read Ruby in the Smoke years ago, but I don't remember much so no insightful comments from me. I think my favourite antagonist would be Snape, ooh or Tyrion Lannister-- neither of them are wholly bad, they're just people who sometimes wind up opposed to the so-called good guys.

  7. Oooh-I completely agree about Mrs. Danvers and the actress from Downtown Abbey. So many people haven't read REBECCA, but it's fantastic!

  8. Oooh, I love these interesting choices! And seriously, seeing Molly Weasley be evil is enough to hook me into watching that version!

  9. I haven't read either of those yet. I'm adding them to my TBR list now!

  10. I haven't read these either, but knowing your taste, I will love them! Interesting, I'm always on the hunt for new and unusual villains. :D

  11. :-( I haven't read these either. The Ruby in the Smoke has been on my radar for a while though...

  12. Mrs. Weasley/Julie Waters as a villain? Well, she probably wanted a change from her supporting roles. Now I have to find the book.

  13. I totally thought about Mrs. Danvers! But I only made it halfway through the book before I had to return it to the library, so I ended up not choosing her as mine.

    Have you seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie? I was legitimately creeped out by her. Such a good job!

  14. I haven't read either of these, but they both sound fantastic. Thanks for the great recs! (Fun to see Molly Weasley as a different character, too!)

  15. Ah! I've never read these! I need to get back to the classics, obvs.

  16. Mrs Danvers REALLY freaked me out. Also I have a copy of the Ruby in the Smoke, and really ought to read it...

  17. I can't imagine Molly Weasley as a villain. I have to see this! :)

  18. Sophia- Tyrion is a good choice.

    I know, right Laurel? She would be so good.

    True Sarah, but I keep expecting the real Molly to jump out and be herself. She'll always be a Weasley to me.

    Let me know what you think Tracey.

    Glenna- do check them out, I'd love to hear your 2cents.

    Sarah- it's quite different from the Golden Compass (though, it would have to be, right?), it's more old school mystery, but I really loved the Sally Lockhart books.

    Totally Susan, she probably needed a break from all that supportive kindness.

    I got to know the movie first, Stephanie and I LOVE it. Every actor in that cast is so perfect!!

    Thanks Katy. :0)

    Kathy-- well, there are so many good books out there... hard to find time to read them all.

    AJ- she's great, huh? I love that a lot of her evil is only through the use of words and ideas, planting the idea in the narrator's head that Rebecca is someone she could never match.

    Right, Samantha? It was hard to stomach!


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