Where can I find a good female villian?

Level 7 Dragon

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"In my talents I shape clay, crafting life forms as I please. Around me is a burgening empire of steel. From my throne room lines of power curve in to the skies of Earth. My whims shall become lightning bolts. The doomsday that ammounts to humanity. Out of the chaos, they will run and whimper, praying to me to end their tedious anarchy. I am drunk with this vision. God. The title suits me well"

- SHODAN, System Shock

Also, perhaps, the witch from Snow white and the seven dwafs. There have been hundereds of interpretations of the character thoughout the ages, which really states how much she stands out as an antagonist.
 

Asita

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LifeCharacter said:
Asita said:
Oh, and going classical...Medea. You know the old "death is too good for them" bit? Medea decided that about Jason. Mind you, Jason gave her ample reason to hate his rotten guts, but her idea of revenge is to kill his new wife, his new father in law, and her own children and leaving Jason alive to suffer the pain of losing them before absconding with their corpses to deny him the closure of burying them. I challenge anyone not to empathize with her anger, but so too do I challenge the idea that she isn't a villainous protagonist.
Okay, I guess I'll accept the latter challenge, sort of. Mostly because the version of events you laid out seems to be a bit misrepresentative. Medea kills Jason's new wife out of spite and to get back at Jason, yes, but killing her father was an accident and killing her children was most certainly not some extra knife to drive into Jason. Medea kills her children because she believes that is the best for them at this point. They're the children of a "barbarian" woman who are all but considered illegitimate because you can't really marry barbarian women, meaning that a very likely outcome is them simply being sold into slavery, especially after she kills the king and his daughter. And, while Medea could take them with her to Athens, they would still legally be Jason's children and he would be able to follow her and take them. And, while it's not the most convincing thing for a modern audience, but she does receive the blessings of the gods in the end for her (Classically heroic) actions when her sun god grandpa sends her a chariot drawn by dragons.
Fair point. I think I might have conflated the killing of her children with the murder of her brother Absyrtus, who according to some variations of the myth was killed and dismembered to delay her father from giving him a proper burial and thus cover their escape.
 

renegade7

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mecegirl said:
How about Azusa Azula from Avatar the Last airbender?
FTFY. But yes, Azula, is the only female villain I've yet to see who I've truly hated and wanted to see punished for what she did.
 

Asita

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renegade7 said:
mecegirl said:
How about Azusa Azula from Avatar the Last airbender?
FTFY. But yes, Azula, is the only female villain I've yet to see who I've truly hated and wanted to see punished for what she did.
What about Dolores "I must not tell lies" Umbridge?
 

Ravenbom

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It's been mentioned, but Gone Girl.
It was a book and then a movie.

Also, James Bond films typically have a good and a bad Bond Girl. The chick who played the eponymous Octopussy, Maud Adams, was first a villainous bond girl in The Man With the Golden Gun (her character dies in that film, Octopussy is a different character in a later film). Also, Famke Janssen play Xenia Onatopp in Goldeneye, a great villain who kills guys by choking the life out of them with her sexy legs.
Most of the Bond films had books associated to their movies.

In the same vein there are all the ladies from the MGS games, notably The Boss. MGS4 also had the Beauty and the Beast squad, all female psychopaths with strong backstories on what unhinged them.

Lets also not forget Battlestar Galactica which had the strong and sensual Number 6 who was quite the Svengali. Eva Green is always playing bewitching women and femme fatales.

Also, Bad Girl from No More Heroes comes to mind.
 

Austin Manning

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LifeCharacter said:
I do wonder where your interpretation comes from, because it certainly doesn't seem to be from readings of Euripides or Appolonius,
Woah friend, it's possible for two people to read the same document and come away with two different interpretations. After all, there's a reason why Christianity has so many different sects.

My interpretation comes from reading Euripides' Medea, Apollonius's Argonautica, as well as what I know of the characters and their legends (and the authors) after studying Classics at university. Consider Jason: he's essentially a regular (albeit, well trained) human. He doesn't have what we would consider a "heroic ability". He isn't strong like Hercules or Ajax, he isn't as smart as Oedipus or Odysseus and he lacks the musical talent and charisma of Orpheus. The closest thing he actually does have, ridiculous as it sounds, is popularity with women. He's the only hero (as far as I'm aware) who actively receives help from Hera as well as Athena and Aphrodite and is frequently helped by mortal women such as Medea. From this it becomes easier to see his actions in Medea in a different light. Creon makes it clear that if Jason doesn't marry his daughter then he and his family will have to leave Corinth and go into exile. To an ancient Greek, this is the equivalent of death sentence as they are likely to starve or be killed by bandits. Here Jason uses the closest thing he has to a heroic ability: the princess's attraction to him, as a way of saving his family from that fate. Granted the way he does so (marrying the princess and keeping Medea as his mistress) would be considered terrible in our culture, but to the Greeks it would have been somewhat more acceptable.

Now from what I know of you LifeCharacter, you probably read what I just typed, smashed your avatar's head into the table a few more times, and thought "yes he's making SUCH a GREAT sacrifice for his family by marrying a princess and becoming king of Corinth". The thing is though, I don't think Jason actually wants to be a king that much, at least not if it means hurting the people he cares about. The reason for that is, if he did he would've become king of Iolchus. After the Argonauts returned the Golden Fleece to Iolchus, Media tricked the king's daughters into murdering him so that Jason could take back the throne that was rightfully his. However, Jason chooses not to do this because it would be a betrayal of his friend (and fellow Argonaut) Acastus who was the son of the king. That's the reason they end up leaving for Corinth in the first place. This is why I think primarily he's not motivated by power-lust, but rather a desire to protect the family he cares about. He's someone who was in a bad situation and made the best decision he could, and payed dearly for it.

Like I said though, it's not a common interpretation of the story so I don't blame you for not seeing it.

killing her children was most certainly not some extra knife to drive into Jason. Medea kills her children because she believes that is the best for them at this point.
I'm curious how you came up with this interpretation (not being snarky, I genuinely want to know). Euripides' play has Medea explicitly state that she kills their children to spite Jason as a way of ending his line and destroying his legacy. Furthermore she does takes their bodies with her when she leaves.

she does receive the blessings of the gods in the end for her (Classically heroic) actions when her sun god grandpa sends her a chariot drawn by dragons.
My Watsonian explanation for that: Well, the gods do tend to be very supportive their mortal relatives unless they've done something to anger that god specifically. So it's not surprising her grandfather would help her.
My Doylist explanation: Euripides liked to be controversial with his writings. Indeed most historians believe that he created the "Medea kills her children" part of the story specifically for his play. It certainly wasn't one of his more popular plays, coming in last place in the contest it was performed in.

I'm not sure that the Greeks of the time actually would have viewed her actions as heroic (again, controversial). They had very dim view of both child-killers and kin-slayers, to the point where such people are described as having a "miasma" about them that poisons anyone in their vicinity. This is the reason why Thebes is suffering from plague after Oedipus becomes king, it's part of the reason why the Greeks have such a hard time getting home after the Trojan war, and it's why Theseus giving a home to Heracles is such a powerful moment in Euripides' Heracles.
 

VondeVon

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I can't think of anyone but Maleficent. No real reason, which probably invalidates her, but damn she had style - and she commanded the power of biblical Hell in a Disney movie. (Animated version)

Yeah, she was pretty much my idol growing up.

In hindsight, she didn't actually do a whole hell of a lot besides give the most thorough middle finger to some jerks who snubbed her and then get killed for it when some self-righteous fairies ganged up against her and used some chump pawn to take out the competition.
 
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Dizchu said:
Yeah I have to go with SHODAN. She's the malevolent AI, she doesn't do what she does simply because she has no ethical standards or value for human life, she literally considers herself a deity. Her voice is intimidating, her presence is intimidating, the way she talks to the player is intimidating. She's an absolutely amazing villain.
THE malevolent AI indeed. System Shock 2 is an INCREDIBLE game.
 

Silvanus

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Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix/ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). A more compelling villain than Voldemort himself, as far as I'm concerned, and more fun to read. Stephen King referred to her as the greatest villain in literature since Hannibal Lecter.

Annie Wilkes (Misery). Incredible madness, inflicting pain out of love for her victim. Misery is an amazing horror novel. Kathy Bates' portrayal in the film is brilliant, too.

Cersei Lannister (A Song of Ice and Fire). Conniving and hateful to begin with, and as the series goes on, we see how pathetic she can be, and how that has made her all the more dangerous and self-destructive.

Kuvira (The Legend of Korra). The most nuanced of the enemies that popped up throughout TLOK.

Cassiopeia (Ni No Kuni). Only one video game example pops to mind for now. Cassiopeia's story is beautiful, really, when I look back on that game.
 

Austin Manning

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LifeCharacter said:
And, to the Greeks, breaking your oath to someone who is solely responsible for all of your success is pretty terrible. I'm well aware of Jason's ineptness and reliance on everyone else for everything he does, but oaths are oaths, unless they're to a savage barbarian in which case they don't matter and she should just be happy to live in Greece in whatever position he sees fit to give her. And, all the while he insults her and her home country that she wishes she never left.
Sorry for the late reply, I was buried in end of term work.

If I remember correctly, Jason's oath is specifically that he will "love Medea forever". It is possible to love someone (even romantically) without being to married them. I have many friends and family members who are in common law relationships with partners they love deeply, despite not be officially married to them. If we accept this as possible, the actual breaking of the oath could be seen as Jason no longer loving Medea after she murders their children. That being said, this particular bit relies on specific translations and cultural ideas that the Greeks may not have shared, for example the writer may have translated "marriage" as "love" or the two share a Greek word.

So because he doesn't want to betray his friend for the throne of Iolchus, a place they had to flee from as fugitives for killing the king, we're meant to take it as him not having a motivation of power and wealth and fame that he think he deserves?
The idea is that if Jason were truly motivated by power lust and was willing to take it by any means necessary, then he would have betrayed his friend Acastus and taken over the city. They only need to flee because Jason refuses to point the finger at Acastus's sisters for committing a crime that he knows Medea is ultimately responsible for. This isn't even the first time Jason has turned down a kingship on principle, as he almost becomes king of Lemnos during his quest for the Golden Fleece but turns it down to continue the quest.

Now you could still make the argument that Jason regrets turning down the crown of Iolchus and, seeing the chance to become king again decides that he will take it. However, you could also still interpret that sympathetically. After all, Jason's family has barely survived one brutal exile because he didn't become king. He could see becoming king of Corinth as his last chance to save the people he loves from the fate they just barely escaped.

This is actually something I really love about Greek Mythology. The characters are all multi-faceted enough to allow for multiple interpretations of both them and their actions.

It certainly doesn't help that his desire to protect his family means forcing them into a societal role of his barbarian slaves who will never be recognized as his rightful wife and children, to giving them support in their exile, to giving them some money in their exile when she questions his whole oath-breaking and making his royal, demigod wife what amounts to a servant.
Umm.... Okay, uh.... This is actually where we get into a lot of values dissonance between us and the Ancient Greeks. Their society, especially in Athens where most of these plays come from, was deeply patriarchal. As the father and head of the family, Medea and their children are already subservient to Jason. Now, you might say that such a thing was a Greek notion and not true of the kingdom she came from. In that case, I actually couldn't debate you because I don't know enough about her home kingdom to say for sure.

Now, I'm fairly sure not everyone at the time would have agreed with these patriarchal notions. There are stories going as far back as the Hymn to Demeter, of wives refusing to just allow their husbands to run their and their childrens' lives. Gaia, one of the four primordial beings and the most powerful being in Greek mythology, is female. Personally I actually think of Euripides as something of a proto-feminist for his work in Medea, even if I find Jason a sympathetic character.

If she had left them alive they would be the property of a man with nothing but spite for their mother in a city with nothing but spite for their mother and, as illegitimate barbarian children, would have absolutely no protection.
Wouldn't they have Jason's protection? Nothing in the stories implies to me that he didn't love and care for his children. Again, his first reaction upon the deaths of the princess and king is to try to get them out of the city safely. Then again, mythology is also filled with stories of stepmothers trying to kill their spouse's children from previous relationships, so maybe not.

And how do the gods feel about murdering ones children, generally? You can take it as Helios just helping out his granddaughter, or as Euripides just being controversial (because he was certainly that), but that seems like a rather surface reading of it.
It's a little hard to tell how they feel about child killing in particular, as most of the people who do it in mythology normally have also done some other horrendous thing that the gods also hate. One example of this is Tantalus, who murdered his son Pelops as a way of testing the gods' omnipotence, which is something that no mortal has the right to do. I believe that ultimately they hate it though, as it's one of the few crimes that they can't double standard their way out of (they can commit a number of acts atrocious to humans specifically because they're gods). In this instance I'm speaking of Kronos, the king of the gods before Zeus, whose sin in eating his own children is considered so great that Gaia herself decides to overthrow him.

I know that Helios saving Medea at the end is supposed to signify that she has the gods' blessing for what she did. That's what made the ending so controversial in the first place, that the gods would view someone murdering their own children as being in the right. It is a little hard to understand in the context of other myths though. Juxtapose it against the Herakles story as an example: Herakles is struck mad by Hera and murders his wife and children in a fit. He is not blessed or forgiven for this though, and spends the majority of his life attempting to atone for it (that's the Twelve Labours). When Euripides writes about the event, he describes Herakles as being driven to the point of suicide in despair of his actions, and being so polluted by miasma that no city will take him in. It can be very difficult for people to rationalize or understand how Medea could knowingly do something so cruel and be both justified and blessed for it, while Herakles is punished for it.

My idea of it just being because Helios is looking after his granddaughter is partly an attempt to rationalize and understand the gods' behaviour here. Though trying to rationalize Greek mythology is something of a lost cause due to it having hundreds of different authors over hundreds of years, and thus multiple conflicting details. That many of the later stories start to get very "fanfiction-y" doesn't really help in that regard.

Oh, I didn't mean that the Greeks saw her as heroic, I meant that when you take what makes a classical hero and apply it to Medea she certainly qualifies.
Ah, sorry about that it was a misunderstanding on my part.
 

HybridChangeling

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Off the top of my head I would have to say:

Kreia: Ah, KOTOR II, will you ever stop showing up every time I have to praise Star Wars storytelling? Anyway Kreia is an awesome character, but you don't get the full show unless you download some cut content restoring mods for the PC version. I don't like ALL her symbolic views but I love the way she views the Force, AKA not a cut and dry good vs. evil debate. She is logical to an extent. It's power, and how you use it is what she is concerned with. In the end she is one of the most memorable female characters in the KOTOR games, and also has an awesome voice actor. "See it through the eyes of the Exile" Still gives me chills man, powerful and almost terrifying. I know she is not a straight up villain but I won't spoil it.

Azula from the Last Airbender is pretty awesome. Again I won't spoil it but she comes into the show presented as this brutal character who can ACT and not just talk. A step above the Fire Nation generals of before. She starts hunting down the squad, always so close, but at the same time causing enough havoc to make her still intimidating even if she didn't reach her goal that time. Like an oncoming storm sort of thing. She has unique powers and is one of the few villains besides the Fire Lord that can outmatch the team. Towards the end her character arc is kind of iffy, but I'm glad she didn't turn good. It wouldn't have been right.

Other than that, there are occasional times when Harley Quinn's writing gets pretty good, and Catwoman's mob life is fun at times.
 

JamesStone

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Ironman126 said:
Sarah Kerrigan/Infested Kerrigan/Queen of Blades. Not so much in StarCraft, but in Brood Wars. Also definitely not in StarCraft 2, but we'll not speak of that game. In StarCraft: Brood Wars, Kerrigan is in control, conscious of her actions, and she is mean! Kills poor Fenix just because. Ruthless, ambitious, and arguably evil, she's pretty awesome, at least as far a genocidal, alien-human hybrid psychics go.

Despite the fact that you play as the Zerg and that means you basically play as Kerrigan, she is still obviously the villain. You could also argue that Minsk is the villain as well, but he falls into irrelevance by the second act of Brood Wars, what with the UED showing up. So, I nominate Sarah Kerrigan as a good female villain.

-> In control of her actions


Son, if there's one thing I've learned with Mass Effect 3 is that denial gets you nowhere