Hosted by the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group
Well, Hanukkah began yesterday and we’ve officially begun the twelve days of Christmas. But today isn’t for celebrating; today is for ranting. Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top five characters on the naughty list. This can be anyone, from villains to characters you just don’t like. I have a few culprits in mind that I need to rage about and not all are from books, so I’ll be delving into show and movie territory today as well. And so, without further ado, here are the five characters Santa is giving lumps of coal to this year (content warning: sexual assault and emotional abuse mentions):
- Kylo Ren from Star Wars: Where do I begin with this school shooter archetype? To quote Bobby Moynihan in a Saturday Night Live skit, “Kylo Ren is a punk bitch.” He’s a little intimidating with his mask on, but as soon as he takes it off the illusion goes away. He completely misses the point of Vader’s- no, Anakin’s— sacrifice and wants to “finish what [he] started.” Instead he comes across as a Marilyn Manson fanboy rather than a dangerous villain. He tries to torture Rey and only sees her value once he realizes she’s strong in the force. He turns to the dark side because he felt like his parents cared more about the resistance than him. That’s when you start wearing piercings and listening to emo music, Ben, not slaughter every Jedi-in-training in the temple! And then, of course, he kills his father. He kills Han Solo. He has single-handedly taken away everyone who means something to his mother, Leia (he turns to the dark side and runs away, he drives Luke into exile, and, as I just said, he kills the love of Leia’s life). Nah, fuck him and his tantrums. I desperately hope he doesn’t get a redemption arc.
- Severus Snape from Harry Potter by JK Rowling: Oh, look. Another piece of shit with a laundry list of faults. Let’s start when he’s a child: he actively tries to drive a wedge between Lily and Petunia, even using magic against Petunia (at the time a Muggle child). In school, he invents terrifying spells like Sectumsempra and, even when apparently trying to be helpful, uses disturbing language like, “Just shove a bezoar down their throat.” He also invented Levicorpus, which means that the only way James knew that spell is because Snape had been using it on other students. He uses slurs against Muggleborns, including the girl he supposedly loves (spoiler alert: it’s not love, it’s obsession). He willingly joins a racist terrorist organization, doing all the same horrific things they do. He tells Voldemort about the prophecy and only decides he gives a shit when he finds out Lily is a potential target. Even then, he asks Voldemort only to spare Lily and not her husband or infant son. Even if he did eventually see the light, the fact remains that if Lily had lived he would have stayed a Death Eater (corroborated by JKR herself). And then there’s the emotional abuse and bullying with which he treats his students. He openly mocks Hermione for her looks and smarts, he threatens to poison Neville’s toad and even becomes Neville’s worst fear, and he treats Harry like shit for no other reason than he’s James’ son. Even when Dumbledore asks if Snape has come to care for Harry, Snape reveals that, nope, he’s just still creepily hung up on Lily. This man is an awful person, and not even the complex character his fans purport him to be.
- Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike’s starts off as your typical snarky pseudo-villain, but soon turns into an irritating antihero. Normally I love antiheroes, but Spike I do not. His brooding snarkiness gets old fast. But that’s not the real reason I hate this guy. I despise how he treats Buffy. He decides he has feelings for her and then won’t leave her alone, even when she asks repeatedly. Once she finally sleeps with him, she hates herself and feels horrible about the whole thing. And yet, he still won’t leave well enough alone. She tells him that’s she’s done, but he just won’t take no for an answer. One night he tries to rape her. She’s crying, pleading with him to stop, and trying to fight him off, but he doesn’t let go until Xander bursts into the room. Sure, he feels bad, but he still tried to rape her. Obviously some part of him steal feels entitled to her. Then he goes and gets his soul back and is mad when she’s not grateful. He screams at her that he did it for her, and when she tells him she never asked him to, he acts affronted. Honestly, he’s scum and I’m glad he’s dead.
- Kieran of the Hunt from The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare: I will never understand the hype for this character. He’s so manipulative and emotionally abusive. He gets angry at Mark for doing what he’s literally been instructed to do. He even sells Mark out, resulting in Emma and Julian getting whipped. Family may mean something different to Kieran, but he knows what it means to Mark. He should never have thought it was okay to let Julian take his place. Kieran gaslights Mark, sending him a message saying, “remember, none of this is real” when Mark is returned to his family. He invades Mark’s dream and either forces a sex dream on him or doesn’t stop Mark when he knows a sleeping person cannot consent. He swears fealty to Cristina just to spite Mark. And all of this is just a brief summary. I hate this character and feel sick that Cassie is probably going to put him into a polyamorous relationship with Mark and Cristina (who both deserve better).
- Thiago from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: Thiago infuriates and terrifies me. He is responsible for Madrigal’s execution, refusing to take no for an answer and then losing it when she falls for a seraph. He holds this over Karou’s head, intentionally alienating her and spreading distrust among the chimaera. He’s such an awful person, I can’t help but shake with anger when I think of him. But the worst thing he does? He tries to rape Karou. Fortunately, she gets to kill him before he succeeds. But his ugly mug is still around after, hiding poor, sweet Ziri inside. Talk about gross.
What characters are on your naughty list? Tell me about them in the comments!