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Favorite Villain in Thulmann
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:31 pm 
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I grew up as a big fan of the old pulp stories and serial action comics that my grandpa had in his garage. One of my favorite thing about these was the plethora of heroes and villains that made the characters quite often seem so human and yet still strong enough to unite and make their mark upon the world. One thing I loved about the Matthis Thulmann stories, omnibus, and the like was the well fleshed out and colorful characters. And quite often it became hard to tell who was hero and who was villain, which a welcome treat these days when everything is so damn black and white.

Okay all that aside, and down to the subject of this topic, one of my favorite things about the story aside from Thulmann and Streng themselves (as well as their dynamic), were the antagonists. Chiefly my favorites had to be Carandini and Freiherr Weichs. Now this may seem kind of like I'm just picking two of the biggest when there were so many more. Gregory Klausner became a very interesting one, as was the kickass Grey Seer who really grew on you with each broken reikspeak sentence.

But Carandini and Weichs really spoke to me and I'll tell you why. When I heard him being built up from Thulmann's perspective I fully expected a monstrous man, void of soul and spirit, pure malevolence and treacherous power in a man's form. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he was every bit as human as Thulmann as well as every bit as compelling. Sure I knew as the reader, of the objective terrible effects of Warpstone and Chaos, but Weichs seemed to truly believe in their potential to bring about a new age of medicine and thought for humanity, that they were being held back by superstitious nonsense. What was even more chilling was how similarly he called to my ethos many a time in his rationalizations. Weichs was a human, he was weak, at times uncertain, and quite often afraid. This makes him quite possibly one of my favorite villains anywhere.

But we cannot forget Carandini. Sibbechai was cool, a vampire which reminded me of the old Eastern European folklore (I was new to warhammer at the time so this was pretty radical for me), but Carandini stole the set. A mere mortal man to be sure, but one who knew exactly what he was doing and just didn't give a damn. He had the same humanity and weakness as Weichs but was far darker, and far more cunning which made him a very powerful and just plain kickass antagonist. I found myself rooting for him so often even when Sibbechai clearly seemed like he had the upper hand and/or was more badass.

You have to respect a villain like Carandini, and you can't help but feel for an antagonist like Weichs. These are just my interpretations, and hell maybe I got it -all- wrong, but as an aspiring writer they really got the juices for my own inspiration running. I still loved the other antagonists (and hell even all the other characters, I'm a Thulmann junky) but these two really, really struck a chord for me.

Anyone else got their opinions? Perhaps tell me why? I'm curious to hear some other thoughts.


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Re: Favorite Villain in Thulmann
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:38 pm 
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You hit the nail on the head, I think, regarding Wiechs and Carandini. The key to writing a convincing villain is to justify their villainy. Most bad guys shouldn't be moustache-twirling sociopaths who just keep laughing about how evil they are. There should be a solid rationale behind what they do, however flawed and twisted the logic might be. In Weichs' case, you have the dedicated scientist who has allowed his pursuit of a beneficial end to blind him to the most hideous of means. He has allowed secular logic to deaden his moral compass to such a state that he can't even empathize with the wrongness of his misdeeds.

Carandini is different. His motive, once you dig beneath his arrogant claims about power, really stems from an overwhelming fear of death and a determination to uncover the magic that will allow him to live forever. It is a purely selfish rationale, in stark contrast to the selfless motives of Weichs, and I think that difference really helps the two villains stand out. I once pitched the idea of doing a Carandini novel showing his origins. I think it would make for a very creepy example of how evil can gradually corrupt a young mind and how environment can assist in the nurturing of a bad seed.


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Re: Favorite Villain in Thulmann
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:30 pm 
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Did the pitch fly? I'd be curious to read about that. Carandini was absolutely marvelous as a villain, I couldn't help but cheer a little on the inside with each of his 'victories', even as they were darker in nature as well as against Thulmann's wishes. If you do have a series of stories involving Carandini or his origins I gotta see them. And I hope if there are any further Thulmann stories, they involve Carandini as well.

I'd say the same for Weichs but he met a pretty badass end in Witch Killer... well his killer was badass, for him it was a surprisingly human, and while climactic I still couldn't help but feel really bad for the treacherous scientist. I spent the entire novel rooting for Matthias, and still did towards the end, yet as Weichs was dropped from the blackguard's hand I couldn't help but feel a vastness of pity.

Keep up your work with the villains, seriously, some of my favorites. :P


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Re: Favorite Villain in Thulmann
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:29 am 
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Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Helmauth Klausner. Seriously. I know he may fall under the "mustache-twirling" villain category, but I find it strangely refreshing to have a villain with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It really says something that he's a more vile and repulsive character than his vampire brother (a vampire, mind you, that wants to destroy all life in the world).


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Re: Favorite Villain in Thulmann
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:35 am 
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Actually I can see that. He was fairly untouched upon, but he was remarkably well written. I still say I'm a bigger fan of the grey vs grey thing, but he was proof that Werner can write a damn good pure black villain too.

Even in this case though I think he was justifying his own villainy as much. He certainly didn't think he was doing evil, it was a means to an end, but all that being said I surely would put Helsmuth Klausner on a less human scale than Carandini and Weichs. He made Sibbechai, even later Sibbechai seem downright respectable at times.


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Re: Favorite Villain in Thulmann
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:42 am 
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Zigra's hatred of that particular villain is almost legendary in itself. I hope to do better in my Time of Legends series, however ;)


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Re: Favorite Villain in Thulmann
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:18 am 
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Carandini wrote:
I hope to do better in my Time of Legends series, however ;)


Uh oh. Do we even want to know?


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Re: Favorite Villain in Thulmann
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:39 pm 
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Yes we do. :]


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Re: Favorite Villain in Thulmann
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:05 am 
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Lets just say I think I'll have a character in there so vile that the skaven look good by comparison!


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Re: Favorite Villain in Thulmann
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Steven Spielberg once said that people have forgotten how to tell a story. I tend to agree. But people have also forgotten how to tell a horror story. In our contemporary horror stories, there really is no horror, just gore. You know what's coming. It's almost comical. One of the principle exceptions to this, like Mr. Spielberg, is Mr. Werner.

There is something shockingly horrific and inflammatory about his subtlety when describing the depravity of his villains. I was almost enraged personally at Carandini (the character) when one of his zombies had been damaged and he nonchalantly thought about the ingredients; nothing a little baby fat wouldn't fix. Baby fat? Baby fat! BABY FAT!!! :evil: :evil: Now nothing is more vulgar, more hateful, more corrupting of our species than something that would attack our future generations. With an adult, the adult has a chance to defend himself or herself, but a baby? Oh there is no greater evil than they who would feast on what is considered nothing more than a "crop" of children for ingredients. What is worse is Carandini is intelligent, so where does his madness end and his evil begin? Is there a difference between the two or are they forever intertwined in a double helix of doom? How dark does your soul have to be? Do you even have a soul and at that point, does it matter? There is nothing to be redeemed. Carandini (the character) must be extinguished. And I believe that the blasphemous mating of his intellect, madness and evil creates a monster so repugnant, so revolting, so vile, so vommitous, that it far outweighs many fictional villains (and I offer some non-fictional villains). And this, ironically, is why Carandini (the character) is my favorite villain. Baby fat? Wow...that is pure, unadulterated wickedness that lights the fires of Hell.

This is of course, meant as a compliment :D

_________________
"Beware of magic, it has the potential to turn you into something shamefully vile. If you need proof, look at an elf"


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