In almost every story, show and movie there is the protagonist who almost always comes into conflict due to a villainous character. Although audiences are meant to be rooting for the “good” guy there have been a few times where we wondered if maybe the villain really wasn’t so bad. Sure they did some things that weren’t in the best interest of everybody, but then again selfishness doesn’t make everyone a villain and they kind of had a reason for doing it. Instead of being a downright bad guy, these villains just happened to be judged too quickly, or for the most part just severely misunderstood. A lot of these so-called villains do some horrible things but in the end they could have really just benefited from some professional help.
7. Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty
Sure in the Disney film you wouldn’t have her as your first option as babysitter but in the 2014 film based on the character, we find out that she had a very good reason to be “evil.” Although she still curses Aurora, she does it out of anger after having her idyllic life turned upside down not to mention her heart broken and her wings violently ripped out by someone she thought loved her. Although this film specifically positions Maleficent as both the protagonist and antagonist in alternating situations, getting her full story means she never intended or wanted to be dark and evil but was driven that way by the supposed “good” guys.
6. Bane – Batman
In Christoper Nolan’s Batman trilogy expectations were rewritten for superhero movies and coming off the heels of the phenomenal Dark Knight and Heath Ledger’s Joker, Tom Hardy as Bane had a huge villain role to fill. As it turns out by the end of the movie however, he’s really just a big softy. The big, scary Bane was merely a front for the real villain Talia al Ghul who ran around seemingly innocent for the whole film. In fact Bane not only protected her for his entire life in the prison, he also helped her escape even though it meant a beating so bad he was permanently disfigured and required the mask he dons. He aided a villain and was a “bad” guy by association but in all actuality the worst thing he did was act out of love and as we all know, love makes you do crazy things.
5. Doc Ock – Spider-Man 2
Every superhero has to battle a lot of bad guys in his day and Spider-Man’s most notable rival came to the big screen in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. He may be an iconic villain but the film kind of makes you feel for the guy. When he starts out, Doctor Octavius was a genius, had a beautiful wife and was well on his way to making a breakthrough in nuclear fusion. Influenced by the importance of his work, a freak accident occurs and boom, his robotic arms are attached to him and his wife is dead, and since geniuses are smart to the point of crazy anyway, this was just a trigger. What the guy really needed was a great therapist, he had suffered a very, very traumatizing event. Also, arguments have been made that he is controlled by his robotic arms anyway, so he hardly has a choice in his villainous actions.
4. Khan – Star Trek
In Star Trek, Khan Noonien Singh is well known as one of Kirk’s primary enemies but he was built to be that way. Khan is a superhuman who was genetically created with superior intellect, strength and strategy skills in order to defeat opposing armies, so when Kirk angers him, he becomes the enemy that Khan is built to defeat. In the new Star Trek Into Darkness, it is even more apparent that all Khan really wants is his crew members alive and Admiral Marcus is the real villain.
3. Scar – The Lion King
Okay, Scar killed Mufasa and for that we will never like him, but if you can look back on their relationship and Mufasa’s personality you have to sympathize with Scar just a little. Scar was forever second to Mufasa who got to be the hero and make all the big decisions and let’s face it, forced his future meals to come and bow down at the birth of his son. All the animals that show up to Simba’s birth are essentially lion prey, yet there they are gazing at him adoringly. Not only is that a bit of a sadistic move, Mufasa is very elitist and gives the Hyenas no chance at being part of the wonderful kingdom and the hyenas are consequently reduced to starving in exile. He might go about it in the worst way possible but Scar is really just standing up for the little guy with his hyena uprising.
2. General Zod – Man of Steel
In Superman II from 1980 not a lot of backstory is given to General Zod’s plans to conquer the world but in 2013’s Man of Steel we find out the Kryptonian’s aren’t total innocents either. The film explains that Kryptonians used terra forming in order to help population control and were genetically engineering people to fill specific roles for society. As a warrior and military commander he is genetically engineered to protect his planet and while he’s no saint, it isn’t his fault he was created that way. Also thirty years in the Phantom Zone would be enough to go a little mad and be deadset on finding and destroying your enemy, who just so happens to be Superman.
1. Loki – Thor
The thing about Loki is that his wit makes him hard not to at least like a little from the get-go but then you get more of his back story and you start to understand where he’s coming from a little better. All in all Loki is just an angry little boy having lived his whole life under the blond, muscular shadow of his brother the Mighty Thor, kind of like the Scar-Mufasa brotherhood. AND then he finds out he is not only adopted but he is actually a descendent of the Frost Giants, the sworn enemies of his “family’s” realm. While he obviously has a power complex that doesn’t change the fact that Thor was all about starting a war with the Frost Giants all by himself and by Loki banishing him, Thor actually learned to be the leader the Asgardians needed, it wasn’t Loki’s intention but still he helped out quite a bit.