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From: "Kevin J. Maroney" <kmaroney@ungames.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) NOW you've done it...
Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 13:24:10 

At 09:32 AM 5/1/01 -0700, Dan'l wrote:
>Generally, I'd like to see an author portray a _character_, and
>not a scenery-chewing melodram villain. 

I am often inclined to agree, but not universally. I was in a discussion
recently about Pamela Dean's _Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary_ where I took
your position--the malign character in there can be viewed as evil for the
sake of evil or as having a reasonable and tragic motive, and I strongly
prefered the latter. 

However, Lord Foul and the Ravers are not human characters, nor are we ever
to mistake them for such. They are dark spots on the x-ray of existence;
they have, and need, no more motivation than a virus or a tumor. A better
comparison than Richard III is Iago, a one-note villain who produces
conflict among the interesting characters because it's his nature to do so. 

Which isn't to say that you're required to like Lord Foul, or Donaldson
generally, but only that it's not necessarily reasonable to require every
villain to be Richard III. Sometimes it's reasonable for a villain simply
to be a villain. 

   Kevin Maroney | Unplugged Games 
   kmaroney@ungames.com | (212) 777-1190

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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