115 – Surprise Villains

The Mythcreant Podcast

Which one of the hosts will turn out to be evil this week? Surprise, none of us are villains! Or perhaps we all are, since we threw in spoilers for Shield and Child of Light without any warning. How rude. This week, we talk about how to surprise your audience with a hidden villain. Do you announce the villain’s presence ahead of time? Will you annoy the audience if they liked the villain too much as a good guy? What is even happening with the Final Five Cylons? All that and more!

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Battlestar Galactica

Star Trek: Discovery casts its captain.

Alfred Hitchcock on the difference between suspense and surprise. 

The Fire’s Stone

The problem with Legend of Korra.

Teen Wolf

Child of Light

Agents of Shield

Mr. Morden from Babylon Five

Scabbers from Harry Potter

Rats make great pets!

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  1. SunlessNick

    There are a couple of defences I would throw in for Grant Ward. First, they did a great job of explaining so many of his earlier actions in terms of his infiltration.

    Second there is at least one thing that foreshadows him being a villain, which is the episode with the berserker staff. When affected by it, it takes him a lot of effort not to keep going off on the rest of the team – while May is able to wield it and set it down – which at the time is used an “isn’t May awesome moment” (which totally works, because May is awesome). But the berserker cultists never come close to turning on one another either – and the staff is a weapon for an army – and why would you make a weapon that risks your soldiers turning on each other?

    When you go back and look, Ward is the only person who comes close to attacking his own people. Why? Because, in hindsight, they *weren’t* his people – they were the enemy – and his asking to be taken off the case was his attempt to prevent any circumstance where he might blurt that out.

  2. Christa

    Ha! My to-be-wonderful-debut-novel has a surprise villain who is also an unreliable narrator. Double ‘ohoh, can she pull it off’. We’ll see, won’t we?
    Love the podcasts, they get me through doing the dishes!

  3. Justin

    I think the best use of surprise villain was the first Scream movie. Not only did it have a surprise villain as the slasher, it also had a surprise second villain that was very well foreshadowed. Also, in retrospect from the third movie (boo) the possible third killer is an amazing theory.

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