So it's pretty much agreed upon that the trademark of a well-written villain is that you're able to see their side of things, even if you don't AGREE with their methods.
Well, this week Reddit user murdo1tj asked, "What villain was actually somewhat justified in their actions?" and WHEW BUDDY, there were some steaming hot takes, y'all.
Here are just a few of the most ~sympathetic~ villains:
1. "Tom from Tom and Jerry. I mean...that’s his job. He's a cat and there’s literally a rodent in the house."
2. "The 'machines' in The Matrix. We destroyed our own planet in order to destroy the machines, only to have the machines kindly take us underground and put us into pods where we can live in a virtual reality that's exactly like how we lived before we destroyed our OWN planet."
3. "The ship from Wall-E. Humanity had already doomed its home planet and transformed into a population of lazy slobs that could barely walk. Sending them back to Earth in the feeble hope that a lone sprout could revitalize a garbage-strewn wasteland was a death sentence, and the ship knew it...true love be damned."
4. "The Trix rabbit. All he wanted was a bowl of cereal and those kids never offered him some, so he turned to a life of crime thieving the cereal. Tragic."
5. "Sharpay Evans. She spends YEARS honing her talent, only to be pushed aside in favor of a short basketball player and a squeaky-voiced girl in a lab coat."
6. "Benny the landlord in Rent. He just wanted them to pay their rent. LAST YEAR'S RENT. He was very forgiving to let it go on that long! Like, it's all well and good that they're bohemians and pursuing acting and music and stuff, but maybe get a job on the side?"
7. "Ra's al Ghul. Gotham never got better after all of Batman's antics over the years. More villains kept creeping out of the woodwork as Batman went along — some created by Batman's own actions/indirect actions. In The Dark Knight the Joker even alludes to this, stating that Batman himself is partly responsible for 'freaks' like him coming into being."
8. "Frankenstein’s Monster. That dude was just trying to make the best of his situation and kept getting shat on. Dr. Frankenstein was just a dweeby little prick who stumbled on something greater than his own understanding."
9. "The Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy drops a house on her sister and steals her shoes. She was totally justified in getting revenge. Dorothy played the naïve, innocent girl, but she's a stone-cold murderer."
10. "I just want to talk about Imhotep from The Mummy for a second. This dude fell in love with a woman (who loved him back) at the wrong time and gets BURIED ALIVE for it. Yeah, yeah I know that he then brings the plague with him and all that, but like...he just wanted his lady back."
11. "Darth Vader. He had nothing cementing him to the Jedi except Obi-Wan. He was born a slave and lost his mother and was afraid of losing his wife and children. The Jedi couldn’t help save his wife from dying, so when Palpatine offered to help, he jumped at it."
12. "The shark in Jaws. I mean, it's a wild animal, what do you expect, really?"
13. "Frankly, I think Loki would have made a better king than Thor. Thor is short-tempered and impulsive, while Loki is cunning and mature. Sure, the way Loki went about things in the first film was wrong, but I get where he was coming from."
14. "Gollum. All he wanted was to live in peace with his precious. The only thing he loved was taken from him, and when he attempted to get it back, he became a slave to Frodo and Sam, who threatened to kill him if he did not lead them to Mordor."
15. "Inspector Javert from Les Misérables. Reformed or not, Jean Valjean is a convicted criminal and fugitive."
16. "The new boyfriend from Mrs. Doubtfire. What the heck did he do wrong? Why is he portrayed as the villain? If anything, Mrs. Doubtfire should be put in jail."
17. "In any other Disney movie, Gaston would be the hero. He hits almost all the hero checkpoints. Handsome? Check. Liking the weird girl instead of his basic fan girls? Check. Trying to rescue the girl from a literal monster? Check."
Okay, now it's YOUR turn. Who's a villain that you believe is SOMEWHAT justified in their actions? Share your defense in the comments below!
Some thread entries have been edited for length or clarity. H/T Reddit.