Terms of Use

Topic Options
#135375 - Fri Oct 18 2002 07:58 PM Why do the bad guys always die?
Evil_Prof_Frink Offline

Registered: Fri Oct 04 2002
Posts: 20
Hey, I'm not sure if this is a controversial topic or not but does anyone else not like it when the bad guys die in books? In many books I come to like the bad guys personality, such as in "Tom Clancy's Net Force: Point of Impact" The character Drayne is very easy to get along with, and seems like the kind of person I would acctually enjoy speaking with. He is Philosophical and the like. However in the end, just like in all Tom Clancy books, he is brought to justice and looses. Why make such a likeable character is he isn't going to win? I too often respect a character, even though they murder to get their way, many people respect the Mafia (myself included) and it is known for murdering people to get its way. Does anyone else think that the good guys have to loose at some point? its just like in movies, you can always tell who is going to die and who isn't based on who seems more important. And you always know that the bad guy is going to loose. Its the perfect movie I believe John Travolta in Swordfish said it best when he said
In reply to:

Dog days of summer, arguably Pacinos best movie yet, however what would have happened if he had immeadiatly started shooting hostages? how fast would the government changes its postions? But why didn't he? (America loves a happy ending)

Well thats all I can remember of the quote, and even that may not be right, but it gives people who have seen the movie an idea about the quote i'm talking about. But the real question is does anyone agree? In some situations in stories and movies do you want the bad guy to win?

#135376 - Fri Oct 18 2002 11:08 PM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
Blue_Cosmos Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Fri Sep 27 2002
Posts: 132
Liking the bad guys in a tom clancy novel is probably very normal, since its often the good guys in his novels who are the more amoral and represent the powerful and the establishment. Eg the native american terrorist "lol" in sum of all fears who blames america for all his problems.

#135377 - Sun Oct 20 2002 03:23 AM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
CellarDoor Offline

Registered: Sat Feb 12 2000
Posts: 4894
Loc: Seattle<br>  Washington USA...
I think the idea is that people go to the movies to escape their troubles, so they like to see a movie where evil is punished at the end. That way it doesn't make them think, or re-evaluate their lives, or come away upset or frightened. It's more "entertaining."

In general it's your more serious, thought-provoking flicks where the bad guy "wins" or gets away or what have you. I would name some but a lot of them have plot twists at the end, so I don't want to give it away. Bad guys, or potential bad guys, will also get away if there's supposed to be room for a sequel. Saturday morning cartoon bad guys come back for more every week!

I'm also intrigued by the movies where the bad guy might or might not die - but he or she repents his/her crimes and tries to make amends. Star Wars (before it got all yicky and Jar-Jar-ish) is a good example of this. It doesn't have the primal satisfaction of a good death scene, but it is neater and tidier ...
Just because there's twilight doesn't mean we can't tell the difference between night and day

#135378 - Fri Oct 25 2002 08:10 PM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
Evil_Prof_Frink Offline

Registered: Fri Oct 04 2002
Posts: 20
There was a terrorist in Sum of All Fears? I completely missed him lol. Maybe I'm just thinking of the wrong book. Whatever the case I have no clue who you are talking about. Anyways CellarDoor I do agree with you many people go to movies to escape their problems--though more and more are turning to drugs for that--so they probably don't want to see something that could be realistic. I accept that in movies the bad guys won't win, they only can escape to leave it open for a sequel. thats the way it always has been, that won't change. I do enjoy movies that make me think or re-evaluate my life, movies like Pi and Fight Club--which are my favorite movies of all time--, where there isn't even a bad guy, are always very very good. Even movies like 1 hour photo with Robin Williams make me think sometimes, think about life issues, like how everyone wants to be loved. I like how Star Wars was done, every movie could have ended the trilogy right there, there was nothing left that really needed resolved. But I digress, what I'm saying is, its mostly books when I don't like the bad guys dieing, I mean sure sometimes they are very bad people and should die, but other times...

btw can you email me the names of some good deep-thought, life changing, re-evaluate type movies? I don't care if they have a twist, I won't realize you blew the ending until it happens lol my email adress is thanks

#135379 - Sat Oct 26 2002 10:01 AM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
sue943 Offline

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 36796
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
This is probably not the best forum for this topic, it is possibly better suited to the books forum, well until it introduced films.

I will move it across to the Books forum and see how it goes.
Many a child has been spoiled because you can't spank a Grandma!

#135380 - Sun Oct 27 2002 01:39 PM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
No longer registered

the solution is quite simple- these authors are in a conspiracy to secretly inculcate the sheep-like masses from not engaging in any criminal activity!

When we know in fact all the criminals in real life get away with major crimes e.g. the election of GW Bush and the scandals at Enron and Oil companies, it is silly to believe that many of the real criminals pay for the crimes...

even look at the mockery we see in the OJ Simpson trial- now tell me - why wasn't he convicted? In TV programs- we would a blithering idiot representing OJ and some astute criminal attorney protraying the prosection-

you see the silly irony in Tv and fiction? They have it reversed- the criminals ought to get away with nearly every crime and the detective should be lefted scratching his or her head- oh- of course they could always turn to Dr. Lecter at the Baltimore Asylum....surely Hannibal the Cannibal will lead every detective to the culprit every time!

#135381 - Fri Feb 21 2003 08:29 AM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
skylarb Offline

Registered: Thu Jan 30 2003
Posts: 631
Loc: Virginia USA
It's called fiction. The evil are punished, the good rewarded. That's why a lot of people read--to escape the real world, where that doesn't happen as often.
"Why don’t you write books people can read?" - Nora Joyce, to her husband James

#135382 - Fri Feb 21 2003 06:03 PM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
Teallach Offline

Registered: Tue Feb 19 2002
Posts: 261
Loc: Scottish Highlands
The bad guys don't always die. In that way an author can write a sequel to his/her book. If the bad guy gets killed or dies in that one there will be another to take his place-so yet another book. Maybe I'm reading the wrong authors because I do like the evil one to get his/her come-uppance but it doesn't seem to happen much in modern literature.

#135383 - Sun Feb 23 2003 12:55 PM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
tjoebigham Offline

Registered: Sat Dec 25 1999
Posts: 2824
Loc: Fairhaven Massachusetts USA   
In his "Prisoner Of Zenda", Anthony Hope let Rupert of Hentzau escape at the end of his duel with Rudolf Rassendyll. The two met again in "Rupert of Hentzau", the sequel. But in the first book, the main villain, Prince Michael is killed by Rupert, his treacherous sidekick.


Edited by tjoebigham (Sun Feb 23 2003 01:01 PM)
Terry Bigham

#135384 - Thu Apr 24 2003 04:55 AM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
mnbates Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Fri Apr 18 2003
Posts: 171
Loc: Southport, Lancashire, England
A case in point would be the "Flashman" series by George MacDonald Fraser based on the 'villain'from "Tom Brown's Schooldays". Moriarty might be considered from several "Sherlock Holmes" stories. The "Dark Lord" from the "Harry Potter" series. Possibly Falstaff from 2/3 Shakespeare plays. There are numerous others. Regards, Tin
"I wouldn't have thought I could get in that much trouble with just a donkey & a bucket of custard."

#135385 - Sat Apr 26 2003 09:43 AM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
ericaC Offline

Registered: Tue Mar 18 2003
Posts: 309
Loc: Minnesota / Iowa USA
There are sometimes when I don't want the "bad guy" to die, because he is the most interesting character. For example, Grand Admiral Thrawn from the Timothy Zahn's trilogy is smart, cunning and not completely evil. Why should he die, when he possesses qualities that many people today have? I prefer a character that is evil, reforms, but retains some of his interesting traits.

I guess I'm a little evil myself !
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

#135386 - Sat May 17 2003 09:32 AM Re: Why do the bad guys always die?
TheLurkerKing Offline

Registered: Thu May 10 2001
Posts: 31
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
An interesting thread, so let me see what I can add to it.

1st. Obviously, bad guys always die is a misconception, as can be see from some of my favorite bad guys from books, who survive.

Marcel. Puppet on a Chain. Alistair Maclean
Kicked in the head. Survived.

Freddie Becker. Juggernaut. Al Hine
Beaten. Survived.

Count of Luzau-Rischenheim. Rupert of Hentzau
Shot in the arm. Survived.
As a side note, though Rupert of Hentzau survived "Prisoner of Zenda," Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins, writing as Anthony Hpe, kills him off in its sequel, "Rupert of Hentzau."

Laret. The Sword of Winter. Marta Randall.
Almoist froze to death. Survived.

2nd. If not all bad guys die, why do some do? One answer would be: "So wroters can sell more books." As readers believe wrongdoers should be punished, and, as likable as bad guys may be, since they do wrong, writers give readers what they want--punished wrongdoers. Even if the punishment does not always fit the crime.

3rd. On a more personal level, I like to see characters die. Not only bad guys, but also good guys. If characters are a writer's children and a reader's loved ones, then it is a test, whether the writer can kill off his children, and the reader can watch his loved ones die. It is also a test for the character. Since many of us fear death, it is a test to see whether the character can face death unafraid.

4th. Finally, think of the children who are bad guys and bad gals. Should they die? Or, should they live?


Moderator:  LeoDaVinci, ren33, TabbyTom