Top Ten Villains

So a few days ago, writefury, tagged me for the Top 10 Villains…tag.  Thank you, writefury (by the way, do please check out her wonderful blog; you won’t be disappointed)!  This is the tag button:

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All right then, down to business.  Here are the rules (yes, there are some rules):

  1. Post the button (√).
  2. Thank the blogger who tagged you (Thank ya kindly, writefury).
  3. List your top ten favorite villains (they can be from movies or books).
  4. Tag ten other bloggers (I’m not certain I know of ten other bloggers to tag…I’ll tag as many I can think of).

Okay, now seriously down to serious business.

The Top Ten Villains (in no particular order) are…*drum roll*…well, I’m about to list them. 😛

1. Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter)

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Guess who my least favorite Harry Potter character is?  No, not Voldemort.  Voldemort is tolerable; I can even sympathize with him, although, of course, his actions are clearly wrong.  My least favorite character in the Harry Potter series is Dolores Umbridge.  She is simply the most hateable (I made that word up) villain I’ve ever read.  Which, I suppose, would put her on my Top Ten Villains list, since villains are created to be hated.  Her love of pink, tea, and kittens and her annoying smiles and giggles make her all the more hateful.  I don’t think I’ve ever hated a character more than Dolores Umbridge.  That’s why she’s number one on my list (even though I said the Top Ten Villains list was in no particular order *sigh*).

[Note: the second best Harry Potter villain is Bellatrix Lestrange.]

2. Sauron (Lord of the Rings)

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Okay, I’ll state the obvious.  Sauron is an excellently executed villain.  When I read the Lord of the Rings books, Sauron’s villainous character makes me shudder.  Sauron’s absolute power over Middle Earth creates a perfect villain, who strikes fear in the hearts of not only the characters, but also in the hearts of the readers.

3. Cronus (Percy Jackson)

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Can you get a more fearful, powerful villain than Cronus?  Well, besides Sauron, I’d say no.  I’m a mythology geek, so I love Percy Jackson.  A lot.  And Cronus is the perfect villain.  A villain so powerful that it seems absolutely impossible that the puny hero will overcome him.  The odds are all on the villain’s side.  But somehow, miraculously, the hero overcomes the villain.  And everyone shouts, “Hurrah!”  Yeah, you get the picture.  This is basically how the story of Percy Jackson ends.  But Cronus is such a great villain because, like I said with Sauron, it seems like he can’t be defeated.  But he is.  One element that contributes to creating a great story is a great villain.  And the Percy Jackson series has that.

4. IT (A Wrinkle in Time)

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What gets better than a giant, mushy brain as the villain of the story?  That probably sounded a little weird if you haven’t read “A Wrinkle in Time,” but weirdness is good, right?  We like weird.  After all, where’s the fun in a normal, even–dare I say it–stereotypical villain?  Boring.  “A Wrinkle in Time” is my favorite sci-fi (and I’m not a big sci-fi person)…

5. Ultron (Age of Ultron)ultron

Evilness + funniness + genius = great villain.  Need I say any more?  I really just loved his character and villainy, and what’s a good villain without lots of good lines to quote? 😉

6. Davy Jones (Pirates of the Carribean)

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This villain gives me the creeps, though I can sympathize with him.  His theme music makes him even creepier.  A good villain tends to be really powerful and have lots of…scary henchmen.  Davy Jones is definitely a powerful villain, and he definitely has scary henchmen.  And he’s creepy.  Really creepy.  But he’s not the creepiEST villain.  Stay tuned for the creepiest villain!

7. Ian Howe (National Treasure)

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I have this thing for villains with cool accents (Ian Howe has a VERY cool accent).  Don’t judge.  Plus, he’s a genius.  The best villains are a blend of villainy and genius.  You can almost admire Ian Howe…but you don’t because he’s just, you know…villainous.

8. Jadis or the White Witch (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe & The Magician’s Nephew)

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How could she not be on this list?  Just say, “You’re right,” and move on.

9. El Matcho (Despicable Me 2)

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Did mention that I like villains with cool accents?  Yeah, I think I did.  

10. President Snow (Hunger Games Trilogy)

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Creepiest villain award goes to President Snow from Hunger Games.  I actually–how do I say this nicely– don’t particularly like Hunger Games; that’s another discussion (perhaps I’ll write a blog post about why I didn’t like Hunger Games).  However, President Snow is a great villain.  And creepy.  Very creepy.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, for the tagging of other bloggers:

  1. hannahwriter98
  2. Properly Adventurous

Have fun choosing your villains! 😉

Northanger Abbey–a Little Known Jane Austen

Hey, my first official book review!  Tell me what you think in the comments. 🙂

I recently finished this book called Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.  Here is a summary from Good Reads:

A wonderfully entertaining coming-of-age story, Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen’s “Gothic parody.” Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist.

The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events.

What I liked:

Over Christmas break, I was looking to read a Classic, well-written novel, but I didn’t want to read a morbid, overly-depressing Classic.  So I thought, Why not read a Jane Austen novel?  I noticed that on my bookshelf, next to the huge Jane Austen treasury, was a small Jane Austen novel, barely 200 pages long, called “Northanger Abbey.”  Northanger Abbey, I thought, hmm, I wonder what that’s about?  So I picked this little book off the shelf and read the back cover.  Sounds intriguing, I thought.  Then I read the first chapter. And the second.  And the third.  And the fourth.  I couldn’t put the book down!  Not only is this little-known Jane Austen novel well-written, but it is also gripping, entertaining, and brilliant.  To say the least, this is a beautiful novel.

Yes, it is a romance novel.  But it’s not one of those extremely predictable romance novels; it’s actually rather unpredictable.  Catherine does *SPOILER* end up marrying Henry Tilney .  But it is still unpredictable–for most of the book the reader is trying to figure out if Henry likes Catherine or not. *END OF SPOILER*  This book had me sitting on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next.

What I didn’t like:

I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about “Northanger Abbey.”  It was a wonderful story, predictable enough to know that it would end happily, but not too predictable, at the same time.

Who I would recommend this book for:

I would recommend this book for anyone who likes romance or Jane Austen novels.  Seriously, I love “Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility,” and “Emma.”  “Northanger Abbey,” in my opinion, was every bit as good as Austen’s most famous works.  As great as this book is, if you don’t like romance novels, this book probably isn’t for you!

Underlying themes and messages:

“Northanger Abbey” emphasizes the importance of marrying for love, not money.  This was an important theme to Austen herself, so it is no wonder that she emphasizes it in this book.  Marrying for love (not money) is a recurring theme in many of her novels, not just “Northanger Abbey.”  In “Pride and Prejudice,” *SPOILER* Mr. Bingley’s sisters convince him to go away to London, so that he will not marry Jane Bennet.  They object to their brother’s marriage to Jane because she is poor.  *END OF SPOILER*  Although I particularly noticed that this theme was emphasized in “Northanger Abbey,” it is also an underlying theme in other Jane Austen novels.

Rating (Good Reads):

Good Reads rates “Northanger Abbey” as a 3.78 star book.

My rating:

I would give this book a 4.0-4.5 star rating.

Northanger Abbey Movie:

There was a PBS Masterpiece series of this novel made in 2007.  You can find the link to the full movie here.

{CAUTION: I HAVE NOT SEEN THIS MOVIE, so I can’t tell you what it’s like or if there’s any yucky stuff.}

Encouragement Is Essential

Everybody needs to be encouraged.  I need to be encouraged.  As writers, we need a lot of encouragement.  Hey, let’s face it, writing is tough.  It’s hard to sit down and actually write.  And when you don’t write, you feel like a failure.

So that’s why I’m back with more encouraging writing quotations.  These quotations have inspired me; I hope they inspire you. 🙂

{Warning: I love writing quotes; this will not be the last quotes page.}

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By the way, “The Great Gatsby” is a very entertaining book.  It’s also very sad.

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Okay, that’s all for today!  I hope you were encouraged.

Are there any writing quotations that have inspired you?  Please comment. 🙂

~gretald

A Day in the Country: A Poem

Hey there, everybody!

So my poem A Day in the Country was published on Kingdom Pen.  Here’s the link, if you want to check it out: http://kingdompen.org .  But really, Kingdom Pen is awesome!  If you aren’t on it and you’re interested in writing, sign up for Kingdom Pen!  You won’t regret it.  I’ve only been on Kingdom Pen for a few months, and already I’ve learned loads about writing. 🙂

A Day in the Country

By Grammar_girl
Oh, where are you going,
On this sunny day?
To the country I’m a-going.
Why to the country?
The city you should try!
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Oh no! The city is not for me.
For I prefer the country,
Where all is bright and gay.
The night is dark and starry,
And brilliant is the day.
The air is crisp in autumn
The cider is a-brewing.
Everything is rustic.
Birds chirping in the spring,
The smell of sweet honey,
The soft, brown fur of the bunny.
Ol’ farmhouses,
And grazing horses,
Fields of corn,
Little calves being born.
Fields of lavender asters,
The soft wind blowing,
The green of the trees,
A feeling of being free.
Cows a-mooing,
Cats’ meowing.
The barking of the dog,
And the smell of the hog.
Squawking of chickens,
The sound of laughing children,
The light through the trees on a sunny day,
Bright red barns,
And the beautiful farms,
Are all a sight to see!
But the best, by far, is the bright blue sky,
With the glittering stars at night.
You may prefer the city,
With its sparkling lights all blue,
That is fine with me,
But, I will not be there with you,
For I am going to the country!