Friday, March 13, 2015

WBI: Professor Pike

Okay, so we have done all but TWO of the different kinds of villains (in this index, anyway), and we have not addressed a character from either of the worlds from which this index gets its name. And today I want to talk about H.I.V.E., so we’re going to talk about H.I.V.E.

Professor William Theodore Pike, from The Higher Institute of Villainous Education, ladies and gentlemen, by Mark Walden.

WBI Profile

Classification :: Π2479*
Role :: Technician (H.I.V.E.’s STEM head)
Motivation :: idealism (villainy), insubordination (H.I.V.E. employee), gain (work access), wealth (wages)
Bonus :: lair (H.I.V.E.)

Click to Big

A Study

old—I just want to make this clear: he is not the stereotypical young nerd, and even on the database his age is listed as “very old”

interesting story—by the way, his name was William and then it was Theodore and so his name is William but he goes by Theo (middle name) with close friends; that’s the story, anyway (it was funny watching Mark get out of that one)

employed—Pike has people above him, and he gets paid for what he does

plugged in—by working for someone, Pike is able to do what he does without necessarily having to fund all his projects himself

deceiving—Pike gives off an image of a careless professor with one outfit, but he is much, much more

“absent-minded”— he looks like he loses things, but he definitely accidentally left his students with the key to access H.I.V.E.’s secure database on purpose

sharp—when Pike and Nathaniel meet after YEARS apart, they (both) still remember where they were when they left off in their last game of chess

inventive—most of the gadgets in the series were designed by this guy, from purple swords that can cut through anything to the school’s A.I., H.I.V.E.mind

innovative—he also plays a main role in making things that are new and different, so our MCs have an edge

villainous—Pike does what he does on behalf of other villains; he loves to learn, but he has chosen where to apply his skills

daring—as he works on the cutting edge of science, Pike works to do things no one else has, and some things people wouldn’t think it right to do, but he finds it worth it

productive—Pike gets a lot of stuff done; he is never not busy, what with designing new weapons, teaching, minding H.I.V.E.mind, and all his other duties

resourceful—how many people do you know who carry enough C4 in their pockets to blow up a tank?

lenient—Pike gives a lot of freedom to his students, perhaps more than his boss would approve of; he encourages them to make potentially dangerous choices that can still cause good things

foolish—occasionally Pike will make a stupid decision, like get attacked by an enemy or his favorite student because he assumes he can manage, and then he can’t

reckless—with that innovation comes a fault of desire and confidence, the kind that accidentally gets your colleague stuck in the body of a cat or causes fatalities (only three this year!)

defensive—that being said, Pike is not going to be guilted into regretting turning Ms. Leon into a cat; he has his pride to think of

concerned—as much danger as Pike may create, he does care for his students and colleagues; he’s been known to take the fall for his students’ mistakes, and really tries to keep the school safe

at home—also, although H.I.V.E. is not a lair unique to Pike, it is where he works and lives, and it suits him as a place that provides him with everything he needs

crucial—Pike breaks the stereotype here; his advice and opinions are attended to, especially in regards to his inventions, because even though they are villains, mindless killing is not the goal (especially people on your own team)

respected—even more, Pike has been a long-valued member of the school, and has fills in as headmaster when Nero isn’t around; his role is weighted

Big Idea

old people can be awesome—whoever came up with this idea that everyone in a spy novel has to be under 40 or take a desk job is silly. I mean, yeah, Pike doesn’t get out into the field much, but he spends a good amount of time blowing stuff up and getting drawn into the action (albeit occasionally against his will).

trust the builder—remember this: the person who did the making is almost exclusively going to know more about the product than anyone else, though there are exceptions. Pike creates so much technology, and Nero trusts him, and listens to him, because he knows the professor is a great resource.

carelessness has consequences—it is all well and good to pretend to be careless, but there’s such a thing as being too trusting. Telling the guards to leave, for example, or creating the potential for a dangerous A.I. On the one hand, it characterizes his trust/risk attitudes. On the other, it opens up a lot of potentially life-threatening events for him to deal with.

give secondary characters detail—I’m guessing you haven’t read H.I.V.E. (and if you have, YAY). Professor Pike is a secondary character in both plot lines, and while he’s an important secondary character, his main function is to make action-y stuff for people, and also complicate things. But he is not a cardboard man. He doesn’t sit in the limelight, but he still has detail. He’s still good. And, you will find, he is more than the sum of his parts.

“How are you feeling?”
“Old, but that’s nothing new.” –Max Nero and Professor Pike, Zero Hour, Mark Walden, pg 94

There you go, Professor Pike! Have you ever written a Technician character? Would you ever write a Technician character? What doomsday devices might you have them invent? (I promise not to steal your ideas.)


  1. What is this villainy post? how does it work? Which villains have you done before? This professor sounds so cool, so I looked this up on the library and I will read it at some point (when I have time and am not ensconced in schoolwork) . I will also firmly encourage my brother to read this, because he is like a broken record stuck on harry potter, percy jackson, eragon, artemis fowl, repeat with very few exceptions.

    1. This is a villain analysis I do every other week; if you click on the "Classification" link up above you'll be able to learn in a little more detail, and if you check out the WBI Tag at the bottom you can see the entire list. I'll provide a more thorough explanation later!

      Also, those have all been my favorite books at some point, so if you and your brother are of a like mind, you may find the books as awesome as I do! :D

  2. Ahhh HIVE! I love HIVE so much oh my goodness.
    I really like Professor Pike and how he interacts with the professor who's a cat. Her name escapes me at the moment though, sadly.


      But the exchanges between Professor Pike and Ms. Leon are awesome, yes. :D

  3. HIVE! Yes. Such wonderful villainy and humour. (The most important things in life, obviously :P) I shall now be off to read all the other WBI posts, because this is something wonderful that I definitely need. :)

    1. YES! It's awesome. Which is silly for me to say because it's my favorite series. But, I hope you enjoy checking out the other WBI posts! :)


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