Friday, July 31, 2015

WBI: Xibalba

I used to not have OTPs. Then I watched The Book of Life. Xibalba has to be one of my favorite antagonists of all time. He’s fascinating. And the movie’s cute. He’s awesome. He's half of my favorite pairing. All the way. Gah.

via Hero Complex
After becoming estranged from his wife after cheating in a wager, Xibalba grows bored of the Land of the Forgotten. In an attempt to rule the Land of the Remembered he makes another wager with La Muerte, this time over two boys, and the girl that one of them will someday marry.

WBI Profile


Classification :: Σ3567!*&@
Role :: Lone Wolf (autonomous but not really evil)
Motivation :: insanity/psychology (mischievous), lifestyle (desire for new realm), desperation (boredom, corruption), personal/material gain (Land of the Remembered)
Bonus :: magic (god), lair (Land of the Forgotten), family ties (La Muerte), name (XIBALBA)

Click Me to Big Me!

A Study


longing—after being trapped in the Land of the Forgotten, Xibalba is frustrated and bitter, especially towards the character of the human race; he desires more color in his life

gaming—he doesn’t have his wife’s weakness for wagers, but his willingness to set one up shows that he’s a little playful, even if he has ulterior motives

cheating—however playful, he also tips the scales in his favor so that his boy cannot die or be harmed, because he really does want that change in lifestyle

bargaining—much like Hades, he makes deals, for example agreeing to send Manolo to the Land of the Remembered to find Maria Posada

unwavering—even when La Muerte yells at him, sweet talks him, and reasons with him, Xibalba doesn’t change; only when he sees a move to gain more does he keep going

lacking—he’s not exactly detail-oriented when it comes to Manolo’s greatest fear, nor a true understanding of what motivates humans

surrendering—when the wager is settled at last, Xibalba doesn’t try to cheat anymore and La Muerte wins, without his tampering

repenting—and, when the wager is settled, Xibalba admits that he was wrong and his love for La Muerte should have been more important than his own desires; he asks her forgiveness, which she freely gives

loving—he learns to love La Muerte even more, and gains a profound respect for her passion for life and goodness; their relationship strengthens

changing—Xibalba seems to leave behind his harsher attitudes and unkindness, instead becoming a better man with a new perspective

Big Idea


snips and snails—though Xibalba is made of tar and everything that’s “icky” in the world, his constitution is a little more than what he’s made of. Even though he initially acts in a way appropriate for one made of bad things, he isn’t confined by his ingredients, and eventually earns La Muerte’s love back.

problematic, but not evil—he makes wagers, cheats, is rude, unfair, and even a little annoying, but Xibalba’s intents never seem to be “evil.” He isn’t out to hurt people’s feelings or kill them because it’s fun. He’s gotten a little bored down in the Land of the Forgotten, and a little jaded after watching the worst of human character decay for centuries.

ah, love—ultimately, the really, really good kind of love never dies, and this is true, even among our favorite personifications of death.

You wanna know my favorite quote, other than anything the grandma said? Do ya? Do ya? Do ya?

“Anyone can die. These kids? They will have the courage to live.”
“I’ll wager you are right, my love.” –La Muerte y Xibalba, The Book of Life


I LOVE XIBALBA WITH SO MUCH OF MY HEART. Did you like Xibalba as an antagonist? What do you think made him a good antagonist, or not?

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