Do you love villains? Relish in their stories? Delight their devilish drama and pine for their perfect plots? Well, you've come to the right place. Whether you're trying to get ideas for that villain you just haven't captured yet or merely browsing through your favorites, the Walden-Bond Index aims to categorize and characterize the villains we know and love. Come on in!
What is the Walden-Bond Index?
The Walden-Bond Index (or WBI) is a system used to describe villains and antagonists based on who they are and the reasoning behind their actions. It combines three different traits of a villain, and highlights a few of their most important traits.
In WBI posts, I describe a villain's classification components, then pull out a few of their most memorable or important characteristics and a few big ideas that can be applied to the villains of the future. If there is a villain song or a particularly good quote, I point those out as well.
Also, this was previously explained in this post, but this is simply compiling all that has happened at last.
How Does it Work?
Every villain or antagonist in the system is indexed by three criteria: role, motivation, and bonus features.
role :: an archetype or example that describes the villain's general job description and duties
motivation :: like with any character, why they do what they do
bonus :: anything special or unusual about a villain that adds to his or her character
Usually, a villain has one role, multiple motivations, and may or may not have bonus qualities to top those off. Each role is represented by a Greek letter, each motivation is represented by a number, and a bonus quality receives a symbol that are combined so that a villain's classification will end up looking something like this:
What are the symbols and numbers?
Worry not! Below I've given brief descriptions of each motivation, bonus qualities, and kind of villain but if you ever have any questions, you are welcome to ask.
Also, this is the brief version. The long version is nine thousand words and sitting on my hard drive.
Remember, a motivation is anything that causes the villain to do what he or she does.
|0||Chaos||initiating the dissolution of preexisting orders, structures, or systems|
|1||Evil||hurting others consciously and intentionally (especially unforgivable acts)|
|2||Idealism||holding citizens and society accountable to a set of standards|
|3||Insanity/Psychology||actions that are a direct result of one’s brain’s physical makeup, including mental illness, insanity, and psychology|
|4||Insubordination||committing actions due to occupational expectations/requirements|
|5||Lifestyle||acting according to the manner in which one chooses to (or must) live his or her own life (i.e. carnivores eat meat and that's not changing)|
|6||Desperation||acting in the interest of immediate survival|
|7||Personal/Material Gain||obtaining something physical or characteristic of significance (not money)|
|8||Power/Influence||acquiring strength and authority over a certain discipline|
|9||Wealth||accumulating currency (etc.) to be used for trade or miserly purposes|
- the motivations above can either be used as a desire (something the villain wants) or a fear (something the villain does not want)
- Insanity/Psychology is an exception
- a villain can do things for multiple reasons; there's never just one issue at play
- these motivations are not limited to villains alone; in fact, they could easily apply to anyone out there
- these are the overarching ideas that might motivate a villain—the least specific ideas I could think of
- for example, a villain might retaliate against a hated employer; I would probably classify this as a 4/7 combo: the villain is motivated against insubordination and towards the personal gain of self employment
- this is not a list set in stone—I may be leaving out some other really important motivations, and if so, you're welcome to let me know
Essentially, this section describes anything that makes the villain special or awesome. It is not a conclusive list, but it does cover a few of the big ones.
|supernatural or unnatural capabilities controlled by the character |
(variation: curse; uncontrollable powers)
|$||Money||extreme amounts of disposable wealth|
|#||Minions||followers or employees to be used and abused at the character's disposal|
|*||Lair||any residence or place of operation which is of exceptional design or use to the character|
|&||Family Ties||blood connection (usually) that gives the character a leg up in his or her own aspirations|
|@||Name||a unique or awesome moniker|
Γ ♦ Body ♦ a villainous organization, company, institution, group, or government as a whole
- Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) (Γ35)
- John Douglas Keller (γ457$#)
- The Volturi (Γ2567!$#*&@)
- Kevin, Stuart, and Bob (Minions) (Θγ34567#&)
A ♦ Alpha ♦ leaders marked out with idealistic and purpose-driven goals—especially for the sake of legacy
- Voldemort (A128!#@)
- King Galbatorix, Part 1 (A0278!#*)
- King Galbatorix, Part 2 (A0278!#*)
- Nate Ford (A023578$#*&)
- Scar (A02378#*&@)
Δ ♦ Politician/Financier ♦ operative who works within preexisting political and financial structures, often in a position of power
- Prince Humperdinck (Δ1789&)
- Queen Levana (Fairest) (Δ01234578!#*&)
- Hades (Disney) (Δ01378!#*&)
- Prince Charming (Shrek) (Δ0124578#&)
- Judge Claude Frollo (Disney) (ΞΔ12357#)
Θ ♦ Henchman ♦ the arms, back, and legs of a loftier villain
Π ♦ Technician ♦ constructors and operators of new technology; typically ignored
Ξ ♦ Avenger ♦ bringer of justice; may adopt other roles to exact their punishment on others
- Zira (Ξ012678#*&)
- Victoria (Twilight) (Ξ1357!&)
- Sophie Devereaux (Ξ24579$*&)
- Javert (Les Mis Musical) (Ξ23457#@)
- Judge Claude Frollo (Disney) (ΞΔ12357#)
- Maleficent (Maleficent) (Ξ01278!#*@)
Λ ♦ Assassin ♦ killer, typically a confidante with a higher capacity for leadership, critical thinking, and good humor
Σ ♦ Lone Wolf ♦ a person who works of his or her own accord for his or her own goals—no superiors and no legacy
Φ ♦ Agent of Chaos ♦ creator of chaos (which, by nature, entails destroying order)
- Shan Yu (Φ01578#)
Ω ♦ Omega ♦ antagonist only; common criminals, wrongdoers, and other deviants lacking legacy
- The Thénardiers (Ω179&)
- The Difference Between Villains and Antagonists (Writer and Proud)
- Villains/Antagonists are People Too (To the Barricade)
Studies in Evil
Stay tuned for more villains over the coming months—and remember, there's plenty more evil where that came from!