6 Monstrous Movie Villains We Feel… Empathy Towards?

Have you ever stopped and really thought about your beliefs? Like, what makes someone a good or bad guy? We all think we know what evil looks like, but what if we're wrong? How do we know that some of the creatures we think are villains actually deserve… our empathy? Here are the quote unquote "villains" I kinda get, you know?

Cave Trolls, Lord of the Rings

Does the cave troll the Fellowship dogs in the mines of Moriar seem particularly smart? Hell no. Are they mean? Okay, sure, but look at them: they all have damn chains around their necks. That means they're either slaves or, if we're being extremely generous, they have terrible work conditions. I turn into an enormous jerk if I have to wear a uniform, let alone chains around my neck. And the Fellowship just goes ahead and kills these guys? Weeeeell sorry we weren't all lucky enough to be born into royalty, and that some of us have to work for a living. Terrible treatment of the working class, right here.

Hyenas, The Lion King

The hyenas are constantly being forced to remain in their crappy, famine-riddled part of the territory by the cruel and arrogant lions. They have to battle and scrape by and eat anything that wanders by them simply to stay alive. Gee, I wonder why they eventually help overthrow the king? "Oh, but the hyenas are mean!" Listen, you treat people like savage monsters and that's what they're going to act like, okay?

Every monster in “Dungeons & Dragons”

Really, they're monsters?! Why, just because they live differently than we do? Suddenly, just because you turn weapons to rust, or flay minds, or are a giant psychic eye with many additional eyes jutting off of your body, you're some kind of "monster". Wow, super tolerant, D&D...

Jar Jar Binks, “Star Wars prequels”

Is Jar Jar Binks annoying? Yes. Did he make the speech that helped convince everyone to give Palpatine the executive power to overthrow the Senate and rule terribly as the Emperor? Yes. I will grant you that. BUT Jar Jar Binks was appointed to the position he had by a monarch, who was probably themselves inbred, who completely ignored the fact that Jar Jar was deeply, deeply unqualified for the position. Jar Jar Binks isn't the villain here. The villain is the whole system, man.

Referees, “Sports”

We all looooooove to hate the refs, but have you considered that not only are they just doing their jobs, but that their jobs are incredibly subjective? Do you really want the refs calling every minute infraction exactly according to the rulebook? No, it would ruin the game, and refs are just doing their best!

Will Weldon, “Smosh Pit, A short-lived Buzzfeed webseries”

Personally, I think it’s disgusting that people refer to me as some sort of “villain” just because I have started a bunch of fires. Like, hello, I’m trying to get sexually aroused over here!

We, as a culture, need to learn to be more compassionate to people we don’t understand.