People on Reddit were asked: "What fictional villain had pretty reasonable excuses for why they did what they did?" These are some of the most creative answers.
24. Kids never learn, do they?
Shere Kahn, the tiger from The Jungle Book. Rules were in place to keep men out if the jungle [because] they kill animals and burn down the jungle. What was the absolute first thing Mowgli did once he saw fire? He brought it back to the jungle and burned the whole place down.
23. I mean, it sort of makes sense
Grant Ward in Agents of SHIELD. The guy was abused by his own family, manipulated by the only person that thought he was worth anything and had to make some really hard decisions because he saw the man that was manipulating him as a father he never had.
Of course he was a douchebag by betraying the only people that were good to him and saw him as family, but it is easy to understand why he did all of this.
22. It goes to show that being loving and caring to others can do a world of good
Luke Castellon from the Percy Jackson series. He was pissed because he felt unloved, and that too many demigods were ignored by their godly parents. Cronos used this to manipulate him.
21. I was waiting for someone to bring this one up...
Loki is always a top choice for understandable evil doing. He was raised under false pretences. Odin was a giant [jerk] who literally told his would be son stories about how Frost Giants were monsters and never thought an "oh btw you're adopted and kinda are a frost giant" was important information. It's understandable that Loki would attempt to win his fathers affection by eradicating the so called monsters. Throwing himself off the bifrost was a bit of a drama queen move, but given the turmoil of finding out your identity is an entire lie it's still kind of expected.
Then if we move on in Loki's story arc to the events in the Avengers you can clearly see that he is not entirely there mentally...being tortured by a Mad Titan would be more than enough reasoning for a mental breakdown. I still find it difficult to believe that Loki would have launched such a poorly planned attack if it was of his own creation, I mean dude has serious magic skills and yet barely uses them in what is meant to be a bid for planetary domination.
20. Sometimes you gotta look at both sides of a situation
Mr. Freeze. Most of his actions were based off trying to cure his terminally ill wife. Even though I wouldn't do most of things that he's done, I do understand his intentions. His origin story always gets to me.
19. Well when you put it that way...
A beastly recluse kidnaps a young woman and holds her prisoner in his castle. He will only release her if she falls in love with him. A local man rallies the town to go and rescue the girl.
Gaston is the villain in the story, but at the root level, he's the one who's right.
18. Finally someone tells it like it is!
The Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy basically killed her sister with her flying house and then stole the sister's magic ruby slippers.
17. But he's just too good of a villain!
Agent Smith from the Matrix. At the base of it all, he's trying to keep random "hackers" from messing with the reality he knows and screwing everything up for not only other humans (who the "good guys" constantly kill without cause) but the machines who were tired of being slaves.
Humans ruined the damned sky. The machines have a point, that beings capable of ruining the sky probably should be kept docile in a big game of Sims.
Agent Smith is just... like... "Not this douche bag hacker stuff again." He's like every dude who's trying to administrate a competitive online game, only to constantly see people with aim bot and wall hacks. I understand his frustration and descent into madness.
16. You mean there might be more?!
Heinz Doofenshmirtz. Neither of his parents showed up to his birth, he was raised by wild cats for the first few years of his life, and his father forced him to be a garden gnome as a child. His only friend ran away, only to be abducted by an alien poacher, and his brother was treated like a prince. And that's all I can remember off the top of my head.
15. Someone has to have written a PhD thesis on this by now
The hyenas in The Lion King were an oppressed class. What, the lions get to eat everything they can find but the hyenas get banished out to where there's no food? But apparently the God of this universe is racist and doesn't like the hyenas having the same status as lions, so he sends his disapproval by destroying the environment as a sign that lion supremacy must be restored.
I feel like they had to have James Earl Jones play Mufasa, mostly because he has the best voice ever, but also because if all the nonwhite actors played hyenas this movie would look like it was endorsing racism.
14. Yeah, but you can't really say that stuff anymore these days
Ben Stiller's character in Heavyweights. He's just trying to help the kids at fat camp make healthier choices and lose weight, but everyone resents him for it.
13. Everyone in this series is a tortured soul
Magneto. Holocaust survivor who then grows up once again hated and segregated from society, I'm not saying I agree but I can definitely understand why he feels the way he does.
12. I guess I never thought about it that way
Tom from Tom and Jerry. Most of the time he was just chilling, minding his own business and the mouse just had to [mess] with him, get him all worked up and then the owner would hit him with a broom.
11. At this point I don't think we can call him a villain though, come on!
Darth Vader. In the prequels he is dismissed by the Jedi and the only person that talks directly to him is the emperor. He loses his wife and kid, loses his limbs, and is burned inside and out. He was killed and through an iron lung, prosthetic everything, a suit and the emperors use of the force he is brought to life.
By Empire Strikes Back he went from being listened to by the emperor to kneeling to him. In that time Vader has tried to kill the emperor and die and he can't do either on his own. He is a slave like he was growing up. He does what he has too with no loyalty and complete impunity to the empire. He strangles officers right and left, and orders storm troopers on suicide missions. He is on his own missions that either the emperor forces him on or whatever he can get to free himself.
By Return of the Jedi, even more than a son, he needs someone to distract the emperor long enough to kill him.
The "bad guys" in American Sniper, 13 Hours, Black Hawk Down, Jar Head, Hurt Locker, etc. are just people trying the best they can to protect their country from foreign invasion.
9. She was, by far, one of the best animated villains of all time
I always thought Yzma from Emperor's New Groove was a pretty reasonable villain. The Emperor at the start of the movie was a selfish entitled idiot who obviously couldn't run a country, and although her motivation was 50% "this kid can't be a ruler" and 50% "I want to have all the power", that still seemed more reasonable than the current person in power.
8. We all set out with the best of intentions
Andrew Ryan. He was right in a way. "Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?" All he wanted was to have a place where a man's true efforts were recognized by society, and they were rewarded for the talents they were given, or the hard work they had gone through for their inventions.
Don't get me wrong. He went totally off the rails after a while, and the city fell into absolute chaos, and it's totes mcgoats his fault. The ends did NOT justify the means that he was looking for. But I'm sure there's plenty of people that feel like their achievements or their talents aren't recognized enough. Granted, while an artist should not have to be censored, a scientist should absolutely follow some rules of morality. You can't just go [messing[ up a plastic surgeon customer because "She looked prettier this way". No she did not, you're twisted, give her what she asked and paid for you creep.
7. Life doesn't always work out the way you want it to
Not reasonable excuses, but I always felt sort of bad for Commodus from Gladiator, and it sort of makes sense why he hates Maximus so much (even though he's clearly a bad person).
He's in love with Lucilla (which is admittedly very creepy) and who does she love? Maximus. He wants to be Emperor, and who does Marcus Aurelius say will be the new Emperor (albeit temporarily)? Maximus. He wants to be loved by his people, but who do they love? Maximus. He wants to be a great warrior, but who is better than him? Maximus.
I guess I just feel some level of sympathy because literally everything he tries to do, one person comes in and takes from him.
6. There's no arguing with this one
Ozymandias - yes, he did detonate a bunch of weapons but the alternative was a worldwide nuclear apocalypse.
5. So basically he's actually a hero
Dr. Doom. He, literally, took over the world so he could save it. He saw every possible future scenario and the only one where the Earth survived was the one where he ruled it.
4. This is so poetic
For all of his murdering, double and triple crossing and mustache twirling villainy....Revolver Ocelot had noble intentions. I'd argue that his actions were ultimately some of the most heroic in the entirety of the Metal Gear series, even if he had to commit evil acts to get there. Weirdly enough, while everyone around him willfully or accidentally misinterpreted the Boss' vision of a perfect world, he strove for it.
And at the end of the day, he was left a broken old man with nothing to fight for, his only friend in his final moments a man who he counted as his greatest enemy.
3. The whole plot looks very different when you look at it this way
Javert in Les Mis is just a police officer trying to track down a man who broke his parole after an unsuccessful escape.
2. When the hero becomes the villain...
I'm just done re-watching Breaking Bad, and I have to go with Walter White/Heisenberg. Essentially, all Walt wanted was to provide for his family, so that when cancer take him away they don't end up in debt and mourning...
Then things get [weird] and he just tries to navigate the chaos that his life becomes.
1. Ah, the age old nature vs. nurture
Tywin Lannister. Tywin is a man obsessed with promoting his family and their place in the world, and when you live in a world where your family's station is literally the difference between life and death it's not hard to imagine why he is this way. He's also a product of his environment in that he saw his father stepped on and diluting the power and good name of their family and desperately wanting to avoid that for his own children.
He just happens to be perfectly ruthless at the same time, so he appears more of a monster than he really is. He's not killing, torturing and terrifying people just for the hell of it, he always does what is most expedient. If killing a village is the best way of achieving your goals he'll give that order, but if talking to the mayor is better he'll do that and spare the village.