Beautiful People - Rupert de la Mare

I do live.  Unfortunately the Penslayer was not able to go everywhere with me as one of our hotels charged a fee to get online.  I trust you did not suffer too much because of my absence...  But I can say that after averaging ten miles a day on foot for the past twelve days it is relieving to sit down and do something so refreshingly simple as Beautiful People.  There is no place like home and nothing like staying at home for real comfort.  Due to my absence I am a little belated with this session of Beautiful People, but I don't believe anyone cares much about punctuality in this matter.

You all know that this session of Beautiful People is for villains so it probably won't come as a real shocker to find out that I choose to do

Rupert de la Mare
(I have consolidated original questions three and four as I found that the best way to answer them coherently.)

1.  What is his motive?

Rupert is probably my most complicated and layered character in Plenilune to date (which will hopefully become more apparent as I go along); consequently he is the most difficult to write.  His motives for what he does are a combination of ambition, loyalty, pride, honour, and (I do not jest) love.  How very pure these driving sentiments may be can be questioned, but I find that the higher the virtue the greater the vice it becomes when it falls.

2. What is he prepared to do to get what he wants?

Anything.  What must be done differs from circumstance to circumstance, but in few matters is Rupert terribly burdened by scruples.  His ruthless approach to the game is not limited to chess: he is willing to kill, if need be, to set the board according to his design. 

3. Is he evil to the core, or simply misunderstood?  What was his past like? What about his childhood? Was there one defining moment that made him embrace his evil ways?

Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward: Rupert was always a forbidding, contrary child with a rough childhood and a brother who, unintentionally, overshadowed him, but honestly I think he was just born bad and he never mastered his own impulse to evil.  In some cases, perhaps, he was misunderstood, but then he is a contradictory character and as such is prone to being misunderstood; on the whole, however, he is just bad.

“Nigh on sixty years I knowed Marenov√© ‘Ouse, an’ my father afore that, and ‘im father afore that, but never a badder business any of us knowed than young Mus Rupert.  ‘E don’t take to soil,” he said passionately, as if Margaret would understand.  “Got too much acid in ‘is veins an’ Lord love ye if ye can get a touch o’ lime into ‘is soul.”

4. Now that he is evil, has he turned their back on everyone, or is there still someone in his life that he cares for? (Brother? Daughter? Love interest? Mother? Someone who is just as evil as he is?)

This question has to be answered in light of number three.  Rupert de la Mare is a man to hold a grudge.  If you cross him he will never forget it, and you can probably bet very safely that somehow, one day, in his own good time, he will retaliate swiftly and terribly.  It does not do to say No to Rupert.  If you do, however, stick by him, he will stick by you: it is possible that this is a trait characteristic more of his family than of his own heart, but to his credit this singular (if selective) virtue he does possess. 

5. Does he like hugs?

It depends on what sort of embrace you mean and who is the other party.  He has been known to warmly embrace his friends by way of greeting, but otherwise he does not invite any sort of intimate attachment.  Margaret is the only person for whom a sentimental embrace means anything to him and it is one of the only grounds upon which Rupert actually wars with scruples. 

6. Is he plagued by something? (Nightmares? Terrible thoughts?)

How neatly five segues into six.  Yes, Rupert is plagued.  Vice and virtue (a knowledge of good and evil) still clash inside him, though from his point of view they are turned on end and sometimes confused.  His desire to be let loose from scruples is so intense that he sees such an end as freedom, while within he is haunted by decency and charity.  He does not see virtue as particularly good (more often than not it is a severe annoyance), but he cannot always hush up the persistent voice of conscience. 

7. Who is he more similar to: Gollum or Maleficent?

I’m afraid I couldn’t say.  I have not seen Maleficent in too long to remember her well.  Yes, I would say that Rupert is driven by a high, awful sense of power and the perfectly convinced idea that he is meant to be Overlord (and that his being so would be an honestly good thing), but as I mentioned before on select matters he is admittedly two-faced.  Not as two-faced as Gollum, nor a tenth as petty.  I would describe him as a human being born to power and an ambition for power.

8. If your villain could have his choice of transportation what would it be?

Teleporting brings to mind the space-age and science fiction, so I will say tessering instead as it may be understood (a little) from the novel A Wrinkle in Time

9. If you met your villain in the street, how afraid would you be? Is he evil enough to kill his creator? 

If I turned a corner and ran up against him I’m sure my heart would be in my throat.  If I met him casually I would have to sit down for a few minutes to get over the surprise, but though in either scenario I would be scared enough of him (to differing degrees) I know I wouldn’t have to fear for my life.  Contrary to popular opinion (and “Stranger Than Fiction”) the author is more like a being of Olympus to be appeased or ignored at will by the characters than a Reckoning God like the real one.  Rupert would probably take little notice of me.  Which is a real snub, if you think about it…

Rupert started back and leaned across the table.  "You know why I would not lief come to you?" he asked.  "Because you would have done it.  You would have made a key with sweet words for the keyholes of men's hearts - as you always do - and it would have been your work! it would have been you who had done it."

7 ripostes:

  1. I hope you aren't cross with me for saying I love Rupert. :P

  2. Oh, what is it about villains that make them so very . . . endearing? Your Rupert may be horrid in character, but he is certainly not dull. And as long as I can read about him in a manner like that of an observer at a zoo, where danger is kept behind bars and I am free to form an opinion without the possibility of actually meeting him in person, I must admit that I quite like him. ;)

  3. Ah yes, villains... I love endearing villains... but your sister claims I get very attached to conflicted characters no matter what (and she's correct).

  4. A part of me likes to think that you would like Rupert less if I were able to tell you all about him, but then I think that, no, a part of you would still like him (if not all of you); and I think I can be content with that. After all, I don't want you to so despise him that you chuck the book down (when there is a book to chuck down) and never finish it. Now the - but no, that's telling. I'll let you like Rupert, after a fashion, and won't be cross.

    You like danger, Elizabeth Rose, so long as it is perfectly safe? I do too. But I don't think you would be in any danger from him. He doesn't kill off people just to kill them off. He's always very expedient about it. Murder isn't the measure of a man, you know. Give the guy a break. :P

    Abigail is right, Mirriam. You do get attached to conflicted characters, almost without fail. My word. I could take bets. And win. Every time.

  5. Oh dear, I know you're absolutely right...
    I like to joke that I will probably marry
    an ex-convict.
    Though it's only a joke.
    (If it's any help, I absolutely hated Cynr. *bright smile*)

  6. Well, if his name is Jean Valjean, you're probably not in bad shape. And hopefully I've done my job well and there will be other villains of mine that you thoroughly hate. One can only do one's best, of course. Or worst. Or something.

    Yeah, that did get away from me a bit...

  7. I highly doubt I will marry Jean Valjean, unless I find a TARDIS and go back in time, anyhow (which would be an epic meeting, the Doctor and Jean).
    And you definitely did your worst (Best?) with Cynr. Oooh, I wanted to - well, what happened to him. *cough*
    I think I've only ever written one villain I really LOOVVEED, and not because he had any good qualities but because he was such an insane, psychotic, hilarious blast to write. Jasper Aleron. Oh yes.