Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Snowing Villains!

Happy July 4th to my fellow Americans!  Maybe the heat of the Texas summer is just getting to me, but I've had wintry villains on my mind lately.  Not just cold climate monsters, mind you, but individual characters with frosty outsides and frosty morality.  The first one I remember encountering comes courtesy of Rankin-Bass'  Santa Claus is Coming to Town:

The Winter Warlock
Shortly thereafter, my class took a field trip to see Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen on the stage.

Of course the Christmas specials kept up the barrage:

From Year without a Santa Claus' Loveable Snow Miser
to Frosty the Snowman's jerkish Jack Frost.

These days, I'm more likely to think of Narnia's usurping, dem fine woman, or the hilarious, suspiciously winter-warlock-like Ice King of Adventure Time.

How does this guy enjoy life so much when happiness constantly eludes him?
What can we say in general?  There is a figure popular in various manifestations, perhaps a personification, that attracts monarchy and magic, winter and wickedness.  The mash-up plays on archetypal themes of the shadow and opposing gender image (anima/animus) and turns them into a figure of power that is associated with the chaotic, difficult, and destructive potential of winter, sometimes grudgingly retaining the beauty of winter.  It's a compelling mix for a villain.  For my own setting of Ygg, I'll be combining the two into a composite of Loki and the Finnish Louhi, taking advantage also Loki's penchant for changing forms -- who's to say that s/he has one true form instead of a range of forms?  That's it for this Mythopoeic Monday.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on these cold characters, and let me know of any that I have missed!


  1. In the comics realm, you have Iceman (X-Men), Captain Cold (Flash villain), and Mister Freeze (Batman villain--please disregard the horrific Ahnold portrayal).

  2. Mike: Thank you for your faithful commitment to be first commenter. One day it will unleash a flood of commenting at which the world will wonder. As you know, I'm pretty comic ignorant so these comments are informative to me. Of course, the irony of me knowing Mister Freeze is tied to today's post.