5 TV Villains That Were Misunderstood

Wherever there is a hero, there is sure to be a villain. The drama, suspense, and cliffhangers that all stack up to make the hero look good resonate better when there are more than 10 episodes to binge through. Things get even more intense when there are misunderstood TV villains to debate about. That’s because, in the world of evildoers and wicked masterminds, some characters stand out because of their controversial moral compasses. 

Should a ruthless killer really be empathized with, or a clear plot to destroy and savagely exact revenge be pardoned? Well, for these characters, maybe that should be the case. Sure, there are villains who have deep-seated roots of evil that almost seem irredeemable. However, these tragic figures may have a closing argument or two that could sway any jury that’s willing to put the hard facts aside, of course. So who are the most misunderstood TV villains? Keep reading to find out. 

1. Azula – Avatar: The Last Airbender 

5 TV Villains That Were Misunderstood

Blame it on daddy issues, a sad upbringing, and a cruel, cruel world, and yes, Azula is certainly one of the misunderstood TV villains. She’s one of the main female characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender, and oh, does she wreak some havoc! With her mother being banished from the fire nation, Azula was left with her father, Ozai, who had very unrealistic expectations of her. She wasn’t allowed to make mistakes and was expected to be a near-perfect child soldier. This groomed her narcissistic attitude and superiority complex to those around her. 

So, while Azula is always on Team Avatar’s tail, causing chaos and trying to disrupt their efforts, she’s still misunderstood as a villain. It’s also essential to note that Azula grew up believing her mother loved her brother Zuko more than her. This just further fuels her rebellious attitude and host of atrocities. However, Zuko, her brother, wasn’t a saint either, so if he could regain his honor, then who’s to say Azula can’t as well?

2. Niklaus – The Vampire Diaries

5 TV Villains That Were Misunderstood

Should a sadistic, self-centered unrepentant killer really be on this list of TV villains that were misunderstood? Well, that depends on what evil really connotes and the reasons behind it. Klaus, played by Joseph Morgan, has a really tragic family history. First of all, he was the result of an illicit affair between his mother, Esther, and a werewolf, Ansel, which made his father, Mikael detest him. All the hurt and abuse he faced as a child turned him into a sadistic killing machine. 

Plus, Klaus had to put on a thick skin to ensure he retained the power that had been stolen from him as a child. It’s possible that if Mikael had been kinder to Klaus, his heart wouldn’t lack so much emotion. Even more, in some of the Vampire Diaries spin-offs like The Originals, a more helpful and empathetic side of Klaus is revealed. Like the numerous times, he helped Caroline or when he agreed to be Marcel’s prisoner so his family would be spared. 

3. Eurus Holmes – Sherlock

5 TV Villains That Were Misunderstood

Eurus is another villain in a TV series whose sheer villainy is debatable. She’s clearly a unique child, born as a genius yet feared/practically ignored by her brothers. It’s already hard to imagine anyone being smarter than Sherlock or the pridefully intelligent Mycroft. Unfortunately, it seems all that intelligence sets Eurus apart negatively. No one can really relate to her intellectual prowess, and this forces Eurus to become a psychological recluse. Seeing how she heartlessly toys with her own blood, it’s hard to classify her as part of the misunderstood TV villains initially. However, just like Sherlock discovered, Eurus is fighting demons of her own.

Trapped in her own world with no way of acceptably relating to others, Eurus tries to play god. If she can’t come down to the level of the ‘ordinary mind’, then why not toy with it, especially if she already knows the outcome? Eurus’s way of expressing her frustration with the world may be overboard. Still, there’s a young lady in there who’s just afraid of being above everyone else and unable to come down from that. Eurus is brilliantly played by Siân Brooke, even though her character is hidden/disguised through most of the season. However, when Brooks does appear, she’s ruthless and wickedly clever.

4. Tom – Tom and Jerry

5 TV Villains That Were Misunderstood

Many kids grew up watching Tom and Jerry, the unlucky Cat who always gets outwitted by the clever mouse. Let’s make one thing clear, Tom was the actual pet. This means that the homeowners were aware there was a cat in their house. Jerry, on the other hand, was more of an annoying uninvited guest.

However, the plot seemed to make Tom seem evil for trying to get rid of this non-tenant who was actually a menace. It’s true that Tom is vengeful and aggressive, but in his defense, Jerry can also be an instigator. Either the mouse is seen drilling holes into the house, stealing food, or gaslighting Tom into disastrous situations. In the real world, Tom would be the hero for trying to get rid of a mouse like Jerry. This clearly puts Tom in the running for one of the most misunderstood TV villains of all time.

5. Petra Solano – Jane The Virgin

5 TV Villains That Were Misunderstood

Jane the Virgin is a fun plot spun off an earlier Telenovela released in 2002 called Juana La Virgen. The story begins with Jane Villanueva, played by Gina Rodriguez, getting accidentally inseminated with Raphael’s sperm. The storyline soon ushers in Petra, played by Yael Grobglass. She is one of the reasons Jane’s life-altering misunderstanding exists in the first place. Petra is the wife of Raphael, who is also sleeping with his best friend. Plus, she’s also trying to save her marriage, but for all the wrong reasons. 

Still, with all the times Petra has been scheming and just plain mean, there is the understanding she is doing all she can to save her marriage. Yes, she takes extreme measures, but wouldn’t you do all you can for the one you love? Interestingly, fans ended up falling in love with this particular villain.  Plus, Petra was able to redefine herself regardless of all the dramatically sad events in her life. Think about the time she was drugged into an almost vegetative state and had to watch Anezka impersonate her! This evidently makes her one of TV’s most complex villains.

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