When you read a story with a villain in it which do you prefer:
A) The villain is unredeemable. He or she is the embodiment of evil and is destroyed in the end. (Think Voldemort in Deathly Hallows)
B) The villain is unredeemable. He or she is the embodiment of evil but is not destroyed in the end. Instead remains as a lingering threat. (Think Voldemort in the first 6 Harry Potter books).
C) The villain is not necessarily the embodiment of evil. Perhaps the villain is simply misguided or the result of his or her environment. He or she is redeemable and is perhaps even redeemed just before being destroyed. (Think Darth Vader)
D) Like option C, the villain is not only redeemable, but is redeemed and lives happily ever after. (Think Gru in Despicable Me)
E) The villain was never really a villain in the first place. Perhaps he or she was an unlikable character but was actually a hero. (Think Professor Snape)
I am interested in this because I am wrestling with the final disposition of the villain in my next novel Highland Courage. In reality I like the idea of redemption and forgiveness. However, I also love to hate a villain, and if there is nothing good about that person, it makes having the blackguard trampled by a horses oh so satisfying. 😉