It’s time to cheer for the bad guy…and fall in love with him while we’re at it.
We’ve been romanticizing monsters — traditionally the antagonists and villains of a story — for years now. Vincent from Beauty and the Beast, Lestat and Louis from Interview with a Vampire, Angel and Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Scott from Teen Wolf, and so many more have been romantic heroes in our movies and television shows, bringing monsters out of the dark. Or at least out of the dungeon.
These monsters are a new kind of tortured hero, and often offer us all the ingredients of a classic, Victorian romance hero — brooding, and darkly attractive despite his harshness — but with a paranormal twist. They’re monsters, so they can’t help being a little bit bad.
And because the idea that the love of the right person can touch the heart of even the darkest hero is so appealing to so many of us, perhaps monstrous heroes are even more compelling. Only the right person will be worthy of the monster’s compassion.
The idea of being so special to your partner that only you can reach through his monstrous facade and touch the human soul beneath is like something straight out of a fairy tale.
All he needs is love.