The Nature of Evil

Tanmay Deotale


This infographic will explore the theme "Nature of evil" through 2 sources; the movie; Maleficent (2014) and the book; Witchlanders by Lena Coakley. The two sources both share their spot in the genre of fantasy, they're both incredibly engrossed in preternatural settings and characters. In almost every book or movie focusing on fanatasy, one can expect there to be an antagonist burning with rage or someone who just intends to go out there and hurt others using magic. This page will focus on these antagonists and speak about how their nature of evil is created by their mind and actions.


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The movie was based off of the classic villain from sleeping beauty but the fascinating part was that they didn't just show Maleficent as the evil, fire breathing witch that she was in Sleeping Beauty, they showed the good in her followed by how the nature of evil started to stir within her.

Maleficent was the fairy guardian of a land known as Moors. Her beautiful black wings were of utmost pride to her, she would soar through the valleys of Moors watching over her land. One day, a human boy named Stephan had entered her jewel chambers. She calmly coaxed him out and let him leave her land without any violence involved. But they grew closer over the years, Stephan and Maleficent were the bestest of friends. One day he just disappeared, Maleficent would spend long days wondering about where he had gone, one day the king of the human land had attacked Moors. Maleficent defeated his army and the king returned to his kingdom, grasping for life. He decreed that whoever would kill Maleficent and bring her wings back to him, would be the next king. Stephan returned to Moors, calling for Maleficent. Even after years of not seeing him, Maleficent fell in love with him all over again, she fell asleep on his lap, that being the gravest mistake she'd over done. Stefan drugged her and sliced off her most prized possession; her wings. He returned to the king with the wings, out of his happiness the king declared Stephan the next king of the land. But when Maleficent awoke, she awoke to her most prized possessions taken from her and swore revenge upon the new human king. The rest of the story surrounded how Maleficent's nature of evil began to take shape and near the end how her heart turned pure again.

The nature of Evil in Maleficent

After Maleficent's wings were stolen, she was utterly devastated. She went on a long journey of solitude, away from Moors, in the human lands. Her heart started turning dark through all the hate she had cooped up for the human king. Even her outfit had turned black. She tossed away her burlap dress and dawned a black gown and headdress (as depicted on the movie cover. She returned to Moors, the creatures went into hiding out of fear for their own guardian. Maleficent began to laugh maniacally and started a storm of magic so massive, the king could see it all the way from his palace windows. Maleficent heard whispers of the arrival of the king's firstborn girl and her baby shower. Uninvited, Maleficent entered the grand event and gave a "gift" on her behalf to the child. She cast a curse upon the little one that on her sixteenth birthday, the child would prick herself on the needle of a spinning wheel and fall into a deathlike sleep only to be awoken by a true love's kiss. The king out of paranoia, ordered all the spinning wheels in his kingdom to be burned and the ashes to be stored in a vault. He gave his daughter into the 3 good fairies of Moors to be taken care of until the day after her sixteenth birthday. Maleficent would regularly spy on the 3 fairies and the girl and eventually her heart of darkness began to lighten.

Maleficent turned evil because the thing that was dearest to her was taken away from her. She was so deeply hurt that she gave up who she was and devoted much of her life to mourning and thoughts of revenge, in essence, her wings contained the happiness and good that was contained within her. When Maleficent found something she loved almost as much as her wings, the good in her began to shine through and she later regained her wings. The nature of evil in this case was caused by the loss of a loved possession.

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

This book was published in 2011 by Lena Coakley, 3 years before Maleficent. This book is classified as a fantasy book yet the themes revolving around fantasy are few. Lena spoke through many serious themes in this book to teach people several lessons about family, greed, and evil. This part of the infographic will surround the nature of evil in 3 characters; Visser, Lilla Black bird, and the Baen king.
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The Nature of Evil in; Visser

Visser was an elder witch who was part of the coven that lived atop the coven hill. Her role was to make sure all of the coven and village was part of the decisions made by the coven head. She was acquainted with Mabis during her days in the coven and we witness a conversation between them during Mabis' meeting with the coven in part one. As can be told by the exchange of conversation between them, they both have a mutual hatred for each other. Visser was a very rash and upfront individual, and she was not afraid to get what she wanted. In part three she ordered Kef to take Falpian into the catacombs and kill him, even though she knew that the catacombs are forbidden to all except the black witch. Also, the coven hadn't made its decision on whether to kill the Baen or not. This a branch of evil where the individual doesn't bother to listen to anyone and does anything to get what they want. Also in part three, she had begun the desecration of the tomb of Aayse without any discretion from the coven leader; Sodan. She had thought that by desecrating the tomb she protect the youth of the coven when in reality she was depriving them of knowledge that should've been known by any simple Witchlander. In this branch of evil she had only thought of her past rather than thinking to the future as well as stealing knowledge and destroying it.

Visser was a good person at heart with strange intentions and an unintended evil welling inside her. She had only intended to protect the coven youth from leaving the coven just like how Mabis had left upon discovering the very tomb that Visser had set out to destroy in part three. Her nature was to do things carelessly and without input from others. She didn't care about anyone except herself, even if she thought she was helping everyone.

The Nature of Evil in; Lilla Blackbird

Lilla Blackbird was the antagonist of the book and the aunt of the protagonist; Ryder. She lived inside the catacombs within the coven mountain. She took up the role of the left hand of Aata; an individual who gave up their family, name and identity to tend to the dead secluded from all other living beings, to escape her previous identity of Lilla Redbird, the famous warrior witch and boneshaker of The Great War. Ryder spent most of the book trying to figure out who had made the gormy men to find out that his own aunt; Lilla Redbird had made them to destroy the coven. Her reasoning for this was fairly irrelevant, she said that she was atoning for the crimes she committed against the Baen and wished to hand over the tomb of Aayse to them as a weapon in the coming war. She had wished to balance out the scales of life and death by destroying her own kin and trying to make "two wrongs a right." She even fueled lies to Marisat and made her sister look bad in front of the entire coven, just so that her plans would be safe.

This evil found in Lilla's heart was a potentially self destructing kind as she had created a recipe of destruction against her own kin. She really thought that if the Baen would win the second war, that her inner darkness and past sins would be erased. But in the end she was only killing off her own and bringing in the golden age of a race that would probably kill her for her crimes in the first war.

The website above took a look at the nature of evil from a philosophical perspective. While the encyclopedia contained many sections devoted to deciphering the nature of evil. The section that related best to the evil in Maleficent and Witchlanders was section 3 (3.2, 3.3, and 3.4). These chapters related evil to motivation, harm and affect. The relationships between these qualities were evident in the 3 characters Maleficent, Lilla and Visser.



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