Character Connection: William Hamleigh

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The Pillars of the Earth

My intention for the month of October is to feature either villains from any genre or heroes from horror/thriller novels. I don’t always follow through with my intentions, so we’ll see how this plays out.

Boy, do I have a doozy of a villain this week.

William Hamleigh. Words cannot begin to express my deep loathing for this bully of a character. I think if he were real and walked into a room, I would have to launch myself at him and beat the crap out of him. Seriously. I hate this guy.

You can find William in The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. The book is set in 12th century England, when times were probably pretty brutal. William represents the brutality.

See, William is from a little nothing middle-class family that has ambitions. Oh, the dreaded a-word. Ambition in moderation is definitely a good thing. Overweening ambition is nothing but destructive. The Hamleighs have decided that they need to be an aristocratic, titled family. Unfortunately, there is another family and a community of monks that stand in the way of the the Hamleighs’ plans to get titles and riches. Too bad for the townsfolk.

David Oakes as William Hamleigh

William, a jerk who cries for mommy when he doesn’t get his way (I won’t even get started on the mommy-complex he has; I don’t want to sicken anyone), thinks that it’s okay to rape, pillage, and destroy–well, anything. He’s horrible. The book is a monster at around 1000 pages, give or take a couple of hundred, and I just kept reading, thinking, “He’s got to get what’s coming to him now…Okay, well, maybe now….Or now?….Ok, is anybody going to teach him a lesson?!?!?!” He just kept sinking lower and lower and lower. His evil mommy spurred him on to some of his stomach-turning deeds, but mostly he just felt entitled to treat everyone else as badly as he wanted.

When anyone actually stands up to him, he slinks off into the shadows. But of course in his teeny, tiny mind, he has to get back at them. There is no calling someone out in broad daylight. Oh, no. William takes the coward’s way and prefers ambushes with ridiculous amounts of armed men or else surprise attacks when no one is expecting him to be anywhere around. He prefers to use both tactics at the same time for safety.

Ugh, I can feel my blood pressure going up just thinking about him, so I’ll stop now!

I still haven’t finished watching the mini-series, but so far, David Oakes is doing a great job portraying this slimy, oily, odious, vile villain. That’s William up there with his mommy.

Who did you connect with this week? Link your post on Mr. Linky, then be sure to go check out the other Character Connections!

Character Connection

Who do ya love?

Or love to hate?

You know you’ve got a lot to say about some larger-than-life characters, and this is the place to say it. Write a straightforward post. Draw a picture. Vlog, write poetry, write fiction, cast the role, be as creative as you want!

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader every Thursday.

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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  1. Oh, my goodness, how I hated William! What a horrible person, sucked all the goodness right out of a room. I haven't seen the mini-series yet, but it's on the Netflix queue.

  2. Oh yes. Follett did an excellent job in creating this loathsome character. But loathsome is such an understatement. David Loades did a great job on character. I just don't think the character was adapted to his vile potential. Seems like they went in another super creepy direction.

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