Why Cenrad is an Awful Villain

*This blog post contains spoilers of all things concerning Cenred in Merlin Season 3. As Cenred’s role in the story is fairly obvious, I wouldn’t worry too much if you haven’t seen Season 3. Really, it’s not surprising at all. Just sayin’.*

I’ve been watching the BBC show Merlin recently with my dad and sister, and one of the lead villains of Season 3 was a king named Cenred. The gist of his plotline can be summed up to the following: Cenred was recruited by Morgeuse for his massive army and he continued to assist her in attempts to take over Camelot until she raised an army of the dead using his men, whereupon she double-crossed him and ordered him killed.

I never liked him from the start–hated him, in fact, and for a different reason than you might expect–he was just an awful villain. Absolutely awful.

Shall I list the reasons?

  1. Out-of-time-period clothing. This bugs me so much. I mean, ridiculously tight leather clothing? Such outfits are the creation of Hollywood for the sole purpose of making a male* character appear attractive. Not period authentic. (To be fair, the BBC costumes are generally not period authentic anyway, but this is a bit unbelieveable.)
  2. Unbelievable character. Let’s face it, Cenred’s stupid. His methods of warfare are limited to “sic all my spies on people!” and “let’s march 20k soliders on Camelot because we’re obviously going to win where no one else has!” He also has no clue about Morgeuse’s betrayal. With a woman so unpredictable in killing her underlings, one would think he’d have guessed his fate and made plans to escape it.
  3. Lazy. Every time we see Cenred, he’s sitting on his throne and looking as if he’s just All That. With the amount of time he spends there, he should be looking like a pear, not a twig with muscles.
  4. No redeemable qualities. He wasn’t human to me. He didn’t have any qualities that made him worth caring about. I wanted him to die–actually, I wanted to die. Of boredom. Cenred is quite possibly the least interesting character I’ve come across. No one likes a purely evil character, and Cenred comes across as lame and unbelieveable.
  5. No purpose to the story. The only purpose Cenred serves is to provide romantic tension for Morgeuse and to provide an enormous army at Morgeuse’s beck and call. He’s not a memorable character, and he’s not even a villain in that his ideals don’t clash with Merlin’s. Actually, we don’t see his ideals at all, beyond “Killing people is cool.” And not even that.

Cenred made a rubbish villain, to be honest. I’m glad he’s finally dead so that I won’t need to see his face (or his leather pants!) again. Are there any villains you were glad to see go, but only because they were annoying/unrealistic/terrible/cliche/way too evil?

*And women wear them too, just so you know. It’s aggravating (on many levels, because women didn’t wear pants back then, and they certainly didn’t wear leather…*


About merciatremblac

I'm a junior in college, creative writing major, currently living in the mountains of North Carolina with my best friend for a roommate.
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