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…That Good People May Sleep Peacefully At Night

Even an evil child has his own day – Yoruba Proverb.

Sometimes, the world does not need a hero. What it needs is a monster – Count Dracula.

Last week, I ticked another movie in my ‘Movies Watched’ checklist. The movie, Dracula Untold, chronicles how Count Vlad the Impaler, Son of the Dragon, became Count Dracula, son of the Devil, and leader and founder of #TeamVampire.

The movie reveals that Count Dracula turned to the evil power that turned him into a blood drinker, because he wanted to prevent his people from being taken as slaves by the Turks. Dracula himself had been a fierce and deadly warrior, who turned his back on his bloody past, and decided he wanted to be an honourable ruler to his people. After years of fighting and being treated as a slave, he wanted to be a hero.

But he soon discovers that sometimes, the world doesn’t need heroes. Sometimes what it needs are monsters. When his old adopted brother, Mehmet the Turkish king comes calling for Vlad’s son and a thousand Transylvanian men to be forcefully conscripted into his Turkish army, Dracula has no option but to seek an unspeakable evil being – an evil creature with demonic powers, forever fated to remain in darkness.Dracula Untold 03When Dracula stepped into that cave, he knew what he was looking for and what it would cost him. He knew he would become like the monster he sought, a blight upon everything beautiful and good, and a creature of the dark fated to live out eternity among the hosts of darkness. Vlad knew he would become a monster, the son of the devil, his soul forever damned to an eternity in hell. Vlad knew the people he was trying to save would despise him. They would be afraid of him. They would even try to kill him.

But he knew he had to get that vile power, or his good people would perish by the sword of Mehmet the Turk. By turning himself to a lord of the night, he ensured that the good people of Transylvania were safe from the scourge of slavery forever.

This action reminds me of another fictional character – Lord Varys in George R.R. Martin’s Game Of Thrones. Varys is portrayed in the series as a slimy character, who has a huge network of spies, a man whom everybody feared and nobody trusted. Nobody ever knew what team Varys was playing for at any point in time. And so far in the series, he has remained a loner, nobody to love or trust.  However, for all his bad qualities, it was Lord Varys’ double dealing that helped one of the good guys in the movie, Tyrion Lannister, to escape out of King’s Landing with his head, after he was condemned to death. Varys might be a two timing schemer, but it is enormous influence that allows him to succeed where noble heroes like Eddard Stark failed.wpid-wp-1412840603050Again this reminds me of a series of discussion I had with friends on the issue of the Nigerian army against Boko Haram. As a Nigerian who has witnessed firsthand the brutality and callousness of the Nigerian military, I rejoice in spite of myself when I see them getting their “comeuppance” from Boko Haram. But I keep getting reminded by friends that those soldiers, bad as they might have been, (or as they are, if you like) are the only reason why I’m only still reading about Boko Haram in the papers, instead of hearing their gunshots outside my door.

This piece does not seek to praise these lords of dark places. They do not deserve praise. Most of them have no honour, they have no courage. Most of them, like Dracula, are bloodthirsty and evil creatures. They don’t need our sympathy, because ultimately the path they took was by their own choice.

This piece is merely an acknowledgement of what they do. The world needs heroes as rulers, men like the honourable Eddard Stark who will not pervert justice, who will not soil their hands, whose work will stand against any scrutiny, who create just societies. But the world also needs monsters like Dracula, like Lord Varys, who will slither about in the dark, so that good people like the innocent Transylvanians will not die, and good people do not get stabbed in the back by evil people. In a world where #TeamBlack is forever battling #TeamWhite, people who are #TeamGrey are needed to even things up and maintain balance.

So here is to the Lords of Darkness, to the masters of disguise, the faceless men, the “bad” men with guns who patrol the streets . . . so that good people may sleep peacefully at night.

Written by Adebayo Adegbite, tweets @beebayuu


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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22 comments

  1. Yes a lovely piece but i don’t buy into that notion biko. Bad is bad and good is good while grey is grey and purple is the serious shade of pink.
    The examples given for bad people doing good to help us at night is Hollywood propaganda. I love me a good story, i love me a great bad guy, I’m one to root for the bad guy in movies even though i know we won’t win but to now tell me my devilishly good bad guy is now kinda grey? Biko i no buy Wetin you dey sell

    • shakespeareanwalter

      But there are bad guys who are either innately good or are driven attimes by the need for good. Even though they are bad. Like that member of a kidnapping ring who is a little kinder to the victim, who offers him a blanket to ward off the cold in the stark room where he’s held, or stands between her and his cohorts when they get randy and want to violate her. He is a bad guy. He is a part of the kidnap. He will take his cut of the ransom. But he did good too.
      There’s always Grey in shades of Black.

    • shakespeareanwalter

      The CIA is another good example of what the writer is selling. Men and women who skulk around in the dark, doing horrific things that the upstanding citizenry would frown at, in a bid to protect the United States.

    • ‘…Purple is the serious shade of pink’. Only Anyi will come up wi something like that. In other news, I am on team Grey for this duration of reading this write up. And it is because I liked that guy that acted the role of Vlad the Impaler o. A hunk gets me everytime, jo. Bad is bad, simple!

  2. I think there is truth in this piece. While there is no moral justification, there are times we do bad to protect the ones we love. The prostitute or armed robber who has siblings to feed. #jstsaying

  3. This write-up is a reminder that Good and Evil walk and work hand in hand. We should just continue to pray that Good prevail…

  4. Nice piece!…..bt 4 m itz d #teambad in al movies…..lyk #TeamDamon #TeamKlaus #TeamBlair #TeamHound….

  5. God allow evil things to happen for a reason.
    Bad people are needed some very few times.

    Lol @purple is the seriois shade of pink

  6. Nice writing. The moral of the story on the other hand, is false. Sorry, but I don’t buy it. There’s come truth, in that men must go through the murky mines of life in order to produce the very jewels that we all hold dear. However, don’t sell me a man who sells his soul to the devil in order to protect his people. In essence, those people are protected by the devil. Shikena. Every good story needs a decent bad guy but nah, good and evil don’t walk hand in hand. They never will.

  7. Well there is some truth to this. Some times people do evil to secure good. But the part i dont understand is, how does boko haram help us sleep better at night? or is there something im missing?

  8. Oh Wow! This, right here’s a real headspinner! Its got me head banging and going round and round in circles! What are the true definitions of good, evil, and bad? Ok! Am kiddin’, I think I know! But even at that, unless you’re a villian in the ‘spec’ of Robin of Sherwood; who am totally suckers for by the way, then you’re ‘good’! Afterall, he stole from the rich to bestow on the poor! The elites and government of that present day made a ‘monster’ outta him! So, his rage was directed at ’em and not on the commoners! Still, this piece is kinda twisted but I like it; still! Sue me, by all means necessary! LOL

  9. This piece I seriously like because Dracula Untold I heinously love. The best Vampire movie IMO. It took a very popular story and gave it a super spin. Enabling us to see it from another angle. Some may not agree with this piece but that doesn’t mean sometimes,bad is required to balance the good in this world. Cheers!

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