Hello guys! Today, here's my fortieth PE proposal, and it's about Atticus Thorn, the main antagonist of the 2003 video game The Haunted Mansion, based on both the popular Disney theme park attraction of the same name as well as its 2003 film adaptation.
WHO IS HE / WHAT HAS HE DONE?
Atticus Thorn was a powerful sorcerer with knowledge about dark magic who was born in the 14th century. During the Dark Ages, circa early 1300s, Thorn started a cult known as the Order of Shadows and recruited many members so they could summon demons and steal innocent souls, as Thorn desired to exterminate any benevolent force in the world of the living. However, the Brotherhood of Souls, which consisted in a group of monks, opposed Thorn's cult and fought against them by using an artifact known as the Beacon of Souls to purify good souls and send them to the afterlife while resisting the Order of Shadows' powers, leading Atticus and his acolytes to hunt them down across Europe to take the Beacon. Despite the Black Plague and the Inquisition's witch trials, the Order of Shadows kept looking for the Brotherhood of Souls.
Years later, the Beacon of Souls was being guarded by the Brotherhood of Souls at the Gracey Manor, none other than the Haunted Mansion, in Louisiana, USA. Thanks to the mystical aura that protected the mansion created by Madame Leota and the Brotherhood, Atticus and his acolytes were unable to break into the building, but Atticus eventually found out a way to overcome the aura and murdered Leota and destroyed the last of the Brotherhood of Souls while trying to get the Beacon of Souls, imprisoning Leota in her crystal ball and corrupting all the ghostly inhabitants of the mansion into prisoners bound to serve him. However, Leota scattered five of the six Soul Gems which empowered the Beacon to the far corners of the building while leaving another into the Beacon so it could still work albeit weakly. To keep himself alive while seeking for the Gems and 999 souls, Thorn devoured souls throughout hundreds of years, trapping them into his body to drain their energies. Thorn also cursed the Gracey Manor with his evilness by inviting giant spiders, banshees, spirits, gargoyles and possessed moving knight suits of armor.
In 1879, a young aspiring author named Ezekiel "Zeke" Holloway comes to the mansion thinking that he is being offered a job as a caretaker. As such, Atticus sends all his minions after Holloway to get rid of him, even daring to face the adventuruous man on his own, each time more powerful and stronger than before. Despite Atticus' attempts, Zeke joins forces with Leota and meet Thorn in the Vault of Shadows by opening a locked passageway in the foyer with the Seaman's Ring, but Thorn uses his powers to steal the Beacon of Souls from Zeke, absorbing the powers of the captured 999 souls as well as the Soul Gems and taking the appearance of a worm-like creature, eager to start his conquest plans to destroy both the living world and the afterlife. However, Zeke uses Leota to power the Beacon of Souls and defeats Thorn by sending him towards hot molten lava beneath the Vault of Shadows, killing him once and for all and bringing the Order of Shadows to an end.
WHAT'S THE WORK?
The Haunted Mansion is a 2003 video game based on the 2003 film of the same name, which is based itself on the popular Disney theme park attraction of the same name. The game's story centered on Ezekiel "Zeke" Holloway's adventures to rescue 999 souls from the Haunted Mansion and to stop Atticus Thorn, the leader of the Order of Shadows, to destroy both life and the afterlife.
MORAL EVENT HORIZON
In The Haunted Mansion universe, there's only one more PE villain as of now, and that's Constance Hatchaway, who appears on the ride and qualifies for killing all her husbands without remorse. Another potential candidate could be Ramsley from the 2003 film in which the game is based, but he doesn't qualify despite his atrocities, which included poisoning an innocent woman for racist reasons and causing the cursing of many other people at the manor, as he believied he was doing the right thing, so that heinous standard is not very high. Every PE villain must have crossed the Moral Event Horizon to be PE, and Atticus Thorn definitely crosses it by trying to destroy both the realm of the living and the afterlife so he can rule them with full darkness just because he likes killing and wants to live forever. Nuff said.
HEINOUS STANDARDS/MITIGATING FACTORS?
Unlike Constance Hatchaway, another PE villain of his franchise, Atticus Thorn lacks any tragic background and nothing excuses his crimes. Whereas Constance was implied to have been poor when she was younger, hence a reason for what she killed all her husbands (though it doesn't justify killing them), Atticus doesn't have any reason for his actions. His only reason to use his magic powers for evil is that he wants to have power and be immortal, demonstrating his total selfishness, as he only cares for himself. To achieve his goals, he is willing enough to summon demons and steal the souls of innocent people, not caring on the dangers the former could pose to the world and not caring on what the souls of good people want for their afterlife. When the Brotherhood of Souls opts to put an end to Atticus' plans, Atticus sets himself and his followers to hunt them down for trying to stop them from committing their crimes.
What makes Atticus much more dangerous and deranged in comparison to other fictional villains, however, is his desire to destroy both the living world and the afterlife so he can rule them with darkness. You heard it, he wants to destoy the life after death, and according to himself, his reason to do so is because both life and the afterlife are confusing, so he just wants neither of them so there can only be death. Of course, as he wants to be immortal, he is willing enough to drain the energy of innocent people's souls so he can remain attached to the world of the living as long he sees it necessary.
And like most PE villains, Atticus doesn't care at all for his men, dismissing them once they accomplish their tasks for him even despite their loyalty to him. The Tome of Shadows even states that he gets rid of the followers that leave the Order if they opt to abandon it. His sadistic side can be inferred by the fact tat he not only murdered Madame Leota but imprisoned her into a crystal ball, indicating that he wanted to see her suffer after her death by attaching her to the world of the living and precluding her from moving on to the afterlife, possibly as revenge because she previously aided him and his minions on his goals until she realized their true agenda and deception, leading her to leave them. He also summons all his minions to get rid of Ezekiel "Zeke" Holloway once he becomes an obstacle for his plans, and even so he doesn't express any remorse when they are defeated by Zeke, who ends up bringing his downfall to stop him from carrying on his planned universal hegemony.
Taking all of this into account, I would say yes about considering Atticus Thorn to be approved as PE.