Chaos… Pandemonium… Whether you love it, hate it, or are mixed on the issue, we can all agree that such is a nonnegotiable constant of the universe we live in. As much as we’d like to have everything under control, things happen, food is dropped on the floor, fire hydrants break, and people do weird crap.
To change the general vibe around chaos, we luckily have National Pandemonium Day–a randomly selected 24-hour period where chaos is celebrated. And it’s the perfect chance for you to reflect on the good that chaos brings to our lives.
Here’s a hint: fictional characters. Have you ever begun to read a book or watch a movie only to find that the characters were too dull for your taste? Chaos is the current order when it comes to crafting fun and believable characters, even if they live in completely different worlds. It’s why we love Cersei Lannister and Jigsaw for all their evil–why we so enjoy watching thrillers like Mission Impossible and the Batman Trilogy.
To remind you just how much chaos and pandemonium have contributed to the overall value of entertainment, here is a list of ten of the most chaotic characters books, tv, and movies have to offer.
The Joker: Batman
He’s a criminal mastermind who openly welcomes chaos–that’s why a highly competent vigilante like Batman has had so much trouble with him. He’s got bank-robberies, dealing with mobsters, and blowing up hospitals on his resume of pandemonium. Though he’s quite a terrible human being, you have to admit that it’s fun to stare in shock at all the crazy things he does…like volunteer as a school bus driver.
Sauron: The Lord of the Rings
If you plan to take over the world but find you’re the type to lose your car keys every day before work, you probably shouldn’t hinge your masterplan around the possession of a single magic ring. Just saying… With that considered, Sauron seems to be naturally chaotic and disorganized, which allowed him to bring Middle Earth to its knees before finally being destroyed forever. Plus, a LOT of waiting around for someone to randomly stumble upon the ring. I’ll bet he didn’t make plans for those 2461 years, according to The Lord of the Rings Fandom site.
Pippin Took: The Lord of The Rings
This harry-footed hobbit may have outstayed his welcome with the Fellowship, but it’s a good thing he did, as the final outcome of The Lord of the Rings likely wouldn’t have resolved happily. Clumsy and completely ignorant in the beginning, we soon learned that Pippin Took had a lot more cunning chaos to offer by inciting the last march of the Ents and their successful assault on Isengard and lighting the beacons of Minas Tirith. Without his habitual creation of pandemonium, there’d have remained two towers and one ring.
R2-D2: Star Wars
This near-sighted scrap pile has sown enough chaos to detour the Galactic Empire and never failed to lighten every high-stakes situation he was in. It’s through his opposing companion C-3PO that R2-D2’s preference for pandemonium is best shown. The droid has 3 legs with rockets, endless compartments, a 360-degree spinning head, and has completely incoherent speech; it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was originally designed to cause as much chaos as possible. With that in mind, it’s a good thing he works on the light side of the Force, because I’d tremble at the thought of what a dark side R2 would be capable of.
Han Solo: Star Wars
Compared to the previous mention, Han Solo is less impulsive with chaos creation, instead combining it with cunning and surprise. The results speak for themselves; two Death Stars blown up, risking life and limb out in the freezing tundra of Hoth to save his friend, and leading a months long high-speed pursuit, which ended with him residing at a floating Las Vegas! There’s something fundamentally enjoyable about watching this character, as you never know what crazy plan has formed in his mind to get out of a situation. Caught redhanded by an army of stormtroopers? Easy solution: Charge at them!
Cersei Lannister: Game Of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire
Though she may not look chaotic, being a tyrannical ruler, her methods, such as employing a blood-crazed medical mutant as her bodyguard and blowing up the Sept of Baelor, demonstrate the lengths at which she’d go to sow fear and uncertainty in her enemies. More of the pragmatic kind of chaotic (like the previous mention), she was selective when it came to unleashing pandemonium, opting more for psychological methods like lying and spending money. With that said, she was both enjoyable to watch and one of the more relatable mentions on this list.
Patrick Bateman: American Psycho
You’ll have to read the book or witness the movie to see just how chaotic this Huey Lewis-loving murderous maniac character really is. It’s not just what he does but the reasons behind his actions. He axed his coworker to death because he couldn’t get him a reservation at his favorite restaurant! And then there’s one scary scene when Patrick Bateman lost his cool because…another coworker had a better-looking business card than him. The calamity!
Jack Sparrow: Pirates of the Caribbean
There’s an art to creating chaos, but it’s nothing compared to the impressiveness that comes with using chaos to your advantage. You only have to watch his opening scene to know that he’s good at both. Sinking ship or epic entrance? Jack Sparrow gave reality the motivational guru’s guidance to find opportunity amid bleak circumstances. On top of his skill wrangling with chaos, Jack mastered the art of verbal confusion, making people look like idiots (and question themselves on whether they are or not).
Ethan Hunt: Mission Impossible
There are few movie characters that can make an audience authentically say: “Is this really happening?” Played by Tom Cruise, Ethan Hunt is both an expert at meticulous planning and in-the-moment adaptation to pandemonium. And the two traits have proven critical to him in a handful of situations. Whether it’s breaking into the CIA, hunting down the leader of a covert terror network at an opera, or beating and befriending your enemy at the same time, nothing is out of reach for this Impossible Missions Force spy. He goes to show that any situation in life can be turned around with a little thought and unbending determination.
Rick Sanchez: Rick & Morty
Everyone is afraid to get old but not Rick Sanchez. With infinite universes open to him, he has proven countless times that life can still be a winding chaotic rollercoaster even at 70. With the help of his anxious grandson Morty, Rick goes about the multiverse creating utter pandemonium, which has gained him not a few enemies. What sets him apart from the other mentions is that he doesn’t really have a “why” for doing anything. Han Solo wanted money, Cersei Lannister wanted power, and Sauron wanted to dominate Middle Earth. Rick? Maybe a planet spouse or another drink. The rest is anyone’s guess.
In the spirit of pandemonium and keeping you, the reader, on your toes, here are two additional mentions bunched together!
Fred & George Weasley: Harry Potter
These two characters are the representation of what fun chaos can be. They’ve taken pranks and practical jokes to a whole new level with magic, going so far as to open their own store in Diagon Alley. Aside from surface-level chaos, these twins had a pivotal influence on events in the Harry Potter series, such as giving Harry the Marauder’s Map, blowing up Professor Umbridge with fireworks, playing two Harry Potter decoys, and fighting during the Battle of Hogwarts. There’s simply not a pair more capable of creating positive chaos than Fred and George Weasley.