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I used to love white knights. The kind in shining armor that they said you ought to ride off with into the sunset. Bad guys, they said, you strictly stayed away from. They brought nothing but trouble. Coming from a family that made sure that bad boys and I stayed away from each other, I believed them then.

Until someone changed my mind.

He was a guy named Sebastian Valmont. He looked like an angel and had the character of a devil. I took a second look at him when I first watched the film Cruel Intentions back when I was in college, and I realized there was more to these bad guys than met the eye. I wanted to slap him for acting like a jerk, and yet agonized with him when he realized that he was, after all, human. I cried when he died. That was the beginning of my romance with the antihero. Since then, pure Galahad types have never quite cut it for me.

So, here's a list of those fictional bad boys that will always hold a place in my heart.

* Sebastian Valmont, played by Ryan Philippe in Cruel Intentions. The one that started it all.

* Lestat de Lioncourt in the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. The Brat Prince, of whom it was said "You love to stir things up and see if they boil over and if God would come down and drag you by the hair." He is a vampire, he describes himself as "not immoral but amoral," and there is a terrible charisma about him that draws you to him.

* Landon Carter, played by Shane West in A Walk to Remember. Here, the bad boy, the jerk, becomes tamed in the end, and his transformation is a beautiful thing to behold.

* Hwan Sun Woo, played by Lee Seung Gi in Shining Inheritance. Another bad boy whose good side is brought out by the girl. Hwan's transition from jerk to sweetie is quite remarkable, and I could watch Shining Inheritance over and over again just to marvel that the guy you wanted to slug in the first episodes could become so adorable at the end.

* Bidam, played by Kim Nam Gil in Queen Seon Deok. The inspiration for this post in the first place! LOL. Bidam is a tragic character, part innocent, part psychopath; he is a black knight whose slow descent into total darkness we know we cannot stop, but when all is said and done one keeps wishing he could have gotten the happiness all of us deserve. Sigh. *sniffle, sniffle, cry*

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