Tor.com content by

Emily Burack

Why Villain Schools Are Having a Pop Culture Moment

An orphan, whose parents died in mysterious circumstances, is chosen to attend a secretive school. Perhaps it was destiny. Or maybe their skills were particularly well suited for what the school teaches. Maybe it was magic… Whatever the reason, they go to the school. What other option do they have? They’re an orphan! The school—whether it’s dedicated to training assassins, or witches, or just geniuses—is run by an evil headmaster who possibly has good intentions, but most likely is a nefarious character.

This broad plot overview represents a common trope in young adult literature—and it also describes not one, but three current television shows.

[It’s safe to say that villain schools are having a pop culture moment.]

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