Modern villains are a diverse bunch. They’re no longer the clichéd moustache twisting ‘bad guy’ cackling an evil ‘bwa-ha-ha’ in the shadows. Authors are now tapping into the fact that villains can be sinister but still gain their own fan base and occasionally garner sympathy from readers. Here are some of the scoundrels, rapscallions and down-right creepy characters who have given me many a goose bump:
Sarren from The Blood of Eden series by Julie Kagawa – Sarren is a sadistic and powerful vampire and those qualities make for a terrifically terrifying ‘bad guy’. He has a disquieting calm about him that gives me the creeps especially when he refers to Allie as “little bird” when he toys with her. *shiver* Included in series: The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure, The Forever Song
Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon and Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris - He uses his vast intellect and charm to disarm his opponents but you can never forget how ruthless and utterly chilling this man can be. I will always associate the words ‘fava beans’ with Hannibal and I’d decline any dinner invitation from him.
Annie Wilks from Misery by Stephen King – Annie takes the typically innocent action of being a fan to the extreme. In her own mind, she’s not a villain but to those reading Misery, we see her in a very different light.
King Joffrey from A Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin – There’s bad guys and then there’s the kind of villain who is vicious and vile through and through with no redeeming qualities. It’s evil characters like these that I eagerly hope to witness their downfall. Included in series: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons, The Winds of Winter
Dolores Umbridge AND Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling – Don’t let her pink dresses and affinity for fluffy kittens fool you. Professor Umbridge’s abuse of power and cruel, abusive punishments for her students definitely put her in the sadistic villain category. Included in series: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Here are some other villains who also made my cut of favourite evil doers:
Sauron from The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien
Prof. Moriarty - Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis from The Final Problem (included in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Whether they’re calm and sadistic, undoubtedly evil or criminal masterminds, villains come in many forms and without them literature would be pretty dull. So, who are your favourite villains?
- – Laurie P.