Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Bookish Villains

I'm participating in today's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's prompt is:

Top Ten Favorite Bookish Villains

I love a great villain.  There are so many different ways to be a villain, too.  You can be anything from a selfish and mean neighbor to a scheming mass murderer.  Think of the people in your life who you might cast in the "villain" role in a movie about your life.  Probably very few of them are evil to the core.  More likely you just didn't connect with or agree with them.  In books, villains can often be just as multidimensional and interesting as the main protagonist.  I love it when they are so layered.  It makes the whole story that much more interesting.  Here are my favorite villains I've read in books, and why:



10. Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Snape is such an excellent villain precisely because you're never really sure whether he actually is or isn't a villain.  Even after the series ended there were people arguing from both ends.  His story reminds me that disagreeable people deserve kindness, too.

Iago remains the #1 most terrifying character I have ever read.  The closest I've ever seen to his almost bored interest in destroying others' happiness is Heath Ledger's depiction of The Joker in The Dark Knight.  Some men just want to watch the world burn.

The wolf gets a spot because his story was the first time I had considered a previously beloved story from a different point of view.  Really, if you're a wolf, what's so wrong about eating a free bacon cheeseburger when it sits right in front of you?

Nathaniel is not a classic villain.  He isn't hated by everyone, neither is he actively trying to destroy anybody or anything.  But his inability to see beyond his own desires is startling and thought provoking.  I wish more people read this book.

Here's a more classic villain for you.  Ruler of darkness?  Check.  Seeking power at any cost?  Check.  Really only wants some companionship?  Double check.

Micah is such an interesting character.  He is trying to be a good son while also being true to himself.  It takes him a while to realize those two things may not be mutually compatible.

4. Basically everyone in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
No one is safe in these books.  No one is really a "good guy" either.  Everyone has their own agenda, and everyone is the villain, from another character's point of view.  The character dynamics are so fascinating in this series.

Elphaba is the classic misunderstood villain.  I feel like we all know someone like this, though.  It reminds me to give everyone a chance.  We all could use the benefit of the doubt.

President Snow is a bad dude in a lot of ways.  He's conniving and ruthless, and a part of me hates him.  But I think, in his way, he really does believe that what he's doing is for the greater good.  Which is what makes him so interesting a character.

August is scary.  He is a paranoid schizophrenic, and he holds no small degree of power in the circus that serves as this book's setting.  If he was my boss, I would be terrified out of my ever loving mind.  As a fictional character, I loved reading about him. 


Who are your favorite villains and why?

12 comments:

  1. Who doesn't like a good villain? If I got to star in my own novel, I would totally be the villain! *smiles evilly while holding cuddly bear*.

    My favourite villain......Alison DiLaurentis from Pretty Little Liars. You actually do not know if she is the antagonist or not. It's like you either hate her, or you REALLY hate her. So I suppose my real answer is that 'A' is my favourite villain.

    And Voldemort. Gotta love Voldywarts....

    That was a horrible joke, wasn't it?

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    1. I've actually never watched or read PLL, but you've got me interested in the villain! I agree that it would be a lot more fun to play the villain than the hero. There's something appealing to pretending to be evil. You get to try on the less savory characteristics of human nature without actually hurting anyone in real life. I'd play the villain too.

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  2. Yes, yes, yes! I love that you put Snape as your number 10. I know a lot of people don't think of him as a villain, but he is. He's just a gray villain, where like you said, he's not evil to core and he has good things about him, but he still did horrible things!

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    1. Yes! I agree with both sides on his villain/hero debate. He may have redeemed himself in the end, but he still was certainly not a good guy.

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  3. Great list! I love a good villain. I especially love a villain who may or may not be evil and one who has a tortured past like The Darkling and Snape.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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    1. Darkling and Snape for the win! Love both those characters.

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  4. You're totally right about GoT. No one is a good guy in that one. But even the "bad" guys have some good motives.

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    1. You're so right! No one is fully good, but no one is fully bad either. I think that's much more representative of real life.

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  5. Yeah, I have to say, Iago is undoubtedly one of Shakespeare's creepiest, most loathsome villains. He's just vile. Definitely belongs on this list! He's not one that I love to hate, though, he's just one that I flat-out hate, lol.

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    1. Iago really is vile. You make a good point about him falling into the fear/hate category. Many of these other ones fall into the love/hate category, and there is a big difference between the two categories. I'm glad you pointed that out. :)

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  6. Snape is my favorite character in the Harry Potter series. He has so much depth! President Snow is a villain you love to hate! I will never see roses the same again, especially white ones.

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    1. Seriously! White roses are so creepy now. And Snape... Such a great character.

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