Six for Sunday – Literary Villains
Six Sinister Villains
I hope you have had a lovely weekend! Today’s six for Sunday is focused on some of my favourite villains from literature. Let’s face it, we all love a good villain. Our heroes would be nothing without them. Common villainous traits include a sinister background, an ultimate goal and above-average levels of intellect. What I find most interesting though is whether the character can be defined as truly evil. A villain who is cruel with obvious malicious intent is very different from the ones who seem a lot more human, almost normal.
I have been very careful as to my selection because although there are some other fantastic villains I would love to share, I don’t want to spoiler people that haven’t read the books. Sometimes we don’t find out who the true villain is until the end of a book and I would never want to rob anyone of discovering certain characters for themselves.
Professor Umbridge – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I think Dolores is at the top of a lot of readers hit lists! Even Stephen King described her as “the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter”. She is a deplorable human being; sadistic, cruel and condescending. Plus who has kittens do their evil bidding?!
The White Witch – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
A classic children’s villain and one that I grew up afraid of. That may have been as much to do with the BBC version as the actual books. Turning people to stone is not a good hobby for a sane person, so there is problem one. Problem two, I have great issues with the idea of a permanent Winter with no Christmas. C.S. Lewis’ books all feature a religious undertone and Jadis certainly has a devil like quality when she lures Edmund away from his siblings.
Iago – Othello
Iago is, in my opinion, the best villain in the complete works of Shakespeare. He is calculated, manipulative and all whilst wearing a friendly smile. I desperately want to see David Tennant as Iago, he would be unbelievable. If you know the play, think about that casting and try to tell me I am wrong!
Moriarty – Sherlock Holmes
Another classic villain. Moriarty falls into the criminal mastermind category of villains. He is an machiavellian evil genius who is ruthless and has lost his sense of morality. In The Final Problem Sherlock Holmes himself states “A criminal strain ran in his blood”.
Amarantha – A Court of Thorns and Roses
The main antagonist of the book and definitely falling into the ‘evil’ category of villain. Amarantha is all about power and control. Interestingly, we don’t actually find out the full horrors of what she has done until book two A Court of Mist and Fury. I find that very unusual. When we find out the true extent of what she has done and how it impacts the characters involved, it makes her so much worse. I won’t say more because of spoilers.
Hannibal – Hannibal
One of Stephen King’s scariest villains. The sheer gap of intellect between him and his victims creates a sense of inevitability. A terrifying villain as you know that you would never be able to escape him. I remember being on holiday in France as a kid and my mum waking up screaming on more than one occasion. She was reading Hannibal at the time!
That’s my six for Sunday! I would love to know your favourite bookish villains in the comments!